There can be a lot of opinions and stances when it comes to ‘when to put up your tree stand’. With all these opinions there is indecisiveness. So, what is the right time to hang your tree stand and when should you do it? We have broken down each factor and variable to help you clarify.
Mark Drury is a hunter who does it all with his stands and blinds. He gets them in early; he sets them on the fly; he leaves them out all year. “It all depends on the situation,” he says. So what are the situations?
If we categorize, the times to place the stand are:
- Right on time
- Leave them all year
The beforehand approach
In this approach, you place your stand too early from the hunting season. The reason to use this timeline is to make the bucks get adjusted to the changes you made and get rid of all the smell behind. Putting the stand early will not spook any of the deer. It’s ideal if you can put up the stand ahead of time, perhaps a month before opening day, and leave it there throughout the season. If you’ve never had a stand before, hang it in the early spring, before the trees and bushes are fully leased out. This allows all tree and brush cuttings to fully recover before hunting season begins. Checking pre-hung stands for safety also provides an excellent chance to reduce shooting lanes.
A lot of changes happen to the trees if you hang the stands early or even throughout the year. Trees expand, squirrels chew, and shooting lanes can become much tighter following the period of aggressive growth from Spring through early Summer. If you hang a tree stand during the growing season, you can ensure that the season’s new growth is far out of the way of your planned shooting lanes, and you can do the same for your hunter access routes as well. This may be the ideal moment to ensure that your climbing trees are also adequately prepared! The probability of animals chewing your stand components decreases with each passing week, while the majority of trees expand to their yearly new growth levels. It also can’t be emphasized that whether you’re on private or public properties, you should have plenty of time to scout and define the area of deer movements. While doe family groups appear to get used to minor changes quickly, the more a buck matures, he does not.
The right on time approach
In this approach, you set up your stand right before or during the hunting season so you can hunt right away. Obtaining new set-ups, being prepared to hunt in a hurry during the season might be crucial to your success because things change from time to time, and you must adapt to them. You should be able to react to what your scouting and your trail cameras are telling you otherwise it would be no use if you can’t modify or change your setting while thinking on your feet. Setting up in late winter you give deer a little flexibility and time to get accustomed to any changes that you create in the woods while pruning shooting lanes and limbs and odor from stinky stand materials to disappear. It is best for large ladder stands and shooting houses.
Of course, you can’t afford to “knock down the woods” while establishing shooting lanes and delimbing favored stand trees when you hang a stand at this time. You can follow the buck sign, but you’ll also be destroying the early season buck patterns that are just starting to form. The more you can go in and out of your territory like a predator with minimal smell or indication, the better. It may be huge assistance even if you just have time to identify your possible stand locations during the summer. A pro tip here will be to check the forecast before setting your stand as it will be ideal for you to place it right before the rain. Rain will act as a restart button; it will wash away all the odor of you and your equipment.
Leave them all year approach
The leave them all year approach is used when you don’t want to carry the burden of removing the stand again and again and it has no problem in making disturbances repeatedly for deer to be scared away. It is understandable that you have a lot of sets and is difficult to hang them and take them down every season. You can loosen the straps a bit, to allow for the tree trunk to grow during spring and summer. Many hunters keep them out all year, but this increases the likelihood of theft. Even if you do leave them out all year you will still have to do site preparation branch and brush trimming. You should go to your year-round sets at least once a year before the season begins; you don’t want to go to one with a bow in your hand the first time since you don’t know.
Some Useful Tips
- To get the perfect timing of setting your tree stand instead of asking yourself “When should I set?” ask “When are your bedding areas, travel corridors, and food plot locations set for the year”? Because the tree stands come next.
- In my opinion, red or white cedars are better. They are virtual “sap free”, smell great, and offer a significant amount of cover.
- Bring a hand saw along with you to cut all the extra branches or bushes.
The answers to these questions are hardly universal; they’ll vary from hunter to hunter and from spot to spot. And that’s true for several reasons. So, there is absolutely no right answer to tell what’s the perfect time to hang your tree stand.
So, you just must make sure that you match your needs to the appropriate time and set of strategies.