What Handguns to Use for Hunting Whitetail

by Wade Middleton

Learn What Models Wade Uses for Handgun Hunting 

It is a well-known fact I have become addicted to handgun hunting. As a hunter, I’ve always embraced hunting through a variety of means and methods, allowing me to start and end my season earlier in many cases. I consider myself a whitetail hunting fanatic, and as such, I’ve never turned down a chance to hunt with something different. Which lead me into the world of handgun hunting so I could have more reasons to hunt whitetails.

This new addiction has forced me to learn a lot more about how handguns work, how the ballistics of different calibers perform, what ammo works best in hunting, as well as sending me to the range more than ever to learn better trigger control. When you look at handguns, I favor the ones made by Smith & Wesson. You can tell immediately they’re designed for ultimate performance in the field. Many of the models I hunt with have muzzle breaks at the end of the barrel to help reduce recoil. Furthermore, many of these handguns are built to be better balanced in the field, allowing for the opportunity to hunt at longer distances with higher performance. In addition, many of them have triggers that are far more crisp than say some models you might find, which really helps when it comes to trigger control when a whitetail is standing in front of you. Finally, they are built to add various accessories such as scopes, fiber optic sights, and various red/green dot sights. 

Smith & Wesson Performance Center® Model 629 Stealth Hunter

Smith & Wesson Performance Center® Model 629 Stealth Hunter in .44 magnum equipped with a Trijicon SRO sight

This past season I spent a lot of time shooting my Smith & Wesson Performance Center® Model 629 Stealth Hunter in .44 magnum. This is one of my favorite hunting handguns and I’ve been using it for nearly a decade. I recently mounted a Trijicon SRO sight on top of it to field test that sight after shooting the Trijicon RMR sight in the past off this handgun. My early thoughts are this is the best sight in its class.  

The Trijicon SRO is very easy to acquire a whitetail in the sights and place the dot onto the vitals. I am very impressed with the sight picture and how easy it was to sight it in. Overall, I feel this is the best option for this style of sight when it comes to hunting. 

Looking back at my first handgun whitetail buck taken with this model of handgun, I vividly recall practicing all summer at various distances but none of that practice prepared me for that hunt. With little experience personally when it came to handgun hunting, I was, to say the least, nervous throughout the entire encounter. I still remember it vividly, the way that deer was darting in and out of the trees while running and fighting with another deer as they tried to prove dominance to a doe that was nearby. My hands were sweating nonstop as I prayed from inside the pop-up blind for the buck to stop in a narrow shooting lane. He finally did, and ended up turned quartering slightly towards me and I pulled my shot a little bit. I was so worked up that I honestly wasn’t even sure I’d hit the deer. It ended up being that I did in fact, hit the deer mid body up and down but slightly back, so I knew it was a mortal hit. We found the buck about two hours after the shot. My takeaway was that I needed to practice, practice, practice, and really work on my trigger pull with a handgun to help me overcome the excitement of a deer finally giving me a shot.  

Hunting posing with deer and handgun

Wade and his first handgun buck.

I also learned to study more on the various handgun loads. When it comes to most of my hunting and shooting with that handgun, I’ve settled on 200-grain XTP .44 mag ammo from Hornady. I can say undoubtably, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center® Model 629 Stealth Hunter in .44 Magnum set up will always be in my top three favorite hunting handguns and I would argue around about any campfire why I prefer it. 

Smith & Wesson Performance Center® Model 460 XVR 

Smith & Wesson 460XVR Handgun

Smith & Wesson’s Model 460XVR™ has the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth.

Next up, we discuss another of my favorite handguns, the Smith & Wesson Model 460 XVR. This handgun is known to have the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth. According to Smith & Wesson, the Model 460 XVR (X-treme Velocity Revolver) is the world’s highest velocity production revolver, as well as the most powerful.45 caliber production revolver. The .460 XVR can launch a 200-grain (13-gram) bullet at 2,330 feet per second (710 meters per second), generating 2,416 foot-pounds force of muzzle energy. 

Aside from the .460 S&W Magnum cartridge, the revolver can chamber .454 Casull and .45 Colt ammunition. Personally, we’ll use .45 long colt out on the range a lot of times for practicing specific hunting scenarios or if we want to work on our trigger pull. The key reasons being that load is cheaper and does not punish your hands quite as bad as the .460 ammo. 

