Mike: Every time I walk into my favorite stand I jump four or five deer that blow up and crash away. I have the wind right, and I am quiet. What am I doing wrong? Travis from NY
Travis: Oftentimes the shortest and easiest route to a stand or blind is not the best way. In your case since you repeatedly jump deer, it sounds like you are walking through (or very close to) a thicket, ridge or similar spot where deer like to hang out and browse, or bed down. Whitetails are habitual animals that eat, walk and hang in the same general areas so long as they feel safe and comfortable there. You need to avoid them and find a new way to your stand.
Check an aerial map or Google Earth and plan a new route that is maybe 150 to 400 yards to the right or left of where you’ve been walking and spooking the deer. Continue to put the wind in your face as best you can, move quietly and use foliage and terrain to cover your moves. It might take you 3 or 4 times to find a new and better path to your stand, and it will probably be a longer walk and more work, but it will be worth it.
Every hunter’s goal is to walk to and from a stand or blind every day without spooking a single deer. Sometimes you can’t help it. But the fewer animals you bump and the less you disrupt an area, the better of your odds of shooting a big buck from that stand one day.
It sounds like Mike hit it right on. It’s a staging area for feed and or bedding area. I’d be interested on what time of day Travis is walking into this spot.
I have a stand on top of a ridge with lots of feed, oaks,beech nuts with a steep drop off on the down wind side. The only way I can hunt it is get into it 1 to 2hrs before daylight to catch a buck crusing just as day breaks. I also only hunt that stand maybe half a dozen times a year,a couple last week in October, prime time November and then in December. That tactic has worked with many good bucks taken all at daybreak. After 2 or 3hrs I slip out to another stand with good wind.
It’s really hard to stay out of a stand until conditions are as good as they can be and to take the long way to it. That can make for a real long season but if you stay positive it will pay off.
Lots of stands and lots of ways to them…. GOOD LUCK…..
In addition to that, there are some places you just can’t hunt without busting deer or leaving scent across a lot of their trails. I will either stop hunting those areas altogether or pick one or two days during the rut and take a gamble, knowing that each time I hunt it, I’m burning the stand.
Just because a tree is within shooting range of where the deer walk during daylight does not make it a good stand. There are some places I have found that due to wind direction or lack of a good access trail, just can’t be hunted repeatedly.