Tree Stand Concealment Tips: Guide to Successful Hunting

Jeff
| Last Updated April 30, 2021

You want to improve your chances for a successful hunting season.

Your tree stand is still new, and you want information on how to disguise it.

Read this guide to help you find the best place to set up, and use the tips on camouflaging yourself, your gear, and your tree stand. It is also essential to know how to prevent your prey from picking up your smell to ensure hunting success. 

Photo credit: bowhunter.com

Tree Stand Concealment Tips

Let’s look at the seven factors that can help you camouflage your tree stand, prevent your prey from spotting you, or pick up your smell. Every extra measure you can put in place will increase your chances for a successful hunt. 

TREE STAND CONCEALMEANT TIPS

1. Choose a Proper Site

Consider factors like topography, wind direction, suitable trees, and your prey’s popular routes to pick the perfect spot.

2. Set up the Site Before Hunting Season

Set up before the hunting season. Your prey will get used to the changes, and any lingering scents have time to disappear.

3. Pick a Good Tree

Find a sturdy tree that is easy to scale and offers natural foliage for concealment.

4. Conceal the Stand With Evergreen Foliage

If your chosen spot doesn’t have a suitable tree, add natural foliage. You can use clips or artificial camouflage options for concealment.

5. Consider the Weather

Deer don’t like looking into the sun, so make sure you position your blind accordingly.

6. Hunt the Wind; Stay Downwind

Place your blind downwind to decrease the risk of your prey picking up your scent.

7. Break Your Outline

Use natural and artificial foliage as camouflage to hide your silhouette.

Choose a Proper Spot / Site 

There are various factors to consider when looking for a perfect spot for your tree blind. The structure or topography of the land determines the movements of your prey. You need to establish the cover and terrain they will use while traveling. Deer will always take the easiest and safest route. 

It would help if you also considered the wind’s direction to lessen your prey's chances of picking up your smell. Deer don’t like looking into the sun, so you need to make sure that you position your blind accordingly.  

Advantages 

  • More hunting opportunities because the blind is close to the prey’s popular routes.

  • Ensure they are downwind for minimal scent detection and that the deer don’t need to look into the sun.

  • Easy access minimizing the noise of your approach.

Photo credit: realtree.com

Disadvantages 

  • Best locations might not have the most suitable trees, and you have to use natural or artificial ways for concealment and camouflage. Or you might have to trim excess branches and foliage.

  • The perfect spot can be far into the woods, and a tree stand is heavy to carry over long distances.

  •  A location too far into the woods can make it difficult for rescuers to reach you in case of an emergency.

Best For

Hunters should make sure they locate their blinds near routes their prey likes to use, thereby increasing their hunting opportunities. Since they can place themselves downwind, there is less chance of the prey detecting the hunters’ smell. They can make sure that they face the sun or have the sun facing from the side, as deer don't like looking into the sun. 

Set Up the Site Before Hunting Season 

With their keen hearing and sense of smell, deer are finely tuned to their environment and pick up any strange movements or new scents. They can spot dark objects and silhouettes in trees and notice when you add a blind to a tree.

Thus, it is vital to install your blind before the hunting season so that the deer can get used to it and accept it as part of the environment. This also allows any lingering smells to disappear. Furthermore, it enables you to scout the area to ensure that you can approach and reach your blind with minimal noise.

Advantages

  • Get familiar with the area, possible deer routes and practice the approach to your blind with minimal noise.

  • Deer will get used to the blind and accept it as part of their environment.

  • More opportunity to explore different possibilities and pick one or more suitable spots.

Disadvantages

  • With changes in seasons and increased plant growth, deer routes can change, making your chosen spot less than ideal when you finally start hunting.

  • Your blind can sustain damage from the elements, squirrels, and insects.

  • Destruction of early buck patterns just starting to form.

Photo credit: mossyoak.com

Best For

Deer hunters should set up their stands before hunting season. Setting up a tree stand can be complex and noisy, chasing away your prey. If you do this before the hunting season, the deer get used to the blind, lingering scents have time to fade, and you can get familiar with approaching and climbing into your blind with minimal noise. It also allows you to scout the area and discover popular deer trails.

Pick a Good Tree 

Deer can spot dark objects and silhouettes in trees. It is why you need to make sure that you pick the best tree for concealment when hunting. The first consideration is always safety. Choose a healthy, sturdy tree that is strong enough to support you and your stand. Thick bark provides for a good grip and footholds while climbing. Ensure that you will be able to wear your FAS (fall arrest system) at all times. 

The tree should have dense foliage or be located with other trees to provide the necessary foliage for concealment. A large trunk can hide your silhouette, while branches above and behind you help cover and camouflage.

