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Hunting the Rut: Part 2


I had been waiting for the perfect wind for this stand for two years. Finally, as the end of October rolled around, I checked the weather forecast and knew this was the time. When I rolled out of my sleeping bag, excitement filled my veins. I was determined to sit as long as the sun would allow if it took that long.

Preparing to hunt all day is about two things, mental preparation, and actual preparation. For my hunt the weather was to be clear and calm with a starting temperature of 35 degrees warming up to the middle 40’s. As the coffee percolated in the predawn light, I made a few sandwiches, filled my water bottles and readied myself for what could be a ten hour sit.

Don’t get me wrong, sitting in one tree and maintaining concentration and confidence for that long is very difficult. My hunting property is several hours from my home, so we stay at camp. This helps with my mental preparation. I just tell myself, “If I am going to just sit around camp, I might as well sit in the stand and give myself a chance.” While this works for me, there are still times where the long sit is very difficult.

However, my records show that during this time of year, I have killed an equal number of deer in the mornings, evenings and middle of the day. This too makes it easier to sit longer. As long as I am dressed appropriately, bring along something to fill my stomach, and have confidence in my stand I can sit as long as necessary.

During the rut, hunters need to understand that the longer the day goes, the better the odds they will see a buck. This is true because you have put yourself in position to intercept him. While you may have to sit five, six, or more hours when the moment of truth arrives, you know that everything you put into the hunt was worth it.

The last part of the puzzle in order to hunt all day is stand comfort. I have tried sitting all day in inferior stands. You know the ones, the stands that are bought on sale for $39.00. One hunt and you soon know there is a reason they are $39.00. They are cheap and very uncomfortable. No one can sit for hours upon hours in an uncomfortable stand. To use the old vernacular, bite the bullet and buy a good comfortable stand. You will never regret being too comfortable.

While there are a lot of good stands out there, for my comfort, those with the sling seats are hard to beat. These can be adjusted while in the tree to facilitate more comfort if needed. Moreover, with the padded back rest the longer sits can be made in a lot more comfort.

To last long in the stands, use the word to its literal sense. Stand as much as you can. Sit periodically and stand more. This will keep the blood flowing in your lower extremities and keep you more in-tuned to your surroundings. As a bow hunter, I have killed many deer sitting down, but I prefer to shoot standing. Therefore, during the first hour or two of the day, I am standing ready for anything that arises. I will then sit to rest my legs for fifteen or twenty minutes and repeat. No hunter likes to put in that much time and then have the buck you have been waiting for sneak in while you are least ready. Staying focused will help pass the time.

Using these techniques will help you to sit for longer periods and often during this time of the year the longer you sit the greater your chances of harvesting that buck you have been dreaming of all season long.