eBike Generation
Barry Wensel's Treestand Challenge 7
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 29-Jan-15
SANDMAN 30-Jan-15
Eagle_eye_Andy 30-Jan-15
Eagle 30-Jan-15
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-15
Eagle 30-Jan-15
grizzlyadam 30-Jan-15
Pat Lefemine 30-Jan-15
Pat Lefemine 01-Feb-15
Barry Wensel 01-Feb-15
TurkeyBowMaster 01-Feb-15
midwest 01-Feb-15
Barry Wensel 01-Feb-15
Genesis 02-Feb-15
retro 02-Feb-15
midwest 02-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 02-Feb-15
bill brown 02-Feb-15
Deebz 02-Feb-15
Eagle 02-Feb-15
Schmed 03-Feb-15
Schmed 03-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 03-Feb-15
bigeasygator 03-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 09-Feb-15
Genesis 10-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 10-Feb-15
Genesis 10-Feb-15
bdfrd24v 10-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 10-Feb-15
Barry Wensel 10-Feb-15
XMan 11-Feb-15
tadpole 11-Feb-15
Buck-man 14-Feb-15
SANDMAN 15-Feb-15
jjs 15-Feb-15
Buck-man 15-Feb-15
Jack Harris 26-Feb-15
Pat Lefemine 26-Feb-15
Smtn10PT 26-Feb-15
Jack Harris 26-Feb-15
Smtn10PT 27-Feb-15
kyhunter13 01-Mar-15
Deebz 01-Mar-15
Shednut 01-Mar-15
Smtn10PT 02-Mar-15
Jack Harris 02-Mar-15
ToddT 02-Mar-15
Jack Harris 02-Mar-15
ToddT 02-Mar-15
Bigfoot 02-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 02-Mar-15
Bigfoot 02-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 02-Mar-15
bowriter 02-Mar-15
Smtn10PT 05-Mar-15
dg72A 05-Mar-15
Flumer 05-Mar-15
Pat Lefemine 06-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 06-Mar-15
Reflex 06-Mar-15
CurveBow 06-Mar-15
CurveBow 06-Mar-15
hunt'n addict 06-Mar-15
Rocky D 06-Mar-15
Pikentrout 06-Mar-15
Pat Lefemine 06-Mar-15
Nick Muche 06-Mar-15
Reflex 06-Mar-15
Smtn10PT 07-Mar-15
Jack Harris 07-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 07-Mar-15
midwest 07-Mar-15
lewis 07-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 07-Mar-15
midwest 07-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 08-Mar-15
Long Hunter 08-Mar-15
Rock 09-Mar-15
12yards 09-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 09-Mar-15
12yards 09-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 10-Mar-15
bdfrd24v 10-Mar-15
12yards 10-Mar-15
bdfrd24v 10-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 10-Mar-15
Iowa_Archer 11-Mar-15
Dave 11-Mar-15
lewis 11-Mar-15
bdfrd24v 11-Mar-15
Tracker 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Bernie1 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Iowa_Archer 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
Barry Wensel 11-Mar-15
midwest 11-Mar-15
ricketycricket 12-Mar-15
Jack Harris 12-Mar-15
From: Pat Lefemine
29-Jan-15

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Pat Lefemine's Link
Win Summit Treestand Prizes while getting a priceless lesson from one of the greatest deer hunters of all time!

This is a fantastic learning experience compliments of Barry Wensel. Barry takes you through a property he has personally scouted and hunted for years in our latest Treestand Challenge.

You do not need to be registered with Bowsite to enter. All are welcome.

Feel free to discuss this feature and your analysis here.

From: SANDMAN
30-Jan-15
I really like the structure of this challenge. extremely informative with the audio clips. Nice job Pat!

30-Jan-15
Really cool feature! I will get alot out of this.

From: Eagle
30-Jan-15
Any way to make the stand icons more representative of exactly where the stands are located, the large icons leave a lot of guessing as they cover a probably 20 yard areas? Any chance for a true topographical map rather than a terrain map?

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-15
No, sorry. There's only so much detail that can be provided in these games. We've provided far more in this challenge than in any of our previous 6.

From: Eagle
30-Jan-15

Eagle's embedded Photo
Eagle's embedded Photo
Took about 10 minutes to find and mark up. If this is overstepping, please remove as that is not my intention, just trying to provide a helpful map.

From: grizzlyadam
30-Jan-15
Are there actually 12 active stand sites set up on that property, or were some of them just thrown in to make it more challenging?

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jan-15
There are actually 24 and I asked Barry to pick the top 12. All stands shown were actual treestand locations hunted by the Wensels.

From: Pat Lefemine
01-Feb-15
Warning -

I was just going through the entries and one person who got both stands right entered a second time right after his first entry using a second email address. He is now disqualified.

