Can you move a tree stand in the middle of the season?
There is no doubt that the idea of moving a tree stand in the middle of a season seems terrible. Why would you want to move your stand after you spent hours planning and scouting the perfect location. Well, the reality is that things often change during the seasons and if you really want to be successful you need to change too.
Why would we want to move our tree stand?
If you’re like most people you spent hours watching trail camera footage, and scouted specific areas, or you’ve put your stand up in the same spot it’s been for the last 10 years. What seems to happen far to often is once you get up in the tree you can’t remember all the great reasons you picked this particular spot.
Here are a few common reasons you might want to move your stand:
- The bedding area is too close and you're bumping deer on your way to this tree stand.
- You're too far away for the deer to reach you before sunset?
- Your tree is on the edge of the food plot and exposes you as the leaves fall? And all you need is 10 feet back in the timber?
- That travel corridor you picked out is more summer food oriented? Heck, maybe it's a cattle trail that you thought was a deer highway?!
- The weather app says it's a NE wind, but where you are on that hillside, that same NE wind feels SE, and it makes a big difference. Now your scent is blowing in the direction the deer are expected to come from.
For whatever reason, the food, cover, water, and travel routes of deer are different now. Deer react as all those variables change throughout the course of a single season. But most hunters don’t respond accordingly. This negatively impacts the success of their season.
Your best spot isn’t the best spot anymore. What are the options?
Ok now that we know our current tree stand isn’t in the best spot what can we do? We all need to make the most of our time up in a tree stand as the season clock is running out fast. We have four options:
Do nothing. This is what most people do. I Wonder why? The first rationale is you don't want to put too much pressure on the deer in that area. And the common misconception is that by going in to uninstall a tree stand, relocate it, then reinstall it is too much activity. That activity will run the mature deer away. Maybe not the younglings, but the mature deer are much more inclined to feel the pressure. The problem with this logic is there is a reason deer aren’t moving into your zone and if you don’t address it you’ll go home empty handed anyway.
Do nothing because it’s too hard to move. This is a real burden for a lot of tree stand hunters. Stands are heavy, hard to move and almost impossible to relocate by yourself. We HATED moving tree stands. In fact it’s one of the big reasons why we started Heaven’s Trail. Instead of doing a bunch of manual labor why don’t you charge up a cordless drill, grab your Winch and Belt, and get to work. A Hang Around is way too easy to uninstall and reinstall. Especially if you're planning to reinstall it close by. If you're relocating a Solo or Double, you'll also need a set of Sticks. The One Trip Process was designed to make this sort of work safer and easier to complete.
Make a slight adjustment. As we mentioned you might not need to completely move your stand, maybe you just need a slight adjustment. The deer are just right there and you can’t get a good shot. Or maybe your stand isn’t comfortable anymore. It’s leaning to one side or the pitch is unsafe. Slight adjustments are pretty easy to make and we find ourselves making tweaks throughout the season. With our Winch to hold the tree stand, it is super simple to release the tree stand from the tree then rotate the tree stand to point in a new direction. As always, the articulating bracket is there to adjust pitch and roll.
- Just move it. When you’re out hunting and you can’t get the kill shot, there is no reason to keep climbing the same tree every morning and hoping for a different result. We’re starting to get into the realm of insanity at that point. If you’ve made the right choice and decided to move your stand here’s what we recommend for the least amount of impact:
What’s the best time to move your tree stand? Move it in the middle of the day - This is the least likely time to upset the deer moving from their bedding to feeding grounds. Using our One Trip Process tools we’ve been able to take down a stand, move it to a new tree. Grab a lunch, take a shower and be back out hunting that afternoon.
Should you move a tree stand in the rain? Some hunters prefer this method as a way to minimize your scent while moving. We don’t recommend this route. It’s dangerous to move a tree stand when everything is wet. Plus who knows when the weather's going to roll in anyway. You may be waiting days for the next rain shower. Frankly we don’t think it’s needed. Moving it in the middle of the day, provides enough opportunity for you to move in and out without alerting the deer.
Some of the most successful deer hunters like to talk about the first sit in a tree stand is the most productive sit. So don't be afraid of relocating your tree stand during the season. It could be the adjustment you need for the success you're after. If you don't move it, you'll never know.