Hanging a fresh treestand

Hanging a fresh treestand this
week near Cambridge, MN

Every Fall I do my best to acquire permission to hunt new bow hunting properties and find each and every property is unique and different. I enjoy the scouting aspect and the challenge of finding the perfect tree stand locations. I recently obtained permission on a new property just west of Cambridge, Minnesota and found this property had some distinctive challenges. Here are some thoughts on my strategies for trying to figure out the bow hunting puzzle.


This area just west of Cambridge is extremely baffling in terms of finding the perfect ambush point for whitetails. I perceived right from the gitgo that this Isanti County terrain was unlike anything else I have ever scouted or hunted. This area is lush with overgrown undergrowth because of this very wet year making for some very dense woods. (The mosquitoes by the way are the worst I have ever experienced. Even a heavy dousing of bug juice didn't deter them..we're are in for some intense insect issues this Fall.) This heavy undergrowth made finding appropriate "sign" extremely difficult. The biggest hurdle for this hunter was to try and find areas where if I did drop a deer, it had to be a certain distance away from the mammoth swamps and sloughs in this area. Some of these adjacent swamp areas are so deep and dense that there was no way I would find my arrowed deer if it chose to exit into the swamps.


My best strategy at this time of the season was to place my stands at potential key entrance areas to the hay fields expecting these deer to arrive on these open fields to feed during low light. I chose the most isolated "fingers" of the open fields well away from the dirt roads and out of sight by passing vehicles. I figure that the deer will come to me in the evenings and I need to wait them out and be patient. Minnesota and Wisconsin deer are very wary about entering open hay fields during daylight or lowlight hours if there is any above average vehicle traffic close by. That is why I choose the most isolated back areas with tons of wood cover between my stands and the dirt roads.


I know this property will take a great deal of time to figure out. My portable stands have been placed on perceived key entrance areas and I know it will take a season or two of observing and watching to find the deer patterns. As a bow hunter, I want instant success just like everyone else but this could be very challenging especially this first Fall. The surrounding heavy swamps worry me the most because there is no way to recover a deer if they bail into no man's land. Being a "flatlander" this creates a new problem in terms of deer recovery and my stands need to be in eventual spots that allow me to have plenty of space between the stand and room away from the swamps. Of all the areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin, this Isanti area is probably the most challenging I have ever seen. The uniqueness of the terrain in this part of Minnesota will be a challenging puzzle to figure out. I now know why this area of central Minnesota has a reputation for big bucks because from the looks of the terrain and the amount of surrounding swampland that is totally not accessible, these bucks are in their own world and can get away from human intrusion.

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