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Growing a Bowhunter #4
By Wade Nolan – Bowhunting Biologist
Nov 14, 2009 – 5:01:10 AM
The vantage point is especially important for a bowhunter. We are filling the role of predators and must rely on the ambush strategy to take a deer with an arrow at close ranges. My new hunter, Michael Olson will be hunting from a variety of set-ups to stage this ambush. One that is the most common is the treestand.
He will be primarily hunting from a ladder stand. This style of stand is probably the safest to hunt from once it is erected. We are using the top of the line and my personal favorite, the Gorilla Big Fella 20 foot ladders. They are easy to assemble and we have 7 of them set up on both private and public land.
When hunting from any treestand it is absolutely critical that you wear and properly use a full body harness. They are certified to rigorous standards and they are co-packaged with a DVD. I’m the project leader on the treestand safety DVD project that the NBEF runs. They cooperate with the TMA and all of the safety conscious manufacturers use this DVD as a co package. Watch it until you understand everything discussed in the DVD. It is menu driven so you can specifically watch the info on the style of stand you are using.
With ladder stands it is important that you set them up with 3 persons. The set-up and take down is when many ladder stand accidents occur. There are cross straps that must be installed as well as bracing supports prior to even leaving the ground to attach the top. If you follow the instructions you will reduce your risk and have a great experience. They come with a full body harness that you must wear while you’re in the stand.
Stand location is critical. If you’re in a poor spot you won’t shoot or even see deer. My son Reed and I selected a number of sites that are incredible set-ups for Mike. Most utilize some sort of detouring terrain where the deer are forced to travel through a bottleneck of some sort; around a lake or alongside a cliff. This type of set-up insures that the deer will be funneled onto a particular trail that is up wind of your set-up. We have some winners.
The other set-up we will be using are ground blinds. These are also made by Eastman Outfitters and are top quality. The first thing I do with a blind is check it for UV. I use a little light I got from ATSKO that casts a 440 nanometer beam (black light). The Eastman Blind was perfectly UV dead. I also treat these blinds with a waterproofing and as ATSKO UV block (UV-KILLER) so it is protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
We have our blinds set up adjacent to travel lanes and have had them in place for a week. Deer, unlike dopy turkeys, will be spooked around a blind for about a week so set them up so the deer can get used to them early. I like to brush in my blinds and set them up on high points so I’m a little above the deer. It takes us out of the line of sight of the deer we are trying to take.
We will be using a boat for some access and a quad on private land. The ambush plans are laid. We are set up for both ground and aerial ambush. Now the hunt! Follow us on bowhunting.net’s Robert Hoague column. Robert arrives at our Ohio camp on Wednesday. See you in camp!