The optimum time to put up deer stands is well before season so that the deer can get use to them, and you can also start trimming out shooting lanes without leaving recent signs of disturbance and changing the ambient scents in the area.
If there is a truism, it is that in deer hunting nothing works all of the time. Locating deer stands should seek to maximize your possibilities of seeing deer by being located near where a deer can find food, water and social interactions. If there is a persimmon tree near a waterhole next to a cedar tree that generations of deer have scarred, that would be an ideal place.
I think you get the idea. Try to locate where at least two of the three things that are listed above are happening. If you are inventive, you can even make an artificial branch that the deer can hook and play with even if there was not one there before. If this is located near a travel path he will hook and thrash the branch to scent-mark it and make a scrape beneath. If nature does not provide some things a deer need in the way of food and water, you can – even to cutting a clear path through some thick stuff that was not there before.
Always put up several stands so that you have the option of rotating between them and also to take advantage of prevailing winds that might favor one stand over another. When time comes to hunt take a seat cushion with you (if your stand does not have one) so that you can sit for six hours or more at the time.
Very often the reason hunters do not kill deer is because they were not on stand when the deer came. If you are not there you cannot kill deer, regardless of how well the stand was positioned.
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