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The lowest you can go?

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The lowest you can go?

Postby Jhg » 10 10, 2018 •  [Post 1]

I have 4 stands but never use them. I am not a fan of high stand placement, not because I am afraid of heights ( I run a tree biz, high up in trees is part of the game) but I do not like the shot angles high placement affords. High placement for me is above 15 foot.
I think I read somewhere that (swede?) success out of a tree stand increased significantly after the hunter raised his stand placements above 15 feet. As a way to try to get us all on the same page in regards to actual heights, it is my experience people generally over-estimate how high a tree is, or how high up in a tree they are.

So if you can explain how you know your stand placement is 20 foot or 30 foot high beyond guessing, that will help greatly. That way I can take it as fact. Thanks, I appreciate it.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 10 10, 2018 •  [Post 2]

I make a lot of ladders to make it easier to go up and down a tree. For some reason I have decided a 17 foot ladder is right for me. Those are measured. If I use dry poles I can lean it standing against a tree by myself. I go up from there on five screw in tree steps. My steps are about 18 inches apart. I have been chewed on for putting them so far apart, and sometimes I get a little more carried away. I like to have three points of contact at all times when ascending and descending a tree even though I use a safety line. Sometimes that is a stretch. The safety line is 35 feet long. It helps me estimate my height too. For example if the tree is 16 inches diameter at the location I hang the line one foot above my head, and the line does not touch the ground, but I can secure it to the bottom rung of the ladder, I am about 25 feet up.
I was a timber cruiser in an earlier life, and had to measure trees for many years. Part of what I have written in the past is just an estimate, but I believe I am accurate within a couple of feet. When I claim to be xx feet high, I will include the extra height I get from going upslope from where I expect to see an elk. I am adding elevation difference and stand height. I rarely set up on a lower elevation.

The kill area on an animal is just as large when shooting down. as shooting on the level, but there are some things to be careful about. I do not care to get a double lung hit. That is not important as you are not deflating balloons. You are severing arteries and veins. You need to get into the chest cavity near the heart. Roosiebull and I had an interesting discussion about some problems we have had shooting downward. You can read that on the Gear/Weapons Forum on a top thread about "Hunting Arrows-My Thoughts". I hope this helps too.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 10 10, 2018 •  [Post 3]

Jhg, You can obviously go to ground level and be successful at getting elk. I have found going high helps with scent removal from your area, and helps you be hidden. There is no magic height for that. In a basin or draw I like to be higher up a tree than on a ridge.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Jhg » 10 14, 2018 •  [Post 4]

Swede, I think I will scout this next summer for some placements that take advantage of elk feeding routes. There are several I have found where it would IMO be much more productive to place a stand in that zone rather than at the wallows nearby. Reason being wallows don't always allow good placement- wind issues maybe, or tree placement and limb cover etc.

One thing I enjoy about stand or blind hunting is "listening to the country". Aggressive call hunting is not exactly a method that allows for a lot of that. Its more a "hunt through" kind of method. Its very nature is moving fast.

Sometime its nice to slow down and get contemplative in the elk woods. That is one of the reasons I am out there. Don't take that to mean I am casual about success. Not true. I hunt hard and take it very seriously.
Anyway, these "feed tunnels" are such that I always thought they would be perfect for a stand and its amazing how often the elk travel through them rather than nearby.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 10 14, 2018 •  [Post 5]

I love tree stand hunting, but it can wear you out too. I like your tunnel idea, and posted about it on the elk forum. I got a small bull last year in a saddle. They are similar to funnels and they too can be excellent places to ambush an elk. Show me a good funnel, and I will gladly wait there.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Jhg » 10 17, 2018 •  [Post 6]

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My other issue will be (I think) that my bow is a 64 inch long static recurve like the ones they made in the '60's. I need to get in my stands and learn what I can and cannot expect from that aspect. I will just have to work within the limitations, whatever they may be.
I truly love hunting with this type of bow, so that is not going to change.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 10 17, 2018 •  [Post 7]

I knew a man that used a re-curve in a tree stand. I would guess you would need some more practice shooting from your stand height to get accustomed to the difference. One nice thing is that you can set your stand where there are smaller openings around your stand. The areas with long shots are no advantage. Where I got my elk this year would be perfect for a re-curve hunter.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Jhg » 10 18, 2018 •  [Post 8]

My stands are a gorrilla, a rivers edge?, and 2 older aluminum ones that have semi triangular platforms. These are supposed to be highly regarded if you mod the seat. The seat is like a folding directors chair but very narrow. It opens toward the platform so it really challenges your commitment to tree stand hunting!
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 10 18, 2018 •  [Post 9]

I have a couple of Gorilla Tree Stands. They are comfortable and quiet enough. I don't like setting them up of taking them down. I do not use foul language, but they temp me at times.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Old school » 11 15, 2018 •  [Post 10]

For me it all depends on the terrain and cover. Most of my deer I have killed have come from a treestand and I think I can count one on hand the number of them where I was in a stand over 15' up. In my experience it has more to do with blending in with the cover and not being above or below it. It also has to do with stand placement relative to big game approach - prevailing winds, thermals, position of the sun, etc...

When it comes to experience though, Swede has me beat :-)

--Mitch
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 11 15, 2018 •  [Post 11]

Old school wrote:When it comes to experience though, Swede has me beat


When it comes to elk hunting only, that is probably true, but that is all. I would take Whitetail hunting lessons from you. I started out planning my tree stand hunts by reading what I could from Whitetail hunters like yourself. Over time, I found out there are differences. One of the differences is due to the mountainous terrain effecting the thermals. Some of what I do is based on the wild land fire behavior training I received with the Forest Service. I doubt they thought the information they were sharing could, or would be applied to tree stand hunting. The other differences I would attribute to the animals themselves.
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Old school » 11 16, 2018 •  [Post 12]

Had another buck shot from a skyscraper yesterday. My youngest son shot a pretty nice 10 point from a stand in a walnut tree. The stand is not even 10’ high. Has everything to do with cover and direction of approach. This is once again whitetail and not elk.

-Mitch
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Re: The lowest you can go?

Postby Swede » 11 16, 2018 •  [Post 13]

One thing to consider when deciding how high to go is the approach of the elk. If you are on a hillside and the elk may come in from above, you can be on the same level or even lower than the elk. On the other hand, if you are on a ridge and in the limbs where you have cover, 10 feet can be plenty. I usually go 15 feet or higher, but it is not necessary is all situations. Consider the thermals at your stand site and how easy it will be for the elk to spot you.
Another thing to consider, though not related to being detected, is the sun. I like have some morning sun. It is nice to catch a few rays when you are chilled. In the afternoon it is nice to have some shade. I always sacrifice comfort if the alternative is a better location to get an elk from.
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