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Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

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Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 10 13, 2017 •  [Post 1]

If you hunted from a tree stand this year. let us know how you did. I know some are still hunting for deer from a stand. You can update us later. I got a spike elk from my tree stand and I know of others. The picture of the spike is on the meat pole thread. It would be good to see some pictures here too.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby ishy » 10 15, 2017 •  [Post 2]

Tiny bit. A few of the days that I had off dumped rain all day, so some of the time I would have sat I didn't just because of the amount of water everywhere. I still have to retrieve a couple cameras. I haven't checked them since the 15th of September. Both the wallows had less action than previous years. At least up to that point, so we'll see. One interesting find was blood in one wallow opening morning? It was about the size of a volleyball. There was a cow in that puddle (three separate wallows) that morning on camera, but I couldn't see any sign of an injury?
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 10 15, 2017 •  [Post 3]

It looked like there was a lot of wallow action before the season where I hunt in Oregon. I saw no more sign of wallowing after the season started August 26th. In Idaho, where I hunted I saw no new wallowing sign after the season started there. It appears the wallowing was done when the hunting season started.
What do you think happened to cause the blood by opening morning in the wallow? A volleyball sized blood is a lot. I would have to think it must be very recent. Did you try to follow up on the cow to see if she was down nearby?
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Washington Wapiti » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 4]

I set back up my nice, comfy M-100U in the late afternoon on my third day. I didn't get anything from my stand, but I had some great action from it. I set it up where some game trails intersect in a small clearing-ish area. The clearing itself is about 40 yards in length and 30 yards across, front-to-back, with some clumps of alders sparsely woven in. One of these alders is the tree I sit in. The edges are bordered by varying densities of trees and brush and then gives way to thick secondary growth. On the morning of the fourth day, I called in a bull. He came in quiet, and down the same trail as the previous two I shot – coming head-on, and to the right-side of my stand - and I thought it was going to be a slam-dunk. When I heard him coming, I gave my video cam a nod and said, “Here we go . . .” Nope. He threw on the brakes 20 yards inside of the edge of the timber. I could only see his front hooves and part of his antler from my angle. After a few minutes of standing there working it out in his head, he then cut to his right and shot up another trail. He went up and around my treestand location, in a horseshoe-shaped pattern and came out about 60 yards down to my left. It was hard to even see him through brush and trees. After searching and not seeing his cow, he dove down into the timber and was crunching around in the area behind me for a while. Well, that was unexpected! Later on, he zipped back across the trail in the same location to my left, and now up into the woods in-front of me. Then he bedded down for the afternoon. He was not coming into that small clearing for anything . . . a measly 30-ish yards across from timber-edge to timber-edge. I've never considered using a decoy before, but in this instance it may have been just what I needed to pull him that last 20-22 yards out into the open. Anyone have success with using decoys, while hunting from your stand? This started off a 4-day battle between me and this crafty guy. And on the second encounter with him, he got real vocal. I alternated between hunting from the ground and my treestand over that four days. When on the ground he wouldn’t come in. When I got up in my stand and started calling, he’d come in roaring from the timber behind me, all hopped up, with his cow mewing away in the timber. But not once did he come up right beside me . . . the expected path of travel. Instead, he’d come up a good 50-60 yards to my right, weaving around all the dense, intermittent brush and alders. No way to get a shot. It was both exhilarating and aggravating. He was really putting on a show! This alone made the week worth it. I ended up shooting a different bull from the ground, right near camp a half-mile away.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 5]

Washington, I know what the problem was. You called him in, but he could not see the elk that had made the call, so he hung up. He expected to see the critter that called. The elk he heard was not there, so He Knew Something Was Wrong. The decoy in that situation could have made all of the difference you needed. I would prefer to stay silent and let the location and what is naturally there work for you, but if you call then a decoy can make all of the difference you need.
The problem with decoys is if an elk is just coming in and does not expect to see another elk, the decoy is likely to scare him off. Often calls scare off elk as they may not want a confrontation with an elk. If they have cows they will not come to where there is any another bull, or cows with a herd bull. If they don't have cows, they may think the other elk will rough them up if they get too close.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 6]

