When it comes to the art of tree stand placement, there are many things to consider. The first thing that needs to be addressed is the general location. This should be something that is located during a scouting session. If you are not familiar with how to scout for a good location, check out How to scout for deer, Aerial Scouting, and When to scout for deer to get caught up to speed. Once you have your general area picked out, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Other things to consider for exact tree stand placement that can be found during scouting are wind direction needs, tree stand access, and expected deer travel routes.
Exact Tree Stand Placement
Now we are standing in our general location that we want to be and we are trying to pick out our exact tree to place a stand in. This is where your other things to consider come in to play. First, imagine where you believe your most likely shot opportunity is going to take place. Once you think you know where you are going to have the most shots, you then need to decide which wind direction is going to be preferred for this particular stand. You may want to take in to consideration your best access route prior to deciding which wind direction is going to be preferred as you do not want the wind blowing in the direction you expect deer to be while walking in. You can see in the picture above that we would prefer a South or SouthWest wind in order to hunt this stand. That will insure that the deer have no possible way to wind me the entire time I’m there. That is the main reason that this tree was chosen. It also doesn’t hurt that I can hop down in to the creek and come up right at the base of the tree. The creek also keeps deer from easily circling down wind of me. Your exact tree will differ depending on your experience with the location. This example is on a property where this is our first year hunting it. I have purposely put the stand at the far Southern edge, a little farther away from the exact spot I’m expecting deer to travel through than I normally would. The reason for that is that I want to be in a position that I can still potentially harvest a deer, but far enough away that I can observe the entire area with minimal intrusion in order to move in closer later once I confirm the deer travel patterns. Even though I’m a little farther away than normal, you still want to make sure that you are picking a tree that is somewhere between 10 and 20 yards from that spot where your most likely shot possibility is going to come from. As awesome as it is to have deer walking directly underneath you, it’s not something that will help you get a good shot opportunity. You want to try and have the deer trail running so that the deer will be straight broadside at some point during it’s walk down the path.
Tree Stand Placement Conclusion
Don’t be afraid to stay out on the fringes to begin with, especially on a new piece of hunting land. Once you have confirmed what you already thought or learn the realities of the deer movement patterns, you can move in for the kill with a lot more confidence that you wont disrupt the natural movement. If you are able to keep all these things in mind when you are out deciding tree stand placement the next time, I have no doubt that you will have a better hunt than if one of these pieces are missing. Whitetails are very smart animals and have adapted to avoiding danger so if any of these aspects are missing, you no longer have the advantage of being invisible in the woods. However, if you find a location like the one in this example you don’t even need to worry about scent control. There is no way for a deer to get down wind of this stand location during a South or Southwest wind. Happy Hunting!