You can only answer once, and you must put in your FULL NAME. We will verify you by phone to get your shipping address to send to Summit.

Great participation so far and the stand selection is all over the map. A lot more consistency with the PM stand than the AM. Seems guys are struggling with the morning stand location.

You guys are free to discuss your selections here. It's part of the fun.

From: Barry Wensel
01-Feb-15
A lot of guys are trying to bribe me for the correct answers. Similar to an ebay item, my reserve has not been met yet. Just a suggestion though on a more serious note, some areas of our nation have received snowfall this year where snow accumulations are normally rare. If you get a couple inches of snow in your hunting area may I suggest you give it a day or two and go for a walk. Because most seasons are closed by now what you will mostly see is natural, undisturbed deer movement. What you learn by tracking on a rare snow will be well worth the effort. BW

01-Feb-15
There is picking stands by aireial, topo, sigh, funnels, and sometimes just based on knowledge of where deer have been seen. What was the factors in these stand placments.

From: midwest
01-Feb-15
What a great piece of property! I have one stand picked I'm pretty sure I could sit all day in early November with a NW wind. November 15th is a big difference from November 5th and my choices are based on that date. I think I may be a little conservative on my morning stand choice.

For the evening stand, so much depends on those food sources and what kind of shape the fields are in. Assuming the crops have been picked, a farmer with an old piece of crap combine may have left a lot of corn and beans on the ground. Or they may have state of the art equipment that picked it clean and it's already chisel plowed by now.

Regardless, I would put my money on the alfalfa as the preferred food source. Especially, if it's a newer planting.

From: Barry Wensel
01-Feb-15
Pat wants me to keep my comments minimal so as not to disclose any valid hints that previous guys who already entered were not aware of. After the contest ends we plan on really opening up with the numerous factors involved. It's a very interesting piece and a great learning tool. This will end up being fun and very educational. Best of luck. BW

From: Genesis
02-Feb-15
Midwest,I've picked an aggressive morning spot but haven't entered yet.The probelm I have with alfafa in it gets toxins in the head after a couple of freezes.I've seen deer in my area go completly cold turkey on it from Nov. 10th on....only prioritizing it again late season when sources are scarce..

Hunting Iowa once and they were wearing out Shaggy Bark hickories so what do I know.

Ping ponging AM stands now

From: retro
02-Feb-15
Its a game, but there's no way a guy can know whats going on without putting boots on the ground. Way to many variables. If Barry started out looking at maps of the area before stepping foot on it, I would suspect he changed his mind on many things after actually walking it. Its a game so no big deal. Just saying...

From: midwest
02-Feb-15
I agree with retro....I think I should be able to hunt it for a November and then I'll make my choices. ;-)

From: Pat Lefemine
02-Feb-15
Retro,

Nobody will disagree that you have to walk the property. But there is still a lot of analysis that can take place based on the clues and there's a bunch of stands you can disqualify based on the prevailing wind in relation to the parking areas, crop choice, time of year, etc.

This challenge forces you to look at clues you may not have thought of before and then make an educated guess based on those clues. I know the correct answers and have already recorded Barry's analysis. This is a great learning experience and it shows the depth that Barry and Gene go through when picking stand locations. Some of it's obvious, some of it is not.

These guys really do think 3-dimensionally when it comes to evaluating a property to hunt. Impressive.

From: bill brown
02-Feb-15
I can't access Barry's commentary. Is there a problem with the site?

From: Deebz
02-Feb-15
I'm sure I'll be wrong, but I know that the stands I picked should present opportunities.

I'm thinking by Nov 15 most of the crazy chasing rut stuff is over (if the property follows the same patterns as mine), so I'm trying to get between food and bed and hope a big boy is cruising for does...

From: Eagle
02-Feb-15
Is the "Home" considered an additional parking spot, or are the only access points to the property the two "parking" spots marked?

From: Schmed
03-Feb-15
Is it my imagination, or did some of the stands get moved slightly? I could have sworn that the locations of stands 1, 8 and 9 were pictured slightly different in the image that was posted in the beginning of this contest. Were they adjusted or am I just senile?

From: Schmed
03-Feb-15

From: Pat Lefemine
03-Feb-15
Nothing has been changed.

From: bigeasygator
03-Feb-15
I'm very much not an expert at this stuff and don't pretend to be, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. So...

AM: 4, 7, or 10 PM: 11, 12, or 8.

That's what I've got it narrowed down to before I picked.

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Feb-15
Out of thousands of entries. 3 People have picked the exact morning and evening stand.

That means there are lots of opportunities to win. If you haven't entered yet, do it now.

Barry will provide a very detailed explanation after we announce the winners and he has agreed to answer questions on the forums as well.

From: Genesis
10-Feb-15
I can assume the cows are contained within the pasture where denoted?

