Be Quiet! Sit Still! Pay Attention! - By Scott Cole
There are many factors involved in becoming a successful whitetail hunter. If I could point out a few that are probably the most important would be keeping quiet, being still, and paying attention. All of this sounds easy but once up in a stand and you have been sitting there for a while and it is cold, these things can sometimes be difficult to do. I will try to give some tips and advice in my experience on how to achieve these important areas while sitting on stand and help you be more successful.
First thing in being quiet is to make sure your tree stands or equipment has no creaks or unusual sounds in them. Before hanging a stand, hang it on the bottom of tree and stand in it to make sure you do not hear any creaks. Inspect all your hunting equipment such as your bow and backpack for noise. Make sure you wear clothing that does not make any sounds.
You always want to sit still and be quiet! Sitting still sometimes can be very difficult. Tree stands are not the most comfortable and especially if you are planning to sit a long time, it can be challenging. Dressing warm and comfortable for temperatures can help you out a great deal in being still. If it is cold and you need to bring a blanket, do so. Anything to help you be still when temps are frigid will only help you be successful. Using hand warmers and foot warmers are a great tool to use. There are some things that you can do so you can move some while in the stand. When hanging your stand, always make sure you hang away from the direction that deer will come from often. That way you can move if needed to look around or even prepare for a shot because they tree will help shield you some. If deer are around you or somewhat close to you, if you need to move, always move when they are turned away from you. Also when moving, move slowly! Rapid movements are bad. Moving quickly will spook any animals. Always move slow and steady.
The last thing I will mention in trying to help you be successful is just paying attention. Watch all movements and listen to all sounds. You will want to watch all around you, 360 degree, if possible. Remember, when watching all around this requires some movement so move slow and steady. Use your binoculars a lot. I have spotted so many deer that I would not have seen with the naked eye. Make sure to scan slowly. One thing I would like to mention while sitting in stand and watching deer because you are waiting on that big buck to come in range, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT! Making eye contact with a deer means PREDATOR! A majority of the time if you make eye contact they will spook and they are gone. If a deer happens to look at you, close your eyes immediately or squint them. I like to squint mine. They cannot see my eyes when looking at me and I can still see them and how they are reacting. A lot of the things mentioned are just straight up common sense but hopefully some tips I handed out will help you in your next hunt. My last piece of advice would be to stay out as long as you can. Over time if you can sit longer, you will learn how to adapt to being still and quiet a lot better. He who sits the longest gets the deer.