How to avoid being picked off?

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mheichelbech
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How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby mheichelbech » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:41 am

So I had some does approach my stand over the weekend. I was basically just in an observation set overlooking a bedding area from about 200-300 yards away. I spotted the does moving towards me from way off and did not move at all as they approached. They came across the field directly to my stand and when the mama doe got to about 20 yards, she looked up and immediately spotted me in the stand. It was one of the typical December trees with little cover although I did have some branches from a tree beside me on one side. I was wearing what is typically regarded as the best camo out there...ASAT facemask and beanie, Predator camo over the rest of me and camo gloves and even my bow has sneaky leaves attached. I sometimes have deer look at me in the tree and just move on. In this instance, the doe knew I was a problem, stared at me for a good 15 minutes. She never blew or anything, but she did alter the route of travel to a different direction away from me. There were 6 other deer with her.

Just curious, besides sitting still and having back cover, what else can you do to avoid being picked off in late season? I was a good 20 feet up but I think I could have been 50 feet up and she would have seen me. The only thing I can figure is to have a bigger tree so I don't stand out as much.


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MrT
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby MrT » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:56 am

I usually try to have cover surrounding me and shoot through "windows" in the cover. If I don't have cover on one side of the tree I face the cover on the other side and use the tree itself as cover for my backside.

Hunting pressure can make a big difference as well. Areas where the deer are used to being hunted the deer can develop habits of looking up for danger, especially a mature doe or buck whose been through a few seasons. Areas where pressure is less, some deer don't look up at all. I've had deer in these areas walk right by my feet as they were just 4 ft off the ground and I was stuck out like a booger. Looks like you already know what area you're in, so finding cover should be of upmost importance for you.

It's important that I add that treestand height isn't that important. What's important is staying hid. If you only have to go up the tree 3 ft to get into the best cover, then thats all you need.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby mauser06 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:35 am

Hunt LOWER. Avoid being skylined. I see SO many stands and pics of stands where the stand IMO is too high. They are skylined. A few feet lower often puts them into a very nice blurry background of treetops and such.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby mag1 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:49 am

Depending on the lighting, you would be surprised at how predator blackens up at a distance. I used to have a jacket in fall grey, was with a buddy out in a Marsh on a dyke. He was 150-200 yds away, both on the ground. It was maybe 25 min. Before close and he said I just turned into a black blob. Maybe take out your Camo, and see what it does in the last 1/2 hr or so.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby EllieTheChubb » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:37 pm

mauser06 wrote:Hunt LOWER. Avoid being skylined. I see SO many stands and pics of stands where the stand IMO is too high. They are skylined. A few feet lower often puts them into a very nice blurry background of treetops and such.



This.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby 218er » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:31 pm

I like to have a tree in front of me to attempt to hide behind until their within range. Have you hunted from that tree before? I’ve been busted and moved 20-30 feet and watched deer lock on to the tree I was once busted in years later. Somehow they remember this stuff.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby minnesotahunter » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:39 pm

Ive found trees with splits are great late season. You cant always find them but when leaves are down they work great. Climb to the split and set up on one trunk facing the other. Also helps if you are like me and find a good area with your stand on your back but struggle to decide on a tree.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby PK_ » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:48 pm

Was it preset or have you hunted the tree before?
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby treeroot » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:51 pm

The saddle fixed 90% of the problem for me. If they come in from the front I hide behind the tree. If it's nothing I'm going to shoot and they come from behind I hug the tree. Only time I have an issue is if they follow the sticks up the tree and look at me. Or if I'm caught off guard moving.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby Mike32 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:03 pm

mauser06 wrote:Hunt LOWER. Avoid being skylined. I see SO many stands and pics of stands where the stand IMO is too high. They are skylined. A few feet lower often puts them into a very nice blurry background of treetops and such.

