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BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Setting up a stand for hog, deer hunting

This week is the week that I am going to set up a few bow stands for hog and deer hunting.

My main target is hogs, but if the right deer walks out, I will gladly take him as well. I have learned a few things over the years that have increased my chances for success.  As a gun hunter, you can make a few mistakes and get away with it.  However, to get animals archery close, you have to pay attention to all of the details.  Here are a few tips that will help you when you set up an archery stand:

  1. Pay attention to the wind 
    Determine what the predominant wind is at the time of year that you will be hunting and set your stand up accordingly.  If you are hunting over bait, make sure that the wind blows from the bait to you.

Place the bait between you and the area that you expect the animals to come from.  A hog’s nose is far superior to that of a deer and a trophy boar will smell you every time that he gets downwind.  If he smells you, He is not coming in.  Scent control products, sprays, special scent blocker clothing, ozonics, and various other methods are especially effective on deer and will help with hogs.  However, as a general rule, if a big boat gets down wind he will smell you 100 percent of the time. This is especially true if you are sweating.  Do yourself a favor and pay attention to the wind.

  1. Hunt near water
    When setting up a bow stand, always remember that every animal has to drink eventually.  Hogs not only need water to drink, they also use it to cool off. If you find a hog wallow, place your stand in the area.  Hogs and deer both use creeks and ditches as travel corridors. The closer your stand is to these, the higher your chances for success will be.
  2. Hunt in thick cover
    When bowhunting, you need the animals to be close.  By close I mean 20 yards or less.  While I have taken animals from as far as 80 yards with a bow, I highly recommend that you strive to get hogs as close as possible. Find a thick area and hunt there.  Trim only what is necessary to allow for a few shooting lanes.  The animals will feel safer in the cover and are more likely to come in during daylight hours.
    If you use these tips in setting up your stand, I feel that you will increase your odds for success exponentially.  Time is ticking.  Get out there and get ready … the cool weather is coming.

Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of DuckDogTrainer.com and outdoors writer for The News.