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OUTDOORS: Deer hunters should invest in secondary tree stand

ANDY SNYDER
YorkDispatch


Here's a simple tip that may be the most powerful way to ensure you put some meat in your freezer this fall.

It may even help put a trophy on the wall.

It's easy. If you want to significantly increase your odds of success, you need at least two tree stands. Simple.

By far, the majority of Pennsylvania's deer hunters spend most of their time looking down on the woods, perched dozens of feet in the air. A tree stand is a great way to gain the advantage of stealth and minimize the spread of your scent.

Unfortunately, too many of us scour the woods, scouting for that one perfect place to put our stand. We never look for a back-up spot. Sometimes the early-season effort pays off and we bag a deer on the first morning of the season. But all too often, we don't. That is when we desperately need a second tree stand.

After spending more than a day or so at your stand, your scent begins to linger. The deer know what time you enter the woods and what time you leave. They know you are frequenting the area, so they stay away.

But with the aid of a second well-placed stand, you can avoid your primary stand for a few days and allow the deer to settle a bit.

Now, you could argue having one high-quality climbing tree stand, the kind that is easily moved from tree to tree, can overcome the situation. It will help. But climbing stands, no matter how high quality, are always a major compromise. They are noisy, awkward and tough to move from one spot to the next.

By spending a little additional money at the beginning of the season for a second stationary stand, you can move from one spot to the next with minimum hassle and noise. All you have to do is march from one spot to the next.

Another positive aspect of stationary stands is they offer much more comfort. Climbing stands are designed with one primary purpose, getting a hunter from the ground to the top of the tree. A comfortable and secure seating position is a secondary concern.

With stationary stands, hunters can get a seat that is extremely comfortable and allows them to have the mobility they need to watch the woods in every direction. When spending hours on end in a stand, comfort becomes a priority.

Far too many hunters make unnecessary compromises during the season. If we would only think ahead and plan our days in the woods, we would be more comfortable, we could spend more time in the woods and we would ultimately have more luck.

A secondary stand is a great insurance policy. If January roles around and you still have an unfilled tag, it will be worth every penny.

Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdispatch.com.