By Mark Kenyon
While recently reading Bill Winke’s latest book, “Trophy Terrain Series Volume I – Creeks & Ditches” (click here to read our review), I came across a very unique idea for accessing or exiting a tree stand.
Winke described a situation, where a friend was faced with attempting to access a ridge top tree stand on a quiet fall day, on which he knew the echoing crackle of ankle-deep dry leaves would alert any nearby deer of his arrival. His solution was pure genius, or maybe madness.
Upon entering the woods, he ran at full speed, crashing through the leaves all the way to his stand and then climbed quickly up into his stand. His rationalization was that by attempting to create a similar amount of noise as a buck chasing does through the woods, nearby deer wouldn’t be alarmed by the tell-tale two step gait of a sneaking human, but instead believe the commotion was nothing more than the usual rutting commotion heard all November. Five minutes after getting to his tree stand, he killed a big 8 pointer ten yards from his stand!
How about that for improvisation?!
Entering and exiting tree stands without alerting deer is without a doubt, one of the most important aspects to a successful hunt and season, but sometimes no matter how well we plan, the conditions present can make a stealthy entrance or exit near impossible. And in this example, the hunter realized this was the case, and used some creative thinking to make the conditions work for him.
I think this is pretty genius, and it’s definitely one of the more unique deer hunting tactics I’ve heard in awhile. I’m so intrigued that I think I might give this a try myself next time I’m stuck in a similar situation. But, with that said, this entry strategy is obviously high risk, and may not be such a good idea in all situations. As I think it through, here are a few qualifying considerations I’d examine before trying a mid-November woodland dash.
First off, this is definitely a last resort. A quiet completely stealthy entry via a creek, ditch or path is definitely a preferred option. But in the case where there is no quiet access route, this idea might have merit (its definitely high risk/high reward). Also, I think this idea is definitely best suited for the rut time-frame and not so much at other times of year, when loud chasing and crashing is not as common in the woods. During the early or late season, this type of raucous loud noise may not be as easily accepted, so I’d probably only consider trying this from Late October through Late November. Finally, this strategy would only work if you had an access route that still avoided contact with bedded deer, at least visually. If you sound like a rutting buck, but are within sight of bedded deer, you’re obviously still toast.
So what do you think – genius or madness? Would you give it a try?