Would you like to have your buck grunter, can call, doe bleat, binoculars, water bottle, and other essential items displayed at your fingertips as you sit in your tree stand? Are you tired of stuffing your pockets with these items and risking unnecessary movement while retrieving them for use? How many times have you dropped an item or couldn’t remember which pocket it was in?
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• Excellent craftsmanship to ensure SAFETY
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• The best Hunting Experience and Hunting Gear in the industry
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How to Choose the Best Tree Stand?
Every tree stand out on the market is unique in its own way whether they come with a solid platform, a platform that is meshed, different gauge metal is used for the supports, overall weight varies and ect.. Choosing the right tree stand can be time consuming; well at least for me it is. Not a lot of websites out there that do a step by step review of all the makes and models currently on the market. Here are a few pointers.
The biggest thing for me living in the north is how well does it hold up in cold temperatures. I have bought many hang on tree stands that simply don’t cut it. In cold weather, metal reacts differently than it does in a warmer climate. I had bought a few stands when you shifted your weight when it was warm out it was problem free. But try shifting your weight when it is cold out and the stand will let out a loud creak like it is complaining it is too cold out to be hunting.
A sure fix to this is to check to see if the tree stand has grommets between the moving parts of the stand. I had luck with softer grommets. If it is a hard plastic grommet, they tend to get very hard to cold temperatures, making it near impossible to lift up the seat on the stand to stretch your legs, without it letting out a loud creak.
If it has no grommets what so ever, between the moving parts, a sleeve on the bolts then I steer clear of purchasing the tree stand. Metal on metal in cold weather simply does not work. Nothing worse than drawing back, shouldering your weapon only to hear a loud creak to alert your prey to you.
You often get what you pay for which can be said for almost anything but particularly with a tree stand. I have purchased many cheap hunting stands in the past, but the engineering behind them is what I look for when considering a purchase.
I look for, does it have foam padding that you can either buy as an accessory or that comes with the stand. The padding I’m referring to is some stands come with a rifle rest. If the padding is not there and you accidentally hit your barrel on the rifle rest then you run the chance of not only spooking deer but you could ding up your gun or possibly knock your scope out of alignment.
Does the stand come with a full line of accessories and stand attachments? Some aftermarket accessories made for stands don’t fit securely to specific one’s I purchased. So if you can stick with a deer stand manufacturer that has a full line of attachments for their stands. Whether it is, a camouflage skirt, replaceable padding, a replacement seat, hooks and hangers, these options and attachments should all be considered before finalizing your purchase.
Choosing the right stand can be time consuming, but it will enable you to buy with confidence.
Tree Stand Buyer’s Guide
This is part 1 in this 5 part series a tree stand buyer’s guide.
The first subject I would like to cover is safety and preparing yourself for the worse case scenario. I know if you are an avid hunter you are used to hearing about safety, or if you have not, please don’t skip over this article. Each year thousands of hunters often end up the hunt with having to go to the ER or not making a home at all. The number one accident related to hunting continues to fall from an elevated position. In 2005 the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 5,686 injuries occurred. They estimated there are currently over 11 million in use across the United States. The lack of practicing proper safety rates at the top of the list of why so many fatalities are occurring.
Since then it is now federal law that tree stands manufacture offer a compliant hunter safety system otherwise known as a Fall-Arrest System or Fully Body Harness. They have to meet the TMA guidelines. The harness enables the user to be directly tied to the tree at all times.
A few rules of the road when it comes to safety. Makes sure you read all the literature that comes with your product. If the max weight on the platform is 300 lb carrying capacity and you weight 305 lbs then you need to send it back and get one that suits your proper weight. Common sense is a must and must be used at all times not just when it is convenient.
Make sure you inspect it after the manufacturer ships it to you. Look for cracks in the steel, cracks in the cables, deformed bent supports. Inspect the grommets and bolts and make sure they are not loose. Inspect the vinyl straps or chain for not fully closed links. Replace all worn out parts which can be directly ordered through the manufacturer. Don’t leave it to sit out in the elements for extended periods of time.