Smith & Wesson offers this handgun in a variety of barrel lengths, and you can order them with HIVIZ fiber optic sights already equipped (which we recommend and have used in the field). I believe when hunting with open sights, HIVIZ fiber optics sights allow you to acquire the target faster due to its light gathering capabilities. This helps tremendously during those early morning or late evening times thanks to its light-gathering capabilities. I believe this forces me to focus on the sight picture by it catching my eye quickly as I bring the handgun into play on the vitals of a deer or other animal I’m hunting.  

I spent one summer really working with the .460XVR fitted with HIVIZ sights in an effort to take a buck with open sights with the.460 XVR. That experience and the buck I ended up taking, turned out to be one of my biggest handgun bucks ever. I can still see that buck and the other buck he was traveling with working through a broomweed field and coming into range. After calming myself, the .460 round found the lungs and I found the buck less than 60 yards from where I took the shot. The summer of practice really paid off on that one. 

Hunter holding whitetail with hunting handgun

Wade’s practicing paid off BIG TIME!

Regardless, of what model you hunt with, regardless of what caliber you settle on, I simply say practice a lot for the hunting scenarios you likely will encounter. I also recommend that you spend time shooting off a good brace to build confidence in both your trigger pull but also the sight picture for whatever you are going to use be it a scope, red dot, or open sights. The more you shoot, the more confident you’ll be when it comes time to take a shot on whatever you’re hunting. 

Hunter aiming crossbow

Crossbow Safety Tips

How to keep yourself and others safe while on the range or out hunting.

by Wade Middleton

Crossbows have evolved both in features and speed in the past decade. During that time, I had a chance to spend time testing and hunting with the fantastic lineup of TenPoint & Wicked Ridge Crossbows. The lineup of crossbows for both brands ranges from entry-level price point models to top-of-the-line crossbows that can be outfitted with a variety of magnification accessories, such as the Garmin Xero X1i crossbow sight.

When choosing from those two legendary brands, you will be sure to find a crossbow that fits your needs based on the model, price point, energy, and speed you want to put into the target. Once you choose a crossbow, get it home and open the box, you will notice it comes with a complete set of well-thought-out instructions that make it easy to set up and sight-in your crossbow. I suggest you read the directions first, then go back and begin to build your crossbow, set it up, and shoot it.

 

BE SAFE. DON’T ASSUME.

Man reading directions for crossbow

Always read the instructions, SAFETY FIRST!

This is why I said above to read the directions before starting to build your crossbow. Safety is something that we cannot reiterate enough on really anything. Always pay attention to the different safety components, do not assume! I’ve built a lot of different crossbows, and while all are similar, they all have different parts that you need to learn about and understand.

Safety on anything you shoot is important and is no different when using a crossbow, giving your crossbow a good once over before using it is key. I always check out and pay attention to the limbs, cables, and strings. Look for any damage that may have happened in shipping or while you are on a hunt. Let’s say the crossbow gets knocked around while traveling or is dropped inadvertently during a hunt, something could end up going wrong if not checked. Crossbows are a mechanical device so always assume and look at everything. It’s what I do with any firearm, compound bow, and even my fishing gear.

 

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR HANDS.

Man aiming crossbow

Make sure BOTH HANDS are below the flight deck when holding and aiming the crossbow.

Next thing I always tell someone when they shoot a crossbow for the first time is be mindful of where our hands are. It is important to pay attention to your hand positioning on the crossbow. Make sure everything is below the flight deck when holding and aiming the crossbow; do not get your fingers above the flight deck or anywhere there is a moving part.

 

CROSSBOW SAFETY & SURROUNDINGS

Close up of safety mechanism on a Wicked Ridge crossbow

The safety on these crossbows is remarkably similar to that on any firearm.

Another thing to keep in mind is the safety on your crossbow. The safety on these crossbows is remarkably similar to that on any firearm. When you go from safety to the fire, remember the safety is still a mechanical device. It can fail. Follow the same four safety rules you would if you were handling a firearm.

 

  • Always keep your firearm (in this case, a crossbow) in a safe direction. Never point your crossbow at anything you do intend to shoot.
  • Treat all crossbows as if they are loaded.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger (and under the flight deck) until you are ready to shoot.
  • Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

 

Pay attention to your surroundings if you are at the range or out hunting because if you miss your target, the arrow can skip off the ground and travel a long distance, inflicting significant damage on someone you may not see, the wrong deer, or even livestock. Just like a firearm, make sure you know what is around and behind your target before shooting.

 

HAVE FUN AND ENJOY!

Crossbow hunting is just another means and method to enjoy the outdoors and hunt big game!

