If you were to survey any given piece of hunting property, there are areas that cry out to be hunted. A majority of the times, these areas are soon saddled with a permanent hunting stand, be it a ladder, box or other permanent fixture. A hunter may even take one or more deer from that stand the next season, or it may be one of those rare stands that produces every season. But the reason that site was chosen is because it looked good to the hunter, not because it was conducive to the deer.
In fact, studies have shown that mature, trophy bucks learn to pattern hunters better than the hunter patterns the deer. Part of deer patterning hunters is their learning to avoid permanent stand sites. The best chance a hunter has to tag a good deer is by being unpredictable and catching that deer on his feet, in an area he never detected or suspected.
One of the best way to be unpredictable, undetectable and get the drop on a trophy buck is to hunt from a portable climbing stand.
Kyle Clark, the owner of Doc’s Deer Scents in Greer, S.C., has been hunting and patterning big deer in different parts of the country for most of his life. He said several factors combine to allow the hunter to get the drop on a good deer: stealth, concealment and being in the right place at the right time. Using a comfortable, portable, climbing stand is part of that strategy.
Clark said stealth and the element of surprise work hand-in-hand with using a climber. Once he has identified an area a big buck is using, whether from scouting or images captured on a trail camera, he prefers to stay out of the area until it’s time to hunt.
“Human scent control is always important,” Clark said. “Several days before the hunt, I’ll wash my clothes and body to make sure I’m as scent-free as possible. I repeat the process as soon as I leave the truck. The goal is to give the buck no idea I’m after him.”