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Deer Stands

Grey Dog Maple Farm is more than Swamp Sugar, farming and animals. It’s about living an outdoor lifestyle. We hunt, fish, camp and hike too. Our State is filled with public access land and we happen to be surrounded by it. Whether it’s time on our own property or walking across the road to state land, our boys are blessed with an enormous opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Now that bow season has started here in Michigan, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the different types of deer stands we use at Grey Dog Maple Farm.

I don’t remember the first time I went deer hunting. It was so long ago that it’s blended into the rest of my memories. I do know where it was though. It was out on a big hill, at the Fulton Farm in Saranac Michigan. I also know that all of our hunting was done from sitting on the ground. There was no blind or tree stand. Pop Ups hadn’t even been invented yet. We had a hot seat and hand warmers and those hand warmers weren’t little plastic bags. They were velvet covered metal cases that charcoal burned in. Southern Michigan was shotgun only territory and bow hunting wasn’t that popular then. There were no 350’s or 450’s, only your trusty 12 gauge. Most of us carried a pump and the fancy guys had their autoloaders. We sat in the elements, dressed in blaze orange from head to toe, with our hunting license hung on our backs.

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I first used a tree stand. It was on a farm south of Saranac and the stand was a “found” stand. Someone had been hunting the property without asking permission and had left their stand behind. The farm owner told me I could use it. Without having any previous stand experience, I climbed up and hunted from it. It was a homemade stand, nothing special and probably not very safe. It looked like someone had learned how to weld by building it. The screw in steps were bent and there was no safety strap. The view though, was amazing. Being up above the corn made an enormous difference in what you could see. That old stand opened up an entire new way of hunting for me. If you’re hunting, make sure you have permission from the property owner. Trespassing gives all of us a bad name, not just you.

Flash forward to today. I still don’t have a fancy tree stand, but I have a good assortment of regular ones. I typically use these during early bow and the late muzzleloader season when hunting pressure is down on the deer. If the weather is nice and the wind is right, a tree stand is a great place to be. There are three main types of tree stands. Those are hang on, ladder, and climbing. We use the hang on and ladder stands on our property, and a climbing stand if we go over to the state land. You do have to be a lot more conscious of your scent, movement and noise though. Even with a two person stand, those factors can make it hard to bring a kid hunting with you. You can cover them in scent killer but that won’t stop them from getting fidgety. At twenty feet up in the air, that movement will be broadcast a long ways, telling every deer out there not to come close.

We also have a couple pop-up blinds, but those are mostly used for turkey season. If I have a buck that’s running a non-typical route through our property, I might use a pop-up for him too. Pop-ups are nice because they set up and take down quickly. They’re easy to camouflage with branches or corn stalks and they hide a lot of your movements and a lot of your scent. Their biggest downfall is durability. One big storm and you’ll be hunting for your blind after it blows away. And those branches used for camouflage, can put holes in them, which often lead to rips. Duct tape can keep them together, but only for so long.

Finally, we have our elevated wooden blinds. These have withstood intense storms, year after year. They’re heated with scentless propane heaters. With the windows closed, they conceal all movements and scent. These are the perfect blinds to take a kid hunting in, or even a grandpa who might need a little heat to enjoy the season. Ladders can be tricky for little ones or older ones so we built ours with steps. Being enclosed and up off the ground offers those inside and opportunity to get up and move around without spooking any deer that you might not see. They’re also a favorite place of mine to sit while the weather is bad. Deer will bed down during a storm and then get up to move as soon as it’s over. An enclosed blind lets you sit through the storm comfortably and be in place for when they move. And being elevated, they give you the same sight advantage as a tree stand.

The hunters at Grey Dog Maple Farm have a lot of options for deer stands. Whether you’re in a tree stand, a blind, or on a hot seat on the ground, it’s being out in the woods that’s important. The views, smells, noises and peacefulness of the woods will help cleanse your soul. Hunting is more than just killing deer. It's apart of an outdoors lifestyle that Grey Dog Maple Farm lives. Find what works best for you and hunt from it. And when they’re ready, take a kid hunting. Getting little ones involved now will help keep hunting around for generations to come.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you email your deer stand pictures to us at, we'll post them on our Facebook page. We want you to become apart of the Grey Dog Maple Farm lifestyle. Check out our store and share this link with your friends.

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