Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Selecting the Perfect Tree

There is a lot that goes into effective stand placement. Picking a great location on your hunting land or recreational properties is paramount to successfully harvesting a mature buck. As they say in real estate, the key to success in the whitetail woods is all about location, location, location.

When scouting a piece of your hunting land for the best set up, one of the best tools is a topographic map. Often, I have used this to key in on specific areas to scout for travel corridors, bedding areas and of course food sources. This is critical for finding the best location for setting up your stands.

If you ask ten bowhunters where they like to set up to ambush a buck you are very likely to get ten different answers. Some like to hunt near the bedding areas, others like to be where the food is, still others like to hunt the travel corridors between the two. While another group might like the staging areas just outside the food sources for an ambush location. Regardless of which you choose, once the location is selected, now you must find the perfect tree or blind location. Doing this is a skill in itself. Selecting the wrong tree will produce sightings but no shots, or worse, the deer will see you long before they get to within range or just simply never have an opportunity. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the perfect tree for your ambush.

As deer season rolls into full swing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, hunters are sitting in trees all across the states looking for the buck of dreams. There are five things to keep in mind when selecting the perfect tree.


First is ACCESS to the stand. Regardless of the location, it really doesn’t matter how good it is, if you cannot get to your stand without spooking everything in the woods. When selecting a stand location, access to the stand has to be the first consideration. (See posing from June 4, 2012) Getting to your stand is in my opinion THE most important aspect of selecting a stand site. The tree is in the best spot, the location is hot, but if you cannot get to it it’s a waste of time to hunt there. I would rather have a marginal stand location that I can access easily and quietly than one in the center of the action that I cannot get to without alarming everything in the woods of my presence.

Remember too that easy access doesn’t mean driving right up to the stand; it means a stand that I can get in safely, and quietly. One well known hunter once said, “I always come in the back door.” Accessing your stand from the rear will ensure that you can get in and out quietly.

The second thing to consider when selecting the best tree for your stand is Cover. A stand that stands out like a sore thumb is a poor selection. I like to choose trees that provide ample background cover. Limbs and leaves behind me will break up my outline. Also a tree with a lot of limbs makes it harder for deer to notice subtle movements. Get a lot of cover around you, but make sure it’s not so much it inhibits shot opportunities.

The third thing to consider when selecting the best tree is the WIND. Know what are the predominate winds are for your area, and get a tree that has the wind in its favor. Often this means setting up two or more stands in the same area to allow for different winds.

Range Getting a stand that is 45 yards from your most potential shot is not advisable for bow hunters. While some can make that shot, it’s much better to set up a lot closer. My rule of thumb is set at about 25 yards from the trail I expect the deer to travel. That allows for some room to expand should the buck veer off and take an alternate route past my location.

Lastly in my selection of the perfect tree is the TREE itself. Personally, I avoid pine trees for stands whenever its humanly possible. Pine trees are noisy; they sway a lot in the wind and for the most part don’t provide any cover. My personal preferences are cedars or poplar trees. I like these for two very different reasons. I like cedars because of the year around cover they offer. A lot of limbs, green all year great cover all around allows for great opportunities.

Poplar trees in my neck of the woods are abundant and very straight. When I am using a climber, I love poplar trees. Their bark is tight and makes climbing a virtually silent endeavor. Their arrow straight trunk makes climbing easy and allows me to go as high as I feel safe doing. While they don’t provide much cover, I look for trees with cover around them. Dogwoods seem to grow around poplars and they provide excellent cover for the hunter perched on the side of a poplar tree.

If you keep these five things in tree selection, you will see that getting in the best spot for that buck is part of the challenge and for me, one of the most rewarding.