I've never hunted deer until this year. I used satellite imagery to locate clear cuts/clover plots on SGL in 2F. I hiked 6,000ft to the plot, set up behind some lumber, and killed my first buck/deer. It took me 18 hours over 3 days to find that spot.
I spent a few days spooking deer prior to that, and getting skunked in other places on SGL. No trail cams, no private land, no baiting. Killed him on his level, downwind from me. He stared at me thru my scope when I pulled the trigger.
I may never hunt from a tree stand.
Killing a whitetail on public land, from the ground is very difficult. Plain and simple. These animals live in the woods everyday, you show up for one or two days and think you can get the jump on them...