From: Pat Lefemine
10-Feb-15
If I told you I'd have to kill you.

From: Genesis
10-Feb-15
Just what I thought....it don't matter..:)

From: bdfrd24v
10-Feb-15
I'm looking forward to the explanation of what is best and why. I personally listened to all of it and was more confused when I was done.

Like many of my hunts it looks like I would need to be have "a bit of luck" on my side

From: Pat Lefemine
10-Feb-15
That's entirely true. All of these things are impossible to guess accurately without being there and having boots on the ground. But there's enough there to narrow the choices to the point where you increase your odds of getting it right.

From: Barry Wensel
10-Feb-15
Everyone needs to remember this is a game. After it's all done I will explain my reasoning. I'll try to clarify parts of the puzzle so they'll hopefully all fall into place and make sense. There's a lot that can be learned from just looking at the aerials. But nothing will replace boots on the ground. Breaking down the deciding factors should be very interesting and will optimistically let you view your own hunting turf in a different way. Sharing these key elements is a lot of fun and especially rewarding when someone benefits enough to have it work for themselves. Best of luck. bw

From: XMan
11-Feb-15
I took a stab in the dark, would guess one is right based on the topo/terrain and the other is wrong, enjoyed looking this one over, complex for sure with all food choices. Alfalfa vs Corn... interesting.

From: tadpole
11-Feb-15
Need to know if this corn and alhalfa and beans is GMO. You guys gotta know the deer like the non-GMO stuff better...how's that for a twist?

From: Buck-man
14-Feb-15
I have no clue how to play this . Seems like Im missing a link to something . Don't hear anything I just see a map with tree stand stands on it

From: SANDMAN
15-Feb-15

SANDMAN's Link
click here

From: jjs
15-Feb-15
I do not hunt treestand, so Barry would give a poor ground pounder a more challenging hunt, I'll live Woodie2 for Barry.

From: Buck-man
15-Feb-15
Thankyou

From: Jack Harris
26-Feb-15
I did the 10 minute analysis and just based my decision on access, wind, and corn... I figured by 11/15 the beans and alfalfa are gone, hayfields not much going on, but any food would be the corn and acorns... I also don't like walking a long ways and kicking up deer in morning or afternoon, so that factored in...

I also factored in the "funnel" factor for a mature buck to be cruising late morning/early afternoon... What I can't tell from this is where the rub and scrape lines are- that last bit of info would seal the deal.

Nice property, but that NW is tough for a lot of those stands!

From: Pat Lefemine
26-Feb-15
Good analysis Jack.

From: Smtn10PT
26-Feb-15
What is the secret to hearing the audio?

From: Jack Harris
26-Feb-15
Some of those stands deeper in the hardwoods, would be tough in any wind, and are probably those "save for the rut, all day sit" kind of stands... Would have to understand the true deer movements to hunt those along with a little bit of luck of course. There are often things going on inside "the forest" that naturally funnel deer like ridges, ravines and blow-downs - and of course, knowing the best oak trees... Only with that real knowledge, could you know when to sit those stands, based on time of year and the wind...

From: Smtn10PT
27-Feb-15
I dont think I would be getting down from my first choice stand on Nov 15th.

From: kyhunter13
01-Mar-15
Has a deer been killed from the winning stand location? What actually make the winning stand location the right one.? I guess what I'm asking is are we picking a winning stand location on just someone else's opinion or what? I'm clue less to this game I reckon

From: Deebz
01-Mar-15
So who won?

From: Shednut
01-Mar-15
I'm with Deebz

From: Smtn10PT
02-Mar-15
I'd like to know what stands were the correct ones...

From: Jack Harris
02-Mar-15
Is there a way to see what we entered? I forgot already....

From: ToddT
02-Mar-15
Pat, I sent you a PM.

Jack, if you listen close to the audio Barry mentions something about a rubline in one certain area - if my memory is correct. Actually what I recall hearing he almost tells you which stand would be prime for an AM sit.

My wife and I didn't agree on that particular stand set up. I felt like going farther in, away from an open field was best - I believe Barry mentions several times that the mature bucks attempt to hide themselves from prying eyes - which has been my experience as well, so it made sense. My wife felt like staying closer to the edge as not to disturb the area would be best. So we submitted separate entries.

As mentioned by others, I am eager to learn from Barry's explanation, but as has also been mentioned, the information received so far has been fairly vague and being able to actually scout would seal those choices. But, I think the point was to help enhance our abilities to scout using maps, google earth, etc. before we even set foot on a piece of property.

By the way Jack, I fully agreed with your thoughts.

From: Jack Harris
02-Mar-15
ToddT- I didn't have time to listen, I just looked at the maps and access points, and did the quick analysis based on what I know about deer and times of year and food sources and wind... I wish I had more time to listen to all the audio, I probably would have chosen differently. I don't even remember what I chose, I wish I wrote it down because I don't see a way to find out.

