Where to hang a treestand? It’s a question that deer hunters have been asking themselves for ages – the good news is, the answer is simple…if you’ve got cedar trees.
Cedars can be found in many places across the midwest and believe me when I say this – they’re a whitetail deer hunter’s dream. Give me one good cedar tree – and by good I mean anything from 18-30ft tall and I’ll show you a way to get a stand in it. So let’s cut right to the benefits of hanging a tree stand in one of these gnarly, aromatic whitetail magnets.
Cedars dot the landscape of unkept CRP fields and line ditches, property borders and fencerows – all natural, high traffic travel routes that are perfect ambush spots for cruising bucks during the whitetail rut. During early season deer patterns, these same corridors act as highways to and from deer bedding areas and primary food sources. Get yourself a good aerial view of where you plan to hunt and you should be able to spot them without even having to walk the property – just make sure what you’re looking at is recent.
2. Sight Concealment:
Older cedars tend to be perfectly built for a deer hunter. They’re choked with branches that house thick, brushy limbs – and that means tree stand camouflage. It’s incredibly easy to not “skyline” yourself when hanging in a cedar tree. It’s easy to trim out a few perfect shooting lanes and still maintain near total treestand camouflage, just don’t forget to take a good tree saw.
3. Scent Concealment:
They’re some of the most aromatic trees out there – meaning when you cut a few shooting lanes or remove a few branches to make room for your treestand, you release that cedar scent into the air – that gives you a natural cover scent. I also believe, based on experience, that cedar branches act like a spider web, they grab and hold human odor, or at the very least disrupt its path. Couple those together and cedar trees do more than any other tree out there to help you win the war against a whitetails nose.
4. Sound Concealment:
Because of their natural branch structure I find some sets where I don’t even have to hang climbing sticks during my initial stand hang – which makes cedars amazing trees for moving a stand set mid-day. Most mature cedars are lined with solid 3 to 4 inch in diameter branches all the way up to around 16 feet or so, depending on the overall size of the tree. If the tree is still green, these branches can act as natural climbing sticks – so you can get in the tree quick and quiet, especially in a hurry. Always be sure to practice good tree stand safety by installing a lifeline – to stay attached to the tree from the ground up and back down again – and always wear a treestand safety harness.
Based on the Location, Sight, Scent and Sound Concealment alone, if you’ve never paid attention to cedar trees for prime treestand placement, you should start now. There is a host of other benefits – like cedars often being go-to whitetail sign posts – that I’ll cover in other articles – but for now, start using your aerial maps to dial in your next good cedar stand set – I promise you if you hang a Millennium M60U, it’ll be the most comfortable treestand you will ever sit in!