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nofishfisherman

How High?

21 posts in this topic

I am wondering how high you guys climb while bow hunting.  I was out setting my stands yesterday so that they are ready for me when I am able to start hunting in early October.  I'm hunting an old farm property that has gotten overgrown the last 40 years.  There are some mature trees but not a lot.  I got my ladder stand into one of the larger trees that over looks a nice clearing that has 3 main trails converge in the center of it that all lead to some old crab apples trees that are loaded with apples. The problem with the placement is that if I get up the stand set up at 16 feet I'm up high enough that 2 neighboring trees block my entire view of the best areas, also the tree I'm starts to branch out alot at about 14 feet so there isn't a great place to put the ladder stand at that height.  I ended up setting the stand at 11 feet as that allowed me to see under the neighboring trees and it keeps me below the branches of the tree i'm in.  I am able to stand up between the branches and they aren't in the way of a draw.

What do you guys think?  Am I still going to be too low to draw on a deer, it feels like I am.  Concealment is ok from 2 directions, not great from the 3rd but if they come down that trail they'd be looking straight toward my tree for awhile but them be forced to take a right turn at about 20 yards.  Just not sure where I could draw on a deer from that direction unless it does stop to feed on the apple tree that is 20 yards to left.

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Move slow, practice drawing and shooting from a seated postion, and have patience.  You can shoot a deer from 11 ft up for sure.

Most of my stands are up 12-16 ft to platform.  I don't like heights much.

Good luck.

SmellEsox likes this

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4 minutes ago, nofishfisherman said:

I am wondering how high you guys climb while bow hunting.  I was out setting my stands yesterday so that they are ready for me when I am able to start hunting in early October.  I'm hunting an old farm property that has gotten overgrown the last 40 years.  There are some mature trees but not a lot.  I got my ladder stand into one of the larger trees that over looks a nice clearing that has 3 main trails converge in the center of it that all lead to some old crab apples trees that are loaded with apples. The problem with the placement is that if I get up the stand set up at 16 feet I'm up high enough that 2 neighboring trees block my entire view of the best areas, also the tree I'm starts to branch out alot at about 14 feet so there isn't a great place to put the ladder stand at that height.  I ended up setting the stand at 11 feet as that allowed me to see under the neighboring trees and it keeps me below the branches of the tree i'm in.  I am able to stand up between the branches and they aren't in the way of a draw.

What do you guys think?  Am I still going to be too low to draw on a deer, it feels like I am.  Concealment is ok from 2 directions, not great from the 3rd but if they come down that trail they'd be looking straight toward my tree for awhile but them be forced to take a right turn at about 20 yards.  Just not sure where I could draw on a deer from that direction unless it does stop to feed on the apple tree that is 20 yards to left.

For years I have only used two sections on my ladder stand or about 12' feet. I have taken many Deer that low and even have 4 Wolves pass right under it all in a line. I have sat in a lot of ladder stands and some of them are just a bit scary and flexible at their full height.

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Not sure if this will work for you but could you build a natural ground blind in there and still be able to see or is the under growth to thick?  Personally if I'm hunting private ground I like to be up 20' or so, but on public ground it's either in a ground blind or a ladder stand that I only use 8' of the ladder so I guess I'm around 10' up or so, the main thing with that is the weight and I have it worked out where I can leave half od the sections connected so when I get to the tree I just have to connect the 2 halves together.  This saves me time and it's much quieter.

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You guys are making me feel a little better about the height.  

I have a ground blind placed in another area on the property to hunt in different wind conditions but in this spot the undergrowth is way too thick.  

I'm also not a huge fan of heights.  I can deal with them when i have to but don't really like to.  Part of me was happy when the full 16 foot stand wouldn't work.  The 10-11 foot height feels pretty comfortable and its WAY more solid once I got it strapped down.  

I'll work on shooting from a seated position.  I have been working on a slow and easy draw with very little extra motion. I see some guys at the bow range do a big wind up with their draw where they have to start with the bow pointed toward the sky and they drop it down as they draw.  I extend my bow arm slowly and then once the bow is in position I slowly draw back with my right arm while the bow remains more or less static. I never have more than one arm moving at a time.

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Like others have said, it can be done, but in my opinion your odds improve greatly the more concealed you are.  If that means getting higher in the tree or concealed in a big old oak with lots of thick branches.  For bow hunting, I'd rather be more concealed with limited shooting and viewing lanes than completely visible to a deer just so I have a larger view of the area.  You may see more deer but good luck getting a shot off with your bow.  Gun hunting with a rifle and scope is different.

The doe I shot last year was less than 15 yards from me before I saw her.  Fortunately i was about 20' above her in a mature Oak tree with lots of branches.  I was able to get the bow off the hook, draw back, and shoot her without her seeing me.

Nels

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Hunt the best setup you can manage in that spot. If it's the one above then go with it, and since you are already aware of the possible issue, be a little extra careful of your movements. Sounds like a cool spot, hope you get in there before the apples are gone. The crabs on one of my properties I hunt are usually early season apples and gone quick.

