12 Reasons Some Trees Make Bad Stand Locations

12 Reasons Some Trees Make Bad Stand Locations

Avoid trees that check these boxes

In terms of getting a shot (or not), deer hunting is a game of yards. Selecting the right tree is an integral factor in this universal truth. But it isn’t always easy to choose the right one. Generally, the “perfect tree” doesn’t exist, and we have to settle for the next-best option.

Each year, I find myself wanting to be in a tree, but can’t make it happen. It might be in the perfect location, but lack one of the necessary components of a good stand tree. Or, vice versa, and offer most of the necessary components, but isn’t in the right location. Regardless, here are 12 things to watch for when hanging treestands in the future.

Too Many Limbs

Some trees are hairier than Bigfoot’s bottom, and that doesn’t bode well for hanging treestands, or ascending and descending quietly (or safely) if you do manage to get them hung.

Too Little Cover

Not enough limbs (or other form of back cover) also is a problem. We need a happy medium, and not all trees have it.

Too Large of a Trunk

If the backbone of the tree is too big to safely hang a stand, don’t attempt it, lest you risk breaking your own.

Too Small of a Trunk

A turkey doesn’t roost on a twig, does it? A hunter shouldn’t perch in a tiny tree, either. It’s unsafe, and even if it is sturdy enough, it likely won’t offer adequate cover.

Too Skylit

Nothing but sky in the rearview mirror? Best find a different spot. You won’t be able to draw your bow, or even flick off a safety, without getting picked off.

Poor Entry Routes

If you can’t get to the treestand without spooking deer — visually, audibly, or with your scent — it isn’t a good stand location, and you’re only hurting yourself by hunting there.

Poor Exit Routes

The same holds true for the return trek. Tomorrow’s hunt is only as good as today’s walk out. Spook a bunch of deer on the retreat, and it’ll surely impact future trips afield.

Too Far from Activity

You like watching deer? That’s all you’ll be doing if you select a tree that’s too far from the action. Giddy-on-up and get a little closer to the traffic.

Too Close to Activity

Reign it in, captain. You don’t want to be shooting straight down at them. Find the happy medium, and do your best to set up for that 15-20-yard shot opportunity.

No Shooting Lanes

Having good cover is one thing. Have too much is another. Don’t go full Edward Scissorhands on the forest, but zip a few lanes to shoot through.

Bad Wind

If deer smell you, it’s over. Keep prevailing winds in mind when hanging long-term stands. Check wind directions before going in to hunt, or before using the hang-and-hunt tactic.

Leaning Trunks

No one wants to kiss their feet will sitting in the stand. And as relaxing as it might be, leaning back isn’t optimal, either. Find that straight trunk.

At the end of the day, choosing the right tree to hang your treestand is usually something we figure out after we have success in it, up until then it's all specualation. While there are very few perfect trees to hunt from, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by avoiding trees that are going to give you nothing but headaches trying to make them work. 

Article by: Josh Honeycutt

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