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Being up in a stand is the best way to avoid detection by a deer's nose, but it doesn't always guarantee success when it comes to not being seen.
Depending on your situation, and how well you want to be concealed, you might have to add a little camouflage to your deer stand to put yourself in the best possible situation.
I'm going to walk you through a few easy ways I camo-up my stand, and explain why it's important to consider these options before you head out in the woods this season.
When we talk about treestand blinds, we're not talking about your typical ground blinds. We're talking about model-specific and universal-fit manufactured blinds that wrap around (and sometimes over) your stand.
These blinds are great for several reasons...
One, if you find one that fits your stand, you're getting a product that's optimal for your setup. Two, a blind wrap like this provides protection from the wind and the cold... if insulated. And three, having a blind helps hunters conceal any movement in the stand.
And of course, if you have one that has a roof, you're protected from the rain as well!
If you want something similar to a treestand blind, but you're looking to build something yourself or purchase something a little cheaper, I would recommend taking a look at blind fabric.
These fabrics are usually either synthetic or burlap, and come in a leafy-style construction option.
Keep this in mind though. They don't provide the same level of protection as manufactured treestand blinds.
Outside of these two options, many hunters prefer breaking up the pattern of their stand by painting them with camo spraypaint.
In my experience, doing something like this doesn't provide a lot of benefit, mainly because most treestands have some sort of muted color coating anyways.
Additionally, pay attention to what's around your stand and the backdrop. If you're hunting in a sparse section of the woods or a tree with minimal branches and leaves around you, spray paint isn't going to hide a giant square 15ft up in the air.
As previously mentioned, breaking up your stand's pattern against the skyline or your backdrop is key. And the easiest way to do this is to put your stand in a place where branches and leaves are already around it.
However, if this isn't available, you're going to have to manufacturer something yourself. That's where leafy cover comes in handy!
Today, you'll find synthetic leaf/branch options that mimic numerous branches coming off a tree. They also have branch holders where you can cut real branches and move them to your desired location.
Speaking about static stands specifically, if you plan on concealing them with any of the options above, I would recommend doing so well before the season starts.
You want to make sure the scent from these products has dissipated, and the introduction of something new in the woods doesn't scare away passing deer once the season begins.
The key thing to remember when choosing any type of camo option, is the fact that patterns matter.
Your main goal here is to break up the pattern of your stand with either spray paint, added cover, or a blind that shields its shape.
Many try to hide their stand by thinking about it from an eye-level perspective. Obviously, there's not going to be a deer 15ft up in the air trying to spot you!
As a result, after setting up your stand, remember to go down to the ground (or by passing trails) and see how noticeable your stand is. From there, add what's needed to better hide your stand.
Adding any of the aforementioned four options is going to do its number one job - provide concealment. Again, many people think about scent detection and forget about sight detection, especially when you have to move to make that final shot.
Many of today's top stand blinds offer an added layer of scent protection which is key for any hunter that hunts on uneven ground or routinely experiences changing wind direction while out.
Aside from your scent being carried in the wrong direction, a consistent gust of wind can make for a long day in the stand. By having a blind that wraps all the way around your stand, you remain protected from the wind, maintaining warmth much easier.
And there it is! Everything you need to know when it comes to concealing your deer stand. Again, doing this isn't a requirement for all hunters.
If you feel as though you're being spotted by deer routinely due to a lack of cover, or if you want some of the added benefits of a blind, then adding this to your hunting gear list might be worth it.
In the end, this is just about gaining as many advantages as you can, and using those to combat the natural detection systems deer have. And those detection systems are good, so we (as hunters) have to be good too!
Also, we have a great blog discussing the Sleeping Habits Of Deer in case you're interested!