From: ToddT
02-Mar-15
Im in a similar boat as I cannot remember exactly. But I think that if I look back I can figure it out. And it also sticks out the disagreement that I had with my wife about where to put a stand. Actually after thinking about it, she and I may have disagreed about both the AM and PM stands, but both my wife's and my choices were basically the same areas, but just slightly differing thoughts of where EXACTLY to sit. But it seems that when it comes to hunting, well pretty much anything actually, my wife has her own ideas.

And actually, in the past, her differing opinion has paid off, for her in particular. Something almost identical happened in Kansas in the past. We had an area to hunt and I preferred one area, and she preferred another area. Granted, the two areas were very close, and I felt that her chosen area would not be nearly as productive as the area I had chosen. However, her choice turned out to be a very productive stand site, whereas the one I chose, we have all but abandoned due to lower deer activity levels. And these two areas were within a couple hundred yards apart in open Kansas country, but just that small distance definitely made a difference.

Nowadays when she speaks, I pay close attention to what she has to say, because sometimes she picks up on things that I overlook.

From: Bigfoot
02-Mar-15
Are the results up yet? I tried to access the answers, but no luck on my computer. Are they posted elsewhere?

From: Barry Wensel
02-Mar-15
Hang in there guys. I've been out of town for the last two weeks. I actually came back a day early. I've emailed Pat to tell him I'm ready when he is. He's probably out of town too. Have patience and remember this is just a fun/game. There are a lot of factors involved that can't be determined from the maps. I think the whole idea behind this is to throw out some theories and opinions to get folks to thinking on how they may adapt in their own areas at home. bw

From: Bigfoot
02-Mar-15
Thanks for the update, Barry. I'll be patient.

Also, thanks for putting this challenge together. Pretty interesting to study the area and come up with ideas on how to hunt it. Without boots on the ground it is challenging, but fun to try and figure things out.

From: Barry Wensel
02-Mar-15
Not to throw a wrench into the works and I'll probably get into trouble for saying this, but THE very best stand on the farm I did not tell anyone about (the old pro doesn't tell all his tricks, Ha) No, actually I'll spill my guts about it for educational purposes. But we didn't use it in the treestand challenge because it's a SW only wind direction and we were going with the more common NW winds in mid-November. Stay tuned, this is some interesting stuff. bw

From: bowriter
02-Mar-15
To reinforce something Barry said, we got a rare snowfall this year with enough for trails to be seen even in the thickets. Although I have hunted this farm for 15-years, I found two trails I was not aware of. And Barry, will y'all ship me the stand or do I pick it up at a store? Thanks for picking me.

From: Smtn10PT
05-Mar-15
Can you post the stands that were the "correct" ones? throw us a bone here...

From: dg72A
05-Mar-15
Yeah, what`s the hold up?

From: Flumer
05-Mar-15
I'm going to need that stand before deer season...

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Mar-15
Announcing today.

Only 7 people got both stands right out of literally thousands of entries.

We are putting those 7 names in a hat and will announce the names shortly along with Barry's explanation.

From: Barry Wensel
06-Mar-15
I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I have no idea who the seven folks are who got the answers correctly but I'm going to offer an additional prize. I have three of my whitetail bootcamp sessions scheduled for 2015 in south-central Iowa. #1 is March 19-21st; #2 is March 26-28th; #3 is April 9-11th. #3 is already sold out. All the general info is listed on our website at: www.brothersofthebow.com. I'd like Pat to put the names of all seven winners into a hat and draw one for a free bootcamp. This will include the entire three day session in #1 OR #2. All meals and lodging in a nice camp/host facility are included. I apologize for the short notice. Travel expenses are not included and the offer is not transferable. Congratulations for those involved. bw

From: Reflex
06-Mar-15
Nice gesture Barry! That would be a great prize to win!

From: CurveBow
06-Mar-15
Barry - thats a most generous offer! I hope I win! :)

>>>>-------->

From: CurveBow
06-Mar-15
Dreaded double post....

>>>>-------->

06-Mar-15
Maybe Barry's generous donation should be given to someone from a group that was not even close to having the correct answers. Just sayin'.

From: Rocky D
06-Mar-15
Only on Bowsite...

From: Pikentrout
06-Mar-15
That is ONE heck of a deal! if in the field...might even find some sheds!

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Mar-15
Winners announced along with Barry's AM and PM stand choices.

Congrats to our winners!

From: Nick Muche
06-Mar-15
Congrats!

From: Reflex
06-Mar-15
Who are they?

From: Smtn10PT
07-Mar-15
Congrats to the winners! I had the PM stand correct but wasn't close on the AM stand. There must be a setting on my computer that's preventing me from hearing the audio from Barry.

