November 12, 2012
Smartass How-To: Steer a Deer Right to Your Stand
By Dave Hurteau
Intercepting deer on natural movement via scouting and careful observation is cool and all. But radical landscape manipulation is where it’s really at these days. As you know, with some farming equipment and a chainsaw, you can readily influence where deer sleep, eat, and drink. But remember that just because you’ve installed bedding areas, food plots, and water hazards, there’s no reason—such as moderation--to stop there.
With some strategic environmental modifications, you can actually steer deer to a stand location that put all the factors—wind, cover, shooting lanes—in your favor. Here are four simple ways to do it:
Block a Trail
When you want deer to use the trail that leads to your stand and not the one that swings downwind or out of range, simply place an obstruction—such as a log, some cut brush, or a tollbooth—that discourages deer from walking on the wrong trail.
Reroute a Trail
If there’s only one trail and it doesn’t lead to the best stand location, you can block it and reroute it. Simply create an obstruction as above—whether it’s a limb, bush, or shopping cart—and then carve a new trail to your stand, kicking the leaves away down to bare ground and removing any major obstructions. It won’t take long for deer to start using it.
Cut a Corridor
Deer will take the path of least resistance through thick cover, and you can cut just such a lane--with clippers through brush, or a weed-whacker through tall grass—so it leads right to your stand. Just don’t cut the path so wide that a wary buck might feel exposed.
Plant a Corridor
A lane lined with edible bushes, fruit trees, and cedars or pines that leads to a stand overlooking a food plot, for example, provides cover and food that deer will quickly take advantage of. If you plant it, they will come. There, now all you need are a couple of sand traps and a clubhouse.
--“I have not a particle of interest in the question of [‘this style of hunting versus that’]; for the world is all before me and I shall hunt as I choose….” –Theordore Strong Van Dyke