We are excited that you have purchased or are interested in getting into the sport of crossbows! You can easily find tons of question-and-answer videos on TenPoint’s Youtube Channel, our YouTube Channel. TenPoint’s website is a great resource as well to learn a lot more about crossbows, how they are set up, and perform out in the field.

 

***See the rules and regulations for your state here AND check with your local Wildlife Enforcement Agency***

TenPoint Crossbows Logo

Tips to Further Conceal Yourself in a Box Blind

By Wade Middleton

 

Shooting Made Easy Window Gun Rest

There are a few things that I like to do when I’m in a box blind. I like to have a small shooting rest with me. Sometimes, I’ll even go bigger, but I just carry it in my backpack and put it in the different windows that I think I’m going to shoot out of.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be shooting out one of these other windows, but this is my primary window.  So, I keep it set up right here. It’s quiet to set the gun on. It gives me a good rest for those long distance shots.

When I do get in a box blind, one of the other things I do is, I kind of set it up, where my gun is leaning up against something.  I might have my range finder out, where I can quickly pop off some distances before that and my backpack and my water and any other supplies,  will be readily available as well.  When you get into these box blinds, it’s a whole different type of hunting that I really, really enjoy.

I also like to use either camo tarps or some of the different products that come with the blinds to blackout certain windows, so you’re not skylighted all the time. I think that’s really important, especially if you’re hunting on a food plot and you know that the action, is gonna be in these front five windows. We’ll then blackout two or three in the back. That allows us to be able to move and bob and weave in there a little bit. And from our standpoint, the camera guy is always moving, ’cause if he’s not moving, he doesn’t get the shot. I don’t even see what happens. So, you want those capabilities and abilities in there. And then, the ability to open and close windows silently and securely is really a key deal at the end of the day.  It’s something that a lot of people don’t think of that I think is really important. You wanna be able to lock those windows up and doors up airtight when you’re gone, so undesirable creatures are not in your blind when you get back there!

 

Accessories for Your Tree Stand

When up in the ladder stand, you’re definitely limited on where you can store your gear. With a box blind or pop-up, you have room to spread out, but not in a ladder stand. If you’re lucky, the trees around you have strong enough limbs, that you can hang your bow, binoculars, or whatever else. To combat that, our friends at Hawk Hunting and Hunting Made Easy have a few products that can solve this very problem.

 

Hawk Extendable Tree Arm

Hawk Hunting Xtendible Tree Arm – #1 SELLING PRO-GRADE TREE ARM

Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the lightweight Xtendable Tree Arm extends from a trim 8.5 inches to 16.5 inches in length. Hawk’s famous Auger Tip threads make installation quick and painless.  The patent-pending anti-spin tree cantilever bites into bark and illuminates unwanted spinning or movement of the arm. Once installed, the arm pivots 180-degrees for precision weapon and gear placement. The oversized silent grip hook silently and securely hangs gear. The extendible tree arm also includes claw hanging hooks, allowing for versatile attachment and quick gear organization.

Tactical Solo Tree Hook

Hawk Hunting Tactical Solo Tree Hook – THE ORIGINAL PREMIUM TREE HOOK

Hawk also has a wide variety of hooks, like the Tactical Solo Tree Hook, and this is no typical tree hook. The Tactical Tree Hook features ultra-sharp AugerTip threads that start fast and allow for easy screwing into the densest of hardwoods.  No more pain in the hand. The 2.75-inch hook weighs just 2.1 ounces and can hold up to 60 pounds. Each hook is molded with a durable quiet finish and includes a thread-protecting cap, with an attached carabiner that makes transporting the hook a snap.

 

Hunting Made Easy Hunter’s Combo Pack

Hunting Made Easy – HUNTER’S COMBO PACK – 7″ SAW

Another handy tool that you can easily carry in your backpack when going into a ladder stand, is the Hunter’s Combo Pack from Hunting Made Easy. It contains a five or seven-inch folding saw and a pair of heavy-duty bypass shears. These products work in tandem to cut off any pesky tree limbs that might be in your way.

There’s always one branch. And no it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. I’ve always packed something like this. It’s just, it’s mandatory.  And I also use the clippers a lot in turkey season, deer season. The fact that I like is that it gives me a lot better lane, without losing a lot of cover. It just lives in my backpack all the time. – Wade Middleton

Tips on Attracting Deer

by Wade Middleton

Whitetail hunters are always looking for ways to attract deer into their area. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways you can entice deer and we’ll start off with scent control and attractants.

