Walking in to the stand

beefydeer

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I am bored and ready for season to start so I was wondering, who walks into the stand or hunting spot in the dark and who waits until it is light enough to see and hunt their way in? It does concern me when I walk to my stand in the dark and spook deer. Will that deer come back or are they leaving the area for good? I am contemplating on waiting until I can see and slowly hunt my way in. What are everyone else's thoughts?
 

backyardtndeer

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Walk in in the dark. Many times have bumped deer, only to have deer come back through. Have killed a few nice deer on mornings where I bumped them.

On some occasions for my wife, I drop her off at a stand with the 4 wheeler.
 

Remington700

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I am a walk in to the stand in the dark person. I usually have enough moon light that I do not even need a flashlight. It also helps I have been hunting the same property 20 years. I have more luck doing it this way than waiting until daylight. I feel like I am late and have messed up my hunting area if I come in late.
 

Lost Lake

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I try to be settled in my stand with about 5-10 minutes before shooting light if I can. It just depends on if I’m jumping deer near my stand site or not.

I used to be the type to get settled in an hour before light, but not anymore. I’d rather stay an hour later in the mornings and get there just in time to shoot if need be.
 

Rancocas

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Ocoee Country/Cleveland
I'll throw in another vote for getting on stand before shooting light.
If there is enough moonlight - so much the better. But if a flashlight is needed, try to keep the beam pointed toward the ground in front of you. Don't flash it all around through the woods.
I once forgot my flashlight and tried to walk in to a new stand in the dark. Couldn't see a thing. Got off track. Thrashed around trying to find my trail, leaving my scent all over the place. Finally decided to stay put and wait until daylight so I could see where I was. Got on stand, but didn't see a thing all day.
 

BSK

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But if a flashlight is needed, try to keep the beam pointed toward the ground in front of you. Don't flash it all around through the woods.
I use a green hat-bill clip-on light. The green light isn't anywhere near as bright as a white light. We have "cat eyes" going to each stand (private property), and for some reason, the green light makes the cat eyes really stand out, like bright emeralds. I've tried lots of colors of light, but green really makes the cat eyes glow.
 

Rakkin6

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Clarksville, TN
I start walking in about 90 minutes prior to sunrise. I hunt public but I am very familiar with most of it. I do wear a headlamp and will turn on my red light occasionally. I use the red not so I don't disturb deer because they will see red or white, but red doesn't ruin your night vision.
 

JCDEERMAN

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NASHVILLE, TN
I try to be settled in 15-30 minutes before light and let things settle down. I never use a flashlight unless I absolutely have to. It is amazing how much your eyes can adjust to complete darkness. There are those mornings though where you can't see your hand in front of you face. That is when I use my little green light.

I don't know if it is the way I walk or what, but I can't tell you how many times I have almost gotten to my stand and heard a deer walking straight towards me less than 100 yards away and have come to my EXACT location while I'm racing to get settled in. Literally within 3-5 yards. Most times I was in a stand, but twice were when I was on the ground. All were mornings I didn't use a light and all I was able to identify as a racked buck (yes - in the dark).

I'll throw in another vote for getting on stand before shooting light.
If there is enough moonlight - so much the better. But if a flashlight is needed, try to keep the beam pointed toward the ground in front of you. Don't flash it all around through the woods.
I'm glad I'm not the only crazy one. I'm OCD about it and hold that light as close to the ground as possible and never raise it up.
 

rem270

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I always try to be in the stand about 15-20 mins at least before I can see so get situated and settled down. If I'm running late and get there when I can see I always rush around and just don't like it.
 

Lincoln Co Archer

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Sep 13, 2008
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Fayetteville, TN
I go in before daylight. Something I wrestle with is do I try to be as quiet as possible on my approach or just plow through the woods? I have no data to support but I am leaning towards just walking in without much caution. I have found that if I do spook deer in the dark that it is best to keep walking and not stop if a deer blows. There are cows on the property and I think that sometimes I can pass as a cow walking if I try to be loud like a cow and show no reaction to the deer.
 

DoubleRidge

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Nov 24, 2019
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Middle Tennessee
No question I prefer to go in while it's dark and be on stand 20-30 minutes before legal shooting time......many times if it's cold I'm packing bibs and jacket so I wanna get there get on stand get my pack and stuff organized then cool off from walk in...then layer up....get settled and have some quiet time to listen....love watching the woods come alive in the morning.... can't wait.
 

Pioneer1789

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Sep 25, 2016
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I try to be settled in 15-30 minutes before light and let things settle down. I never use a flashlight unless I absolutely have to. It is amazing how much your eyes can adjust to complete darkness.

Those were mornings I didn't use a light and all I was able to identify as a racked buck (yes - in the dark).
Zeiss contact lenses?
 

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