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How early


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Been hunting for over 35 years and this is something I have always wondered…. When hunting in the morning, how early should you be on stand before first light? I have heard many different thoughts and theories. Love to hear all of your thoughts/theories.
In stand & ready to hunt…. If i had limitless energy - hour before I could shoot. Reality is usually 30 minutes. I don’t like cutting it any closer than that is what I do & feel it’s plenty safe.
I'm not advocating this, but the last 2 years I've had days were I got to the stand late, ~5-10 minutes before legal shooting and had shooters come by right at legal light. If you have good entry, you can sneak in pretty effectively.

I target 30 minutes though.

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I don't bow hunt, but like to be in the blind close to an forty five minutes to an hour before shooting time. I can usually have the windows halfway defrosted by that time.
You know I’m normally 30 to 45 min. I’ve tried to shorten it but that eastern sky cracking day effs me up. Lol. How long have I been doin this.
Great topic. One I've gone back and forth with over the years..

I've gone from getting in very early (being in and setup an hour before sunrise) to gray light walking in. Losing my trail, taking a few sticks to the eye and spooking deer with flashlights moved me to gray light. Much quieter and easier walking in.

Buck movement near bedding at gray light had me reconsidering and I'm back to walking in at dark. My favorite scenario is a full moon, no flashlight needed!

Mixed thoughts on how deer react to humans in daylight vs dark. Many others I know have walked right up to deer in the dark and never spooked.

Either their night eyesight isn't all that better than ours OR the perception of humans in dark vs daylight is a LOT different.
I've tried everything from sleeping there, going in at midnight, going in at 3 am, and walking in in broad daylight. For most spots, most of the time, I like to be at my stand around 15 minutes before legal.
Ok- I gotta hear this…. What were the sleeping arrangements??? In a blind or on the ground? What u think???
I’ve never done this. Known a few dudes that have. Curious your thoughts & experiences doing it.
Ok- I gotta hear this…. What were the sleeping arrangements??? In a blind or on the ground? What u think???
I’ve never done this. Known a few dudes that have. Curious your thoughts & experiences doing it.
I talked about sleeping in a blind in my harvest post this year. I believe it was integral in keeping the buck I was after using that area. There was no way I could have left undetected as many times as I hunted it if I'd have tried to leave each night. I've used that method in past years and I'll do it again in the future. I use a cheap- 10 degree rated mummy sleeping bag from Walmart and a $40 cot off eBay. It works well if you enjoy enduring a little hardship which I oddly do. It's cold climbing out of that bag when its 25 degrees in the blind!
As far as going in at midnight or 3 am. The times I've done that I just climbed into my Heater body suit in the stand and slept as best I could. That makes for a long sit in a stand when you stay till dark the next day. I haven't done that in several years. Ultimately, I didn't think the juice was worth the squeeze. It was an obsession with a specific buck that pushed me to try that several times. I did get my shot at that buck, but it ended in heartbreak.
I can get by with this for 90% of my sets. Not all of them.
Same. I cup a flashlight with my hand to quick scan for trail tacks on stands I don’t know well. I have some flashlights that are colored from way back when I recalled hearing deer didn’t see some colors. I can’t even remember the details there. I spook so few deer on way into stand it’s almost irrelevant. As a young dumb kid I had no clue and blew the whole herd out of a county many am’s!!
If im going to a treestand... 45 min ish

A blind... 1 hour minimum Then Ill take a cat nap on floor until close to go time.

OK... some will laugh about this.... but i'm dead serious. If it's quiet and crunchy.... as you approach your spot. RUN. The Cadence of human footsteps is pretty easy to pick out. If you run, shuffle feet, etc you can sound not like human. I'm convinced this helps.
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