sneak with stand

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.