From: Jack Harris
07-Mar-15

Jack Harris's Link
Congrats to the winners. Thank you Barry and Pat for doing this. I put a link to the winner page here so others can jump right over and see the wrap-up

From: Barry Wensel
07-Mar-15
Congratulations to Bootcamp Drawing Winner Roy Seidl of WI. He is going to be able to make the March 19-21st session AND it looks like he might be able to bring his two grandsons along also. Thanks to all involved. bw

From: midwest
07-Mar-15
Congrats to the winners....never would have guessed #2 due to wind direction.

From: lewis
07-Mar-15
I know this is a stretch but is there any way one could see what stand he or she chose.I've slept since then and I forgot.Lewis

From: Barry Wensel
07-Mar-15
Regarding #2, it's another example of seeing the actual land contours that will let you understand the answer. The dry creek that runs in front of the stand lays approx. WWN to ESE. There's a little finger ridge that extends down to the creek that was formed by erosion that's just off the west side of the stand about 12 yds. The morning pattern is deer movement from the north out of the crop fields both north and south of the road following the brush line. They cross the dry creek at a flat spot where a downed, old rusty wire fence lays; then walk south up the little finger to the main bedding area. The dry creek bed is shallow enough that deer can walk in the sandy bottom of the creek quietly while being mostly out of sight, not exposed yet still able to look over the creek bank to the flats to the north. Lots of cruising bucks going west to east and east to west during the rut scent checking the north fields. The NW wind direction carries your scent at an angle away from the bedding areas; away from their access to/from it yet away from bucks cruising up and down the creek bed in the cover. It all makes perfect sense when you see it. bw

From: midwest
07-Mar-15
Barry, I had a spot many years ago in Southern IA (Des Moines County) that was an ideal pinch point along a creek travel corridor. The creek made a bend with a good sized limestone bluff on the inside of the bend and a narrow stip of timber along a picked bean field on the outside bend. Only bad thing was it was going to take a rare easterly wind to make the stand huntable.

One morning, with a NW wind, I was hunting a stand across the field from the pinch point stand. It was late Oct. and the leaves were dropping pretty good. I was watching in amazement as the leaves falling from the trees over by the pinch point stand were blowing out into the field from the NE even though the wind was out of the NW.

I couldn't take it any more as the leaves continued to blow out into the field in what looked to be nearly the opposite direction of the morning's wind. I finally figured out the bluff along the inside of that creek bend was re-directing the wind current and it held true at that stand every time the wind was out of the NW. About the 3rd time I hunted that stand, on Thanksgiving weekend, I had a decent buck come through and right behind him, a bruiser. I let the first buck walk and when the big boy was only 20 yards away, he looked right up at me, got nervous, and made a 90 turn right out into the field. A tree limb blocked my shot and I had to let him just walk away.

Since that time, I had one other spot on a farm in east central Iowa with nearly the same situation....when the wind was out of the NW, it blew from the NE in this stand due to a river and ridge bending the current.

This time, in this stand, when I grunted in a big NT, I got the shot and made it count! Some things you just don't see until you spend some time hunting an area.

From: Barry Wensel
08-Mar-15
Yeah Nick, those are good examples of spending time in the woods studying/thinking. When I was younger I foolishly ran through the woods once or twice, made my decisions then stayed out. As I got older I found myself slowing down and comparing findings over multiple scouting days to look for/compare consistencies. In other words I've found it best to study an area for two hour trips on three different days rather than scouting the same area one day for six hours. I'm constantly checking the winds with powder, filaments or even bubbles. But if you question consistent winds like in your examples above, I break out the smoke bombs. I often use those colored smoke bombs you can buy at fireworks stores. Get a good quality smoke bomb that lasts seven to ten seconds (you might need to shop around and try different brands). I usually lay the smoke bomb on the platform of the treestand or if there's no stand there yet, try to elevate it several feet up in a tree. That way you can get a better read on the smoke dispersal. Land contours and terrain structure will shift wind directions sometimes totally opposite of the normal drifts. Being aware of that and shifting your position accordingly will make all the difference as long as the wind angles are consistent. bw

From: Long Hunter
08-Mar-15
I am one of the winners. Thanks to Pat for setting this up and to Summit and Barry for the generous donation of great prizes.

This was an incredibly fun challenge. It really gave me some great things to think about for setting up my own stands.

From: Rock
09-Mar-15
Pat, I am pretty sure that I got both locations correct but do not remember for sure. Is there anyway you can let us know who the 7 people were that got it right?

From: 12yards
09-Mar-15
This was fun. Nothing better than looking at aerial photos and LiDAR and trying to figure out spots. Thanks for the challenge! Sure would love to learn about the SW wind spot!

