At some point during the deer season, almost every hunter will begin to wonder if they shouldn’t climb down from their treestand and make a move somewhere else. The problem is, making a move on deer can be quite the chore. Many hunters continue to sit in the same old stand, simply to avoid the hassle of making a move. But the mobile hunter tends to be the one that finds success season after season. Here’s a look at how to stay mobile to notch your next deer tag.
DITCH THE EXTRA GEAR
You’ll be far more efficient when it comes to mobile hunting if you’ll learn to lighten your load. Dig into your pack, and go through all the gear tucked deep inside. Decide what’s necessary and which items are overkill. Do you really need 4 grunt calls, a whole box of bullets, and a gallon of water? Learn to trim the fat. Get rid of all the extras, and go with just the basics. It may be that you can ditch the pack altogether and simply hit the woods with the basics stashed in your pocket, grunt call around your neck, and weapon in hand.
BUY A LIGHTER STAND
The key to staying mobile is to hunt with ultra-lightweight gear that allows you to set up quick and easy and move at a moment’s notice. Say goodbye to the big bulky stands from the past that weigh in at 30 pounds and take 30 minutes to set up. The best mobile hunting treestands on the market these days weigh in at 10 pounds or less. Stands like the Hawk Rival Micro (10.1 lbs), Millennium M7 Microlite (8.5 lbs), Beast Gear Hang-On, (6.8 lbs) and the Lone Wolf Custom Gear Hang-On .5 (5.7 lbs) are some of the lightest options on the market that allow you to go in lighter than ever, set up quick and easy, yet still provide a solid foundation for you to set up shop.
GIVE SADDLE HUNTING A TRY
Some say saddle hunting is just the latest fad, while others have jumped on the bandwagon and are realizing all the benefits of the ultimate mobile setup for deer hunting. Much like what you might see a rock climber wear, the saddle anchors you securely around the waist and gives you a safe and secure ascent and descent from the tree. The saddle, along with your climbing sticks and a micro platform to stand on, allow you to shave your packing weight in half compared to most other treestand setups out there. It allows mobility like nothing else.
MAP OUT YOUR MOVES BEFORE YOU GO
Wandering through the woods at random can often do more harm than good. You need to have a plan. Map out your Plan A, B, & C by dropping pins on your favorite hunting app on your phone. This allows you to hunt more efficiently as you make your moves from point A to B. The hunting app also allows you to plan ahead as you identify terrain features, navigate potential ambush sites, and calculate distances across the ground you’re hunting.
HUNT WITH A KAYAK
If the property you’re hunting includes creeks or rivers, you may consider the mobility a kayak provides. Better kayaks have weight tolerances that allow you to carry all your gear, and even a deer or two when you score. They are incredibly quiet for a super stealthy access. Deer will never know you’re coming when hunting by kayak. And when you do notch your tag, you’ll be glad to have the option to boat your buck out. Less physical strain on the way in and out of the woods makes the kayak a winner when it comes to greater mobility.
HUNT WITH AN EBIKE
Like the kayak, the eBike offers the quietest approach of any “vehicle” in the woods. It takes the load off your legs, allowing you to hunt farther, stay longer, and access deer country with ease. The eBike is obviously less invasive audibly when compared to an ATV or UTV, but they also tend to be less threatening overall, even when deer lay eyes on an approaching bike hunter. And the smooth, steady roll of a bike is certainly less threatening than the sound of a 2-legged predator walking through the woods. The things you can get away with when it comes to hunting from an eBike is impressive.
Ready to make a move this season? Try the options mentioned above for a fresh approach in the deer woods. Commit to making a move this deer season, and you’ll likely find that staying mobile can result in your biggest buck of the season.