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How to Secretly Approach Your Deer Stand

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You may have the best deer stand in the country, but if you leave or approach it incorrectly, the spot can be ruined. Is it best to approach your stand directly, or circle it to avoid feeding or traveling game? Should you go in by flashlight or wait until first light and sneak your way in? What happens if the wind changes? These are just a few issues that savvy hunters face every time they hunt a stand. Bill Winke, veteran writer and Midwest whitetail expert, gives his strategies for making the most of any approach or exit in this Whitetail Institute post:

“Wow,” the young hunter whispered as he bent over to examine the huge scrape. “I’d sure like to get a crack at the buck that made this! Maybe by dark he’ll be wearing my tag.” But, alas, the only thing that came near the scrape that afternoon was a pair of squirrels. Convinced there had to a better spot, the hunter pulled his stand and spent the next day scouting. That evening he hunted over a big rub near a creek. Nothing. The next day the hunter found a spot with “better sign.”

mission limbsaver 052And again the results were the same. This pattern continued until the rut wound down and the season closed. With all the sign he’d found, the hunter was perplexed when he realized he hadn’t seen anything bigger than an average 8-point buck. Most of us can identify with the seemingly bad luck this hunter encountered, but none more than I, because the young hunter in the story was me. There’s a whole lot more too hunting mature bucks than finding the best sign and throwing up a stand.