Moultrie Mobile
Barry Wensel's Stand Details - Discuss
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
tinecounter 25-Jul-14
R. Hale 25-Jul-14
Saxton 25-Jul-14
Bou'bound 25-Jul-14
Shiras 25-Jul-14
Badlands 25-Jul-14
stick n string 25-Jul-14
LBshooter 25-Jul-14
Shug 25-Jul-14
Barry Wensel 26-Jul-14
TMA1010 26-Jul-14
TMA1010 26-Jul-14
Shrewski 26-Jul-14
Matt Rehor 26-Jul-14
Rancher 26-Jul-14
APauls 26-Jul-14
Gaur 27-Jul-14
Barry Wensel 27-Jul-14
Jon Simoneau 27-Jul-14
DVMan 28-Jul-14
BC 28-Jul-14
Keadog 28-Jul-14
Barry Wensel 28-Jul-14
BC 29-Jul-14
southernbeagle 30-Jul-14
Lamplighter 14-Sep-14
From: tinecounter
Fine understandable article. Barry takes the "basics" to the next level. It's why he's the best.

From: R. Hale
Barry, I was the one who was critical of your first article. I found it to be very basic for the typical BS hunting IQ, which I think is quite high.

This article is very good. You have shared some useful information and most Bow Site viewers will pick up at least one or two tips.

Thank you and sorry about the criticism last time. Good luck to you this season.

From: Saxton
I have done the raked path to my stand.

The only problem is; it is covered with more leaves in a days time.

From: Bou'bound
Exceptional article.

some claim to subscribe to next level thinking and some, like barry, truly do it.

we need more of that.

From: Shiras
Very good stuff here. I employ a different method of for getting to the stand when there is a lot of noisy ground cover.

When you are sitting in the stand and before you can see an animal coming you can hear it. Each animal has a fairly distictive sound as it navigates through the woods, and that includes a person. So when I am coming in rather than trying to make no noise, I try to sound like a deer. Humans tend to walk with a cadence and dragging feet that makes a constant noise. Instead I walk with short sharp steps with pauses. Lift your feet high and set them down sharply, making one noise rather than rolling from heel to toe.

I use the same tactic for still hunting and have snuck to within shooting distance of deer on more than one occasion.

From: Badlands
I've used the raked path trick. However, rather than clearing spots for steps I've cleared the whole path for 50 yards on either side of the stand. I've found that deer prefer to travel on the clean path and it can prevent them from going around your stand if there's multiple options for them to travel.

Great article....very good stuff.

Great stuff

From: LBshooter
Good stuff, I have been doing most of what Barry was saying, the cutting of trees I don't do to hunting public. Would like to take his class one day, looks like it would fun.

From: Shug
Barry who ?

From: Barry Wensel

From: TMA1010
I attended one of Barry's boot camps this year and the thing I really took away from it is that he's doing the same stuff as I'd been doing, but just paying a lot closer attention to the details and making modifications to give himself a better chance that a deer coming through the area will come by him within range.

Example - I had a 4 acre patch of standing beans last winter that 75-100 deer were coming to in late winter, and a few really good bucks. I'd watch these deer come out of the timber and come into the beans but would always stay 60-100 yards away from my blind. This year I've got the same set-up, but I'm going to use a trick that Barry used in Montana - I'm going to put up some fence posts and tie baling string across them to form a fence so that all of the deer are funneled to within 20 yards of my blind. It never occurred to me that I could try to add a temporary fence to get the deer closer to me. I'm not sure if it'll work, but the fence will be up in August so they'll have plenty of time to get used to it. I think at the very least I'll improve the odds that a good buck will walk through that gate that I'm leaving open.

Another thing that has stuck with me from the boot camp was that we were in an area that his brother had tried to hunt unsuccessfully for a while and they'd moved stands around a lot within a 100 yard area. Barry pointed out a tree with tree-spikes that were grown into the tree that someone had hunted in long before the Wenzels had access to the property. He commented that maybe that was the best tree to hunt in that exact spot and that they'd keep trying to pinpoint the best tree.

They don't have every set-up perfected, it's a fluid thing that they keep improving on and that's the beauty of it. We're all just trying to continue to improve what we're doing in the woods. If you can incorporate the advantages of what Uncle Barry has learned over the years into your sets you'll shave precious years off of the time it takes to start putting big deer on the ground regularly.

From: TMA1010
And I will say one thing that Barry didn't talk about at the boot camp were two squirrels getting dirty. That would have been a little weird.

From: Shrewski
I have been blessed to have spent time in the woods with both Barry and Gene. During these times, I tend to be VERY quiet, watching and listening intently. I am amazed every time at what these two NOTICE in the woods. Lots of us SEE things but do not pay close enough attention to LEARN from them.

