Monday, November 10, 2014
Tips On Hunting All Day From Your Treestand
© By Othmar Vohringer
During the rut, when bucks move at every hour of the day, sitting from dawn to dusk in your treestand can be a great way to kill a mature buck. Sitting up to ten hours, or more, in your stand is no easy task, but if you plan ahead and use the right gear and set of mind an all day treestand sit can be very productive and will not become a battle of endurance. To that end I share with you a few tips that I learned over the years to make hunting all day from a stand comfortable.
1. Confidence: The lack of confidence is the biggest killer of staying all day in your treestand. There are times when nothing moves for hours. I’ve spent sitting hours upon hours without seeing any deer and it lets you question the purpose of sitting in your stand, especially when you hear a shot or two going off in the distance. You have to have confidence in your skills to scout and hang stands accordingly. Without that you will start to doubt and wonder if the grass is greener elsewhere. Without confidence all other tips that follow will become useless as the lack of confidence that will make you to abandon an all day stand sit in.
2. Comfort: The next important aspect of all day treestand hunting is comfort. If you’re not comfortable you go home to early. To be comfortable you need to wear the right clothing for the weather that keeps you warm. During the rut weather patterns can change often during a single day, frost in the morning and evening, warm during midday hours. Always check the weather forecast of the area you’re hunting and make clothing choices accordingly. Dress in approbriate layers of undergarments. I usually pack rain gear and extra insulated clothing that I carry with me to the treestand in a day day-pack. On my walk to the stand I dress in lightly to avoid sweating. At the stand location I add an insulated parka and bib pants over the clothing I already wear. As the day progresses I shed some of the outer layers and add them again in the evening as it gets colder. Don’t forget hands, feet and face. Cold hands, feet or face will make the whole body feel cold. To cover for that I always carry an insulated neck and face cover, insulated cloves and wear thick will socks over a pair of lightweight socks.
When we talk about comfort treestands come to mind. Although treestand seats have come a long way from the old canvas sling seat or foam covered wooden board, it still can take a toll on your posterior so sit on these things for a full day. If you have to carry an additional thick foam mat or one of those inflatable seat cushions and a padded backrest that you can attach to the tree to make you comfortable for many hours of sitting. If you’re not comfortable seating on your stand it will lead to moving around too much and eventually leaving early because your backside just can’t take it anymore.
3. Nutrition: In order to stay warm and content the body needs fuel to keep the internal furnace going and the mind sharp. In other words, you can’t hunt all day without eating and drinking liquid. When I hunt all day I do not carry full pre-cooked meals with me, instead I substitute with high energy foods that a lighter to pack than a thermos filled with stew. Such high energy foods are trail mix containing various sorts of nuts and dehydrated fruit, an assorted collection of chocolate and granola bars and maybe even some beef jerky. To drink I always have two to three small bottles of plain water with me and occasionally a thermos with chicken or beef broth. Snaking all day long is better than eating lots in one go. Eating a “meal” makes you sleepy and that is not what you want to happen in a treestand.
4. Preventing boredom: Sitting all day in a treestand can get boring, especially if you there is no deer movement for hours, and it can quickly lead to a nagging desire to leave. To relieve boredom I bring a book along to an all day treestand sit-in. I choose a book that does not need my full concentration to follow a story, but rather choose a bock for entertainment value. If own a cell phone or similar device you can download a book or your favourite hunting.
However, I strongly advice not use the device to cruse the internet and get distracted with social media discussions, not even the discussions on the Whitetail Deer Passion Facebook site, save that for later when the hunt is over. Also video games can relieve boredom. Whatever it is you do to keep from getting bored, make sure it does not distract you from what is going on around you, always remember. Your main purpose is to hunt and pay attention. If you forget this it can happen to you like to a friend of mine who sent me a text message during his hunt. As we texted back and forth my friend texted back; “Shit a big buck just walked by the stand and I couldn’t drop the phone and grab the bow quick enough.” Yes it can happen that quickly. Nothing moves for hours and then when you least expect it the buck of your dreams walks right under your stand. Don’t get distracted.
5. Answering the call of nature: Nothing puts a damper to hunting more than having to go and not being able to go. As the saying goes; if you have to go you have to go. At one time there has been a big market for an assortment treestand nature call gadgets. Here is what I do when nature calls. I answer the call! For years I was worried that the scent of human urine and feces would spook deer. Then I read about a research that has been done on that matter and what you know? Deer are not spooked one little bit by it. Actually the research found that deer are attracted to the smell of human urine. So if I have to go I “let it rip” right then and there over the edge of my treestand and it never has bothered the deer any. For a bowl movement I get one in the morning before I leave the house and that usually takes care of it all day long. Avoiding a bowl movement in the middle of an all day hunt is another good reason snack rather than eat lots of food in one go.