I’ve frozen my fanny off way too many days in a tree stand over the years. Nowadays when I’m desperately trying to fill my last tag in December or January I generally hunt on the ground. It’s warmer down there, and if you set up right, you have better hiding cover.
No. 1 thing to remember: Do not set up where deer will walk straight at you through the bare winter woods. If an old doe catches you move or simply sees your blind as some strange blob that wasn’t there yesterday or last month, she’ll either spook r back off and skirt you. Any buck behind her will probably do the same.
Instead, set up where a buck will walk past your blind at an angle, either quartering-on or, better, quartering away. This way, a doe or buck hopefully won’t see your blind’s outline and get suspicious. If and when an 8-pointer walks into range, you’ll be out of his direct line of sight when you draw your bow or shift your gun. And he’ll be in good position for a quartering or broadside shot.
No. 2 thing to remember: When the woods are bare in winter, do not try to pop up a tent blind and hunt in it. Every deer that comes within 100 yards will see that out-of-the-ordinary-looking blob, turn and run off with white tail flagging. Just set up on the ground with a low profile. Use a tree or log to break your outline.
Good luck, hope you punch your last tag at the buzzer!