We talk a lot about hunting deer on food sources during the late season and particularly hunting these areas in the evenings. But one of the greatest difficulties with doing this is trying to exit your stand after shooting light without spooking off the deer and effecting their patterns in the future. So how do you deal with this?
1. Try not to hunt right on top of a food source. This is a good idea for several reasons. First, the big bucks typically won’t head into a field until the very end of shooting light or even after dark. If you’re right on the field, you’ll have very few chances at one of these deer. To catch these deer earlier, set your stand back 40-100 yards off the food, in a staging area. This will allow you to intercept these deer on their way to the food and with light and time to spare. This also will help you because you will be able to sneak out of your stand after dark without spooking the deer that are now in the field.
2. If you do have to hunt right on a food source, take every precaution not to spook deer off of it. If you do have a handy way of sneaking out without alarming deer, thats great. But in most circumstances that’s not going to be an available option, so you need to provide a distraction for the deer while you leave your stand. This can be a car or four wheeler coming through to pick you up, or even another hunter creating a brief distraction on the other end of the field. As long as the deer aren’t keyed into your location, you can at least preserve the quality of that stand.