Best Method to Approach Stand

By GrowingDeer,

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Hi Dr. Grant,

First off, you are a wonderful person.  I consider you a friend I’ve never meet.  You are so helpful.

My question is about getting to your tree stand.  Some people say riding a four wheeler near a stand doesn’t bother the deer.  My thoughts and previous actions were to always walk as much as possible.  Both actions have had their good luck and bad luck.  We got a “hunting” golf cart this year and are considering using it to get a little closer to some of our far stands.  What are your thoughts and what approach do you use?

Thanks always,



I consider the ability to approach a stand as important as the location of a stand.  How I approach each stand totally depends on the lay of the land.  My objective is to approach the stand without alerting any deer.  I always attempt to approach with the wind in my favor.  This often means not taking the most direct route to the stand.  I sometimes have someone drop me off near a stand if this helps me avoid spooking deer.  I’m more worried about my scent alerting deer than the noise of an approaching vehicle.

I suspect your statement of “good luck and bad luck” is related to the unique conditions of each setup.  If the wind is in the favor of the hunter, it’s amazing how much activity (both scent and sound) can occur without spooking deer.  If the wind is not in the hunter’s favor, it’s very difficult to harvest a mature deer.

I realize I didn’t provide any specific answers.  Each setup tends to be so unique that specific rules fail.  However, the principle of limiting disturbance and minimizing the opportunity for deer to detect your scent (both while approaching the stand and while at the stand) works everywhere!

Growing Deer together,