Consider installing a “back door” when you place your whitetail deer stands. The “back door” is a way to get into or out of your stand without spooking the deer. Consider a stand that I placed on the edge of a crop field.
My general route to get into it is to walk the edge of the field. Often I take this route so I can drag a scent line behind me in hopes of luring a buck toward my stand. But it is equipped with a “back door” that I had to use on occasion. Behind the stand is a small creek that I can use to ease out in the evening when the legal shooting light has passed, but deer are still in the field.
I just climb down my stand and ease down the bank into the creek. It takes a little longer to get to the road where my truck is, but I am undetected by the feeding deer. Getting to my truck via the field would spook the deer and upset their normal feeding pattern making it less likely for me to have a shot at one during legal hours.
Using the creek is not a big deal since I always hunt with rubber boots and the creek, provided I avoid some deep holes, is not very high in the fall. Even if I did get a little wet, it would worth it to avoid spooking the deer. One lesson I did learn the hard way is to try the "back door" in the day light if possible before having to use it at night. The first time I used the creek, I almost got lost so learn from mistake and learn your escape route in the day light hours.
I have another stand on this same field that I hunt at different times depending on the wind. This stand is situated so I not only can use the creek as an escape route, but also to enter the stand. By using the creek to come and go, I do not leave very much scent in the area and the creek, provided I take my time, muffles the sound of my arrival.
I like to “hunt” my way in and out of the stand. Unless I am entering or leaving during legal shooting hours, I do not actually hunt my way in and out, but I still act as if I am. This way, as I take my time, pausing to look for deer, if I sense or see a deer in my path, I can take an alternative route.
On another stand placed strategically along a field, I usually walk across it to my stand which is at the other end, hugging the tree line. But I do not just plod off. Even when it is dark, you can see the silhouettes of deer and when I do, I alter my route. For this one, I cleared a trail to the stand about twenty yards in the timber. It takes me at least twice as long to get to my stand in the morning if I take the trail, but it is better than spooking the deer in the field.
I have used this trail to leave in the evening too when deer have been spotted and I am not sure if they have left the area. Of course, there is the chance I could bump a deer in the timber, but the trees give me protection that I do not have just walking along the field. I have had to stay behind a tree until a deer left on one occasion. The darkness and tree gave me cover and I did not spook the deer.
Not every stand location will allow for a “back door,” but when you can place your stand with alternative entrance and exit options do so. You never know when you will have to use it.