Effective Tree Stand Placement
Maps and time afield will give you a pretty good idea of several good areas to hang a tree stand. But the real question then becomes exactly which tree? The first, and in my opinion the most critical consideration in positioning a stand, is that the stand and your approach are downwind of where you expect your quarry to appear. You want to make sure that none of your scent is blown into your hunting area.
If you are hunting a specific trophy animal, increase your odds of scoring regardless of wind direction by selecting alternative stand sites on opposite sides of the travel route. Whenever possible, I set my stands at least 18 feet above the ground (lower in some cases and higher in others) generally in trees that provide enough cover to break up my silhouette while affording me ample room to draw my bow in each direction and at various vertical angles.
If necessary, I do a little pruning to insure a reasonable number of open shooting avenues, especially in the directions I expect my quarry to approach. I personally prefer portable tree stands. They are light and fast to set up, reasonably comfortable and don’t obstruct the beauty of nature by permanently injuring the trees.
After securing my stand and making all necessary adjustments, I hang a15-foot cord from it to pull up and lower my bow and arrows. Trying to hold onto your bow and broadhead-tipped arrows while climbing a tree can be dangerous. Last but not least, I securely fasten my Hunter Safety System’s (http://www.huntersafetysystem.com/) belt securely around the tree. An 18-foot fall can kill you just as dead as an 18-story fall!
By this time you should be anxiously awaiting a monster buck. You’ve studied the maps, scouted, reviewed game camera pics, patterned your quarry, understand the lay of the land, and as a result you have complete confidence in the location you have chosen to hang your tree stand.
Remember, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with scouting by randomly roaming through unfamiliar terrain for hours. However, if your primary reason for being out there happens to have something to do with finding the best place to harvest a deer or whatever game animal you desire to bowhunt, the use of maps could easily prove to be the method for the most effective tree stand placement, which might mean the difference between a trophy hanging on the meatpole.