Cover Scents

When we start talkin’ about scent control, and attractants, basically, those are two topics that really get people interested and they gravitate towards ’em. What’s real, what not? And how do they work? And why do they work? In my opinion, both of those play a huge role in certain situations in your hunting scenarios. Me, personally, you know, clothing is gonna be the first thing. Trying to use a good quality hunting garment that can keep some of that scent in would be a way to do it but using different types of devices, using different types of products out there are gonna be key.

For me, the Scent Stick, that’s what I like to deploy. A lot of different cover scents. The EverCalm is one of my favorites from ConQuest Scents. You can get it in liquid form, you can get it in a wax form, you can put it inside the Scent Stick, can be able to deploy is next to you all the way around. And so it’s basically, whatever direction the wind’s gonna go, it’s gonna put that out there for you. Another great aspect of the ConQuest Scents EverCalm product is it comes in a solid as well that you can put on your clothes, you can put it on your boots, especially put it around the edges of your boots when you’re walking in to help eliminate leaving a scent trail. So if you don’t have a creek like we’ve got right here to sneak down, that’s a great way to concentrate on your cover scent aspects.

Deer Attractants

I like to also use attractants a lot of times. I don’t necessarily use attractants as much durin’ the early season. My main focus durin’ the early season is trying to cover a lot of scents. I don’t think that the doe in heat type products and any of the buck testosterone type things are gonna work in those September, October places where I’m typically hunting. The bucks are still together, they’re still gettin’ along, the rut hadn’t even begun to begin yet so it’s cover scents. Now, when I know they start gettin’ into that pre-rut and rut situation, that’s when I want to apply the attractants and how you apply the attractants, well, once again, some of the same methods I talked about, a scent stick, usin’ some of the different solids that you can rub on ya or a ScentFIRE product. The ScentFIRE device by ConQuest Scents has recently been released to allow hunters a variety of options to be able to, basically, remotely deploy scent-type devices out into the environment that they’re hunting in.

From an attractant standpoint, VS-1, what a great way to be able to deploy that type of a scent into the environment when the deer are rutting. You constantly can put doe in heat out there basically so any time a buck comes by or is in the area, you’ve got fresh scent goin’ out so it’s a very easy was to be able to deploy scent in a lotta different situations. We’ve been putting it into use for about a year now and the results speak for themselves as far as deer saying comfortably and calm in that area. So, scent control to me comes in a lotta different situations as well as the attractants.

 

Creating Mock Scrapes

The ScrapeMaker can make authentic licking limbs, realistic mock rubs, and a scrape that looks like a massive buck made it. By using the Scrape Maker, you will be able to locate and harvest the dominant buck in your area.

 

Start Hunting with a Handgun Today!

We’ve received many questions over the past year about handgun hunting. How do I get started? Which handgun is right for me? What hunting situations am I going to find myself in? So we thought we would dedicate this blog entry to sharing our knowledge of handgun hunting and helping you get started in this exciting style of hunting. We routinely get a lot of questions when we’re and about, about taking up new means and methods to go hunt with hunting in different locations, different species, and one of the most popular questions we tend to get recently is handgun hunting.  People come out and say,  “Man I saw you hunting with that .460,” or, “You were rattling this big deer and the guy shot it with a handgun.” And they’re like, “I wanna learn how to do that, I’m interested in that.”

The first thing I always tell them is, “Don’t be afraid to take up handgun hunting. Yes, it’s totally different than hunting with a rifle or muzzleloader or any other  means and method that you’ve never hunted with before, but it’s so much fun, it opens up an entirely new way for you to go hunting.” – Wade Middleton

A key piece of advice is to make sure and spend some time studying the locations that you’re going to be hunting and understanding what calibers are probably going to be the best for that situation. You might not necessarily need to go grab the .460 or the .500’s to be able to go out for some big game, you might only be hunting whitetail in tight quarters and there may be another caliber, another frame that’ll be perfect for you.

Taking up handgun hunting and shooting big handguns like this for the very first time could be a little intimidating. When you see this and grab it, you’re like,” Oh my god! That thing is huge,  its gonna kick!” In our opinion, these big hunting handguns from the Performance Center, they’re designed to be able to work for you, designed to be able to perform in such a great manner.  From your cylinders to the barrels, to the weight of it, to the grips. Everything is designed to be able to have lower and less recoil in comparison to what you think you would be dealing with when you shoot these big handguns. That’s not saying by any means there is not some kick to it and you don’t have to control of this handgun, but the reality is these are about as fun a firearm as we’ve ever taken up shooting.  We really from the first that we saw them,  yes we were intimidated, but then from the moment we began shooting them, it became an addiction the learn all the different calibers that are really designed for hunting.