From: Barry Wensel
09-Mar-15
Regarding the SW wind spot, this might get confusing if you need to refer back and forth to the aerials. Go about 3/4 of an inch in from the west border between Zone 1&2. If you look really close you'll see an internal fenceline going North in the timber. In fact, it extends all the way to the north border of the property at the top of Zone 3 just west of the north parking spot. Now, right where that fence hits the dividing line between Zone 1 & 2, there's an old open gate immediately east of the N/S fence. That open gate funnels deer from Zone 1 entering the bedding areas listed to the north as well as cruising bucks. There's a little cedar just inside the open gate on the east side of the N/S-S/N movement where you can cover the open gate, as well as the south side of the Zone 1-2 line for deer paralleling along the E/W fence. On a SW wind they don't have a clue. I used to enter the stand before light on the east side of that little finger of timber (the one to the east) that divides the beans and corn in Zone 1. I'd walk north before light until I got to the Zone 1-2 boundary line area. There's an old fence there going E/W. I'd cross that little fence and proceed west on the north side of the boundary line, thru the softwoods until I reached the stand covering the open gate. That way almost none of the deer in the western 2/3 of Zone 1 knew you were entering. Yes, it'd be a LOT easier entering from the west but by coming in from the east you'd not leave any residual ground scent they'd cross. And the SW winds would drift your scent south of the primary bedding. I personally know of five bowhunters who have killed big, mature bucks from that little cedar on the open gate. I put a bowhunter/friend from N.J. named Bill Urban in that stand one morning. I saw him that evening and he said "Who picked that tree?" I thought something went wrong and I sheepishly said I did. He said, "It's brilliant!" Ha. He said he saw 65 deer from the stand that prime November day. Let me clarify this is just an old gate/opening in the fence-line dividing the semi-open brush in Zone 1 with the thicker cedar bedding areas in Zone 2. Positioning, entrance/exit and consistent winds are the keys. BW

From: 12yards
09-Mar-15
So just west of stand 7 on the aerial if I understand you right? I assumed you entered through the wider finger of timber between the corn and beans to the east?? That would leave more of Zone 1 undisturbed. Also it looks like your scent with a SW wind is blowing down a gradual slope and then over a steeper cut/drainage.

From: Barry Wensel
10-Mar-15
Yes, the open gate is about half way between stand #7 on the aerial and the west side road. You can see the fence line running N/S right thru the "B" in the word "Bedding" on the aerial. Yes, wider finger to east on entrance allowed for less disturbance. North and east (NE) of the stand there are some rolling land contours with the ridges/valleys running E/W. But they are covered with mature cedar/junipers. bw

From: bdfrd24v
10-Mar-15
Barry,

When is your best time to hunt #4. Something about that spot intrigued me.

From: 12yards
10-Mar-15
bdfrd24v, I agree. Would have good access for entry and a good place for a morning stand I would think.

From: bdfrd24v
10-Mar-15
yea that was my thoughts. I had picked 4 am 9 pm.

Pretty pleased with my picks. Figured I could have been off by a mile.

From: Barry Wensel
10-Mar-15
I'm proud of you guys. Stand #4 is outstanding and one of my favorites for an all day sit during the rut on a NW wind. Same thing, you'd jump all over it if you were able to see the land contours and minute pieces of the puzzle. In fact, in my book "Once Upon A Tine" on page 58 I wrote about passing a big 6x6 up on 11/29/01 from that very stand (#4) after wheezing him in. That same year, friend Dwayne Garner from MT sat the same stand and killed a nice buck in the mid-140s. Dwayne shot his buck and before he even climbed down from his perch he had a B&C non-typical walk by. Dwayne's tag was filled so he took a photo of the stud. Ask him about it. By the way, this last season (2014) right across the internal fence line just to the west of stand #4 there was another giant 200 inch plus, wide non-typical buck killed by another bowhunter. Stands like these are treasures in that they'll often produce great results for decades at a time because of their positioning. It's our job to locate them and spend as much time in them as possible during prime conditions. bw

From: Iowa_Archer
11-Mar-15
This is very interesting reading, in particular the detailed explanations of what makes a specific stand work AND how to access it and leave it correctly. Thanks to Barry and all for putting this contest on!! When's the next one? :)

I have a question/suggestion though...similar to the post-contest write up of the unnamed SW wind "killer stand" and then ol' #4...I would like to ask if Barry could break down the other stand locations in the original contest and provide a little bit of a write up on each one in terms how you got to and from it, what factors on the ground made that stand a good choice, etc, and also, any specific anecdotes on nice bucks that were seen or taken from that location.

I understand that this would be time consuming, but there is nothing to hunt right now! :)

From: Dave
11-Mar-15
Where can we see what our guesses were???? It's been so long, I forgot. I'd like to see if I was close.

