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Smartass How-To: Steer a Deer Right to Your Stand

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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.

Kidding. Kidding.

--“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

Comments (16)

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from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I've found that if I hang a "NO HUNTING" sign near my stand deer seem to conglomerate to the immediate area. ;)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I was questioning if this impacted my weekend hunt. I took an 8 Saturday that was charging down hill behind a doe directly behind my stand, but they both pulled up. Didn't seem to have spotted me, then more slowly moved around to my right. Tree was knocked down in Sandy and prior to that they'd have had a clear run past the bottom of the hill. It occurred to me to wonder if that tree wasn't there would they have gone past so fast I'd never have had a chance, or did they hit the breaks for some other reason, such as the scent plume they ran into or caution at bursting into the field, but would have come by on my left making it easier for me to shoot instead of having to do a stealthy 15' high hokey-pokey to fire directly to my off side.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

That post of mine would have made more sense had I added the line that they stopped because a large oak tree was down across thier path about 10 yards behind my tree and mostly two my left.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Definitely some interesting ideas. I would love to do some of these suggestions if I had more time and maybe during the summer I will try to make those paths so that the deer become used to them and they become a popular route for other game as well. But part of me starts to wonder if this doesn't take away some element of chance that hunting entails?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kratch wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Deer obviously don't read your posts. Set up yesterday next to thick bedding cover. Stuff was so thick I thought no way would a deer walk through that stuff. Wrong. Big ten walked out of the thick stuff five yards to the right of me and busted me. Gonna have to somehow reroute a trail I didn't even know was there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Was in stand tonight having a texting conversation with my buddies also in stand in Kansas, S. Illinois and Alberta. If anyone wants an up to the minute report on the hunting in Alberta, "It's efing cold!" was all he said. lol

Dave, If I may add something. Once you have funneled your deer to your stand location, place an object or objects near your stand that will funnel the deer to a quartering away shot.

Have you arrowed your buck yet?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

He was hit by a car.
I wondered why I hadn't seen him in a while. I may run a post about it. But thanks for asking, buckhunter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nothing like a day of hingecutting junk trees to transform an old cattletimber to a prefered deer bedding area with a ton of browse and natural food. As long as you are at it, why not do all you can to funnel deer in range of your setups? Or you can just keep sitting in timber with no feed or cover, while all the deer try to find some place to get thru the winter. I do believe that maintaining your timber is even more important than planting feeding areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nothing like a day of hingecutting junk trees to transform an old cattletimber to a prefered deer bedding area with a ton of browse and natural food. As long as you are at it, why not do all you can to funnel deer in range of your setups? Or you can just keep sitting in timber with no feed or cover, while all the deer try to find some place to get thru the winter. I do believe that maintaining your timber is even more important than planting feeding areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Hit by a car??!!! Bummer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave,
That sucks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I prefer to shape myself to the land I'm hunting rather than shape it to fit me. Cultivating a hunting area just seems totally alien to me. Totally. It's always been about the chase for me. Not about gimmicks. But I guess I was raised hunting in a different era and a different way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

This would be a better smartass post if deer farming/manipulation wasn't the way it's commonly done now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave, I feel your pain. I had a massive 10 that I had been hunting for three years. I had literally thousands of pics of him. It was a Toyota pick up that finally did him in. I found him in a ditch on my property. I was able to salvage the rack and make it my own. Sure was an awful feeling to find him and not have had the opportunity to stick an arrow through him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Put your stand next to your bait.. I mean "food plot."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Wow. A road kill wall hanger? Not for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I've found that if I hang a "NO HUNTING" sign near my stand deer seem to conglomerate to the immediate area. ;)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Was in stand tonight having a texting conversation with my buddies also in stand in Kansas, S. Illinois and Alberta. If anyone wants an up to the minute report on the hunting in Alberta, "It's efing cold!" was all he said. lol

Dave, If I may add something. Once you have funneled your deer to your stand location, place an object or objects near your stand that will funnel the deer to a quartering away shot.

Have you arrowed your buck yet?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

He was hit by a car.
I wondered why I hadn't seen him in a while. I may run a post about it. But thanks for asking, buckhunter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I prefer to shape myself to the land I'm hunting rather than shape it to fit me. Cultivating a hunting area just seems totally alien to me. Totally. It's always been about the chase for me. Not about gimmicks. But I guess I was raised hunting in a different era and a different way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

I was questioning if this impacted my weekend hunt. I took an 8 Saturday that was charging down hill behind a doe directly behind my stand, but they both pulled up. Didn't seem to have spotted me, then more slowly moved around to my right. Tree was knocked down in Sandy and prior to that they'd have had a clear run past the bottom of the hill. It occurred to me to wonder if that tree wasn't there would they have gone past so fast I'd never have had a chance, or did they hit the breaks for some other reason, such as the scent plume they ran into or caution at bursting into the field, but would have come by on my left making it easier for me to shoot instead of having to do a stealthy 15' high hokey-pokey to fire directly to my off side.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

That post of mine would have made more sense had I added the line that they stopped because a large oak tree was down across thier path about 10 yards behind my tree and mostly two my left.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Definitely some interesting ideas. I would love to do some of these suggestions if I had more time and maybe during the summer I will try to make those paths so that the deer become used to them and they become a popular route for other game as well. But part of me starts to wonder if this doesn't take away some element of chance that hunting entails?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kratch wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Deer obviously don't read your posts. Set up yesterday next to thick bedding cover. Stuff was so thick I thought no way would a deer walk through that stuff. Wrong. Big ten walked out of the thick stuff five yards to the right of me and busted me. Gonna have to somehow reroute a trail I didn't even know was there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nothing like a day of hingecutting junk trees to transform an old cattletimber to a prefered deer bedding area with a ton of browse and natural food. As long as you are at it, why not do all you can to funnel deer in range of your setups? Or you can just keep sitting in timber with no feed or cover, while all the deer try to find some place to get thru the winter. I do believe that maintaining your timber is even more important than planting feeding areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Nothing like a day of hingecutting junk trees to transform an old cattletimber to a prefered deer bedding area with a ton of browse and natural food. As long as you are at it, why not do all you can to funnel deer in range of your setups? Or you can just keep sitting in timber with no feed or cover, while all the deer try to find some place to get thru the winter. I do believe that maintaining your timber is even more important than planting feeding areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Hit by a car??!!! Bummer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave,
That sucks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

This would be a better smartass post if deer farming/manipulation wasn't the way it's commonly done now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Dave, I feel your pain. I had a massive 10 that I had been hunting for three years. I had literally thousands of pics of him. It was a Toyota pick up that finally did him in. I found him in a ditch on my property. I was able to salvage the rack and make it my own. Sure was an awful feeling to find him and not have had the opportunity to stick an arrow through him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Put your stand next to your bait.. I mean "food plot."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Wow. A road kill wall hanger? Not for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment