by Dan Carlson
We’ve talked a bit about the increasingly popular run-and-gun style of deer hunting previously in our blog but thought it may be useful to touch on some of the hows and whys involved in this method of hunting. For answers we turned to Arron Bleise, a veteran producer and videographer whose work you’ve likely seen in countless hunting videos and shows online and on television. When he’s not shooting with a camera, Arron shoots at deer from a treestand and he has developed quite a base of knowledge about hunting big game from treestands. Run-and-gun has become a favorite technique of his.
The post-rut period can be challenging for hunters. The combination of the rut and heavy hunting pressure tends to disrupt patterns seen in deer prior to the occurrence of these events. Hunters will find deer where there previously were very few if any, and areas that once held large numbers may only hold a few. The first challenge is to find the deer and re-pattern them.
Arron will often head out with his bow, a Millennium M7 Microlite hanging stand and four Millennium M250 Hang-On Climbing Sticks after a light snow. The lightweight characteristics of this gear mean he’s carrying only about 20 lbs. and can move quickly from place to place. Arron looks for evidence of new deer trails to and from food sources such as crops, food plots and acorns. If he encounters a recent secondary scrape, he’ll drop in some doe estrus scent lure in hopes of bringing in bucks looking for a second rut opportunity.
Arron will let deer rest and go about their business in the early morning and then begin his “speed-scouting” until he locates a promising spot. The ease with which the Millennium gear deploys means he can usually have the stand set up in 10 minutes or less. He’s especially fond of the Millennium M102S Receiver CamLOCK for fast and sure mounting. Arron has worked with the M250 Sticks and M7 Microlite stand to a point where he is able to minimize his trips up and down the tree and do everything he needs to in three trips or less. He then hunts late afternoon until the end of legal-shooting hours to catch deer on their way back to bedding areas after the afternoon feeding. It’s important not to quit too early as most of the post-rut bucks Arron’s taken using these tactics have been in the last 10 minutes of shooting time.
Deer in the post-rut, post-firearm season period are easily spooked and many hunters make a critical error by using deer calls too aggressively. Arron recommends not calling until a deer is actually in sight, and then beginning the call sequence with a hot-doe bleat because, “I’ve never seen a deer scared off by a light doe bleat.” Then he’ll follow up using a “buck chasing a doe” grunt, a call he says enrages any mature bucks in the area and will bring them running.
If you don’t have success in one area, take everything down and move to a new one. Mobility is critical to making run-and-gun work. The speed with which Millennium treestands can be set up and taken down makes them ideal for this hunting method. Consider taking a day to speed-scout, identify several promising setup options, and then spend an evening in a treestand at each until you fill your tag. Or hit multiple locations in one day if time and conditions warrant doing so.
Millennium Treestands has the gear you need for run-and-gun success. If you have questions about which equipment is best for your style of hunting, please reach out using the “contact us” tab at the top of this page. Our friendly and experienced staff is standing by to lend a hand. As always, thanks for choosing Millennium.