Placing your stand or blind in the area where you will hunt several weeks prior to the opening of season gives the deer time to become comfortable with the new, strange looking and smelling object that they find in their living space. Pre-season placement allows time for the synthetic scent of the materials that make up the stand or blind to dissipate. Over time, the deer will become used to seeing the stand or blind as another part of their natural surroundings.
Scouting is essential for determining your best set-up location. In the early season, you should choose to set up along routes that deer use for their daily eating, drinking, and resting activities. During this time, deer will frequent the same spots at very close to the same times of day using the same entrance and exit routes. Not all entrance and exit routes create a visual trail on the ground. If you can find these types of routes that offer lots of cover, then you will likely find the bigger and smarter bucks using them.
Trails that lead to water, food sources, or bedding areas are likely to yield high levels of daily traffic. These are great locations at which to utilize game cameras to study the early season feeding and resting patterns of local deer. Long-range trail cameras offer you the ability to identify common routes in and out of fields where feeding occurs. Short-range cameras give you close-up shots that will help you to determine entrance and exit routes in the woods or in areas where there is lots of cover.
When choosing the specific location of your blind, choose an area where the blind will blend into the natural surroundings and where the hard geometric outline of the blind is broken up. Look for a level spot and clear the area of all debris. Be sure to choose an easy and open route into the entrance of your blind, as you want to draw as little attention to you as possible when entering and exiting. Put your blind in a spot where it most closely blends into the natural landscape, like in an open area between dense vegetation or underneath a tree with low hanging branches. If you are not hunting on flat ground, placing your blind at the top of a hill or on the edge of a cliff overlooking a creek bottom or a low spot can put you into a similar shooting positioning to the deer as a tree stand offers.
When choosing where to locate your stand, look for a tall, straight tree that is at least sixteen inches in diameter and that doesn’t narrow at the spot where your stand makes contact. The larger the tree that you choose, the less susceptible it will be to swaying from the wind and the more cover it will offer you from deer that are approaching you from behind. If possible, choose the tree that offers the greatest amount of open shooting space and that requires the least amount of trimming after your stand is mounted. Be aware of the flow of the wind in your area and mount your stand in a location where you can use the wind most to your advantage. Always use a safety harness or rope system to protect you against falls. Be sure to properly install all components of your safety system prior to using the stand.
After you have placed your stand or blind, you should take some practice shots at a target with your TenPoint or Wicked Ridge crossbow to make sure that your shooting position is comfortable and that your shooting lanes are clear. Proper stand and blind placement should help you to see more deer out in the field. Shooting a TenPoint or Wicked Ridge crossbow will help you to harvest more of them.
Shoot straight and be safe!
Thanks and Happy Hunting.