Inspect the safety harness itself. Make sure the stitching is stitched all the way through. Make sure there are no tears that are not supposed to be there. These extra precautions could save your life. It takes five minutes to inspect the harness for defects thoroughly. Make sure it fits properly, and it is snug enough to move freely in but no soo freely that you can easily slip out of it.
Making sure you have a mobile phone while out on the trail which can be a life saver. Most accidents occur when we don’t heed to the recommended safety instruction that comes with the product. The phone will help if you get into an accident where there is no possible way out but for a rescue. This should be on the list of must haves when enjoying our tradition. With diligence comes rewards, by being prepared for the worst case scenario we ensure we do not become just a statistic. It is one thing to say you will practice safety but when you get in the woods safety is the last thing on your mind. Making yourself fully aware of the consequences is a must.
After inspection set up your deer stand low to the ground on a tree and attach your harness. Lightly bounce up and down to see if the platform gives way. Lean out with the harness on and strapped to the tree and see how comfortable it is. Does it feel like it is giving out or it is made of a quality construction? When ever in doubt send it back and go with a different brand name. Your loved ones will thank you if you take these extra few precautions.
My father worked as iron worker his entire life. They have full body harnesses made for iron workers that walk steel all day long. The harness is made of heavy duty thick nylon. If that is something you’re interested in then, by all means, look into it. One fall and that is all it will take. Thanks for checking out this tree stand buyer’s guide check back for more relevant content.
This is part 2 in this 5 part series a hunter’s tree stand buyer guide.
In the remainder of this 5 part series, I will go over the most common type of tree stand on the market. Picking out the right one can be time consuming and especially with internet ordering you don’t get a chance to see what you’re buying before you buy it. So having comprehensive reviews at your finger tips will enable you to buy with confidence.
Ladder stand has their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s first explain what they are and what sizes they come in. Simply put a ladder stand is a platform with an attached ladder to elevate you above the prey you are hunting. They can come in many heights from 6 foot to 25 foot. The higher you go the more it will weigh. Most come with nylon straps with attached clips so you can secure the tree stand to the tree. The platform itself can come in many different sizes as well. The wider the platforms are designed to ensure us ‘not so light footed hunters’ a safer hunt.
Two types that have been on the market for years are fixed and segmented. The third type which is fairly new to the market is a trap door.
A fixed ladder stand is a one piece unit. It eliminates the need to buy tree steps. The ladder and platform are fabricated together eliminating the need to assemble parts. The biggest drawback is portability. If your land is not close you will need a truck or cargo rack to transport a fixed to your hunting sanctuary, then once you arrive you need an all terrain vehicle to haul them to the tree you have picked out. This type of tree stand is left in the woods year round.
The second type is a segmented which can come in 3-6 piece rail sections with a platform. These types offer portability and the ease of transport. They often come with strap system where you strap it on your back like you would a backpack. Again you should always take into account the overall weight because you will be caring your other hunting equipment along if you don’t plan to make a few trips.
The final type that I want to cover which offers ease of access and replaces the traditional stabilizer bar systems is the trap door. The trap door is a pending patent design made by Ameristep. The platform comes with a hatch built into it and the ladder is secured closer to the tree. This offers a very secure stable system which does not shift when climbing into and out of.
This is part 3 in this 5 part series a hunter’s tree stand buyer guide.
In this third part of the series, I would like to cover another type of stand on the market, and that is hang on stand.
So what exactly is hang on the stand? Unlike a ladder stand these type of stands do not come with a ladder. Hence the terminology hangs on the stand. It is simply a platform made of steel or aluminum that has a seat attached to the main vertical support. The stand is attached to the tree via forming a loop around a tree trunk to connect the platform of the tree stand to the tree. The loop consists of either a chain or a heavy duty nylon strap. The seat support is either made up of a hollow metal or cable with bolts or grommets on each and end so you can easily fold up the seat.
The platform itself comes in many shapes sizes and materials I will discuss in another series the durability of stands more in-depth. If you’re not too keen on heights, I would recommend you get the widest available platform available on the market. This will ensure a safe hunt and you will be more confident when you make that once in a life time shot.
