How to Handle All-Day Sits for Deer

In the world of whitetail hunting, no greater feat of endurance exists than an all day sit on stand. Remaining on stand from the point of the sun’s arrival in the east, until its inevitable departure below the westward horizon, is nothing short of a marathon in its own right.

All day stand sits can easily fall out of favor in a hunter’s mind, and there are few elements that cause this change of heart as quickly as boredom and discomfort. Minutes turn to hours as you seemingly rehash every noteworthy moment of your life. You are better able to gain a true appreciation for just how lengthy a 12-hour period of time is while being kept constant company by your stiff and aching back.

When a lack of preparation for the task at hand has taken place, an extended sit on stand is often doomed from the start. But what must you do to adequately prepare for an all day hunt? What can you pack when heading afield to minimize the negative effects brought on by a lengthy outing? Here’s a look at how to handle all-day sits for deer this season.

how to handle all-day sits for deer - tree stand gear

Although an all day sit on stand can be grueling, perseverance often yields success in the form of punched tags, especially during the rut. Do you have the things you need to stay all day?

Use Your Phone Wisely

 When deer movement is slow, but an all day trip to the stand is warranted, boredom is most often the single biggest beast of burden faced by a hunter. However, in today’s technology rich society, the bulk of hunters already carry in their pocket or pack, the single biggest boredom busting tool at their disposal.

Having a cell phone at your disposal allows you much more than an avenue of connection to the outside world. When the day’s deer movement dwindles and so does your drive to remain on stand, often times all that is needed to get you through the midday lull is a degree of added entertainment value. Phones today offer an endless array of entertainment in the form of access to apps, social media, and forums.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that phone usage, in some respects, can inhibit one’s ability to take stock of their surroundings and can put a hunter in a bind should a deer slip in unannounced. Nearly every hunter, in the modern technology age, knows the regret that comes with having a buck suddenly appear at 20 yards, only to have their bow on the hanger and phone in hand. Often times phone usage should be metered to no more than what is necessary to get you through the doldrums of slow action while on stand.

how to handle all-day sits for deer - hunter with phone

A metered amount of cellular internet usage can often be a great way to break up the midday doldrums during an all day sit.

Books To Bust Boredom

Do you like to read? Do you happen to currently be engrossed in a compelling novel, or quality hunting how-to? If so, then you have a ready-made source of entertainment should your time on stand become uneventful. A paperback book, or tablet, fits nicely into packs that many hunters dawn when going afield. With minimal bulk and consumption of space, a quality read is often a well chosen companion when heading to the stand for an all day sit.

Much like the entertainment gleaned from occasional cellular internet service, a book often adds a subsequent level of comfort when remaining on stand becomes tedious. Also like cell phone usage, in many cases, simply having the knowledge that you have the option to dive into a good read, should times get tough, is enough to bring a certain level of optimism to a long outing.

how to handle all-day sits for deer - gear-for-the-sit

Don’t forget snacks and a good book to help you make it through an all-day sit in the treestand.

 Don’t Starve Yourself

 If sabotaging your own intentions of an all day sit on stand is what you have in mind, look no further than the common oversight of striking out for the field without snacks. When morning action is beginning to slow, and the thought of scrambled eggs with a side of bacon begin to come to mind, it takes very little for a hunter to convince themselves that their efforts are futile.

It doesn’t take elaborate planning, or a cooler and lunch box to make an on-stand meal possible. A sandwich contained in the confines of a zip-lock bag for lunch, a handful of granola bars for snacks, and a thermos for water or other means of hydration is all that is needed to keep your stomach full and mind clear. You can also use these snacks to “reward” yourself at certain set time intervals in order to add additional value to your ration of supplies.

Don’t Skimp On Comfort Items

 It seems to be basic human nature to avoid discomfort whenever possible. This same principle applies when in the stand. It goes without saying that a hunter will likely vacate a stand when uncomfortable much more readily than when in a state of relative comfort. While it will be difficult to get La-Z-Boy like amenities out of most stands, there are a few things that you can do to increase your level of comfort.

If the stand that you intend to utilize for your lengthy sit features a less than adequate or worn out seat cushion, now is the time to replace it. A sore backside, stiff back, and tingling legs on the behalf of a sub-standard cushion is a sure way to bring your time on stand to a premature end. Other comfort items for consideration include bow hangers, additional screw-in hangers for gear, and a safety harness that is built for comfort and breath ability.

how to handle all-day sits for deer - hunter in stand

The rigors of a lengthy hunt are often extensive. Don’t make things harder on yourself by neglecting the use of items to make yourself more comfortable while on stand.

Dress Adequately

Few things will send a hunter retreating to the comfort of their home as quickly as being faced with extremities numbed from frigid temperatures. When dressed inadequately for the temperatures at hand, this process is only magnified. It is advisable to wear clothing specifically chosen for the weather conditions that are to be faced, while also packing additional layers in anticipation for the unexpected.

Additional considerations such as hand warmers, quality thermal base layers, and insulated boots will go a long way to achieving the desired result when attempting to ward off bone chilling temperatures. When staying warm can potentially be the difference between tagging the buck of a lifetime, or making an early exit from your stand, proper choice in clothing is paramount.

hunter walking out

Improper clothing selections can cost you a chance of the buck of a lifetime when substantial discomfort forces you from your stand.

How to handle all-day sits – Conclusion

When hunting, the often reiterated words of wisdom “you can’t kill them from the couch” still applies. When remaining in the stand becomes extremely pertinent, and departing early chances a detrimental impact to your overall success, being adequately prepared cannot be overstated.

By filling your idle time with additional means of entertainment, rewarding yourself with snacks throughout the day, and furnishing yourself with any practical creature comforts, you will be able to make the most out of your extended stay in the stand. Persistence leads to success, and this does not change when twenty foot off of the ground.

Josh Boyd

Josh Boyd

Josh is a die-hard hunter, free-lance writer, and adedicated proponent of all areas of conservation. His main species of outdoor pursuit are whitetail deer, eastern wild turkeys, and waterfowl. Above all other outdoor pursuits, he relishes his time 20 feetin a tree with bow in hand, chasing Kentucky whitetails every fall. He is the president of the Barren River Branch of QDMA and a committee member for the KY Three Rivers Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited. He resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky with his wife and two children.
Josh Boyd


  1. John Torchick says:

    Well written! Clothing- you can take it off if it gets warm but you can’t put on clothing if you don’t have it. For hunting and fishing, I have two headlamps- one has the elastic straps to fit over my head, the other clips to the bill of my cap.


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