As the doe cull is in full swing in the UK, Realtree Team Member Keith Watson takes us through his top 10 tips on choosing the right location for your highseat.
1. When locating your high seats, try to use the biggest tree you can. The winter winds can be strong. Stability is the key and a stable shooting platform will increase your chances of a kill ten fold.
2. Any information gained from trail cams should be put to good use, helping with your location choice. If you have a particular group of deer, or a particular deer using an area on a regular basis, you can plan to put your seat in the location of that said deer and cut out a lot of the guess work.
3. Take advantage of natural larder. Acorns, beech nuts and chestnuts will all be readily taken by the deer and a heavy crop should be paid attention to by you and the deer. It's alwayd best to use natures bounty as corn and other feeds can be expensive!
4. As the natural food diminishes, keep an eye on any feed rides and feed bins used by the game shoot. This can be an ace card at times or put your feed bins in place. BUT DON’T OVERSHOOT IT otherwise it will work against you. You will push the deer away and defeat the purpose of having a high seats.
5. When deciding on the location of any high seat, you should take into account how you will get to it, as this may need to be achieved before sunrise. It’s no good having to march through your best woods to get to your favourite location if you are bumping deer in the process (especially Fallow). Also, you have to remember that you need to extract the said deer from this location.
6. Don’t be a cheapskate; cover the shooting rail with pipe-lagging. I have seen more than enough stalking outings spoilt and shots lost by the rifle clanging against the high seat. It’s just a false economy not to cover it, trust me! and it might save a few scratches on your stock.
7. When it comes to holding the seat to the tree, well as far as I am concerned, there is only one safe way and that’s with a ratchet strap of the minimum of a 3 tonne load. Personally, I use 5 tonne straps. Your safety should be paramount. It’s a long way down boys and girls.
8. Make sure any seats you put out clearly display a ‘NO UNAUTHORISED USE’ sign. In this day and age where there is blame, there’s a claim. Photograph the seat in position showing the sign and keep it with any inspection records.
9. Any clear fell work done on your ground this year will be a sure fire bet for a high seat next season, as the natural regeneration of ground cover will be immense in the coming season, to the point that deer lanes may need to be cut to allow sensible shooting and identification.
10. PLEASE take into account all other land use when locating any high seat. Just because you are elevated, does NOT mean any shot taken is safe. Food for thought I think!
Keep safe, be lucky, shoot straight, but above all, enjoy your time in the woods!