Summer is a long and miserable beast for some dedicated whitetail hunters, but all is not lost with the sweltering heat. Even though it's a sweaty job, treestand work during the summer can definitely have it's benefits.
Dodging the chiggers, ticks, mosquitoes, and snakes can be part of the adventure if you are an optimistic do all kinda guy, if you're not there just another reason to stay at home. Don't let these nuisances keep you from getting your work done early though, Sawyers tick repellent is a life saver for keeping ticks and chiggers off. Combine that with some heavy duty bug spray and wear long pants with rubber boots and you're giving yourself the best chance possible to avoid the itchy-crawlies. I like to wear loose and lightweight clothing. The Cool-Tech products offer great UV sun protection along with keeping the itchy-crawlies off of you. Some of us battle the poison ivy and that's no fun. A Benadryl before and one after along with a shower and some Tecnu shower soap can help avoid that also.
One of the main benefits of summer treestand prep is the deer are very lethargic. They will commonly be out in the same fields while heavy Ag equipment is running spraying fertilizer or planting in other areas. I've never worried about using a chain saw or pole saw and spooking deer out of your area. If you are really concerned with that variable, wait till a heavy wind day or a thunderstorm in approaching. The noise of mother nature will cover your scent and noise.
Typically during the summer my main goal is to trim all my shooting lanes while foliage is in full effect. One of my favorite things and must haves for every bow hunter is a Ryobi electric pole saw. They are all-electric running off a lightweight battery that gives you 45-plus minutes of constant run time. The saw is super quiet and has just as much power as a gas-operated one. I actually carry this saw year-round when moving or making stand changes. It extends to almost 12-feet long when you're at full reach and sure as heck beats the shoulder workout of manual saws.
The second thing I'm trying to accomplish is controlling the underbrush on my paths to and from the stand. A backpack sprayer with either a Gly-24D mix or a small dose of Crossbow will completely kill off all those nasty thorns and underbrush that will hang you up and ad noise in the fall. You can also use this tactic to manipulate travel routes of your deer. On some of our properties, we mow 3-5 feet brush hog paths to and from the food sources to bedding; most evenings there could be an argument to install a stoplight for all the deer traffic traveling on the paths. Deer are a lazy animal and will take the route of least resistance to food or water more times than not.
Always remember to check your straps on your stands and wear a lifeline. Especially if your doing stand work alone, which I encourage to avoid at all costs. It's a good idea to back your ratchet straps off 1-2 notches in the summer to let the tree grow inside them as well. For added safety, take a set of bino's and inspect the straps from the ground for squirrel damage as well. One of my favorite things about the Millennium M25 stands is the metal chain that attaches to the tree. Ain't no squirrel ever going to chomp through that thing.
There is a lot to be accomplished during the summer months that will help you ease into the stand a little smoother in the fall. Check back for more content regarding food plots, habitat maintenance, and all things outdoors this summer on our site, https://www.