By: Rhett E. Butler, JR
1. GET A SKUNK APE TREE STAND: This is the best way to start a successful bowhunting season.
The Skunk Ape Tree Stand makes hunting great again. The deer don’t even know you’re there
when twenty feet up in the tree, in a padded, comfortable chair. There is a gun/bow hanger can
be installed to accommodate a right or left handed hunter. There are also gun rails that are
removable for bowhunters. These rails attach to the tree trunk that are used for an overhead
bow hanger for either left or right handed hunters. There is a locking pin that secures the seat
to the frame and a seat belt for the chair to keep you safe and secure as you navigate your
shots. This allows the hunter to remain seated to make his shot.
2. SCENT CONTROL: There are many forms of scent control such as suits, like Scent-Lok, that can
be worn to cover human scent. There is washing powder for clothing that will neutralize scent.
There are field sprays, which improve each year, that you spray all over your clothes that
prevent human scent. There are now ozone generators to use up in the stand that put out
ozone which destroys scent. The entire purpose of scent control is to eliminate human odor. All
of these systems are good, however, the main ingredient to scent control is the vigilance of the
hunter. A hunter should never rely on only one particular thing to eliminate human odor. It’s
the hunter’s responsibility to be as clean as possible when going to the field.
3. EQUIPMENT: A bow that you’re comfortable with and has a good lead off. PRACTICE, PRACTICE,
PRACTICE! The great thing about the Skunk Ape Tree Stand is you can make any bow shot
sitting down, safely. But can you shoot sitting down? When you get the shot of a life time, be
able to execute. This comes with practice. You should be able to pull your bow back without
hesitation and make that shot without question.
4. LOCATION: Hunt where the deer are. The larger the population of deer, the more
opportunities you will have. Scout the spot for your stand. Look for an area that provides
water, bedding and/or food for the deer. A hunter needs to educate themselves about the
hunting area. Knowing how the deer travel, where the deer are traveling and why deer are
traveling your area is the key to understanding how your engagement with them will occur.
Educating yourself about the area will help in finding the best place to install your tree stand
and give you the most opportunities for the season.
5. DON’T SHOOT EVERYTING YOU SEE: The more you are able to watch deer the more you are
able to learn about them. After I started observing deer and their patterns of behavior, I began
my journey that lead to killing big bucks. I learned deer behavior first hand simply by watching
them. Ordinarily, to kill a big buck you need a hot doe. When you observe the small bucks
around the does you learn when they come in heat and you will know when to be in your stand
to get that big buck. Every herd is a little different but observing yours will put you in the know
to kill that big buck.