I have found for our area the best time is usually Feb. Try looking in all the usual buck hang outs. Especially bedding areas, and routes to and from. I'm going to try something I saw in I think was Outdoor Life. Set 3 post and make a " V " with a link of something like hog wire, and then put corn at the pt. of the V. Plan is that the buck will come in for a snack and knock his antlers loose. We'll see what happens
Let me start off by saying that I am a scaredy cat.
For someone that spent 3 years in 82nd Airborne jumping out of all manner of military aircraft, my friends find this ludicrous - but... it is what it is!
Climbing stand? Yep, still scared - put me up 15' and that is about it.
Ladder stands? I am better in these - but still cautious.
Chain on stands? Used to love them, now they terrify me.
I was once ridiculed for putting chain on stands waaaay too high - some of my friends...