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Whitetails on the Level

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Tired of Tree Stands?!

The most dangerous part of hunting isn’t getting shot… it’s falling from a tree and I’ll bet you know several people who have been badly injured. Hunting from high stands is effective, yet Mark Hicks lays out a number of down-to-earth alternatives in this two-part post on the Bowhunting World website.

“I just don’t like heights!” laments Ohio bowhunter John Christainer.

Today, between the cover pages of bowhunting magazines and around the bowhunting campfires of North America, more emphasis is being placed on pursuing whitetails from the ground. Truth is, simple and unencumbered ground stand hunting can be as effective as using treestands placed at nosebleed elevations. Consider the record of bowhunter John Christainer, who has taken nearly 30 whitetails while hunting from the ground, including trophy-class bucks.

Besides his aversion to high places among the tree branches, Christainer, who operates Twig Archery near Conesville, Ohio, says, “I also don’t like the steep shot angle you get from a treestand.”

Why does he hunt whitetails with both his feet planted on terra firma?

“The kill zone is much larger from the ground,” he reasons. “That reduces the chance for a bad hit.”

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.