There’s always a big debate around August or September about where to hang a tree stand. Every Hunter has their opinion and many of their opinions are correct. And this quick rundown I’m going to give you the top 5 best places to hang a tree stand.
Whether you are hunting to fill the freezer or to put that next big rack on the wall, the location of your tree stand is one of the most critical pieces of your hunting strategy. In short the best five places to hang a tree stand are as follows: transitional areas, food sources such as food plots, water, bedding areas or thickets, and land features.
Let’s talk about these best places in detail for a minute and help you understand why and where to put your next tree stand.
Best Place #1 – Transition Areas
Transition areas for deer hunting is defined as an area in between a deer’s bedding and or feeding area where they travel from one place to the other. Using trail cameras and taking some time in the woods to do observation sets where you are not hunting but just watching, you should be able to identify areas that deer typically travel early in the morning or right before dark as they are coming into or leaving a feeding area and or bedding area.
As you probably know deer are most active in the evening and they typically bed down during the day so you’ll most often find Deer coming from they are bedding areas and headed to seating areas in the evening. In the morning you will see deer that have been up all night getting a last bite to eat at sunrise before they go down to bed for the day.
With that said, identifying with trail cameras and watching deer activity to find where these trails and regularly travel transition areas are our one of the best places to set up a deer stand. If you are planning to set your tree stand up on a transition area it is important to know that sitting your stand directly above a trail unless you have no other choice is not always the best option.
If you’re able, look at typical wind directions and available trees in the area and set your stand 25 yards off of this transition area for both season and maybe 50 Yards off or more from that same transition area during gun season. If you are sitting right on top of that area the chances the deer will smell you is very high and you will ruin your opportunity to harvest a deer.
Best Place #2 – Natural Food Sources
Another great spot in the hanger stand is surrounding a natural food source like acorns or persimmons. If you don’t have many natural food sources on your property, getting out and setting up a food plot in the spring and late summer can really help your chances. You can find out more about food plots on our site here, but for purposes of talking about tree stands, being able to find things like acorns that will be naturally falling throughout deer season will be very helpful as you try to locate a place for a stand.
There’s obviously the opportunity in some states and counties to hunt using corn or bait. If this is something that you plan to do, it’s best to make sure you have proper shooting lanes or open area around where you plan to put out your corn or feed her.
The same goes for food sources like this as do the transition areas. You don’t want to put your tree stand immediately over the food source or right on top of her in the same tree for the acorns are, but set off from the food source by 25 to 50 yards depending on your weapon and allow yourself shooting visibility to the food source that you are hunting towards.
Without sounding repetitive you need to be very careful about wind direction and make sure that you’re facing into the wind and that your stand is not upwind of the food source where the deer will smell you when they do come the food source because you were in a bad position where the wind will be blowing towards a deer from your stand.
Best Place #3 – Water Sources
Depending on your location and the temperament of the deer you’re hunting, water can be a decent place to set up a deer stand. As you go out west, especially for mule deer, dear struggle to find water and watering holes are great places to catch deer coming in and out. For Whitetail deer, water is not a great indicator of deer presence, so I would use this one as a last resort if you can’t find any of the other four options listed in this article.
Best Place #4 – Bedding Areas
A great opportunity to find big deer is if you can locate a consistent bedding area or thick area where deer spend their time during the day to lay down. Similar to a food source, deer will go between his bedding areas and the food sources using a transition area. With that said, The bedding area can be highly valuable as deer will consistently come back to the same area each day to go to bed and once the rut begins you can be sure that bucks will be following does to the bedding areas almost every day.
I would recommend the same strategies of trail cameras and observation watches on your property. Bedding area for deer is pretty consistent across the country. Deer will bed down in bloom down trees, thick areas of briars and thick underbrush, and I typically use either low places near creek bottoms or high ridges where they can see very easily and escape if they need to.
Best Place #5 – Land Features
Which brings me to the fifth and final best place to hang a tree stand. Locating key land features, like pinch points (where land features force a deer to travel in a small or narrow corridor), high ridges, or creek bottoms with the right surroundings, these spots can be perfect!! There’s a true story about a guy I know who was hunting a 170 class buck who went to bed on top of the same ridge for almost 3 years. The ridge was very narrow (30 yards wide) at the top and very long (and about 175 yards long) and there was no way a person could get to the top of this ridge without that deer hearing him or her.
That being said if you came up one side of the ridge the deer will go off the other side every single time. It took about three years for a buddy of mine finally bag him, but these features like a high ridge, or low creek bottom can hold deer consistently. In addition, hanging a stand on a high ridge can give you amazing visibility once the leaves drop from the trees! Creek bottoms can hold large bucks, especially if they are near by thick cover.
5 Best Places To Hang A Tree Stand Recap
So there you have it. The 5 Best Places to Hang a Tree Stand!! There are other places of course, but these are the best 5 on a consistent basis you can trust to work over and over.
While you are here, you may want to check out:
- 5 Best Places To Hang A Tree Stand
- Meet Greg, the Author of Proper Hunting
- Best skinning knives of the year!
Enjoy, good luck finding that perfect spot, and happy hunting. See you in the woods.