Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Stand Hunting Reconnaissance

A stand-hunter must have good stand sites. Without the right location, he is most likely wasting his time. No matter how stubbornly he sits, he is not likely to see deer unless he is sitting where they can be expected to travel during daylight hours. This, of course, is discovered initially by scouting.

One of the biggest mistakes that hunters make is their failure to scout enough. I often see stands set up in places that leave me scratching my head in contemplative disbelief. The only plausible explanation for their (mis)placement is their easy access and close proximity to ample parking.

Good stand sites are not always easy to find. I often spend an afternoon prowling in the woods without finding anything that interests me at all. The most successful stand hunters have adopted the attitude that there is no such thing as covering too much ground in search of good stand sites, provided this is done carefully, at the right time of year.

Another huge mistake that hunters commonly make (I hope this doesn’t sound like a contradiction) is their scouting too much, too close to the season. I have heard and read the opinion that scouting should all take place no earlier than two weeks before the hunting season opens. It is argued that, since deer’s habits are subject to change, any information that was gathered more than half a month before opening day is old news, and so is of questionable relevance. Nonsense! A truly competent stand hunter learns to discern in July where deer will be in October and November. This is not as difficult as it probably sounds.

Scouting should be seen as a necessary evil. Every step we take in the woods educates deer. Any intrusion that we make into their domain ought to be early enough to give them plenty of time to forgive and forget. Although scouting should be thorough, it should be no more so than necessary. The competent stand-hunter scouts quickly, finds what he is looking for, gets set up promptly, and then stays out.

There are several things that I look for when scouting new pieces of ground. First, I want to make sure that the general area has a good supply of deer. This cannot always be assumed here in Maine. For whatever reason, some places seem to hold more whitetails than others. If there appears to be a deficiency of deer, then I am not interested, no matter what else I find.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that any potential stand site must have fresh...purchase this book to read more