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First Time in a Climber..Gulp

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First Time in a Climber..Gulp

Old 11-01-2010, 06:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas and Arkansas
Posts: 1,496

It takes some getting use to. I use to teach rappelling and I had problems using a climber at first. I didn't want to get over fifteen feet off of the ground because I didn't trust the equipment. I have been using climbers for over twenty years and it is second nature now. I can go up to thirty feet without thinking about it. The good news for you is that the equipment is a lot better than it was in the late 80's.

Learn your equipment, don't rush it, and you will gain the confidence to climb and sit all day.

Good luck!

Last edited by GRIZZLYMAN; 11-01-2010 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pa
Posts: 70

welcome to the climbing world, starting out i would suggest using trees with pretty thick rough bark, trees with smooth bark almost ask for your stand to slip
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:20 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas and Arkansas
Posts: 1,496

Yeah, as someone else pointed out, you want to make sure that your bottom platform is secured to your climber (upper platform)by a rope (preferably one of each side). I had one drop five feet on me and had to pull it back up sitting 20 feet up.

Also, when you are climbing, look at the horizon, not down.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:50 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Upstate NY/Prescott AZ
Posts: 129

Originally Posted by Edcyclopedia
It took me better part of a season to get above 14-15' and now I regularly try to get in the 20' range.
I too suffer from the shakey knees at heights, but for some reason this never bothers me...
Ah, ya big babies! Do I hafta come over there and bring you up to the 80' mark? Nothing quite sunrise from the top of a monster eucalyptus tree in Phoenix!
Then again, I'm using ropes, a saddle, and a harness...with spikes!
Wielding a large chainsaw....
Just teasing!
Good for you getting up in that climber...
You'll learn to trust your gear eventually...
Make sure you flip the cable up a little when you raise the upper part. Helps get a good bite so the setup doesn't move.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:18 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,084

This might be a dumb question but how many of you have to trim branches on the way up. The trees on our property are big bur oaks and maples and the stand cannot reach around them. And the other smaller tree's have branches every 5-10 feet and grow in every direction.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:57 AM
Nontypical Buck
Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,414

Great advice guys. Thank you.
I practiced with a ratchet strap tied to the cables tightening the cable around the tree once I am settled in. This felt much more secure.

I also "flipped the cable up" before putting my weight the upper part again. This certainly seemed to make it grab quicker and stronger.

I just kept climbing up and down about 4 feet last night on different trees with different bark styles. I certainly now have me some insight into how the climber grips different bark.

I'm looking forward to safely using it on my upcoming hunts this season. Right now though, i will only use it in weather that has no precipitation. Not sure i need that factor thrown it on me yet.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:34 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,926
Default The Universal Hunter

They don't exist. One can be a good hunter and a poor tree climber. Climbing isn't meant for everyone. And they are nothing like climbing aboard the chair lounge in front of the television at the house.

And if you're not sure of tree climbing, look into one of those ground blinds (tents}that can cover your scent. Especially if you hunt in an area where the leaves stay on the trees a long time.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:41 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 320

Welcome to the Climber Club! As others have pointed out, trees with hard bark are more prone to slipping. Pine trees, some aspen, hemlock, soft maple, and black ash are great to start out on. You'll also find that some trees are noisier than others because platey bark tends to slough off in big chunks as you are climbing. Just take your time and you'll be fine. Because I'll climb any type of tree, I'll still occasionally have 'slippages' on hard bark...happened to me repeatedly on an oak this past weekend. After you've had it happen a couple of times, you'll learn to trust the equipment and won't get as excited when it slips a couple inches. As long as you have your weight on it, it can't slip far before the teeth bite.

I think the biggest challenge for a lot of people starting out is learning how to adjust for tree taper. Just takes experience because every tree is different. Also, learning how to climb and descend quietly, and how to quietly pack/unpack the stand. I was on public land last night and some guy came in a few hundred yards from me...no big deal. Until it was time for him to descend. It sounded like a metal shop given the amount of racket (metal clanging and banging together) he made as he packed up his stand. I'm sure every deer within a quarter miles was on high alert...

Take your time and you'll be able to do it all blind folded with a little practice. And always wear that vest! Best investment you can make.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:47 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Stark County OH
Posts: 69

i bought a viper from summit a few years back and i love it. it is some work but as long as i only have on one layer and dont go real fast then sweat is a min. i have my pull rope on thats 25' long and i have it marked at 15 and 20 feet so i get an idea of where i am at, otherwise I'd be at the top of the tree before looking down ha.
i usually give the teeth a twist to the right and left to make sure they have something to hold onto before transferring all my weight. sometimes even only being in the neighborhood of 10-14feet is enough for me though, especially if there are alot branches above that height. its amazing how much more you can see only being 10 feet up. so regardless id rather be 10 feet up than on the ground with a bow.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:59 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Berkeley Springs, WV
Posts: 1,293

Do you best to scout area's with leaves still on the trees. Sometimes if you go into an area late in the year an hour before daylight you just have to hope you aren't climbing a dead tree since nothing has leaves on it at that point. (talking hardwoods not pines obvs.)

Also if you didnt already buy one of those retractable bow lines. They are pretty inexpensive and saves the hassel of untangling that freaking bow rope in the dark. Plus if its windy as you go up the rope may blow over to another close by tree or bush and get you tangled on your way up. PIA!!!

IF you do use just a rope make sure you tie it on before you head up. I know a couple times in my early days I was so worried about having to climb I would tie the rope to the bow but not to the stand. Nothing like getting you stand 25' up a tree and looking down for the rope and its still on the ground.--DUH!!

Last edited by Duckbutter48; 11-02-2010 at 07:03 AM.
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