John's Journal...

Advanced Tree Stand Strategies

What To Do With A New Tree Stand


Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from longtime, avid deer hunter John Louk of Petal, Mississippi, this season, and you may take the buck of a lifetime.


"He was the biggest buck I'd ever seen in my life," Earnest McCarron, a hunting companion of mine, told me. "The buck had at least 22 inches between his main beams and well over 12 points on his non-typical rack. But somehow he smelled me. Although I’d taken a shower, left my clothes hanging outside overnight and squirted myself down with odor neutralizer, that buck still smelled me." My friend carried a brand-new, shiny tree stand on his back. I asked him when he got that tree stand. He told me with pride that he’d bought it the day before and that today was the first day he’d ever hunted with it. A hunter may destroy his chances of taking a deer when he first buys a tree stand. Often he purchases a stand the weekend before he plans to hunt. He then carries the stand to his hunting club in the box it came in and unpacks the stand the night before he will hunt. But the first time he takes that tree stand into the woods to hunt, the smells and the sounds of that new tree stand will spook more deer than a group of sweaty Sumo wrestlers trying to tiptoe through a briar patch.

"Never take a new tree stand into the woods to hunt from,” John Louk says. “As soon as you purchase the stand, carry it home, remove it from the box, and hang it in your backyard to release the new smell from the stand." Louk also suggests you spray some type of odor neutralizer such as Atsko's N-O-Dor or Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way on your new tree stand. Too, Louk also recommends utilizing a mixture of turpentine and water as an odor killer. Spraying this mixture on your tree stand will give the stand a piney-woods scent. "The sooner you get the new smell off a tree stand, the less likely that the stand will spook deer," Louk explains. "Remember too that tree stands may rattle, pop and squeak when you walk." Before you hunt, put your tree stand on your back, and move around with it. Listen for any sounds the stand makes. Unfold the stand, attach it to a tree, fold it up, and then walk around with it once more. Hunters will spook deer when the deer smells the hunter and his stand or hears the hunter and his stand.

Often many sportsmen make the mistake when bowhunting or gun hunting of using a pull-up rope to lift bows, arrows or guns into their tree stands. Invariably, equipment bangs against the tree, catches onto a limb or falls off the rope. To solve this problem, Louk recommends that, "When you buy a tree stand, purchase some type of a gun and/or a bow rack for your tree stand that allows you to attach your gun or bow to the stand. Then your equipment goes up the tree at the same time you do with less noise."


To learn more about Atsko’s products, go to . For more information on Hunter’s Specialties’ products, visit .


Tomorrow: Where To Put Your Tree Stand

Check back each day this week for more about " Advanced Tree Stand Strategies"

Day 1: What To Do With A New Tree Stand
Day 2: Where To Put Your Tree Stand
Day 3: When To Use Different Types Of Tree Stands
Day 4:How David Hale Hunts Hot Spots from a Tree stand
Day 5: Why Stay Away From The Deer


Entry 372, Day 1