By Mark Kenyon
Today marks the 13th day of my 19 day rut hunting vacation this year. Over the course of that 13 day timespan, I’ve spent all but two days hunting and almost every hour of each of those days was spent in a treestand. During the rut I make it a priority to sit all day as often as I can, and the results have proven that the time was worth it. I’ve seen countless bucks over the past week and a half cruising between the hours of 11 and 2 PM, including two giants last week in Iowa at 1:30. When it comes right down to it, if you’re not hunting in the middle of day throughout the rut, you’re missing out on some legitimate action.
Now that we’re about half way through November, I wanted to pass along a few lessons I’ve learned when it comes to hunting all day. It’s certainly not easy, but if you plan properly an all day sit can be a fun and productive way to spend your rut! Here are 3 keys to a succesful all day sit…
1. Comfort: The most important thing about being in a tree all day is to be comfortable. This means you need to stay warm, dry, and pain free. Check the weather, and make sure to dress accordingly. On the average hunt in October I sometimes wear less clothing than I really should, because I like to be unrestricted by multiple layers – but this is not smart to do on an all day sit. When you’re in a tree for 13 hours, the cold has a way of seeping down into your bones – so make sure you’re prepared! Also make sure that you account for rain or snow with waterproof clothing or a tree umbrella. Last, make sure you have a comfortable seat. Your back end can only handle a hard surface for so long.
2. Food: In order to stay happy and warm in the treestand over the course of a full day, you must bring along some food. I try to pack foods high in energy and carbs, while also being easy to pack and eat in the field. Usually this includes trail mix, granola bars and jerky. Water is important to bring along as well!
3. Entertainment: As exciting as deer hunting can be, we all know that there are also many long hours spent afield with no deer at all. This boredom can be excruciating for some folks when it lasts the course of an entire day. That said, I always try to bring a little reading material to help me get through those slower portions of the day. Downloading digital books or magazines on your phone can be a great way to get in some reading, without needing to pack in any extra materials. But a good old fashioned paper back does the trick too! Other people I know like hand held games or the like. Whatever it is, make sure you bring along some type of quiet and easy to stow entertainment to keep you sane over the course of your 12-13 hour marathon.
Hunting all day is not easy, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the effort. Prepare properly and your all day sit can be enjoyable and successful. So get out there and hunt hard for these last days of the 2012 rut, the long days in the stand will pay off eventually!