Hanging Treestands In Summer

Posted by: PJ Reilly on Jun 12, 2012
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Personally, I love cutting a few shooting lanes at this time of year for two reasons. First, the vegetation is usually so thick now, that when a clearing opens up, the deer start using it. So you can encourage deer to make your shooting lane the preferred corridor of travel through an area. Second, limbs and brush are going to continue growing through the summer, so anything I cut now is that much less I’ll have to trim once hunting season begins.
Just be careful not to go overboard with your trimming, though. You don’t want to create a clear-cut that will make the deer uneasy when traveling through or near it once the leaves are gone. You can cut a shooting lane that looks tiny when the woods are thick with leaves, but once those leaves fall to the ground, your shooting lane could look like a highway that the deer naturally avoid. Just trim a few holes here and there around your stand.

You don’t have to worry so much about stealth when hanging stands now, because the season is weeks, if not months, away.

Take Some Help
Since hunting season is months away, and “stealth” is of little concern, I like to have a buddy come along with me to hang my stands in summer. It makes the job of carrying in and setting up stands much easier carrying. The method I prefer most is to set up my climbing sticks, and then use a pulley that I strap to the tree above the spot where I want to hang my stand. Then, I run a rope from my buddy on the ground, up through the pulley, and back down to the stand. My buddy will tie one end of the rope to the stand, pull the other end and haul the stand up to me in the tree. Lastly, I can attach the stand to the tree from there. Of course, I’ll be strapped to the tree by my climbing belt at the top of my stick ladder.
Because you will be doing this when it’s hot and humid, you’re going to sweat and you’re going to “stink up” the area with your odor. But don’t worry. Hunting season is not right around the corner, so the deer have time to get over your invasion. However, that doesn’t mean you and your buddy can’t minimize your disturbance.
Both of you should wear gloves. Your hands are one of the sweatiest and “smelliest” parts of your body. Everything you touch with your bare hands is going to stink to a deer’s keen sense of smell so cover them up. Also, spray down with a scent-eliminator before you go into your area. Again, you don’t need to take the same precautions you would when you go hunting, or like you would if you were hanging a stand during the season, but it’s always a good idea to keep your scent to a minimum in the areas where you hunt. At the very least, it can’t hurt.

If you decide not to hunt one of your pre-hung stands, you can always opt to hunt a different area using a climbing style treestand.

Friend or Foe
If you share the property you hunt with others you don’t know – or if that property is visited by trespassers – then hanging a stand in summer can have good and bad repercussions. If you understand that going in, then you can prepare to deal with the negatives. Hanging stands now could possibly deter others from hunting in that area once the season rolls around. I know when I’m looking around for a place to hunt, if I see a tree stand, I move on. I don’t want to mess up other hunters by getting too close, nor do I want that hunter fouling my chances for success. Even if the spot is a good one, it means little if the other guy is a sloppy hunter who smokes and urinates out of his stand. He can easily ruin that so-called good spot the first time he hunts it. I don’t want to hunt near him, so I’ll move away from the area around his stand. Others might think the same thing about your stand, and leave the area all to you as well.

On the other hand, finding a stand in summer could entice someone else to steal it, since they know you’re not likely to be around for weeks. It’s an unfortunate fact that tree stands get stolen every year, and sadly they are often stolen by other hunters. This should persuade you to take the appropriate measures. Even if I am the only person with permission to hunt a given property, I always lock my stands and ladders to the trees when I hang them in summer. POSTED signs mean nothing to trespassers who are more likely to steal a stand than someone who has legal access to the land. Yes, I’ve had locks cut, so they don’t guarantee that your gear won’t be stolen. But if someone is going to steal from you, you might as well make it as hard on them as possible.

Never attempt to hang a stand (or hunt from one) without using the proper safety equipment such as a Hunters Safety System lineman’s belt, life-line and safety harness. It’s also a good idea to bring along a friend if possible.

Don’t miss a great opportunity to get the drop on an old swayback buck by waiting out the summer heat from inside your air-conditioned living room. Get out there now and hang a few sets that could very well put you in the proverbial catbird seat once archery season finally rolls around.

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