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    Deer Hunting | Fall 2012 Out Here Magazine

    Should you hunt from high up or down low?

    hunter in a tree stand aiming an arrow
    Tree stands provide a better view of a hunting area and remove you from a deer’s normal line of sight and scent.
    Out Here

    By Ryan Taylor

    Photography by iStock

    Each time a hunter ventures out to pursue one of nature's most intelligent creatures — the white-tailed deer — one of the most important decisions is determining where you're going to position yourself for the hunt.

    Knowing wind direction, having scent control, and using trail cameras all will increase your chances at harvesting a mature deer, but deciding whether to hunt from an elevated or ground position could prove to be the most vital.

    The ladder, the hang-on, and the climber stand are all good choices to get you up high in a tree but ground blinds, which keep you on the earth, can be just as effective.

    While scouting out a good place to hunt, always assess what type of setup would do best in each particular location.

    Climber stands consist of a chair and platform below and are designed to help you climb a tree while you are on the tree stand. Climber stands are becoming the most popular stand for bow hunters in today's hunting market because they make it quick and easy to climb up as high as you like in just about any tree in a matter of minutes.

    Climbers, which are more portable than any other stand, allow you to hunt in areas that may have been difficult to access with other stands. If a hunter is headed to the woods and must cross creeks or heavy undergrowth, it's smart to pack in a climber stand for this hunt.

    Hang-on stands consist of a seat and footrest attached to the tree and can be set as low or high as you want. They are quick to get into and easy to bow or gun hunt out of.

    Typically, hunters use climbing sticks or a ladder to reach the stand. Because hang-ons take a little more time to set up, try not to move them too often, as it can be tedious and tough to find the right tree.

    Hunters normally leave them in an area where they know of established deer trails or in a property's pinch point — also known as a funnel point, where deer must pass through a narrow geographic point to get to another larger area, such as narrow strips of land between water or fields.

    If you find a great deer trail that is heavily used and is somewhat secluded by trees, installing a hang-on stand may be a good idea.

    Ladder stands, which have a ladder leading up to a bench or platform, are reliable, safe, and the sturdiest of all stands.

    These stands may prove to be most effective in a more permanent area where you know year after year deer will be traveling through. If there is a fencerow along a crop field, find a good tree to set up a ladder stand. Although ladder stands restrict your height level in a tree, they prove to be effective hunting tools that get you high enough to harvest deer.

    Blind hunting is a ground technique used by hunters to get close to the action while remaining hidden from deer. Blinds are made of a durable, waterproof, camouflaged material.

    While a blind could be the best and safest way to conceal movement, particularly when kids are along on the hunt, it does, however, require you to watch your wind direction and noise level.

    Most blind hunters are going to be rifle or muzzleloader hunting, although some bow hunters enjoy hunting out of a blind.

    If you want to hunt an open hayfield, you'll want to choose a corner or side of the field to brush in your blind, which means cutting vegetation or limbs of bushes and trees and placing them on top of or around your blind to help it blend in.

    Each of these hunting setups can be effective. Price, comfort, and ease of setup are important to factor in when you're shopping for your next great hunting spot.

    Ryan Taylor, of Missouri, is an avid hunter and writer for


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