Sweet November means only one thing. It’s time for all day sits in the tree stand. The whitetail rut is approaching quickly in the northeast. In some patches, it likely has begun already. For most, the rut provides an amazing opportunity for hunters to encounter bucks they’ve been chasing all season or bucks they have never seen before. Bucks broaden their ranges in search of the next hot doe and will stay afoot for longer time periods.
Rutting bucks will be on their feet all day long looking and searching. While most hunters get out in the morning, take a lunch break, and then finish the day in the stand, there are those “crazy” ones that will sit the entire day and never leave the stand. I’ve done a number of all day sits and they can be mentally taxing, physically demanding, but also rewarding.
Tree Stand Essentials
When everyone else is leaving the woods, it seems that deer take note and start moving without much worry. To stay on point and alert in the stand, here are five essential items you don’t want to forget at home.
1. Down Jacket – Down, or puffy, Jackets are extremely lightweight and packable, which make them a perfect insulation piece for all day sits. Temperatures fluctuate and wind typically increases throughout the day, so having an extra layer will only make you last longer and stay alert in the tree stand.
2. Gloves – I know a lot of hunters that don’t shoot with gloves on, but they will sit in the tree with them. I do the same exact thing. I wear gloves until there is deer movement and then they come off. With that said, gloves are important for all day sits. Hands, when exposed, get cold quickly. Cold hands can make or break an all day sit because they create a miserable situation.
3. Water – This is simple. Take a bottle of water. Even if you’re not moving, you will still need to take a sip of water every now and then. If you don’t take a pack to the stand, you can get a small plastic bottle and slide it in your pocket.
4. Snacks – Simple snacks are all you need. I like to take a granola bar, nuts, or a packet of tuna. Sometimes I take more, other times I take less. It just depends on how far I’m hiking in and what calories I’ll be burning. “The Hunger” is also one of those things that can make or break an all day sit. Pack something small and simple.
The Final Piece
5. Hand Warmers – I’m back with the cold hands here. I carry hand warmers on every sit from the middle of October through the end of the season. Cold hands will get me out of the stand. If I can keep my hands warm, I’m good to go. Hand warmers are lightweight and fit in your pocket. I will take two or three packs depending on how long I’ll be sitting. For an all day sit, you can bet I’ll have three in my pocket.
What Do You Take With You?
There you have it. Those are five things I don’t leave the house without if I plan on sitting all day long. What do you use for all day sits? Do you have different gear, food, or strategies for all day sits? Drop a comment and let us know how you stay in the game.