Photo credit: hawkhunting.com

Advantages

  •  Broader field of vision to spot prey sooner. Time to plan best shot through earlier detection. Hunters are higher than their prey’s standard field of vision.

  • Height makes scent harder to detect. Movement is also harder to spot.

  • Better safety through increased visibility to other hunters.

Disadvantages

  • Without necessary safety precautions, an increased risk of falling and injury.

  • No protection from cold and wind, and can restrict mobility.

  • Hunter can’t move closer to the prey for a better shot.

Best For

Bowhunters have to choose the right tree for their blind to lift them above their prey’s eye level and provide distance from their smell. The foliage helps to conceal the hunter and hides his movements. The location is essential since it needs to be close to the trails your prey uses. It would be best if you also took note of the wind's direction to make it harder for your prey to pick up your smell.

Conceal Stand With Evergreen Foliage 

Finding the best location doesn’t always mean getting the best trees. If your only choice is a tree with little concealment, you will have to use natural or artificial foliage to hide your presence. You need to make sure that you use evergreen foliage. Otherwise, it will wither, and you will have to replace it often. Thus, it might be better to use artificial foliage or even the limbs from an artificial Christmas tree. 

There are many affordable and DIY options available to conceal your tree blind. Use PVC tubing and glue to build a frame covered with camo burlap or netting. Or you can paint a camouflage pattern on your blind with Rustoleum spray paint. If you have some sewing skills (or a handy wife), you can make a camo skirt using Velcro and heavy cotton fabric. You can also add cheap plastic branch holders onto your stand to hold natural branches and foliage to hide behind. 

Advantages

  • Break up your silhouette, thereby making it harder to spot.

  • Conceal your movements, increasing your chances for a good shot.

  • Conceal yourself, your bow, your stand, and all your gear.

Photo credit: themeateater.com

Disadvantages 

  • Foliage use for concealment can limit your view and hinder mobility.

  • Natural foliage withers, and you will need to replace them often unless they are evergreen.

  • Deer detect changes in their environment, and you will scare them away with debris and cuttings on the ground.

Best For

Since evergreen foliage is part of the environment, it blends in when used to cover your blind, providing the perfect cover for the hunter. It makes it harder for your prey to spot you and hides your movements and silhouette. You can use natural openings or cut them larger if necessary to be able to spot your prey and take the shot while you stay out of sight.

Consider the Weather

The weather influences activities like where deer look for food and safe sleeping places, and your prey’s general movements. Looking at movements during previous seasons can help you predict routes, mainly when you correlate them with weather patterns. Consider the speed and direction of the wind and the position of the sun.

It would help if you looked at current conditions. If it is a dry year, migrations will be different due to a lack of food. Look out for signs of your prey’s activities in various areas, such as trampled trails, fresh dung, broken bushes, and tree branches. 

Advantages

  • Using historical data will help you to predict the possible movement of your prey in the current season.

  • Considering the sun’s position when setting up your blind will prevent deer from having to look into the sun.

Disadvantages

  • Setting up according to the sun's position to favor your prey may cause you to look directly into the sun.
     
  • Unexpected changes in weather patterns can change the traveling patterns of your prey.

Best For

The weather affects how your prey looks for food and a safe place to sleep, as well as the routes they use. A hunter should consider all these factors when choosing the perfect spot for his blind. Weather information from the past can help to predict your prey's movements in the current season. Besides a well-worn trail, also look where trails intersect to increase your chances of spotting your prey near your blind.

Hunt the Wind, Stay Downwind

The one single factor that can end your hunting trip fast is your smell. Once a mature deer has picked up your scent and took off, it is not likely to come back. The hunter’s best tactic to avoid this is still to set up downwind. It will prevent your prey from picking up your smell. 

Photo credit: realtree.com

Another option is to wear rubber boots and gloves when trimming lanes. It will prevent you from depositing your smell onto the area where you are setting up. Make sure you only use scent-free products and spray your clothing and gear with Scent Killer Gold. 

Advantages 

  • Makes it harder for your prey to pick up your smell.

  • Use a simple device like a bottle with a light powder to determine wind direction.

  • Products like Scent Killer Gold help to mask your scent.

Disadvantages 

  • Increased distance from prey if you have to set up far enough downwind to avoid detection.

  • Unexpected changes in wind direction will let your prey pick up your smell.

Best For

Hunters need to understand the concept of staying downwind since that is the same principle your prey use to stay safe. Not only should you stay downwind, but you should be far enough away to avoid detection. A simple technique to check the wind's direction is to throw powder in the air and check the direction it blows.

Break Up Your Outline 

There are various ways that you can break your silhouette and avoid detection by your prey. Ensure you camouflage yourself, your weapon, your stand, and all your gear to blend in with your environment. You can use branch holders for natural or artificial foliage or use burlap cloth, netting, and stand skirts as camouflage. Should you use tree sticks to access your stand, use spray paint, and a sponge to blend it with the tree bark.

