Mike: My son and I hunt private land in WI. Several of our best stands are a long walk to get to. We have to walk in over trails that show good deer traffic. (We wear rubber boots and use a scent eliminator.) We really don’t have a good alternative way to walk in. We’ve noticed that in the 4 years we’ve owned this property, deer never come to our stands from along those trails we walk.
My question: Would it be better to ride our ATVs (more noise but no human scent trail) to the stands and then hide them out of sight? Or would it be better to continue to walk in and be quiet?–Tom
Tom, sounds like those deer have you patterned so you need to change it up.
First thing, scout for a couple new stand locations in areas that you can access easier and from downwind. You mentioned well-used deer trails—set a stand or 2 near those trails (but where you don’t have to cross them) and try to catch a buck coming or going.
When you hunt those stands deep in the property, yes, give the 4-wheelers a try. Ride in extra early in the morning or afternoon, park well downwind of your stands, creep the last 100 yards in and let the woods settle back down.
I’ve shot lots of bucks in spots where a friend drove me to my stand on an ATV or in a truck, dropped me off and drove away out. One time, I hunted a stand on a field edge where my buddy could pull so close to the tree that I stepped right out the truck and onto the ladder that went up to the stand! We joked about not leaving a scent trail.
What would you bloggers do in this case?
Note: I’d like to make “Deer How-To” a regular (perhaps weekly) column here on BIG DEER so we can share and learn how others tackle different hunting dilemmas. Send me a question or topic you’d like to see us cover.