From: lewis
11-Mar-15
Dave x 2 Lewis

From: bdfrd24v
11-Mar-15
Thanks Barry. I appreciate the response. #4 looked like my go to stand. Loved the topo features around it and seemed to be placed perfectly.

Thanks again

From: Tracker
11-Mar-15
Great time on this one. Interestingly the winners were 2 and 9. My choices were 3 and 8. Close but no cigar. Barry with a SW wind what made the more Northern stands of the ones I mentioned better. I guess maybe boot on the ground would reveal that.

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Regarding the above suggestions, yes this would be very time consuming to break each stand down. I can't do them all but will try to highlight some so it will get you to thinking. This might get confusing as I said to refer back and forth between this post and the aerials but I don't know how else to do it. Stand #1- Notice a fence line going N/S just to the left of the "A" in Alfalfa (zone 3) that connects the little finger from the southern "arm" to the north secondary brush at another small extended finger. The bedding area was close to the west and north roads but the cover was extremely thick so deer were comfortable there. Notice the seepage going W/E and the density differences south of that seepage. Bucks would cruise W/E from the timber to the west, cross the west road, walk parallel on the downwind side of the seepage so they could scent-check the bedding area on a NW wind. Then they would also connect via the tiny finger into the east timber and do the same. Bedded deer tended to come into the area from the crop fields to the north. They had food, water and dense cover/bedding without moving much. The best entrance/exit was before light from the west road looping in from the south. bw

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Stand #3: Right behind the lettering of "Zone 3" you'll notice a lighter color indicating less density just south of the pasture. It's again hard to explain but bucks would cruise W/E just south of that W/E pasture fence and drop into the thicker cover to the east. They preferred that pattern over the thicker stuff to the south of the words "Zone 3" because it was a flat with consistent winds and easy walking, rather than the up and downs, swirling winds in the irregular contours of the terrain just south of the "Zone 3" words. Plus they couldn't see as well in the thick stuff. Entrance/exit was from the north across the top pasture, around the little timbered arm, then east, then south to the stand. Clear as mud? Sorry. bw

From: Bernie1
11-Mar-15
I picked those stands!!!

I am totally awesome and this game was rigged because I didn’t win …LOL!!!

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Stand #5: This stand was thrown in but it was only good for SW winds. Anyone who picked this one for NW winds should take up bowling or golf. Ha. A NW wind would get you busted every time by bucks walking SE to NW just inside the timber line of the cornfields before they turned and headed north to the timber across the airstrip. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the line dividing Zones 2 & 3, the center section of that dividing line is an old private airstrip. I wanted to mention another great tip on how we sometimes need to adapt to certain situations and hunt smart. Look close at the aerials. Just south and parallel to the airstrip, if you look close there's a minor tree/brush line running W/E. Like most farmers, the owner would rotate crops between corn/beans/alfalfa. Some years the farmer would stack a single row of big round bales running E/W along that brush line. The bales were placed similar to wheels in a line. I used to take the end bale on the west and roll it one bale diameter to the west (with permission). Then I put a pop-up blind in the slot where I rolled the bale from. So I ended up with my blind one bale in from the end. That works much better than placing it on the end. Now, look again close to the aerial. Notice that fence line running N/S just west of Stand #4. Bucks would walk north to south on both sides of that fence on their way to the crops. In doing so they'd walk right around the barricade/row of round bales and parade right past me. It worked on any westerly wind. I recall one evening I passed up a bachelor group of seven racked bucks, including a couple good ones, as they walked by at under 15 yds without a clue. These are the kinds of things I like to share during my whitetail bootcamp sessions. I was already sold out on them all for this year but I just had a couple cancellations in session #1 and #2 if anyone is interested. Thanks. bw

From: Iowa_Archer
11-Mar-15
Great stuff! Thanks for taking the time Barry. You are right, it's the little details that really spell the difference between success and "he got away" camp fire stories. :) Your analysis and commentary are great teachers.

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Stand #6- A good stand only on southerly winds (either from the S/SE/SW).You can't see the detail via the aerials without walking it. Right behind the word "Zone" in Zone 2 there's a finger of trees/brush running E/W to about the "Z". Right under the "e" in Zone is an open gate in the fence line running N/S. Deer that enter the alfalfa out of the bedding area of Zone 2 tend to drift NE in order to check out the crop fields to the NE and E in Zone 2. In doing so they walk thru that open gate/gap in the fencerow right under you with a southerly wind. A SE wind is actually best because you also get bucks cruising for does that come N and S along the hedgerow that extends all the way north to the airstrip and the timber between the 2 hay fields just north of the airstrip. We need to look at the big picture when connecting the pieces of the puzzle. Too many guys tend to concentrate their thinking too limited. bw