You need to ensure that you choose colors and a camouflage pattern like the environment you plan to use them in. Also, consider ways to camouflage your hands and face to prevent it from reflecting light that can give away your location. 

Advantages

  • Using branches and foliage from the surrounding area for camouflage and concealment.

  • Makes it harder for your prey to see you in your blind.

  • Makes it harder for your prey to identify you if they see you but haven’t detected your scent.

Disadvantages

  • Foliage and branches used to conceal you can limit your field of vision.

  • Natural branches and foliage in a tree can affect your angle and prevent an accurate shot.

Best For

Sight is not a deer's most vital sense. It means that even if it sees you, it might not perceive you as dangerous if it hasn’t detected your scent. Even so, deer can detect movement, and breaking your silhouette can make you seem less of a threat should you move. When hunters use camouflage to blend in with their environment, their shape looks more natural and harder to spot.

How to Camouflage a Tree Stand

Many factors can influence a successful hunt, like choosing the right spot and the right tree, ease of access, and weather considerations. Effectively camouflaging your tree stand can increase your chances of success. Follow these steps below to camouflage your blind effectively.

Use the Natural Environment 

The easiest way to camouflage your tree stand is by taking advantage of the natural environment. If your location doesn’t provide for trees with enough cover, go higher. Look for evergreen trees or trees that lose their leaves later in the season. Trees with a Y-shape in the trunk can also provide extra cover. You can also mount branch holders to your stand to use natural foliage to fill in the gaps. 

Photo credit: WildernessMastery.com

Use Artificial Alternatives 

If your tree doesn’t have enough cover, you can fill in the gaps using artificial options. Build a frame using PVC tubing to place on your platform and cover the complete structure with camo burlap cloth or netting. You can even spray an old sheet with camo patterns to use instead.

Climbing skirts are also an effective method to camouflage your stand. Reinforce the edges of heavy cotton fabric, and add Velcro along the edges to hang it on your stand. It will help to conceal your lower body and can even last you for years. 

Camouflage Your Ladder or Climbing Rings 

You can camouflage your ladder by wrapping it with foliage. Or, use spray paint to create camo patterns on the ladder or climbing rings. Use colors like grey, brown, or tan, spray onto the metal, and blend the paint in with a sponge for a more natural look.

Reduce Your Scent 

The best way to reduce your scent is to set up your tree stand before the start of the hunting season. When you work on concealing your stand, wear rubber boots and gloves to transfer less of your smell to the environment.

Photo credit: bonecollector.com

You should also ensure that you only use scent-free products when washing your clothes and cleaning your gear. A product like Scent Killer Gold can also help to mask your scent. Or you can mount your stand higher, moving your scent further away from the sensitive nose of your prey. 

How Do I Conceal a Treestand in Winter? 

Since natural foliage is scarce in winter, you will need to use artificial covers like burlap, netting, or blind skirtings to camouflage your tree stand. You should still camouflage your ladder or climbing rings and take all the measures to reduce your smell. 

Conclusion 

Animals use their well-developed sense of smell and hearing to survive, making bowhunting much more challenging. A well-concealed tree blind on the right spot can give you a winning edge.

When you take other factors like the weather, wind direction, and the sun's position into account when setting up, you should be well on your way to a successful hunting season. Also, remember to set up in advance of the hunting season so that your prey can get used to the blind and so that all lingering scents have a chance to disappear.

Photo credit: realtree.com

People Also Ask

Eager to you heighten your chances for successful hunting? We'll help by answering your questions below!

Are Real Leaves and Branches a Good Choice For Concealing a Tree Stand?

You can use real leaves and branches for concealment as long as it is evergreen. Otherwise, it will wilt, and you will have to replace them often. Many artificial options are affordable and just as effective and will last longer than natural options.

How Do I Mask My Scent in a Tree Stand?

For effective scent management, you need to follow a specific routine consistently. Wear rubber boots since it doesn’t hold scents as much and is easy to wash. Wash all your gear with scent-free soap and hang outside to dry. If you shower before a hunting trip, use a scent-free soap or shampoo. 

Which is the Safest Device to Use While Climbing a Tree and Using a Tree Stand?

You should wear a safety harness or a fall-arrest system (FAS) at all times while climbing a tree or while you are in your blind. This device will stop your fall before you hit the ground. They can be custom-fitted, but you must follow the instructions to wear and use them correctly.

How High Should I Position My Tree Stand?

The general rule is to place it at the height of 17 to 20 feet. But if you have limited cover, the highest you should go is 25 feet. If you fear heights, ensure you place your blind at a comfortable height.

Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.