One of the very first things any hunter needs to do before setting out on the first hunt of the season is to decide where exactly they will be hunting. This is critical especially when you talk about deciding on a location to hang your hunting tree stand.
While you are scouting your potential hunting areas during the off season, one of the first items you need to consider are the regulations in your state regarding placement of tree stands for deer hunting.
You can complete your research for these regulations by checking out your state Fish & Game or Fish & Wildlife departments on the web.
Once you have completed your check into the local regulations, your next step is to know if you will be hunting on public or private land.
If you are hunting on public land, there are more state regulations which govern tree stand placement. These include when you can set up a stand, what type of stand, when they must be removed and more.
If you find that you will be hunting on private property, then checking with the land owner before setting up any kind of tree stands for hunting is a must.
If you are using a deer hunting lease with the land owner, be sure that the use of deer stands and ground blinds are specifically spelled out in the document. You should always day pack for hunting to keep your gear safe.
This will eliminate any confusion in the future and ensure that as an ethical hunter, you respect the permission you have been given to hunt on this land.
Once you have all these legal items taken care of, it is time to get out and start scouting for deer.
When scouting you need to look for deer sign.
This sign can take many forms, such as hoof prints, scat or feces, shed antlers, rubbings, scrapes or signs of bedding areas.
Using a digital game camera can help you with this process.
After you have located a good deer sign, it is time to find a good tree.
Regardless of the type of tree stand you plan to use, you need to find a live tree, which has no signs of disease or decay.
Tree stands work best on hard wood trees and if you are using a climbing tree stand, find a tree that is straight and has few branches lower to the ground.
Once you have selected a tree, you may need to cut the branches which may be in your way to ascend the tree. Set your tree stand facing the deer sign.
Be sure to take into account overall visibility and wind direction.
Clear any branches from this or nearby trees and shrubs to give you clear shooting lanes from your stand.
Finding the best locations and setting up your hunting tree stand can be a time-consuming process.
To ensure you have picked the best locations without disturbing the deer migrating through the area, be sure to find your locations well before the start of the hunting season.