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tell me about tree stands

Old 12-19-2013, 07:30 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 200
Default tell me about tree stands

I've been hunting for years, but I've never invested in a stand. I'm thinking I might improve my chances of success if I do.

Let me know if I'm thinking correctly: I think my first stand should be a ladder stand. I understand I'll have to put it out months before season starts so the deer get used to it being there. I've also seen guys chain them to the tree so no one steals them (this would really chap my hide! I have no time for thieves).

I think a climber would be a good second stand so I could change locations if I'm not having any luck in my ladder stand. I'm not ready to make that purchase yet, though, but it's something to look at in the future.

I've browsed them online, and have seen various options. I think having a seat back would be a lot more comfortable and I'd stay in the stand much longer than without one.

My kids are 5 and 7 years old. The oldest is learning to shoot and the youngest will start next summer. But they're not ready to hunt yet (still working with a Crickett .22). Should I invest in a two-seater stand now so when they're old enough I can take them? I'm not sure how long that will be or how long stands are supposed to last.

I've seen prices range from $85 to $400. I assume you get what you pay for, but what am I looking at in terms of quality difference? Are the cheaper ones wobbly and difficult to shoot from?

All of my hunting is with rifles, either modern centerfires or muzzleloaders depending on what season I score a license for. I've never bowhunted, but I would be open to it in the future. Are there different considerations for hunting with these different weapons?

What else should I look for?

I promise to wear a harness!

Last edited by mac266; 12-19-2013 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:48 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Buffalo, WY
Posts: 992

I recommend a lightweight climbing stand. You can change locations easily in a matter of minutes. Be mobile. It enhances your opportunities.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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I agree with Bullcamp. Unless you have a food plot to set the ladder stand on and only want to hunt there, i would recommend a climber. So many more options with a climber.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 129
Default tree stands

Iv'e had a few differant makes. baker was the worse, moved wrong it was like a trp door. I use a summit viper climber for the last couple of yrs now. No complaintes. Guys are right goe's up quick and comes down easy. Just be safe and learn the safty rules. good luck.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:30 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 123

I use ladder stands in the forest and put them out just before the season. It is 250 miles from my house so early is not an option. I put them on funnels near feeding areas and bedding areas. Here is a view from one.

click on to view.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:23 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,186

Each type of tree stand will have their uses. Climbers are the best overall treestand in my opinion. You will bring it in and out of the woods each hunt. It will always be sitting at home ready to go hunting with you. No matter where you go hunting you will have the option of using a climbing treestand. I use climbers on all day hunts.

Ladder stands are my backyard tree stand. I use them behind the house and down the road on my brothers land. They are always set up and quiet to get in, great for short hunts like after work and the time and noise from setting up a climber might get counterproductive. I cannot sit in a ladder stand all day.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 22

After scouting and learning the deer's movements, I've put multiple ladder stands in different areas (funnels, food sources, etc). Then I have a climber that I use, if I see the deer are changing their habits, so I can quickly change locations. It also works well if I have a guest coming to hunt with me. I can set them up easily in a ladder.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:34 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Buffalo, WY
Posts: 992

Back when I was using tree stands my favorite was an API Predator Lite. ( a climber )
That thing was so comfortable I could stay in the tree all day and even take a nap if I wanted to.
I killed lots of deer from it because I could stay long and sit quiet. Only weighed about 20 pounds so it was easy to carry long distances.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:03 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 200

My brother is an archery hunter (I'm a muzzleloader / rifle guy), and uses climbers. After speaking with him he agreed with most of you, that I should start with a good climber. I'll probably take your / his advice and go the climber route.

I think part of my pre-season scouting routine will be to bring a small pack saw with me and remove a few low-hanging branches in different areas so I have a plethora of places available to hunt. I'm pretty sure that's kosher in the national forests where I hunt, but I'll make sure before I go get myself into trouble.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,435

Mac - I teach Hunter Education

1. Get yourself a 5 point safety harness. I know all the big tree stand manufacturers include a 5 point harness when you purchase a stand. But I highly recommend the Hunter Safety vests. Which ever you choose. They are far easier to use, far more comfortable, gives you a few more extra pockets and are built to save your life. It is all they sell as they are not Tree Stand manufacturers. BUT RELIGIOUSLY wear it! Never Leave the ground without it. 85% of all hunting accidents is because of tree stands according to the data presented at our Hunter Ed Instructor meetings.

What I wear either over my clothing or under my Blaze orange coat. It's my second skin when I leave the ground.

2. I m certain cutting of any live limb on any said tree in any national forest is against the law. So do be careful there to. The fines are steep. In all the County, State, and National Forests in WI it is illegal to screw anything into a tree or cut any limb. So do check.
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