Got this email recently from Jeff:
My son was introduced to bowhunting by my brother, and last year he went out and shot a big 8 pointer. I was reading your article in Bowhunting World magazine about a hunter named Shane Good getting 3 big deer from the same stand. Well, my son will not be moving from his stand anytime soon!
The point I was making in that article is that some tree stands are in the perfect spot and produce a good buck year after year after year. Not all stands mind you but some. Here’s the gist of it from that story:
“One October afternoon several years ago, Ontario bowhunter Shane Good shot the buck of his dreams: a 171-inch giant. Two years later, on October 27, Good ran his climber up the same tree and watched incredulously as another buck – bigger than the previous year’s – rolled onto the scene. His arrow was true; the main-frame 10-pointer scored 176 Pope & Young inches.
Struck by the story, I emailed Good and told him it would be an amazing accomplishment to shoot a third monster from the same tree in a span of just a few short years. That October 28, he sent me this note:
‘Mike, wanted to show you the buck I arrowed earlier today. You said it would be awesome to shoot three 170s from the same tree. I had to settle for a 162 this year. Ha ha!’
Look deeper inside Good’s incredible achievement and you’ll find three lessons that support our theme here:
First, Good’s stand is set on the edge of a linear thicket on a ridge. He watched all three of the big bucks he shot (as well as other bucks and does) come from a distance and veer into the thicket to stage and browse the greenery. Thicket stands produce.
Second, all things considered, the last week of October is the best week to plan your bowhunting vacation every year. The weather is starting to cool down, and the bucks are scraping and moving. The full moon during this year’s last week will make the hunting even better.
Third, find a hot tree that produces and hunt it year after year around the same time each season. The three giants Good shot were not there by happenstance. They funneled by that tree while moving between food and bed, and Good was in just the right spot. You probably won’t shoot three monsters from your perfect tree in as many years, but you’ll get a good buck every year or so. That’s pretty darn good for October.”
I add one caveat. For one stand to produce year after year like that, the food sources, bedding cover, and hunting pressure in the area have to remain stable. If a major food source is removed (say new houses are built on a nearby field that once produced crops of soybeans) or if a new road is cut through the woods near a bedding area, that change will change the deer patterns. As will a bunch of new hunters moving into those woods. The point, know what is going on in the woods within a few miles of your best stand. As long as things stay the same you’re good to go.