It is worth considering that, if you call from your stand and have a decoy out, the decoy needs to be in a position to be properly seen. If you have a silhouette decoy and don't know where the bull will come in from, the decoy could be useless. I have some experience with a decoy that was not in view from one angle, but was broadside from another. I was not calling so the critter came in until the silhouette was broadside, then it backed out and away.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Washington Wapiti » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 7]

Swede, I believe you are correct. As I was writing that and reliving it, it brought me back to a conversation from a few years ago about hunting wallows from stands and calling . . . when to do it, and when not to. I reckon situations like this are a little bit like the wallow. Generally, I'm one who also prefers to stay quiet and then 2 or 3 days in, I start to feel that clock tick on my limited time. Then conflicted, I start with the cow calling. :D

Good advice on the decoy. I guess it is a Catch 22, and using one depends on a very specific strategy. He must've been really weirded out by the appearing/disappearing elk. That would've been fun to watch! :lol: I could see something like that happening in my spot. There are definitive trails, they use, but they also come out of very unexpected places. Roll of the dice
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby ishy » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 8]

Swede wrote:What do you think happened to cause the blood by opening morning in the wallow? A volleyball sized blood is a lot. I would have to think it must be very recent. Did you try to follow up on the cow to see if she was down nearby?

? Got me? I looked some, never found any other blood or had birds in the area. There are a fair amount of predators around. I haven't heard wolves in this drainage, but have several times a few miles away in the next big drainage (I know that's a 15 min jaunt for them). Lots of bears though. I'll have to check my pics again (camera is still out) it looks like I have three different sows with cubs on the next wallow. Last year a calf was just killed 1/4 mile from this when I went in Septmeber 3rd to put out my cameras. It only had one hind quarter eaten when I got to it.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 10 17, 2017 •  [Post 9]

Ishy, I was just curious. There is no right or wrong answer as far as I am concerned. You did not cause the blood, and it was not your critter. Since there were no scavengers around, maybe the animal healed up and was good to go. Who knows?

Washington, I don't think it is a roll of the dice. Most people that call from a stand would do better just patiently waiting. There is always a great temptation to try and make something happen. We can even go into panic mode as the season winds down. My experience is we are better off not trying to force the situation. Be patient. Be patient. And in case you did not catch it; be patient. I have made the same mistake you did too many times. I am a slow learner, but it clicked for me and I realized I was messing up by calling. If you are on a good location, trust your location to be right and just wait. Best wishes on your next hunt.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby ishy » 10 20, 2017 •  [Post 10]

Washington- I think something that gets overlooked with decoys is how often have you seen an elk not move. 99% if an elk isn't moving, it is because it is nervous. I think this is the big reason decoys are so hit and miss when seen is that elk not moving (the decoy) make the others very suspicious. Elk pick up on each others body language, and I think at water, a trail, etc...elk are in a higher level of their surroundings and are moving more cautiously than compared to a bull being called in that comes in rut crazed (semi-blind).
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Washington Wapiti » 10 24, 2017 •  [Post 11]

Swede wrote:Ishy, I was just curious. There is no right or wrong answer as far as I am concerned. You did not cause the blood, and it was not your critter. Since there were no scavengers around, maybe the animal healed up and was good to go. Who knows?

Washington, I don't think it is a roll of the dice. Most people that call from a stand would do better just patiently waiting. There is always a great temptation to try and make something happen. We can even go into panic mode as the season winds down. My experience is we are better off not trying to force the situation. Be patient. Be patient. And in case you did not catch it; be patient. I have made the same mistake you did too many times. I am a slow learner, but it clicked for me and I realized I was messing up by calling. If you are on a good location, trust your location to be right and just wait. Best wishes on your next hunt.