 

You know, handgun hunting is becoming more and more popular, and we’ve got a lot of different products from the Performance Center that could help you out on what you’re looking for and what you’re gonna hunt with. – Tony Miele: Performance Center General Manager

 

How To Change Out Your HiViz Sights in No Time

 

HIVIZ Sights is the industry leader in fiber optic sights and they come in a variety of colors. In this video Trevor Young from HIVIZ sights shows how easy it is to switch out different color fiber optics to match your hunting situation. For the handgun hunter, HIVIZ has calibers and models that are really tailored to the handgun hunter.

The sights used in the video above are the LIVEWAVE H3™ Handgun sights fromHIVIZ, that we mounted to a Performance Center 460XVR. LiteWave H3™ sight combines Tritium with the HIVIZ Litepipe technology for 24 illumination. Now you can have the advantage of day and night performance all in one sight system. All steel construction sight sets are rugged and durable, designed for the roughest use, whether it is personal defense and protection, Law Enforcement or Military. The new LiteWave H3™ ensures fast sight acquisition and a bright sight picture day or night.

Learn more shooting tips fromHIVIZ click the link here.

 

Another article related to this…

Frequently Asked Questions about Permethrin – Part 1

We use Permethrin based insect repellents from Sawyer Products every time we go out hunting to prevent those disease-carrying insects like mosquitos and ticks from biting us. Let’s face it, we’ve all been sitting in our blinds witnessing the magical moment where our target animal has come into view only to be interrupted by the buzz and annoyance of a mosquito. Or having to leap from your chair and start swatting because someone said they found a tick.

We get a lot of questions about Permethrin Insect Repellents from our fans as they learn more about it. We thought we’d help answer those frequently asked questions with help from our friends at Sawyer. Let’s begin.

Q: What is Permethrin?

A: Permethrin is a synthetic version of the Chrysanthemum flower’s natural insect repellent pyrethrin.  The naturally occurring version breaks down rather quickly in sunlight but Sawyer’s pharmaceutical grade, synthetic Permethrin can last 6 weeks or 6 washings on clothing and other fabrics, making it a fantastic odorless barrier of protection from mosquitoes and ticks.

Q: What is the shelf life of your insect repellent?

A: Our repellents don’t have an expiration date printed on them because they have a shelf life of 10 years when stored properly.

Q: Will Permethrin ruin my clothes or equipment?

A: No. Permethrin will not damage clothes or equipment. Unlike DEET, which may harm some fabrics and materials, Permethrin is compatible for use even on fragile fabrics such as silk, plus all synthetics and waterproof membrane fabrics. Permethrin will not affect plastics or finishes. IF IN DOUBT, try a sample on an obscure surface area, especially on delicates and check it after 24 hours of exposure.

Sawyer® Permethrin Insect Repellent is odorless, non-greasy and non-staining after it dries. Permethrin can be harmful to aquatic creatures such as fish, so do not spray Permethrin around fish aquariums.

Q: How do I use Permethrin Safely?

A: Permethrin is to be applied to clothing and material. It works by bonding to the fibers. When a tick or other insect comes into contact with the Permethrin, it absorbs a dose that will either repel or kill the insect. You apply Permethrin using an aerosol or trigger spray until the fabric is damp and then allow it to dry. Permethrin is easy to use and the resulting layer of protection is very important to your safety from insect-borne diseases.

Q: How long does Permethrin last?

A: At the concentration level delivered in the aerosol, non-aerosol pump sprays and soak systems (all at 0.5% Permethrin), an application lasts for six weeks and through six washings. Permethrin breaks down through exposure to air (oxygen) and sunlight (ultraviolet light). If you store the clothes in black plastic bags between uses, you can extend the time of effectiveness; however, always retreat after the sixth laundering. Permethrin may also be used on sleeping bags, tents and nettings.

Q: Does Permethrin work against mosquitos?

Yes. Permethrin clothing treatments, when applied following Directions for Use, have been determined to have “spatial repellency” against mosquitoes. This means that mosquitoes will swarm around you, but not light on your treated clothing and bite.

Also use an EPA registered repellent, such as the Sawyer® microencapsulated Controlled Release 20% DEET, on all exposed skin for further protection from biting and blood-sucking mosquitoes.

