Top 5 Whitetail Rut Stand Locations

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*Folks, if deer are checking you out in your stand locations more than you are checking them out, then it isn’t due to the lack of cover in the tree, but instead hunting pressure. Over pressuring stand locations can turn a hot spot into a cold one, literally overnight. To see how I recommend you control the pressure in a great location, try using this proven Stand Management System.

Top 5 Rut Treestand Hotspots

While even the best potential stand locations are only as good as the level of your hunting pressure management practices, there are several spots that I find are consistent producers during every whitetail rut, no matter where I have hunted. Each stand setup has a given time of day and even time of the whitetail rut, to make sure that you capture the optimum amount of potential for each sit. Here are my top 5 whitetail rut treestand hotspots:

1. Backside of Bedding Stand Locations

Using a backdoor entrance that goes well around food sources and travel corridors, it is hard to beat a downwind stand location during the rut, on the backside of a bedding area!

Timing: All rut, morning to mid-day only.

2. Bedding Staging Area Stands

A Bedding Staging Area is the location that mature bucks tend to hang up and rub, scrape and socialize in, before entering or after exiting, their bedding areas. I have experienced that these areas are within 100-150 yards of a mature bucks daytime hideout, and still 200-400 yards from his favorite afternoon food source. Over 1/2 of of my top 25 bucks have been shot in a bedding staging area.

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Timing: All rut, morning, mid-day and evening.

3. Between Bedding Areas Stand Setups

It doesn’t matter if it is a big buck bedding area, two doe bedding areas or one of each, setting up a rut cruising treestand on a well-defined funnel between bedding areas, is very hard to beat! If the funnel is tight enough (or if you can confine the funnel through habitat cuttings), then often you can setup two stand locations for opposite wind combos.

Timing: All rut, morning only unless the movement is on the way to afternoon food sources.

4. Parallel Edge V Cruising Treestands

In hill country, finding a rut stand located on a bench that parallels a field edge, with a steep draw/ditch below the bench and two points that extend away from the field to form a V with the bench – can be an incredible set up! Also, in flat-land regions, creating the same V and parallel corridor setup can easily be accomplished with a chainsaw and a little elbow grease.

Timing: All rut, morning, mid-day and evening. However, be cautious of entering during the pre-dawn hours! This is often the perfect scenerio to make sure the field has cleared of deer after daybreak, and then heading straight to the stand to hunt mature bucks that may be paralleling the field edges while checking out perpendicular doe trails.

5. Afternoon Bottleneck Rut Ambushes

Hunting a single trail to a food source from a bedding area isn’t a bad idea. However, when the lay of the land, habitat improvements, natural habitat or topography forms to converge multiple trails to one, as deer head to a distant food source, make sure to hang a rut stand! I encourage you to only use these archery stand locations if they meet at least 50-75 yards from the food source, to make sure not to spook out the food source.

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Timing: Evening only. This is a great rut stand to avoid the temptation of a morning entrance, when deer are typically in this very spot, as they nightime bed under the cover of darkness.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>