Hunting from a tree stand offers a lot of advantages. The height alone is a major asset many hunters enjoy, in particular bow hunters. Getting a tree stand installed and hung properly however discourages a lot of folks.
Some people find it easier to use a tree stand that climbs up the tree with you as you go. These are excellent choices if you want to go to different places and hunt. I recommend getting one of the lightest climbing stands, so the trek to your spot is enjoyable.
If you have one spot that you will continue to use all season, it might be best to put in a permanent stand. Putting one up takes concentration and a good plan, but can be done in a relatively short time.
Here are a few steps to make the process safer and faster.
First, check your stand before you ever leave your garage. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new stand or ten years old, make sure you have all of the parts and all of it in good, working condition. The same goes for your climbing harness.
Once you get there and pick out a tree, clear the ground underneath it. Accidents happen, but a fifteen foot fall hurts a lot less if you don’t land on a rock or a broken branch.
Next, set your steps. This is a tree, not the entrance to your local mall. Your legs and feet will turn 45 degrees or more sideways as you climb. To accommodate, set the steps at 90 degrees (right angle) to each other and about one foot up from the other one as you go.
When you get to the height you want (generally 15 feet), mark exactly where you want to place the seat. Now look down and note which branches are going to interfere with hauling your stand up to that point. You can either trim them on the way down, or climb down first and work your way back up.
Now comes the hard part:
Begin hauling the stand up with the strongest rope you have. Doubling or tripling up using your kid’s kite string is only going to get you hurt. Make certain you are higher than the mark you made for the seat. It’s much easier to reach down and work than to reach up. If you do that, you may be too tired to even enjoy the hunt when you’ve finished.
When you’ve hauled it up to your mark, tie-off the rope and follow the manufacturer’s directions exactly. Regardless of which stand you have though, make sure you attach the main strap first and tighten it down so it doesn’t slide down but will let you move it left or right a bit.
Now that you have the stand where you want it, carefully step onto it to make sure it can support your weight without sliding down or twisting to one side or the other. Keep your climbing harness on while you do this. If the stand stays in place, you’re good to go. Enjoy your new perch and Good Hunting!