Compound Bows photo

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Photo by Lance Krueger

As we move further into fall, and whitetail season, treestand cover becomes more and more scarce. Here are five ways to get drawn—without getting busted­—after leaves have dropped.

1. Move your treestand. With the leaves down, you may have a clear view to a slightly longer shot, allowing you to back off the primary sign by a few yards and set up in a tree that offers better cover. A thick conifer species, a tree with multiple trunks, a tree with a very wide trunk, or a copse of trees growing very close together can all help break up your outline. Just be sure you have enough clearance to come to full draw in these potentially tight quarters.

2. Go higher. If better stand trees aren’t situated within bow range of your hotspot, gain a little advantage by moving up another 5 or 10 feet, which gets you farther above a deer’s typical line of sight.

3. Set up on the far side. Another option is to swing your stand to the opposite side of the tree from which you expect deer to approach. You can remain standing and use the trunk to hide your draw, or stay seated and take a quartering-away shot just after the buck passes by you. Practice drawing from the new position to be sure you can clear the trunk with your draw arm.

4. Wear snow camo. If you’re still a little skylighted, dark camo will only accentuate your human outline. A snow pattern, on the other hand, will help you blend in, especially on overcast days.

5. Create cover. Stay hidden as the season progresses by adding natural cover to your stand. Each time you climb aloft, pull up a cut branch to create a screen behind you. Hang them from forked limbs or from a cross member resting on two tree steps, so you can easily draw on a big but spooky late-season buck.