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Deer gathered in a clearing

A tree stand is usually placed 8 to 16 feet above the ground. Many considerations dictate stand location, including terrain, tree cover, background cover, and the game being hunted.

  • Place a stand in an area where game sign indicates food, travel, water, wallows, breeding sites, or other places where animals appear to congregate.
  • Consider multiple stand locations, taking into consideration elevation, topography, and prevailing winds.
  • Use a tree stand only in daylight hours, positioning the stand to avoid sunlight that could highlight the profile of your body.
  • Use a tree large enough to cover your body outline.
  • Place a stand no higher than necessary.
  • Select only trees that are straight. A trunk leaning toward you can “push” you out of a stand when you stand up.
  • Never place a stand in a dead tree, in a tree with large overhanging dead limbs, or on or near utility poles.
  • Place a stand on the back side of a tree if the terrain rises in front of the stand, if there is little cover, or if the prevailing wind often switches direction.
  • Place a stand to the side of a trail or travel route but within your effective shooting range.
  • Locate the stand downwind from the animals’ expected route.
  • Never place stands on fence lines or near another landowner’s property.
  • Clear shooting lanes for unobstructed shooting opportunities. Use a small pruning saw or clippers, and nip off only what is necessary. It’s best to have someone guide you from the stand as you do this. If cutting isn’t permitted, tie back the branches and brush with dark-colored cord.
  • Select more than one hunting spot to avoid over-hunting one location.
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