The All-Day Sit for Whitetail Hunting
If you want to grab the attention of any deer hunter in America all you need to do is start a sentence with,” The best way to improve your odds of killing a big buck is ___________”. Mission accomplished; they are hanging on your every last word. Some enterprising individuals would fill in the blank with….” buy these clothes”, “use this call”, “read my book” or “hunt this state”. Others may offer more “creative” methods of increasing your odds such as special diets, secret tactics, or even wrapping aluminum foil around your head. The truth is the one thing that increases your odds the most is the one thing that is the simplest: hunt more.
Let’s assume that you are already hunting property with great potential for mature whitetail bucks, and you have a sound understanding of the proper methods of pursing such an animal. Let us also assume that you are hunting during the prime time of the season, the Rut, and have just started a 5-day hunt. On paper your odds of encountering a big buck are looking pretty good. Still, you are looking for that one thing that will increase your odds for success. You know what? I can tell you what it is and it’s free. Sit. All. Day.
Now you could certainly find success following the standard protocol of your average hunter: hunt the first two hours in the morning and the last two hours in the evening. After all, this is when most big bucks are killed statistically. However, are the statistics somewhat skewed by the hunters themselves? I mean, if the majority of hunters only hunt in the early morning hours and late afternoon hours it stands to reason that most big bucks would be harvested during these times as well. Likewise, if the majority of deer hunters in the country only hunted from 10 am until 2 pm, the statistics of harvesting a big buck during this time frame would certainly look pretty darn good. So, with this in mind, what would happen to the statistics if the majority of deer hunters sat from daylight to dark? The answer…If overall hunter hours increase, the rate of success would undoubtedly increase as well. You don’t have to be a math whiz (just ask my high school algebra teacher) for this to make sense.
Now all you have to do to increase your odds of running into Ole Mossy Horns is stay in your stand. Easy…right?? Wrong! While the idea of sitting all day is simple, the implementation of said idea can prove to be difficult. The all-day vigil is mentally and physically demanding. Being confined to the small tree stand for upwards of 12 hours can test any man’s patience and you will fail miserably unless you are prepared. Forget boredom and comfort; hunger, thirst, and the call of nature will send you packing all too quickly unless you have a predetermined solution at the start of your hunt. If I forget my king size candy bar or peanut butter sandwich, I will be watching SportsCenter by 10 AM. You also need to dress the part. Cold feet, cold hands, or a cold body in general will chew up and spit out your best intentions of an all-day waiting game. Dress like it is 10 degrees (or 20 degrees if you’re like me) colder than it actually is, just to be safe. If boredom is a real threat, bring some inconspicuous entertainment. A pocket video game or a book can really take your mind off your wristwatch. Of course, it also takes your mind of the hunt as well, but I think the benefits of staying in the tree outweigh the negative ramifications of distraction. I have personally conquered the boredom aspect of sitting all day by embracing the peace and quiet of being in the woods all day long. I don’t look at sitting out there as a chore anymore. Once the cooler temperatures and rut activity arrive, I can’t wait to get into the woods for a full day of hunting and relaxation.
Besides the statistical advantage of logging more hours in the woods, the health benefits of extensive relaxation, and the possibility of coming up with a million-dollar idea during 12 straight hours of thinking; there is also the advantage of the reduced impact on your hunting land. Each time you sit all day long you are reducing your trips in and out of your hunting area. This greatly lowers the chances of you educating the mature whitetail buck you are after. Considering all of these wonderful benefits of putting in an “all day sit”; I strongly encourage you to try a few during the rut this fall. With any luck maybe you will become a statistic.
-Corey J. Wilkinson
Last Updated: July 18th, 2023