Agreed
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby raisins » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:50 am

mheichelbech wrote:So I had some does approach my stand over the weekend. I was basically just in an observation set overlooking a bedding area from about 200-300 yards away. I spotted the does moving towards me from way off and did not move at all as they approached. They came across the field directly to my stand and when the mama doe got to about 20 yards, she looked up and immediately spotted me in the stand. It was one of the typical December trees with little cover although I did have some branches from a tree beside me on one side. I was wearing what is typically regarded as the best camo out there...ASAT facemask and beanie, Predator camo over the rest of me and camo gloves and even my bow has sneaky leaves attached. I sometimes have deer look at me in the tree and just move on. In this instance, the doe knew I was a problem, stared at me for a good 15 minutes. She never blew or anything, but she did alter the route of travel to a different direction away from me. There were 6 other deer with her.

Just curious, besides sitting still and having back cover, what else can you do to avoid being picked off in late season? I was a good 20 feet up but I think I could have been 50 feet up and she would have seen me. The only thing I can figure is to have a bigger tree so I don't stand out as much.


The part I bolded above might be part of it. If the deer's direction of travel will have them spending a good chunk of time looking right in your direction, then you have a good chance of being picked off unless the cover around you is really good. Also, if the deer's natural orientation of the head will have them gazing at you. The classic is setting up 25 feet from your ground level but having that put you right at nose level with deer on a bench above you.

I hunted the same stand twice this year. It was a relatively wide tree in a cluster with other wide trees right behind me and one branch snaking around near me. I expected deer to come down a slope to my side and then follow a transition. First sit, 2 does and a buck did just that and their travel path didn't have them looking right at me. One of the does even bedded down 15 yards in front of me. None spooked. Wind wasn't perfect but at a 90 degree angle to them. And they were coming down a hill so they spent some time more level with me.

Second sit, a doe walked straight at me from the cover and not down the transition. The wind was even better, blowing opposite direction of her. She looked right at me almost immediately as she emerged from cover and spooked.

I was around 25 feet up both times and not skylined and had trees behind me, didn't matter second time I think because the doe was looking right in my direction for several minutes while in cover and then right at me with a clear view as she emerged from cover. Also, it seems when deer move from thicker to less thick cover they are on higher alert at that time.

Deer seem to have the look of the areas they frequent kind of burned in their head and they notice change. I'm trying to minimize my pack size accordingly now because I tend to have too much junk hanging off the stand, further alerting them.
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby Denisboyko22 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:39 am

mheichelbech wrote:So I had some does approach my stand over the weekend. I was basically just in an observation set overlooking a bedding area from about 200-300 yards away. I spotted the does moving towards me from way off and did not move at all as they approached. They came across the field directly to my stand and when the mama doe got to about 20 yards, she looked up and immediately spotted me in the stand. It was one of the typical December trees with little cover although I did have some branches from a tree beside me on one side. I was wearing what is typically regarded as the best camo out there...ASAT facemask and beanie, Predator camo over the rest of me and camo gloves and even my bow has sneaky leaves attached. I sometimes have deer look at me in the tree and just move on. In this instance, the doe knew I was a problem, stared at me for a good 15 minutes. She never blew or anything, but she did alter the route of travel to a different direction away from me. There were 6 other deer with her.

Just curious, besides sitting still and having back cover, what else can you do to avoid being picked off in late season? I was a good 20 feet up but I think I could have been 50 feet up and she would have seen me. The only thing I can figure is to have a bigger tree so I don't stand out as much.

Idk if youve heard of Cody D Acquisto and his father but in some of their podcasts they talked about how just about every single hunter goes to that desired height of 12-20 feet up in a tree and deer have learned that throughout the years and sometimes if you're up that high too when standing below looking up you will stand out like a pumpkin , but he was saying he likes being 8 feet up because when standing from the ground looking at you all you see is you blended into the other trees and woods but if you were higher you would stand out because you have nothing but the sky as a background , idk what your situation was but this could be something to consider , but if you're lower you have to be more careful with movement since you're closer to eye level
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby raisins » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:08 am