To answer your first question, I usually hunt with 20-25ft ladder sticks and have the stand slightly below the top so I can step down into them. So somewhere in the 17-23 ft range. But I've got a few stands lower due to situations like you mentioned.

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I have shot all of my archery deer from the stand no higher then 7 feet. It is about being still and hidden and move slowly 

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10 hours ago, rkhinrichs said:

Cover behind you is key

This is correct, my height depends on my surroundings. I have hunted off the ground, 4 feet off the ground, 10 feet and 25 plus. Find the cover, if its open you might have to get high, hunting high can also help get your scent above a deer's nose. Lost of times I hunt in locations where trees are scarce so getting up 5-10 feet to shoot over the brush is a must. Any high and you stick out like a sore thumb.

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Most of the cover around me tops out at around 10-12 feet as there aren't many large mature trees.  Staying lower gives me better background cover.  I also took a few of the branches I trimmed and put them behind my ladder and behind where I'll be sitting to help give me some background concealment. 

I also would have though the crab apples would have been gone soon as well but they looked a ways from being fully ripe. If these trees go dry before I can hunt it then there are 5 more varities of apples on trees on the edge of mowed property that the deer have been hitting.  The trails that I'm looking over also lead down to those trees and 3 of them aren't ripe yet either.  I think i total there are 6-8 trees on the edge of the mowed yard and another 3-4 old crab apple trees that are out in the woods.  Lots of apples for them to munch on.

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Like others said, it depends on what you hunting over and in front off. Most of mine are in the 15-18'. I just don't like being much higher. The higher you go the higher the shot angle is, the more the wind and cold affect you, the more the nearby tree branches affect you... Also the less likely they are to see and smell you. Obviously lots of pros/cons to being high or low. Just do what feels comfortable to you...

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In your situation I'd try to be standing around the time you expect the deer to show up since it sounds like your upper body will have branch cover but not lose drawing ability.

I usually set up off to the side and a little behind the tree from the direction I expect the deer to come from.  That way I get the full benefit of the cover of the tree I'm in.

I stand a lot though; I rarely sit.  My ears tell me quite a bit but I'm usually looking around that tree all the time and my body is close to it.  I seem to be able to get away with quite a bit of movement and am rarely at 15 feet or higher.

ANYFISH2 likes this

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Thats a good point about setting the stand up on the side or backside of the tree.  I probably could have done that easy enough. In a pinch i suppose I could climb the same tree with my climbing stand on the backside and hide behind my empty ladder stand.

I do plan to be standing when the deer walk through.  I should be able to hear them before they get into a clearing I'm hunting over so I'll be standing by time they get into visual range.  Any guesses at home many times I end up standing up for what turns out to be a squirrel?

Of course all of this could be a waste of time since right now the forecasted wind conditions are completely wrong for this spot.  If the forecast holds I've got a couple back up spots I'll hit instead and will be using a ground blind or my climbing stand.

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On 9/14/2016 at 9:13 AM, ANYFISH2 said:

Move slow, practice drawing and shooting from a seated postion, and have patience.  You can shoot a deer from 11 ft up for sure.

Most of my stands are up 12-16 ft to platform.  I don't like heights much.

Good luck.

Anyfish2 has good advice!

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I've done some practice in a seated position as well and was shooting just fine so that is also an option.  I think i've got my bases covered to adapt to whatever the deer may throw at me.

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16 to 18 is the sweet spot for me with adequate cover. In my Lone Wolf hangon I've shot deer from as low as 12 ft up a skinny tree along a creek bottom in the middle of a property known for pheasant hunting. In a climber where you are limited to bare trunk all the way up, I'll try to get in bigger trees and go up to above 18 to 22 or 23ish ft for the simple fact of not having much cover. With a climber, I try to never pick a tree that doesn't have much cover around it from neighboring trees.. Been busted many-a-times doing that.

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For climber stand guy's I think some are getting it wrong.  I pretty much exclusively use my Summit.  The older I get the lower I get.  Now my buddy refers to getting "your feet" at least 15 feet up.  So often I thought I had to have been that high.  So at work I took a tape measurer and measured the bottom of a large support for I beams of our building.  I was certain it was 18 feet at least.  Nope, 13.  Being over 6 feet tall that means my eyes are at 21 feet if I use the benchmark my friend suggested.  That is the maximum I will go.  I have been lower and had deer walk right under me or within a few feet.  Scent control, background, slow movement and controlled breathing work for me.

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A true 20 foot set is HIGH!  I've been in some of those and even a little more according to my 25 foot bow/gun cord.  I've been called crazy by people who've seen a high set and felt a little nervous in others' high sets that I've used.

 

I do believe you can get away with almost anything that high but I'd rather not be there if I don't have to.

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It's all relative I guess.  Had two young bucks, separate occasions walk within five yards of me two weeks ago.  The one was originally in the woods tearing up a tree.  Came by licking his lips.  I had my feet at twelve feet and he paid zero attention to me.  Wind was in his favor.  More interested in finding a girl friend I suppose.  Second one gave me a long look and figured I wasn't a threat. Those old does though are smarty pants.  They are real sketchy this time of the year.  Plan on spending around four hunts this weekend in two active areas.  Hope to put a sticker on one!  BC

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