Swede, roll of the dice as far as where they come out of the timber and into my immediate area. There are little variations off of the main trails, that divert just enough to block a shot. I believe they would still use these even if remaining silent. Though, they might mill around a little longer eventually giving a clear shot. Did you mention patience? :D I used to be able to sit days on end in the quiet. Seems like every year I get a little less patient. This year, with not as many elk on the trail cams, my confidence wasn't as high as in past years. I don't need a head of 150, but there were only 10 different individuals all summer long. 2 bulls, and the rest cows and some calves. Pretty consistent use though . . . every few days. I was pretty sure if I was taking anything this year, it was going to be a cow.

Ishy, good observation. Not ever using one before, I've never seen how elk react to them. Logically that makes sense. I suppose like most things, nothing works 100% of the time. Being easy access for recreationists in general, these elk are accustomed to human interaction and being dodgy anyway. A good thing, and a bad thing. They might be dodgy, but then again they tend not to get blown out over to the next ridge line either . . . as long as it's not something too egregious. This guy - a 5x5 the best I could tell - was super cautious, but his interest was also piqued. He was hanging around the immediate area all those consecutive days. I believe an opportunity to get a crack at the new chick on the block was the reason. It got to where I'd crunch some leaves while I was walking to my stand in the morning and he'd bugle lol. This happened on the last day.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby husky390 » 12 05, 2017 •  [Post 12]

I nabbed an 8pt whitetail and a coyote. I almost missed out on the 8pt due to boredom and wanting to play with my phone as I had sat in the thing for 3 hours and hadn't seen anything. Luckily I forced myself to focus and keep the damn phone in my pocket.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Tigger » 12 06, 2017 •  [Post 13]

I shot a 150" whitetail. 2 interesting things of note after spending parts of 7 days in a tree...

1. I spent hours over the summer and in previous years figuring out which way to face my stand. As a right handed shooter, that area behind my right shoulder should be the place I least expect both a deer to come from and to shoot one. Of course many times that isn't all that easy to identify and it changes over the years. After much contemplation, I moved it about 90 degrees. This was about as hard to do as to ask out the prom queen. But I did it. and she said yes, and we ....wait, back to the tree stand. The buck came in from what would have been behind my right shoulder. If I wouldn't have moved it, given the wind direction, it is extremely likely I would not have shot that buck.

2. Do NOT get on a group text with a bunch of comedian buddies on opening morning. I was laughing, I was mad for bothering me, my right hand got cold...all because of them yahoos. The lunchtime picture of my brother's Mountain House at the bottom of the tree after it fell was priceless though I got to admit.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 12 06, 2017 •  [Post 14]

Congrats on the buck Tigger. Can you share a picture with us?
I don't know why, but a lot of right handed people have a hard time shooting to their right. I step out to the end of my stand base and have plenty of room to draw my bow for a shot in either direction. Tigger your stand base is too small if your heels are against the tree and your toes are hanging out past the end. :lol:
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Tigger » 12 07, 2017 •  [Post 15]

Deans buck 13 resized small.jpg
Deans buck 13 resized small.jpg (93.56 KiB) Viewed 43 times


Story and more pics in the Meatpole 2017 thread.

My platform is big enough to turn around in easily, however, standing up and turning around is pretty tough to do when you have a whitetail at less than 50 yards. I pulled it off once and it was stressful. The biggest problem is watching from that direction. That much movement just doesn't work where I sit. This is in a woods where deer are comfortable (thus walking slowly or just standing), yet during deer hunting they are soooo vigilant because they know they are being sought as table fare. The slightest movement gets you busted.

I have practiced shooting left handed and may try that out to 40 yards. But that really feels awkward.
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Re: Did You Tree Stand Hunt?

Postby Swede » 12 07, 2017 •  [Post 16]

Tigger, you definitely have a nice buck and some good looking material for table fare.
I forget how nervous Whitetails are as I have never hunted one. I always stand to shoot elk. I may have to wait until they are not faced my way, but have always managed to stand for the shot. I can shoot sitting, but much prefer to wait and stand. I am standing as soon as they can be heard, and if they slip in quiet, then I get up when I won't be detected. Elk are a different type of critter.
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