Nicole is proud to be an American patriot, hunter, archer, warrior, cancer survivor, lIfetime NRA member, and conceal carry permit holder. (photo copyright Nicole McClain)
I like dirt. I like the outdoors. Oftentimes I mix the two together by throwing myself on the ground and rolling around in dirt outside. Want more tips on how to get camouflaged for this deer season? Read on my friends.
Ladders going up the side of a tree in nature are about as natural as a wannabe blonde with dark roots. Once my ladder stands are set, I’m strategically but “naturally” attaching shoots of branches with leaves to the ladder. Cut down branches and hang them from sections of your ladder or railings. Whichever type of treestand you use to hunt, take advantage of the brush and branches around you naturally without impairing your shooting lanes.
Now back to the blonde – are these strategically-placed branches natural enough to fool a deer within 10 yards? Maybe not, but a little goes a long way and it will give extra advantage over those deer 70 yards out as your branches rustle in the wind.
8. And on the third day God created dirt
Dirt is free, washes off easily and there is no shortage. Pick up a rock and underneath the dirt will be moist enough to spread on your hands and face. Want to be a rebel? Mix a tiny bit of saliva and dirt to create your own natural paint. While I was ground hunting in Wisconsin at Tri-State Outfitting, I found apples on the ground in the mud and wiped the mud-covered skin across my face and hands. Perfect. No camo paint on my butt or in my teeth.
9. Men can wear skirts
Some treestands come with a hanging camo skirt for extra coverage. You say yours didn’t come with one? Buy a few yards of camo-patterned fabric from your local craft, fabric or superstore and attach it to your stand with yarn or matte-finished safety pins. Even better, attach to your stand in a way that allows you to easily slide the curtain or skirt out of your way for climbing safety and clear shooting purposes. When selecting the fabric type, think lightweight and “breezy” that will not clump or hang heavy when it rains or snows.
10. Enter and exit undetected
In my opinion, the route you walk to your treestand could and should change frequently – not haphazardly or by the flip of a coin, but rather a best-guess based on weather, time of season, time of day, location of treestands and deer traffic patterns on your property. I have an entire blog post about the strategy to successfully entering and exiting your favorite hunting spot. Get familiar with it and get smarter with these enter-exit treestand tips.
11. Red light district had it right
I’m fond of using a red light headlamp to get dressed in my gear, walk out to my stand, and double-check the integrity of my safety harness connection in the tree. It helps me stay undercover better than white light, works well with bright eyes and reflective tape markers, and shortens the transition time for my eyes to switch from light to dark when I turn it off. I recommend buying a waterproof LED headlamp that has an easy on-off switch with both white and red light options.
12. Get down and dirty and be your own leaf blower
First thing I do before climbing into the seat of my treestand is pick off the leaves on the platform. Those crunchy sons-o-guns are noisy as hell and give a deer just the spook it needs to hightail out of your sights when you stand up to shoot.
Same goes for ground hunting, so when it comes time to shoot or switch positions, you can do so confidently without making a ton of ruckus and mayhem by breaking branches and thorns in your side. While I was ground hunting in Wisconsin at Tri-State Outfitting, I found an uprooted tree to bunker down against. I cleared out an entire 5 foot square area around and underneath me down to earth level removing leaves, twigs, apples, thorns, etc. I carved viewing holes in between the roots so I could see through to the waterhole without being discovered. I created a “bridge” with my jacket as a “hood” atop the roots so I could have a larger viewing area at a higher level. Served me well as I played peek-a-boo for 10 minutes with a spike drinking from the waterhole only eight yards from my setup.