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The Ultimate Deer Hunting Treestand Quiz
Most does in your area are in estrous. During a quick scouting trip you find a line of large scrapes. How should you hunt them?
When the does are hot and the breeding cycle high, mature bucks are too preoccupied with breeding to freshen scrapes, except perhaps at night or just in passing. Except from small bucks, any activity at deer scrapes during the peak of the rut is coincidental However, this might make a good spot for the deer pre-rut next season.
It’s November, the bucks are moving, and you plan on sitting all day long. What do you need to eat for breakfast to stay warm dawn until dark?
Protein is essential, but carbs will keep you warm all day long. The best plan is to eat a solid breakfast, but also pack along carbohydrate-rich foods you can nibble on to keep the inner fire burning. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water.
The rut is peaking, and the morning is clear and cold with a heavy layer of frost and light breeze. Which is the best stand to hunt this morning?
In the morning a known bedding area is best because that is where the deer will be heading – and you can be sure sooner or later bucks will cruise by as well. Feeding areas are good now, too – but usually only in the evenings.
You’re planning to take a full week of vacation to hunt deer this fall. How many good tree stand sites should you have scouted out, trimmed, and pre-set by summer?
The worst thing you can do is over-hunt a couple of treestands, which is why you need as many options as possible in case the wind gets funky for several days in a row. And you need plenty of options because the wind may blow from the same direction for a week straight. If you find some screamer sites, prepare them for at least two, and preferably three, different wind directions.
You are bowhunting, and a big buck has walked right under your stand. Where do you shoot him?
Aim to the side of the spine at an angle to the off-side front leg. That way your arrowwill pass through the liver and penetrate at least one lung. This is a super-deadly close-range shot. Any other shot -- especially one straight down -- is too risky.
Bucks are chasing hard, and you want to try using a deer decoy for the first time. How should you set the decoy up for maximum effectiveness?
Answer: B or D
By placing the small buck facing at you and 35 yards out, an approaching buck will most likely approach the buck nose-to-nose, and thus pass within easy shooting range while not looking at you. The small buck/doe tandem can be deadly, too, and an approaching mature buck will likely forsake the doe as he comes in to challenge the buck decoy to a fight.
The morning is still and you are planning to hunt near a large crop-filled valley bordered by timbered hills and ridges. Where should your stand be set for the first hours of the morning?
The thermals will be flowing downhill early on, but will reverse and begin flowing up the slope by mid-morning as the sun warms things up. When that happens it is time to move to another stand where the thermals and prevailing winds are more favorable.
You’ve just located a hot stand site near a doe bedding thicket, and you need to set a stand and get after it. How much should you trim?
Stealth is critical in this situation, the best you can hope for now is for a buck to pass through a natural hole in the ground cover. You should not trim anything at ground level to begin with, and only those limbs in your treestand tree that are absolutely necessary.
It is the peak of the rut and bucks are chasing all over the top of a ridge used by does as a bedding area. What should you do?
You can effectively hunt the edge of a bedding area repeatedly if you are stealthy as a cat and only hunt it under the right conditions. Never, ever set up in the center, or swirling winds will blow it for you.
It is early in the season and you have observed a small bachelor group of good bucks coming to feed in a green field. What should you do?
By waiting until the wind is right and hunting the edge of the field, you treestand a decent chance of getting a shot without polluting the area. Make sure you have a bombproof entry and exit strategy.
It is day one of your week-long rut hunt. Which stand should you hunt first?
If you have a full week to hunt, it is almost always better to begin conservatively, sitting treestands on the edge of high activity areas that both offer a chance at a shot and allow you to observe and wait for perfect conditions before attacking high-concentration areas where the winds are swirly. Patience today can pay big dividends tomorrow.
The rut is on, and you are hunting an unfamiliar property for the weekend. Nobody can help you with current deer movement patterns, but aerial photos are available. Where should you set up first?
A natural funnel between a pair of doe bedding thickets is almost certain to be used by at least one mature buck during the week as he trolls along in search of a doe in estrus. Your second choice is along the edge of the island of woods overlooking the CRP grass, where deer often chase around and bed for the day. This can serve both as a good hunting site and low-impact scouting station.
Many bowhunters today use a laser rangefinder to take readings directly to either the deer or select trees or bushes from their stands. If you do and shoot the exact distance the rangefinder tells you, and the rangefinder does not have an angle compensating feature built in, what will happen?
The line of sight distance that the rangefinder reads from the treestand will be greater than the horizontal distance to the animal – which is the distance you should shoot for. For most tree stand shots the difference between the two is slight – but if you take into account the fact that the deer will probably drop down before the arrow arrives, it can cause you to shoot too high.