Summer is a time I usually start getting pretty antsy for hunting season to come back into full swing. I’m always looking for projects to do outside that will help improve my fall if I can’t be out there hunting.
Guess it’s the next best thing and something I enjoy doing as well. Most stands need to be tweaked or moved slightly each year and with this comes shooting lanes. Summer is a great time to check everything over, including treestands, straps, and shooting lanes along with access to and from. This will prevent you from having to do this work in the fall when you really should be out scouting, checking cameras or hunting.
For me, one of the biggest jobs is cutting shooting lanes. Summer is a good time to do this because trees are at their fullest during this time and by cutting nice lanes now, it will be great later in the fall. Also, I believe deer get used to the cut lanes and by fall think nothing of them. Shooting lanes are easiest done if you have two people. I like to send one person up in the treestand to basically be the director and tell me where the lanes need to be cut. Sometimes whe on the ground its easy to overcut certain areas and miss branches that could cause you trouble later.
Now when it comes to the saw there are a huge variety to choose from. I like to get a good sturdy pole saw that has a long reach, but also one that folds down small enough to fit on my UTV. Just this year I was able to try out an electric pole saw which I believe is the best solution of all. The batteries last for over an hour a piece and when the weather is hot, a little less manual labor isn’t a bad thing! This saw works incredible and makes one much quicker and more efficient. If I’m preparing stands or putting up my Cuddeback’s, I like to get in and out of my hunting areas as quick as possible. My new electric pole saw extends all the way out to 10’ and collapses down to 48”. When you have an electric saw you’ll be amazed and how much better of a job you will do – it really goes through the limbs like butter. It’s basically like having a nice lightweight mini chain saw that extends 10-feet!
If you plan to sit on stand this fall with a bow or a rifle armed with Deer Season XP, you want to make sure you have clear shooting lanes. Also, don’t forget to clear an extra lane before your shooting lane as a “preview” lane. This helps you see something coming and gives you a second to get setup and ready. I also like to put a little scent down in my lane so the deer have something that grabs their attention without alarming them. This may be all you need to get that nice standing shot on a deer you’ve been waiting for.