Opening day of Nebraska’s archery deer season is just around the corner. Opening day is Sept. 1st, but in Nebraska you are only allowed to hang stands on August 15th or later (although most don’t abide by that rule). We were busy on the 15th, so we headed out on the 16th to hang a few stands in areas we are going to want to hunt throughout the year.
We are hanging two “permanent” sets this year and mainly using a hang and hunt style throughout the year. These permanent sets give us a great place to hunt if we need a break from the early mornings and late nights of our hang and hunt style.
Watch the video below to see us hang these stands and to learn about why we are hanging in these specific locations.
Now let’s dive into more detail on why we are hanging stands in these specific locations.
What makes the “river stand” a great spot for a permanent stand location?
The reason we decided to make this spot a permanent stand location is that it sees heavy deer traffic throughout the year. We know from hunting this spot a lot last year, that there is consistent deer movement. This is because of the location of this area on the public land.
First, it is as far away from other hunters as you can get on this property. With that being said, we had multiple hunters hunting around us in this location, but it was only in the first part of November when out of state hunter numbers were high. We saw a significant drop in deer sightings during that time, but during other times of the year, deer movement was high.
Second, because of the terrain and habitat features of this location. It is located at the bend of the river. This creates bedding on the south side of the river and bedding on the north. Our stand is located between the two. Does are typically bedding on the north side of the river closer to the food source and bucks are bedding on the south side of the river. Our stand is located near the river where a small ravine flattens out and meets the river. The small dip or ravine runs straight towards an ag field 300 or so yards away. Bucks will almost always use these small dips to travel. It gives them a slight advantage. We saw last year that bucks and does were both using this dip as a travel route to go from bedding to food.
Last year we hung an observation stand 100 yards from this spot. This allowed us to see how deer were using the property. From that stand we could also see many hundreds of yards down the river to see where the deer were crossing the river. That shows the value of an observation stand. Observe what the deer are doing, and then move in to a more precise location.
What makes the “high wall” stand a great spot for a permanent location?
Again, it goes back to observations during the previous year. It took us a while to find this spot and realize how good it could be. This was because we had a trail camera in this location during the early season (September) and it got only a few pictures of does. So we quickly wrote this location off and didn’t hunt it. That was both a mistake and a great idea.
The camera was right, no bucks were using the area during the early season. We thought since there were no bucks on camera during the early season there would be no bucks the rest of the year. We were wrong. You can trust trail cameras, but only so much.
We were hunting an observation stand somewhat near that area during November, but never went back to the “high wall”. That was the best thing we ever did. With all the hunting pressure in the area, the bucks flooded in that area and used it as a bedding are throughout November and December. It was by pure luck that we happened to go back near this area and find that all the bucks were now using this area. Watch below!
Watch below to see all the mature bucks that were using this area as a bedding area.
You can’t always trust your trail cameras. An area that has no bucks during one time of year, may have a lot just a month later. Don’t write off areas completely until you have hunted that location and know for sure no bucks are in the area. We almost made that mistake last year as you saw. Also, find those areas where other hunters are not going. This spot is a great example of that.
Because of all the buck activity we saw during the late season in this area we chose to hang a “permanent” stand in this location. This doesn’t mean we are going to hunt this spot all the time. In fact we are going to hunt it on very specific location. Once again we put a trial camera in this location, with no luck. Which is fine, it just confirms what we already know. We have to wait to hunt this spot.
Our conditions for hunting this spot are that we are going to wait until late October (start of the pre-rut) to hunt this area. This creates an unhunted place for the bucks to go. We are only hunting on west or north winds. This close to buck bedding areas we need a perfect wind and we will only hunt it on that specific wind, no exceptions. We need the bucks to feel no human intrusion for this spot to be successful. We will probably hunt this spot no more than 8 times this year. But, every time we hunt it, the probability of seeing and shooting a buck is very high.
We also chose to use a “permanent” set because it is quieter and easier than doing a hang and hunt in that area and risking spooking deer by hanging a tree stand in the dark.
The big picture on why we are putting “permanent” sets in these spots is because we are using what we learned from last years observations of consistent deer movement and consistent buck activity. We are always learning from every hunt to fine tune our stand locations and tactics.