This is the fourth in a series of eight articles on Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brent Chapman’s best bow hunting tips
Click here for Part I | Part II | Part III
Brent Chapman is an addict. And like any good addict, he needs help. His addiction is bow hunting for deer. In the last three installments, Chapman has been explaining how bow hunting and professional bass angling closely resemble each other.
This is a continuation of how Chapman approaches his deer season.
“It doesn’t matter if you are fishing or hunting, you should have a lot of options. Obviously everybody has different situations and access to hunting places but it’s having options like extra tree stands that can make a difference.
“I always have an extra stand in my truck just in case I see a certain spot that pops up I feel like I need a stand in. I’ve got a climbing stand just in case I'm ever in an area and see a potential spot where I could just go throw a climber in and get up in a tree.
Click the image to see photos of Brent’s Bass to Bucks
“But a big thing is options allow you to not wear a spot out. I’m sitting here looking at probably 20 something tree stands above my head waiting to be put in the woods. I believe in having lots and lots of tree stands. I've got that luxury, but depending on what you have to hunt, have as many options as possible.
“I’ll go take down tree stands in January and I'm like, gosh I remember I worked my butt off to hang this tree stand. It took three or four hours getting the set up and I never even hunted it.
“Hopefully you end up going hunting three or four times and killing a big one, but there’s times where I’d literally hang so many tree stands that a lot of them I never even get to. But at least I have that option available. If we get a couple day period of an unfavorable wind or the wind blowing out of one direction, I don’t want to burn stands out.
“It’s really important to wait on the rut. I see this so often, a guy goes in and they burn out their place before the rut even gets there. For me, I don’t have the time. My schedule doesn’t allow me the time to get out and scout and really learn a particular big deer.
“I’ll put out cameras and find out what’s living on the property, but for me to try to pattern one big deer and kill it early in the season is next to impossible because of my schedule. For most people it’s probably that way. But I see people do this all year long. They’re anxious, and they get out there and start trying to hunt these deer in early September and early October and the deer are very tough to kill that time of year.
“It can be done but you only have so many times before those deer get smarter and smarter. I prefer to wait more for that November timeframe which is when deer tend to put down their guard a little bit, they tend to move a little bit more. I increase my odds that way.
“That leads into when is the best time to hunt a tree stand? Probably the first time you're in it. So I don’t even hunt certain areas until I feel like the deer are getting to be in that right frame of mind, you know when they’re moving around a lot. Like I said that very first time in a tree stand is probably the best time to kill a deer.
“As you hunt it more and more your odds go down, especially I'd say after the third or fourth time. So by me having a lot of different stands I'm never hunting the same stands very much. Maybe some of my key stands I might spend five or six times, but I can definitely tell, even in those, that deer start to get a little cautious after you hunt them.”
Next: Chapman gives tips on how to approach tree stand without getting busted.
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