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Stand #8- Not in any specific order, I failed to mention entrance/exit on Stand #6. It's pretty much the same with stands #8, #9 and #6 by parking in the SE and walking NW thru that little depression while out of sight, then sneaking into either #6/9 or 8. #8 is a good one. If you study it you'll notice everything lines up. It's a virtual crossroads of deer movement at the "epi-center" of the N/S/E/W movement. I hate when that happens. Also, immediately to the west of #8, just inside the timber, is an old skid trail running all the way down and beyond the SW corner of that bean field. With any kind of westerly winds bucks can walk up and down that skid trail S/N and scent check anything to the west and still see out into the east bean field for activity. A lot of this is just common sense. bw

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Moving south to stand #10, this is an all day internal stand during the rut. My son missed a big one from this stand when his lower bow limb hooked the wire of the stand. He blew an easy 12 yd. shot. Rumor has it I also missed a big non-typical with two drop tines from this same spot. It wasn't a hard shot but my broadhead caught the edge of a 3" sapling. I'd never seen the buck before nor since. Same story, you can't appreciate the details without walking it. The land contours, as well as the lighting factors dictate your positioning. There is a distinct edge internally where the trees go from softwoods to hardwoods. The edge runs N/S with the softwoods to the west. I'm going to enter stand #7 into this same discussion because they are related close enough. At stand #10 bucks will cruise with a westerly wind just east of the softwood edge. Using the same logic they can smell anything in the softwoods to the west and see down into the timber to the east. Stand #7 covers the same general movement other than a couple internal elevation changes let the bowhunter in #7 also see down into the creek bottom/seepage to the east better. There's a LOT of great activity in that bottom to the east and you will strongly want to hunt it. But I tend to stay out of it because of inconsistent winds/swirling. I depend on calling/wheezing any bucks in the bottom I may be interested in so I can take advantage of the more consistent winds up top. Entrance/exit to #10 is from the west side Zone #1/ #2 border, thru that little gap mentioned earlier in the W/E fence, then north along that N/S fence towards the "b" in bedding; then east to #10. I also cut a path through some wild rosebushes/stickers with my trusty pruners so I could enter quiet. With #7 I came in totally different. I parked along the river and entered on the east side of that little finger of timber, walking to the NW; continued up a little valley, looped to the north into Zone #2 and worked my way up some minor internal ridges to #7.

From: Barry Wensel
11-Mar-15
Stands #11 and #12 are a little hard to explain. Behind the icon of #11 is an old, run-down homestead. The remaining buildings create structure. The hedgerow running SE to the river actually used to be the driveway. The lay of the land associated w/ the buildings dictated the stand positioning. But the bottom line is it was either a morning stand with a southerly wind or an evening stand with northerly winds... IF you played the angles right. Entrance in the morning was from the NW and evening from the south obviously. Rumor has it there was another 200" N/T caught on trail camera this fall right next to stand #11. He never got killed that I know of, so I assume he's still alive and well. I also should mention I once saw a buck on the open hillside just NW of #11 that was the proud owner of the single longest tine I've ever seen on a whitetail. Many years ago I had the honor of measuring a Montana buck that ended up being the state record bowkilled typical at the time, (Dale Farnes, MT if you want to look it up). Dale's buck had G2s just over 16 inches. This above mentioned buck had G2s easily longer than the MT buck. Again, no shot and never saw him before or since. #12 stand was very difficult to hunt because of the terrain features. I never liked #12 much. In fact, I took it down and repositioned it several times trying to adapt to the winds but it never worked out well. So, if #12 was one of your choices... best of luck to you. So there you have it. I'm not sure if I can add much more. I apologize if this was somewhat confusing. For those who stuck with it, congratulations. It's obvious you have the desire. If one little hint gives you the chance at a future "biggest buck of your life" it was all worth it. Thank you all and thanks to Pat for putting this all together. Best of luck. BW

From: midwest
11-Mar-15
Barry, I remember seeing an Ohio buck in Gene's collection with 16" tines. Amazing!

12-Mar-15
Thank you so much, Barry. You are the man...

From: Jack Harris
12-Mar-15
I forget if I picked 4 or 9 for morning, because although a bit of a walk through the woods (stay out of fields), those looked like the kind of mid-November rut stands I want to get in an hour or more before daylight, and sit. Not 100% foolproof on the wind but they seemed to be nice funnels for cruising bucks. I would assumed they were placed there specifically with NW wind in mind. Boots on ground would have shown rublines, scrapes, and acorns but they sure looked like a great spot to sit all morning, if not all day and catch a cruiser-bruiser...

I am pretty sure I chose #11 for afternoon, strictly based on afternoon corn, easy access without getting busted, and fairly "wind proof" with a nice narrow finger of trees extending out into the corn for the deer to follow with a little more of a safety net.

Again - all I did was look at the map, I had no time to listen to all the audio. Good stuff Barry.

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