A bow hunting stand in a dynamite location for anytime of the year…Does it exist?
As hunters we all look for “magic” advantages…whether it’s the magic food plot seed, the magic scent control spray, or the magic broadhead. We find out fast there is no real “magic” to any aspect of deer hunting, and if it’s labeled with “magic” it’s likely a gimmick… However, if you use magic with some vague terms, well hey, you might just have something there! At least something someone would believe! When it comes to stand location or where to hunt, any advice given seems to become vague… slathered and brushed with “specific for your situation”, “scenario”, “ your area”, and pretty soon that key stand location that is dynamite for bow hunting any time of year has become a giant slab of several locations, time of years, and scenarios.
This begs the question, if you cut through the meat of all the vagueness you see on today’s websites and shows is there any “magic” left? Is there one true dynamite stand location?
For a bow hunting stand location to truly live up to that name, it has to be effective 365 days of the year…well actually only around 105 days for bow hunter, and even less for firearm hunters. Nonetheless, it’s a long time spanning several different times of year, weather events, photoperiods, and moon phases (if you’re into that sort of thing). More importantly big changes for deer take place like changing food sources, rut phases, and hunter pressure. So what in every “situation”, “scenario”, and all the different changes stays the same, something you can count, where the deer will be throughout the entire season?
Finding a quality bedding area that works for the entire year, all seasons, any weather events, and can hold up to anything the long deer season throws its way, is the number one, dynamite spot you can count on to be “magic”.
Don’t believe it? Let’s run it through the gauntlet then.
During the early season, bucks are concentrating on summer forages like beans and corn, while they might be visible during daylight hours in those fields at this time, they are still coming from a quality bedding area. If you set up on the food sources themselves, sure you might have a good chance at slinging an arrow. Setting up on or next to the bedding area, however, will get you an earlier daylight encounter which is everything for early and mid-season hunts where bucks seem to be nocturnal.
Next up is the mid-season, ever heard of the “October Lull”? Forget it, it’s just a term for a food source and home range adjustment for bucks. Hunters over food plots sit in a lifeless area, even the oak flats, and open timber are dead. Most of the daylight movement, if any, is to be seen will be in or around bedding areas.
A stand close to a bedding area and especially a bedding area with an adjacent funnel is a key spot to be during the intense chase phase of the rut and even later on into December and January. Quality thermal cover that allows sunlight in, and blocks wind is a go to for a late hot doe or rut weary buck looking for one.
Bedding area stand locations can be dynamite bow hunting stands, but risky. Every precaution and detail needs to be executed to a “T” for it to work. Scent, wind, entry and exit, and time of day all need to be taken into consideration before hunting it. For one of these bedding areas to be an all-around dynamite stand location they need to have some requirements.
• Low human pressure
• Quality vertical and horizontal cover
• Thermal cover for the cold (grass and brush 3-4 ft. off the ground but still allowing sunlight)
• Have some areas that can keep snow off the ground (if in the North)
One place you can find this type of area on your property is terrain, with a slight south slope. They have more sunlight, faster and thicker growth, and usually a go-to for deer seeking cover and bedding during anytime of the year. If not, make one with timber stand improvement, selective harvest, hinge cutting, or planting native grasses. Bedding areas are “magic” stand locations. Presented to you without the vague terms clouding up where you should actually be!