Summer Treestand Prep with Gregg Ritz

Summertime is my annual reset for the 365-whitetail season.  Last year’s memories are still fresh in my mind and the season’s activity still remain visible, giving a hunter the opportunity to derive the game plan for the upcoming Fall season.

Each year is a building block from previous years and an evolution in how wildlife habitat is managed and how the strategies are set.  It is also a time to do the necessary maintenance on the farm.  Every Summer I kick off my field work by adjusting the straps of my treestands and steps to accommodate for the growth of the trees.  I have a regimented process of replacing any straps that are frayed or chewed and every five years all my straps get replaced regardless of their condition.  Doing this is cheap insurance for the safety and comfort of my hunts.


At each stand location, I take the time to do a surveillance to make sure the activity around the stand site has not been altered by crop rotations, downed trees or other environmental factors that would have shifted the deer’s patterns.

My process for maintaining stand sites also includes spraying a cocktail of 2,4-D and Round-Up herbicides to kill any new plant growth on the trails leading to and from my stands.  I also take the time to remark my path with reflectors to ensure I can find my stand effortlessly in the dark.  I leave the trimming of shooting lanes for late Summer once the leaves are on the trees.  

The more I manage farms for whitetails, the more I refine my process and look for ways to outsmart these highly adaptive creatures.  With over 300 stand locations spanning three states,  this task can seem overwhelming, but I love every minute of the grind and welcome the sweat equity I put into the management and pursuit of mature bucks.

Gregg Ritz, Host of Hunt Masters