Just walking around anywhere NEAR one of their stands, they always have thier pruning shears out and snip here and there...I just bulldoze thru stuff, they almost unconsiously trim a path to make it either easier for them OR in other cases easier for the deer.

You know a guy is good when he can weave "copasetic" into an article.

Finally, the most interesting thing I learned from the article was Barry can quote John Wayne. I was just with Gene in Africa for 2 weeks. He told us he had NEVER seen a John Wayne movie! This from a guy pushing 70 who grew up in the John Wayne era...Barry is it true or was he messing with us???

From: Matt Rehor
I enjoyed the article, thank you Barry!!

From: Rancher
A friend of mine and I checked into one of your bootcamps last year.It didn't fit our schedule,but we will be there ASP.Thank you for the stand details!!!

From: APauls
For those like Barry who have pre-raked some paths to the stand do the leaves not blow around and cover the raked areas? Or are you raking multiple times per fall?

From: Gaur
Good stuff Barry. Thanks Pat for putting it on here.

From: Barry Wensel
APauls, I normally only rake one time. Yes the falling leaves will fill in the bare spots but I just kick them aside with my toe as needed. By late season you can hardly see where your tracks were. A couple other notes, if you use a hoe rather than a rake you don't have to clean the teeth of the rake every couple minutes. Also, after shifting movement patterns near where you want them (via blockages/brush/hinge cuts, etc) I will open up my own complete bare dirt trail with the rake in order to create a "visual". They will easily see this clear path of travel and soon adapt to it walking right where you want them to. bw

I love the hedge apple bowling,, have pondered on how to do what it does, but never thought of them..

From: Jon Simoneau
Really great stuff Uncle Barry. My setups are getting better and better since going to boot camp. This article even got me thinking about a few additional things. Now that this will be my second season since the boot camp, it's going to be even better. I'll send ya some pics soon. One thing guys outta know, is that like Steve said, with the trimming of trails. Gene and Barry make the areas around their stand so that the deer would not want to walk anywhere OTHER than right by their tree. Yes, they could avoid going by these stands, but why would they? Have you ever thought to trim branches up a little higher on trails so that a buck with hopefully good headgear can more easily get through it? I never had. My buddy and I could not believe how much trimming, blocking trails, etc. go into EACH stand. I mean I read Genes books years and years ago, and began doing some of these things 20 years ago. Yet until I saw some of their stands first hand, I had not fathomed just how much of this was being done to each stand. It was a real eye opener for us, and our setups are increasingly getting better as a result.

From: DVMan
I never heard of Barry Wensel before this site, now I am hooked on his every word.

As long as he's answering questions, I'd love to hear what he thinks about Iowa's deer herd? Is it as bad as everyone's saying?

From: BC
Great stuff. I know you and your brother lived in MA. Have you ever hunted here?

From: Keadog
Excellent. I have evolved to do some of the things mentioned (raking the trails) on my own over the years. However, even though I owned a small hardwood tree farm for 10 years and have girdled hundreds of trees, I admit I never thought of the hinge cut! Great idea! My new place only has about 8 acres of woods (and was timbered by PO), but that's a super idea. One thing, in some states you have to be careful rolling apples on the ground, as it can be considered baiting.

From: Barry Wensel
DVMan- Iowa's deer herd is generally down but it depends on the region. There are areas that were hit hard and other areas not effected much at all. I understand they have cut back on the late season rifle hunts and the numbers of doe tags, so that should help. I understand a lot of N/R just purchased a P/P in order to give the herd a little time to heal. BC: Never lived in MA. Lived in VT when we were kids. Huge changes since the '60s though. bw

From: BC
My mistake. I thought you guys lived here for awhile. Well you're not missing much, not many deer compared to other areas. Just wondering if you've hunted very small suburban type properties. Trying to pattern deer can be difficult.

Since I hunt where I live I keep the access trails clear all year, they wind all through the property going around obstacles like down trees.

In late fall after most of the leaves are down I use my lawn tractor to blow the leaves off the trails to the stands. That makes it easy to see the deer tracks where they are crossing and which ones are most active. It also exposes the acorns, because most of them don't blow off the trails. Note: These aren't logging trails, most are only 4-6 feet wide.

No need for shooting lanes because the deer will always have to cross one of the trails near the stands. Mock scrapes or an apple scrubbed into the bark of a tree will stop them for a clear shot.

From: Lamplighter
I did a lot of those techniques in the 80's. Seems so long ago. Today I still pack in cold weather clothes, and pay detailed attention to entry/exit.

Been at it along time too. I have made use of technology today, using gps to navigate at night, sneaking around with little to no light.

I do not cut shoot lanes though- never have. I trim small stuff here & there, but no lanes and no tree cutting.

  • Sitka Gear