When I first started gun deer hunting in Wisconsin , it pretty much consisted of about 2 hours on opening morning sitting in my tree stand. then we would make deer drives the remainder of the 9 day hunting season, not even sitting in my tree stand mornings anymore. Although I shot many deer my first 10 years of hunting that way, I also had many close calls -hearing a shotgun slug whistling near by is something that you don’t soon forget and the idea of walking mile after mile through the brush was not as fun as it seemed when I was younger.
That method for me changed one year when I found a new hunting spot, I was committed to try and stay in my stand till noon every day of the season, and was soon surprised at the amount of action I was seeing at all hours, I ended up sitting till dark the first day and although I didn’t shoot, I loved this new type of hunting, something about just sitting and enjoying the woods and seeing the animals in a more natural state like when I bow hunt was way more fun and relaxing,plus I didn’t have to walk 5 miles through heavy brush every day.
My hunting buddies thought I was nuts, no one shoots a deer after opening day sitting unless someone is pushing it to you. Well certainly some deer are on the move from other hunters, but if the pressure is low they move just fine. matter of fact, 11 a.m the last Saturday of the season a small 8 pointer happened down the trail , came to 20 yards of the stand before I shot him, was walking like the season never started. That deer at the time was my most rewarding, and I never made a deer drive again.
Since then I am in my deer stand 1 hour before light and don’t leave till quiting time, no matter the conditions, I have the right gear for anything mother nature throws at me – because I love sitting in a deer stand no matter what the conditions !