Tree stand hunters have a distinct advantage over those who hunt on foot: they sit above the deer’s field of view. Additionally, elevated hunters enjoy the benefit of a somewhat aerial view, providing more opportunities for harvesting wildlife.
While a tree stand is more beneficial than hunting on foot, you want to find a suitable stand for your hunting location. A stand that is too large, weak, or plain uncomfortable will not provide for a successful or happy hunting trip. There are several factors you should consider when selecting your tree stand this hunting season.
When looking into tree stands, you will likely come across four main styles: hang-on, ladder, climbing, and tripod stands. Hang-on stands are often the most affordable option but not the most comfortable. These stands attach to the tree using straps or chains and are typically a little shaky. You will also need to purchase climbing sticks or steps for access.
Ladder stands are among the most stable because of the heavy ladder base. However, the stability comes at a price because two people will need to set the stand in place. Unlike some other types, the ladder stand comes in single and double configurations.
Climbing tree stands are not as stable as ladder options, but they are more convenient and easy to carry. The stand is a two-piece, and it is used to climb the tree.
A tripod stand is a freestanding option, and it is best used when there are no adequate trees in the area. While the construction of these stands provides greater stability than the other options, it is cumbersome.
Size, Weight Capacity, and Comfort
When looking into available stands, consider your anticipated use. Will you be hunting alone or with a partner? While a single-wide ladder stand might be efficient for you, a double is a necessity if you’re hunting with a partner. Additionally, a wider stand might be more comfortable in general.
Comfort is a significant concern when hunting. In most situations, you find a spot and stay there for hours, waiting for that buck to wander by, but if you’re sitting in a small stand with an uncomfortable seat, you might miss the deer because you had to stretch your legs or decided to return to camp early.
One aspect of a stand that contributes to comfort is the weight capacity. If you weigh over 300 lbs and are sitting 15 feet above the forest floor in a tree stand made for 250 lbs or less, you will not feel safe, secure, or comfortable. Always purchase a stand that can handle your weight; it’s a safety issue.
Safety and Accessories
Before you put yourself into the trees, consider safety. While tree stands provide straps, chains, or other connection methods, you should also find additional ways to secure yourself to the tree. A safety harness should be a part of every elevated hunter’s tool bag.
Additionally, don’t forget the purpose of an elevated position: to get a clean shot. You can usually purchase a shooting rest for greater stability and accuracy when shooting a gun, crossbow, or muzzleloader. The rest also provides an additional safety measure.
Elevated hunting is fun and exciting, often providing unique vantage points for hunting. However, you should not select your stand without considering your preferences and needs.
Do you have any other pointers for first-time elevated hunters? Leave a comment.