It’s never too early to begin scouting for the best fall deer stand sites. Instead of waiting until just before opening day, why not take a hike and get into your hunting area or, better yet, scout out new ones. It’s best to do your scouting discretely, so that you don’t alert other hunters or non-hunters, who may object to your presence. This is especially true for suburban areas, parks, and sanctuaries, where monster bucks bloom from light hunting pressure.

Mark Kayser is one of America’s premier outdoor writers and offers additional specific suggestions on how to scout without being noticed.

POMA 2013 117Whitetails are masters of their domain, especially as they mature. Even subtle changes in their home habitat will turn settled bucks into evasive, nocturnal spooks.  And if you carelessly intrude on their most secure spots—their bedding areas—the oldest, most pressure-sensitive bucks will simply leave the area.  So how do you set up your next ambush spot without triggering these flight tendencies in the very deer you want to hunt? Use stealthy tactics to hang your stands or erect your ground blinds long before the hunting seasons actually open.

Shhhh, Be Quiet Research, test, purchase, and then practice TX Deer 06 274setting up the quietest and simplest stands on the market. Select stands without shiny components, metal chains, steel construction, and bulky ladder sections. Think nylon straps, lightweight aluminum, and simple steps.

Disguise Your Hide Take a summer weekend and set up stands and blinds in locations that you know produce year after year. Whitetails routinely run into humans during the bustling summer season. Farmers, surveyors, utility personnel, and hikers intrude on whitetail cover daily…

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.