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Brent's Bass to Bucks Part V

Clean access to tree stands as important as stand itself

Brent's Bass to Bucks Part V
Chapman is teaching his son, Mason, about hunting on their property, where he won't even go to a stand if the wind isn't right. (Courtesy Brent Chapman)

This is the fifth 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 | Part IV

In professional fishing, an angler can destroy a section of shoreline simply by approaching it in the wrong direction, the wrong speed or not stealthy enough.

This is a concept every bowhunter can understand in terms of how they approach their deer stand. But in both areas, Brent Chapman pays special attention.

“A big part of having a lot of tree stands is your access,’’ Chapman said. “Access to me is just as important as the tree stand itself. You might have this awesome spot to go hunt, but if you can’t access it properly without blowing out deer or blowing your scent all across your hunting area then it’s pretty worthless.

Click the image to see photos of Brent’s Bass to Bucks
Brent’s Bass to Bucks

“Access is something I spend a lot of time thinking about, trying to figure out how I can sneak in on these crazy creatures without them figuring me out.

“In fishing, you get in there and beat 'em up and it gets tough the next day. You beat 'em up so bad that it’s a lot tougher. Managing it properly is very important.

“People are generally not patient. You have got to be patient in this deal. If the wind is not perfect, I've got stands I know what wind I can hunt. I know what wind I can’t hunt them. I've had to learn it by trial and error. I know certain stands unless I have a northwest wind I don’t go there because if I hunt it on any other wind I'm going to ruin it.

“I always love to hunt new properties. But if the wind isn’t right, you don’t do it. I mean even if the conditions are perfect, except for the wind, you’ve just got to bite the bullet and hope and pray the next day it’ll pan out better. That is definitely important.

“Access is important but so are edges. This kind of ties into another thing is sanctuary. Sanctuaries are huge. On my dad’s farm of 320 acres we’ve probably got about 80 acres that we never go into.

“The only reason we go into them during hunting season would be to look for a deer you know went in there, but other than that we don’t go in them. We leave them alone. What’s amazing is how the deer on our property feel safe in those sanctuaries. They come out still in daylight during rifle season, and you can tell the deer on our property aren’t as pressured as maybe some of the neighboring property.“The way I like to hunt my farm because the access is so hard, I hunt the edges. I may be don’t hunt the best areas but I just try to be patient and stay on those edges and wait for those deer to come through there. I know if I'm patient they’re eventually going to get out of those little sweet spots and come around.

“While fishing last week I had a spot where I was drop-shotting and there was a little clear area that those fish were set up on and I would kind of sneak up from behind them down current and I could just kind of throw that drop-shot up on the edges and pick fish off. Instead of just pulling up there and casting right in the middle and potentially pulling the whole school off of there, I could just kind of pick them off on the edges and catch a few more fish that way. So that’s kind of a cool deal. But it works just like that with deer.”

“Another thing that is just like fishing is studying the maps, the trails and weather. I'm a junky when it comes to that, even with fishing I’m a weather guy always wanting to know what the wind is doing and trying to look at the forecast. Come hunting season I’ll print off the weather for the projected week and the winds. I kind of strategize; this day the wind is going to be this direction so here are my options.

“I'm always tweaking it because the wind is always changing. With our cell phones all that makes it pretty easy as far as studying the weather and knowing what the wind is doing at all times. Even with that you can pull up the maps on your phone and look at a piece of property. You can scout it almost without scouting it.”

Next: Chapman talks about the learning process.

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