The loop that connects to the tree is of most important especially if you plan on leaving the hang on tree stand in the wood for a few years. I injured my back about 6 years ago and was not able to get up in the woods and take my stand down before the end of the hunting season. When I went to take them down I soon found out I had a major dilemma on my hands. The chain on most of them was embedded in the tree far enough where they could not be freed by hand. Most people would just use bolt cutters and leave the chain in the tree. This is all in good but if someone decided to cut down that tree and does not know the chain is there, it could cause a serious accident for as saw mill or wood cutters.
I would advise if you’re looking into this type of stand then consider buying one that has heavy duty nylon strap that attaches to the tree. If tree growth occurs and you cannot get to your deer stand for a few years least the nylon is simple to cut and will not cause injuries in the wood industries.
The most benefit you get from this type of tree stand is the portability hands down. When bowhunting you can often carry them with one hand or strap them on your back and go. They will fit in a car trunk or the back seat. They will adapt to 99% of the trees in the woods making it an excellent choice if you need a specific tree to hunt from.
This is part 4 in this 5 part series a hunter’s tree stand buyer guide.
So what is a climber stand? Simply put the tree stand consists of two pieces the platform and the upper piece is the seat assembly. The two pieces are individually welded together offering a safe and secure hunting outing. They come in a variety of platform sizes which can meet your individual needs. They come with either a steel bar that attaches to the back side of the tree or a cable system.
The overall weight for good reference is they are lighter than a ladder type but heavier than hang on type. Make sure you check out the weight before purchasing. Not the carry capacity weight in which you should have already checked but the overall weight.
I would use a safety harness with a climber stand. Most come with a horizontal bar in the front these bars are made for shooting rests not to rest on and take a nap. If you are leery of heights these horizontal bars in the front offer you the feeling of safety over the more opened designs on the market.
This type of tree stand has come a long way since its first inception. With the use of cables, you can buy different size cables to fit your needs for bigger or smaller sized trees. If you not big on cable you can find the older steel bar setup. A steel bar that almost comes to a v shape, you swivel around the tree and bolt into the other side of the stand. This older type of stand is very limited to what size tree you can use. This, in turn, can be a real draw back when contemplating a purchase.
I can remember a bowhunting trip one year. I scouted a tree out the day before the hunt and left the climber stand at the bottom of the tree. I get to the stand the following morning in the dark and start my way up the tree. I get almost to where I want to be and the bottom of the platform slipped away from my feet and slid down to the base of the tree. Please take words of caution make sure the top half and bottom half of the tree stand is tied together with a rope so you avoid my mistake.
This is part 5 in this 5 part series a hunter’s tree stand buyer guide.
In part 5 of this series, I would like to discuss tree crotch tree stand. They consist of a platform that you nestle in a crotch of a tree. They are the lightest of the different makes and models of stands on the market. Some come hinged in the middle, and when you stand on it the corrugated edge digs into the tree.
The safety of this type of tree stand is a big concern for me. Unless you’re an experienced tree climber or if you invest in a tree climbing system then I would not recommend them. I would also not use to hold all my weight. With that, if you fit into the above category this type of tree stand is very light in weight and can almost accommodate any larger sized tree.
I have used it many times in those last minute stand spots. I have personally bagged some very nice sized bucks out of them. It never fails when you’re hunting you come along a fresh scrape or huge deer rub, and you don’t have time to go back and get your climbing stand or hang on stand. You can use it conjunction with tree steps or a tree climbing system. I prefer the tree climbing system to hold my weight and use the crotch tree stand to park my feet. It will ensure a safe platform and will steady your aiming for that killing shot.
The tree stand can be carried all day without discomfort some have hinges like I noted and will fold up and fit into a backpack. They are incredibly light and durable to boot. I do a lot of still hunting and carry it along with me in case I run across a nice area I have not hunted before.
The final category of tree stand I wanted to cover in the next article will be an adjustable platform that is new to the market. I will give a more in-depth look at it in the next section but would like to cover some basics here. Finding the right tree for any tree stand can be pretty tough. Some trees lean too far forward some lean too far back. The adjustable platform gives you a chance to accommodate it to almost any tree in any situation. The platform allows you to adjust it to any angle of the tree or any limb. The adjustable tree stand comes at a high price point but worth talking about more in the next section.