Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Successful Stand Sites

Any stand-hunter will only be as successful as the location of his stands allows. If they are placed well, then he can expect to see deer; if not, then he can expect to spend a lot of time watching wind-blown leaves. Good stand sites are to be found in those places where deer feel safe moving about during the day, and where conditions exist that have a tendency to concentrate them. What follows is a description of some of my favorite types of stand sites, where both objectives can be met.

Food sources

My anticipatory excitement was undeniable as I climbed up into the limbs of an old, gnarly clump of swamp maple, and settled onto a steel chain-on tree stand on opening morning of the early archery season. The stand had been set up the previous July overlooking a small clearing which was dominated by the biggest apple tree I had ever seen, surrounded by a sea of thick alder. As I sat in the pitch dark, lost in my thoughts and prayers, I was suddenly jolted to attention by the startlingly loud plop of a falling apple. As others followed, my excitement continued to mount.

By 10:00 I was climbing back down, having been visited by six different deer, and having sent arrows through two of them. The previous year, on opening day, Lisa and I had hunted four other stands in the same area, overlooking apple trees. We had both seen a number of deer. I tagged a fine doe in the morning, and after bringing her home, we showered again and headed back out. Lisa shot two does from her evening stand, and I would rather not talk about the chance I botched at a buck, who slipped through my fingers unharmed. Countless other times through the years we have had such action bow hunting in prime feeding areas.

I love to hunt deer right in a favored food source, especially in archery season. To my ear, the clatter of acorns raining down around me on a frosty October morning is no less joyous a symphony than the opening movement of Beethoven’s sixth; the sound of apples dropping in the pre-dawn darkness is no less evocative of sublime stirrings than the exquisite measures of... purchase this book to read more