Approaching Your Stand
After a long night of socializing, a mature buck will approach his preferred daytime bedding location from the downwind direction to check for the presence of predators and other bucks before bedding for the day. In an area where hunting pressure is moderate to severe, this will usually occur more than an hour before first light.
In calm wind conditions, a buck will use thermals and approach from a downhill direction whenever possible. The hour before first light is usually the quietest hour of the day in the outdoors, with most nocturnal animals back in bed and the winds calmer or non-existent. This the absolute worst time for a noisy, stumbling hunter to approach a stand location. A bedded buck is always listening, and at this time of day, listening conditions are optimal. Metallic noises in particular must be avoided.
During that time of year when morning hunts are most productive, by waiting for a buck to become settled in his bed and for other animals to be awake and making noise, we can enter stand locations without detection and have a buck bedded within yards of our hunting location.
Clearing all obstacles and removing sticks and leaves which could make noise on the path to a stand location can make the difference between having a buck nearby, or on the neighbor's property. A successful hunt requires approaching a stand from downwind without being seen, smelled, or heard. Departing the stand location undetected is also vital to future success.
More hunting tips can be found on the Ground Games Vol. 1 DVD.