Denisboyko22 wrote:
mheichelbech wrote:So I had some does approach my stand over the weekend. I was basically just in an observation set overlooking a bedding area from about 200-300 yards away. I spotted the does moving towards me from way off and did not move at all as they approached. They came across the field directly to my stand and when the mama doe got to about 20 yards, she looked up and immediately spotted me in the stand. It was one of the typical December trees with little cover although I did have some branches from a tree beside me on one side. I was wearing what is typically regarded as the best camo out there...ASAT facemask and beanie, Predator camo over the rest of me and camo gloves and even my bow has sneaky leaves attached. I sometimes have deer look at me in the tree and just move on. In this instance, the doe knew I was a problem, stared at me for a good 15 minutes. She never blew or anything, but she did alter the route of travel to a different direction away from me. There were 6 other deer with her.

Just curious, besides sitting still and having back cover, what else can you do to avoid being picked off in late season? I was a good 20 feet up but I think I could have been 50 feet up and she would have seen me. The only thing I can figure is to have a bigger tree so I don't stand out as much.

Idk if youve heard of Cody D Acquisto and his father but in some of their podcasts they talked about how just about every single hunter goes to that desired height of 12-20 feet up in a tree and deer have learned that throughout the years and sometimes if you're up that high too when standing below looking up you will stand out like a pumpkin , but he was saying he likes being 8 feet up because when standing from the ground looking at you all you see is you blended into the other trees and woods but if you were higher you would stand out because you have nothing but the sky as a background , idk what your situation was but this could be something to consider , but if you're lower you have to be more careful with movement since you're closer to eye level


I don't know, this sounds fishy (sometimes unconventional things are more likely to be said?). Why not take this idea to the extreme and stand on the ground behind a tree then?
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby Denisboyko22 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:14 am

raisins wrote:
Denisboyko22 wrote:
mheichelbech wrote:So I had some does approach my stand over the weekend. I was basically just in an observation set overlooking a bedding area from about 200-300 yards away. I spotted the does moving towards me from way off and did not move at all as they approached. They came across the field directly to my stand and when the mama doe got to about 20 yards, she looked up and immediately spotted me in the stand. It was one of the typical December trees with little cover although I did have some branches from a tree beside me on one side. I was wearing what is typically regarded as the best camo out there...ASAT facemask and beanie, Predator camo over the rest of me and camo gloves and even my bow has sneaky leaves attached. I sometimes have deer look at me in the tree and just move on. In this instance, the doe knew I was a problem, stared at me for a good 15 minutes. She never blew or anything, but she did alter the route of travel to a different direction away from me. There were 6 other deer with her.

Just curious, besides sitting still and having back cover, what else can you do to avoid being picked off in late season? I was a good 20 feet up but I think I could have been 50 feet up and she would have seen me. The only thing I can figure is to have a bigger tree so I don't stand out as much.

Idk if youve heard of Cody D Acquisto and his father but in some of their podcasts they talked about how just about every single hunter goes to that desired height of 12-20 feet up in a tree and deer have learned that throughout the years and sometimes if you're up that high too when standing below looking up you will stand out like a pumpkin , but he was saying he likes being 8 feet up because when standing from the ground looking at you all you see is you blended into the other trees and woods but if you were higher you would stand out because you have nothing but the sky as a background , idk what your situation was but this could be something to consider , but if you're lower you have to be more careful with movement since you're closer to eye level


I don't know, this sounds fishy (sometimes unconventional things are more likely to be said?). Why not take this idea to the extreme and stand on the ground behind a tree then?

It makes sense if you think about it, I'm going to test this out but just think you you're on the ground looking up at a tree there's spots where if someone in camo was that it would be hard to see them and other spots where they would stand out , I think it just plays to the terrain you're hunting and what trees/cover is there
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Re: How to avoid being picked off?

Unread postby mheichelbech » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:17 am

Great points! In my case I didn’t expect them to come straight at me...no trails or anything to indicate they would but this area doesn’t have specific trails coming out of the field anyways. Thought I had it right but didn’t.
"One of the chief attractions of the life of the wilderness is its rugged and stalwart democracy; there every man stands for what he actually is and can show himself to be." — Theodore Roosevelt, 1893


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