Set your stands now and any disturbance you cause will be long forgotten by deer season.
By Bob Humphrey
It’s early July during some of the longest and hottest days of the year. Deer season, in most cases, is still months away. What better time to set your stands? It may sound a bit crazy, but right now is actually a great time to get some of your larger treestands in for the coming season.
First and most importantly, whatever disturbance you cause will be long forgotten by the time hunting season rolls around. We all know how keen the whitetail’s sense of smell is. At the slightest hint of human odor they’ll vacate the area immediately and may not return for hours, days or even weeks. If you wait until a week or two before the season, it may be too late.
By going now, you don’t need to be as concerned about how much you disturb the area. That can make the job considerably easier if you have a lot of equipment to haul in or have a long way to haul it. I can bring my small lock-on stands later and my climber when I hunt. But I try to install my ladder stands at this time of year, especially my two-man ladders.
There’s more than one reason they’re called two-man stands. In addition to being able to support two people, it takes that many to carry them in and erect them, unless you have some equipment. That’s where the Rhino comes in. I can break my stands into sections, strap them on the Rhino and haul them way back into areas no foot-bound hunter would ever consider bringing a large stand or blind.
Load the gas, oil, chain saw and other tools into the Rhino and head for the hills. Bring a cooler with lunch and some cold drinks and you can stay all day, get more work done and potentially only have to make one trip. It may bother the deer initially, but they’ll be back eventually, particularly if the area has the right food and cover.
Setting stands early pretty much requires that you already have a destination in mind. That means going back over your notes from last year, assuming you kept notes, or trying to recall where you saw the hottest sign or the most deer. Remember where you saw that big buck last year? It was too late to haul a big stand in during hunting season without blowing everything out. But get it in now and you could be sitting on a deer hunting gold mine come opening day.