Essential Treestand Gearon Oct 12, 2012
While I tend to think that most areas are either “called” to death, or deer ratio’s are so far out of whack that certain types of calls aren’t very effective, I do believe there should always be room in your backpack for one or two. If I had to choose a single call it would be the “snort-wheeze”. As of late, I have gotten the most reaction out of this call when compared to a grunt tube, rattling antlers or even an estrus bleat. That’s not to say that I haven’t had success with the other calls from time to time. But, overall, the snort-wheeze seems to be enticing the most curiosity these days.
While using calls is a good strategy, consider where and when you are using them before adding this technique to your bag of tricks.
Still, when hunting in areas that have ideal buck-to-doe ratios, a good rattling bag and a grunt tube are hard to beat during the days leading up to actual breeding; as is an estrus bleat call. In addition, I often prefer the compact size of rattling bags (despite the added weight), over much larger real or synthetic antlers. Of course, the choice is really up to you.
When it comes to bowhunting, the goal is to get as close as possible to your prey. Unlike spot and stalk bowhunters, treestand hunters don’t have the luxury of mobility. Therefore, it is imperative that we hang our stands in the best locations….yeah, if it were only that easy. This is where scents can tip the odds in your favor.
On more than one occasion, I have had bucks pass by my stand that otherwise would have gone the other way, if not for some type of attractant I had applied somewhere nearby. Not only can certain types of scents be used to bring whitetails in, they can also be used to stop them in specific shooting lanes when applied properly to either the ground or neighboring vegetation. A few drops of doe estrus scent placed along a well-worn trail will almost guarantee a buck stops to investigate; giving you the perfect opportunity to draw and shoot.
Scents, such as Tink's Power Scrape, are good for not only bringing deer in close, but they can also be used to stop deer in shooting lanes for the perfect shot.
Additionally, there are scents on the market that are aimed primarily at covering your own stench. You can never be to scent-cautious when dealing with whitetails; especially if you are targeting older-class bucks. Choices include animal-based cover scents such as fox or coon urine, food type cover scents like acorn or apple blends, or non-scented odor elimination sprays like those from Tink’s, or Scent-Away (by Hunters Specialties); just to name a few. These products can be applied to anything that accompanies you into the field, anytime of the year.
The most important thing to remember though when using animal or food based cover scents is to make sure the odor is naturally occurring in your area. In other words, if fox are not common where you hunt, then using fox urine to mask your own scent could very well alert deer that something just isn’t right. They may not actually smell you, but the end result will be the same.
See the Game
You may think that a good pair of bino’s is better suited for someone hunting vast amounts of real-estate that require hours of “glassing” before moving in for a shot, but they indeed have their place in the treestand bowhunters backpack. Not only are they ideal for getting a closer look at animals just out of range, they can be great for passing time when movement is slow.
I have found a good pair of binoculars to be very handy, even in the eastern mountains I hunt which offer limited visibility in most areas. More than once, I have spotted and examined rubs and scrapes from my stand, studied topographic features on distant ridges and mountains, and even watched a few unaware bowhunters move through the area----all with my bino’s.