Stand Approach

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Singing Bridge
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Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:21 am

Is the approach and exit to your stand important to you? Why or why not? Does hunting pressure or stand location make a difference on how you go about it? Break it down and let me have it, what does everyone think?


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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:58 am

I know a lot of people talk about needing a quiet planned exit, and I agree this can be important sometimes. But for me the most important thing about my plan is my entrance. I believe you generally only get one or two shots at a certain bucks bedding area before the game is up. Once he smells you were nearby its over for a while at that spot. Therefore, a well planned 1st strike is very important. I will go very far out of my way to make sure that my wind never blows into the bedding area, sound, and the deers vision from his bed are also very important. Getting in to the right spot undetected for your 1st sit of the year in that spot is paramount.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:13 am

Scott,

I would agree with Dan on all counts. I believe that this is the most often overlooked aspect of a hunter's set-up. First off, they typically don't know exactly "where" the buck is bedded that they are hunting so oftentimes they unknowingly let their scent blow to the buck on their way to their stand. He doesn't leave his bed until after the hunter leaves and once again lets his scent blow to the buck or alerts him with his noise and flashlight beam. 90% of hunters for some odd reason forget that deer are around once it gets dark and will spook deer with little or no regard. They absolutely blow it for any future chance from that location. If you intend to hunt a location multiple times - sneak-in and sneak-out!

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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:22 am

One thing that I have noticed.. Being that I like to be set up before it starts to get light on morning hunts. I am generally in the tree before the "yahoo's" start entering the woods..
It never ceases to amaze me that I can here there truck door, foot steps, whispering, and see there lights. I generally know where all the other hunters are set up on a quiet morning within 500 yards. Well... If I can tell you where they are based on my senses, I would have to think a deer would be even better at knowing where each of these hunters is located...
I start out nice and early. Take my time, only flick my light enough not to get shot by poachers, I carefully place my footsteps to keep from making to much noise. etc...
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:12 pm

Dan and PLH's points always have me thinking... a number of years back I made the decision and commitment to make my stand approach my highest priority. If I wasn't burning bridges in a swamp or marsh, my exit also became high priority. Before I ever left my truck, I carefully considered how my tracks leaving scent on the ground would influence my upcoming hunt. I also carefully thought about how my airborne scent would impact my hunt as it drifted downwind from my truck to the stand. I made it of paramount importance to approach my stand without any deer hearing / seeing / or smelling me, and also considered what impact my approach would have when the deer moved past my stand. I began seeing bucks, some mature, at a much higher rate than I ever had before. Details make the difference.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:19 pm

One other point that should be made:
I will sometimes locate a good buck while shining, with a camera, or by his sign. Based on where and when I see this buck, I will try to determine which bedding areas he could have come from. I will know most of the bedding areas from my spring scouting.
Lets say I am confident he came from one of 5 different bedding areas. My choice for which one to hunt won't be which one I think will be the most likely, but rather, which one can I hunt that will influence the other bedding areas the least. So in this case, I pick my hunt set ups based on only burning one bridge at a time.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:21 pm

dan wrote:Lets say I am confident he came from one of 5 different bedding areas. My choice for which one to hunt won't be which one I think will be the most likely, but rather, which one can I hunt that will influence the other bedding areas the least. So in this case, I pick my hunt set ups based on only burning one bridge at a time.


Sounds like a great way to "up the odds", by not burning a bridge to the best spot when he may have been in a satellite or "outer" bedding area. In a round about way, burning the bridges based on the least amount of impact, you would be "stacking" the most likely spot as well.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby dan » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:22 am

you would be "stacking" the most likely spot as well.

Absolutely... Even if you don't have a lead, and just hunt your buck bedding areas one after another, in the theory of "stacking" your last hunts should get better.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:34 pm

publiclandhunter wrote: I believe that this is the most often overlooked aspect of a hunter's set-up.


Troy's statement had me flashing back to the public land cedar swamps I hunt. Incredibly thick, wet and nasty, approaching a buck bedding area without tipping him off is a real project. Many times over the years, I would clear an entry trail to make my approach quieter. Here in Michigan you can't cut saplings, etc. but I would walk down a trail and move blowdowns, put in manmade bridges over muck and water with dead trees, etc. I always did this in the offseason, and seldom would it fail that the target buck would take over my access trail. Big tracks and rubs right down my path, which must have been better than the bucks own trail. After a few years of this, the light bulb went off and I realized this was an exploitable opportunity. A couple of bucks bit the dust that took over my trail.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Scott,

I did the same thing and had exactly the same results. I now clear the trail, but make it a point to have a few blowdowns or barricades that I can easily lift out of the way along the route. This helps to deter the deer from using the trail. The other way to handle that is to clear two trails that parallel each other and then use the down-wind trail for your approach and leave the barricades on that one. Deer are routinely lazy and will use the "easy" trail.

PLH
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:25 am

I too have noticed the behavior Bridge brought up... I try not to make any trails unless I have to on the public land cause they tend to also get used by other hunters.
Personally I try to practice stealth in my approach, watching each step. Careful foot placement. Doing what I can to minimize slurping muck noise...
But I do occasionally make a trail, or bridge muck/water if I have too....
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Casper » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:51 pm

Great thread!!

Stand approach should be the most important thing to a hunt. You'll never see the buck you are after if you let him know you are coming before you even get to your tree.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:49 pm

Casper wrote:Great thread!!

Stand approach should be the most important thing to a hunt. You'll never see the buck you are after if you let him know you are coming before you even get to your tree.


Details make the difference: Stand approach is a BIG deal, and can really make a difference in buck sightings on pressured public land.
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Liberty-Hunt » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:06 pm

For me too the stand approach are crucial!!!!
I get a little trick for my hunting teacher (when I was more young...souvenir souvenir).
When there are now way to go without making noise, you can bring someone with you (son, family member, friends...) and this person left alone after your installation... The animals will believe the danger are gone...if you stay without any movement of course...
With or deer it's work so why not for withetailed???
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Re: Stand Approach

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:08 am

That's a neat trick, Liberty. 8-)

Whitetails are sneaky son of a gun's, and a lot of times after hearing the other hunter leave will wait a while before circling down wind to scent check and clear the area from where the noise came. To adapt to your trick, in farm country some hunters will team up to drive a truck into a field and drop a hunter off at their stand. The deer are many times used to seeing farm trucks and machinery and will let it pass sometimes without scent checking downwind- and the hunter got on stand successfully. This is assuming the buck isn't bedded somewhere that he can watch the hunter climb into his stand.


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