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David Frank

Stand Location Questions and Tips

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I have a couple of great areas to bow hunt within a mile of a river bottom heavily populated with deer. The problem I have is I am not very well experienced in chosing a good stand location. I have always archery hunted the Black Hills of SD in the past where the deer roam more and have less of a set food source. Any help from any of the experienced bowhunters on where to, or not to set a stand would be greatly helpful. I will attempt to describe the locations I have to chose from the best I can using directions. Feel free to draw a small picture of the description so I am not confusing anyone. The predominant wind direction in the fall is from the West/Northwest. I feel that I have plenty of cover in either spot to hang a tree stand without detection.

One area is a large rectangular stand of trees about 400 yards(east and west) by 150 yards(north and south). There is a gravel road running east and west along the north end of this grove of trees. Accross the road to the north, is a corn field. To the west and southwest is an alfalfa field that butts up to the trees. Farther to the west is another corn field. There is a small slough that runs to the south, beginning at the southeast corner of the tree grove. The alfalfa field I mentioned earlier butts up to this slough on the west and runs all the way along the south side of the stand of trees. there is a harvested wheat field to the east of this slough. The land owner didn't seem to know much about deer hunting, or deer habits for that matter, but did key me in on a few observations of his own. He sad he had seen 2 "big" (who knows how big) bucks using this area, and that the deer seemed to use the slough that runs north and south as a travel route. During one of my scouting sessions in this area, I saw one doe cross the road heading north, from the east end of the tree row where the slough adjoins, and I also saw a decent 4x4 and a fork-horn feeding next to the slough in the alfalfa about 200 yards to the south of the tree row. This leads me to believe that the deer are not only traveling in this slough, but also bedding in it at times.

The other location seems to be about as good as it gets for an archery hunter. It consists of 2 separate tree rows running east and west about 500 yards apart. There is a highway running north and south on the east side of the tree rows. The north tree row has a plowed field to the north of it and corn butting up to it on the south side. This same corn also butts up to the north end of the southern tree row. There is also corn on the south side of this tree row. The river bottom runs north and south within a quarter of a mile to the west of the ends of the tree rows. I have not been able to do much effective scouting in this area due to the tall corn reducing my visibility of the area from a distance. I assume that deer bed in the river bottom or in the corn and drink from the river and feed in the corn or graze the area in between the corn and river bottom. I also assume that the deer use the tree rows as travel routs and to check scrapes and rubs. My guess is that this may be a great spot a little later, during the pre-rut when most of the other food sources have been harvested, and corn becomes a main attractor. I also assume that the southern tree row may be a more likely spot for a stand, not only because it is slightly thicker, but because of the wind. Am I correct on this assumption. Would I be best placing a stand somewhere near the middle of the tree row to intercept traveling deer or at the far west end of the tree row where I may have a little better visibility and the possiblility of intercepting a buck traveling from the river bottom to the corn.

Sorry I babbled a lot just now, but any help on stand location, huntable wind directions, stand entry and exit routes, time of day to hunt, time of year to hunt, or any other tips or information that may pertain to these locations would be helpful.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ AND HELP! I only used this much detail because I know that details will make or break a bow hunt for the ever elusive whitetail buck!

Dave Frank

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