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Deer Stand Suggestions
When hunting from a permanent stand, always be sure of the construction. Pre-season scouting will eliminate any guesswork on its stability, or lack thereof. Climbing into a rickety stand in opening morning's frosty, pre-dawn darkness can be a pretty scary thing. Always make sure your lumber and joints are solid. To avoid the inevitable natural degradation of your set-up, hunt from a portable stand when possible. That way, you're sure the unit can hold your weight each season, no problem. When hunting from either type of stand, tree pegs are a good idea for two reasons: 1) They're much more sturdy than wooden steps and never rot and decay over the years. 2) They can be removed to prevent other wandering hunters from climbing up into your lucky stand.
Another tip to consider, if you're hunting during inclement weather or up north in the frost zone: bring a dark colored, double-ply plastic bag to cover your seat overnight. You'll be sure not to come out to a frosty, soaked seat. A wet butt means discomfort. Discomfort means less time in your deer stand.
Lastly, here's an old tale that you may want to experiment with. My uncle Terry, who's been successfully hunting whitetails for many years, told me about this one. A few weeks prior to the opener, try putting an old blaze-orange jacket stuffed with leaves up in your stand. You could even use a few big pumpkins instead. The deer will notice your stand regardless. This gets them accustomed to the blaze orange color and, in theory, they won't be as spooky on opening morning when the real thing is out there, sitting in the stand. I've actually never tried this, but it sounds like a pretty interesting tactic.