December 05, 2016
You can easily make the argument that within the last few decades, the biggest advances within the bowhunting community are compound bows, treestands, rangefinders and 21st Century camo patterns.
The patterns offered by Mossy Oak, like Break-Up Country and Treestand, make concealment better than ever. This doesn't mean that minimizing movement or your scent marker in a stand is not paramount. But, a camo pattern that mimics the environment you're hunting in sure does help.
More often than not, concealment is all about structure and the location of your stand. For example, having the sun in the eyes of approaching deer can determine the location of a morning or evening stand.
Whenever possible, I like to set up on the backside of a tree. Although this entails more time spent standing, the trunk acts likes a major obstacle that helps hide any movements I may make.
Setting up a stand in multi-trunk trees or conifers will help break up your outline. Many times, I purposely select sawtooth oak trees to set up a stand in because they maintain their leaves well into the late bowhunting season.
In situations where none of this applies, I use a camouflaged fabric or manmade vegetation arrangements purchased from a fabric or craft store. This natural-looking vegetation will last much longer than natural foliage, and it helps eliminate my silhouette and hides my treestand.
All stand trees should be at least as wide as your waist to help eliminate your outline. Research has shown that a minimum of three to four days of rest will help prevent you from over-hunting a particular location.
Careful consideration should also be given to entering and exiting a stand. How many deer we alarm while moving to and from our stands can be significant. Call it anal, but raking leaves to create a path to your stand can help keep you as quiet as a mouse when traveling to and from your stand.
And, whenever you decide to hunt from a treestand, please make sure you are wearing a full-body safety harness. Your wife and kids will thank you.