A tree stand is an effective tool for those who are looking for success in their hunting adventures. When using a tree stand, elevation offers you the benefits of a much wider field of visibility, less chance of getting busted, get away with more movement, and better chance of you not being detected by your game.
For safety reasons, it is best purchasing a new stand of the highest quality that you can afford. If at all possible, it is worthwhile trying out the stand before you buy. Remember that you will be sitting motionless in your chosen tree stand for hours on end, and finding one that feels both comfortable and stable will get you off to a good start. Being comfortable can make you a better hunter, allowing you to stay on stand longer, creating better odds for yourself. There are various types of hunting stand to consider, so let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Essentially, these are a ladder with a stand or seat attached to the top. They are safe and easy to climb, and a good option for those who are less comfortable with heights. Larger models are available that have space for two people, and some include a roof or blind to make you blend in even more while also protecting you from the elements. A ladder stand can be attached to pretty much any tree. Predictably, the downside of comfort and stability is weight and bulkiness. These are not the best choice for hunters who intend to travel any distance on foot, or who like to hunt in various locations during the day. They can also take some time to set up securely against the tree, particularly for solo hunters. These stands are typically setup before the season, so that way when it is time to hunt, you gather your stuff and head to the stand that is already pre-hung.
Climbing stand or climber
These consist of a seat and a footrest that is used to ascend the tree. The stand is initially attached to the tree at ground level, and one section of it is moved while the hunter keeps their weight on the other part, gradually inching up the tree. They require a good level of fitness and confidence to use. With climbing stands, you will need to choose trees that have reasonably straight trunks that aren’t too thick to fit the securing strap around them. You will also need to avoid trees that have low branches, as these can prevent you from climbing effectively. It should be clear that the disadvantage of this type of stand is that you are limited by having to choose trees that fit the right kind of accessibility profile. Otherwise, climbing stands are fairly lightweight and offer you a great deal of mobility.
Hang on or lock on stands
Hang on stands come in many different versions, light vs heavy, small vs bulky, steel vs aluminum. These are made up of a seat and a footrest that attach to the tree. A separate method will be required to climb the tree, such as screw-in climbing steps or climbing sticks. Branches can actually be a help in ascending the tree when you are using this type of stand. In general, hang on stands are lightweight and highly portable, but they also tend to be small, and cheaper models in particular may be less comfortable for extended periods of sitting. Bear in mind that you will also need to carry with you a method for climbing the tree, and that this creates some additional weight. Hang on tree stands have had the biggest impact when it comes to mobile hunting, the cast aluminum stands on the market have taken hang on stands to an entirely new level.
Choosing the best tree stand is only one component of a successful hunt. Improving your archery skills and carrying the right equipment is also important if you want to bag that next buck during hunting season. Stay in the loop with the latest tips and equipment guides with Common Hunter!
Photo Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife