October 12, 2011
As the whitetail season draws near and my days of spot-and-stalk hunting mule deer and elk are winding down, and its time to head back to the range and check my bow from a tower or elevated stand. Sure, it's been shooting great all season, but I plan on getting into a 20-30 foot treestand this week, and that can really change up your shots if you don't shoot a few arrows before hitting the stand.
Not everyone has a tower to shoot from, but you can always hang a treestand in your yard or even shoot off a back deck if available. If shooting in your yard is not an option, checkout out your local archery ranges as many places are starting to add towers to help accommodate tree stands hunters as well.
When shooting from the elevated position, also think about your feet. You won't have as much room on a platform as you may be used to on the ground. It seems obvious but for people who head out for the first time this season and suddenly have a much narrower stance, drawing and shooting can become much more difficult. Also try shooting both sitting, standing and at strange angles because we all know that big buck doesn't always step out into your shooting lane directly in front of you.
If this is your first time heading out to a new stand don't forget to bring a handsaw in case a few limbs have grown into your lanes. I usually get out there early and cut lanes in the late summer, but sometimes these can quickly grow back and the last thing you want is a limb between you and your target. I think arrows have a magnetic field when it comes to limbs because it seems even the smallest twigs that seem impossible to hit will re-direct your arrow during the moment of truth. If you get in early also checkout the amount of cover in front of the deer trails. I've found it can be helpful to knock some of this down so there are clear lanes all the way to the trail giving your arrow an easy path directly to the target. Some of these things seem simple, but it can really make or break a hunt. Take a few moments to make your setup perfect so when the time comes everything will be in order and there will be no excuses.
What else will you be doing to prep for treestand success?