The combination of Permethrin on clothing and DEET repellent on skin forms an “Insect Repellent System.” When used as directed on the EPA registered labels, the Insect Repellent System will provide the best protection from biting, bloodsucking and disease-carrying insects. A well-known study conducted by Tom Lillie, Carl Schreck and A. J. Rahe in Alaska in 1987, showed 99.9% effectiveness against mosquitoes biting at a rate of more than 1,100/hr. This protection is far greater than either a DEET based insect repellent or Permethrin can achieve alone.

Q: Is Permethrin dangerous to my skin?

A: The warning labels on the cans or bottles are often misunderstood. Your skin metabolizes or breaks down, Permethrin within fifteen minutes of contact with skin. Therefore, it is of no value to you as a personal protection insect repellent when applied to the skin. In addition, the EPA precautionary statement, “Do Not Apply to Skin” indicates that Permethrin is ineffective when applied to the skin; therefore, do not apply to skin.

Q: How harmful are Permethrin fumes while treating clothing?

A: It is recommended that treating clothing with the permethrin aerosol be performed outdoors. If the treatment is accidentally carried out indoors, no adverse health effects are expected based upon calculations of inhaled dose. However, individuals with breathing problems, such as asthma, may be at greater risk. The odor arising from treating the fabric with permethrin is mostly from the aerosol propellants rather than from the insect repellent itself.

Q: How harmful is the wet Permethrin right after applying it to clothing?

The directions for applying permethrin from the aerosol can to clothing state that the fabric should be allowed to dry before wear or handling. However, contact with the wet material should pose minimal concern but should be washed off. The amount of permethrin available for skin absorption is very low and is not expected to cause adverse effects.

 

We’ll be posting more questions about Permethrin in the near future.Be sure to visit your local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to pick up some Permethrin for your next trip into the outdoors. If you have a question about Sawyer’s Permethrin Insect Repellents feel free to reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube Page!

More links related to this article

When Should You Head To Your Deer Stand?

When should I get to my stand and how early is too early? Two questions every hunter should ask when preparing for any deer hunt. Some fellow hunters provide their take on when they like to head out to the stand.

How early is too early and how late is too late when going to and from stands? WOW, that’s a great question that really can’t be answered with a one part answer due to so many factors. To get the right answer you would have to look at the time of year, deer movement, weather conditions, etc. 

As a rule of thumb for me, I like to get to the stand at least 30 minutes before daylight for an early morning sit. One hour is even better. For an afternoon sit, I like to get there two hours before prime time movement for that time of the year, at a minimum.   However, as I said above there are so many factors in answering this question that I would never say there is an absolute answer to it.”

Wade Middleton, Host of Americana Outdoors®

Well, I’ll start by prefacing my answer that I am not a fan of all-day sits…that considered, in the AM, can’t get in too early (in most cases).  Always good to be settled/quiet for a period of time before the woods officially comes to life for the day.  As far as leaving in the AM, if there is action, stay put.  If nothing is moving, at all or for an extended period of time, and you don’t have pics to show a pattern of late-morning wanderers, get out.  Head back to camp and solidify the plan for the afternoon/evening.

 For the PM, same as the AM…too early is a good default.  No harm in saving the sore backside if you don’t have a comfortable set-up.  Sneaking in just before a forecasted “prime time” is too risky.  I’m lazy but not that lazy!  As far as getting out, dark is the default.  Even with no movement I would vote for staying as long as you can, with a couple of exceptions – you can more easily bail without mucking up the area for future hunts or if Angel is making venison salisbury steak that night.”

Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and Side-by-Side Marketing Manager & Avid Hunter

I’ve always wanted to get in my stands really early in the morning. I prefer about 30 minutes before it actually starts breaking. That may seem early, but bumping one by being a little late is just not worth it to me. Then when the hunt is over, I gauge when to leave by what is around as it is getting dark. I don’t want other deer to see me getting out of the blind during daylight. Usually when it gets black dark, I’ll sneak out.”

Clark Wendlandt, Host of Fishing & Hunting Texas™, Cabela’s Pro Staff

As you can see, everyone has their own preference. However, the general consensus for morning hunts, plan on being squared away at least 30 minutes to an hour before daylight. Regarding afternoon hunts, confirm what the deer are doing that time of year. If you have Stealth Cams setup, check the times of when the photos are taken and gauge from there.

We hope this insight will help you get settled in the stand and ready for when that shooter comes in. Happy hunting!