I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m going to argue that the best cover for deer hunting isn’t an expensive, inconvenient tree stand. I know that it’s going to be an uphill battle. But I am going to give it a shot anyway. So here we go…
I always dreaded the day my dad would tell me it was time to go put up the tree stand. I dreaded it for a couple of reasons. First, it was a pain. We had to take those metal spike foot/hand holds and climb the tree while we anchored them. That was tough work. And hoisting the stand up into the tree was a huge pain. But the worst part of the whole deal was that we only had one stand and I never got to use it. I’ll also admit I’ve hunted from one of those Coleman tents. The deer can’t tell a difference.
That experience taught me that the tree stand wasn’t the only good place to hunt deer. And I saw more deer while my dad was in the stand than he did. At least that’s what he let me believe. Maybe he was holding out on me all along.
One of the places I learned to hunt was the brush line. I’d find a spot with my back on the base of a big tree–big enough that 2 people couldn’t reach around it. I’d clear the base of leaves and sticks so I could move a foot or two one way or the other without making a ton of noise. I’d scan the tree line watching for deer coming out into fields to eat.
In Missouri where I grew up most fields had spots in the middle of them where there was a clump of trees. Sometimes they were surrounding an old sink hole or a small body of water. But I loved sitting in those small island clumps. Great visuals, and minimal trees to get in the way of shooting lanes.
My favorite place was at the top of a low hill overlooking an open grassy field. I’d go army commando style and lay on my stomach with my rifle rigged up like a sniper’s. I had one spot that gave me a perfect view of the heads of two deer trails that dumped right into the corner of a soybean field where some grass turned into woods. On slow days, the position usually put me to sleep. But more than once I woke up to find a deer right down the hill from me munching on lunch.
So I’m almost convinced to give up tree stands. What are your stand alternatives?