Treestand Options for Hunting Whitetail Deer

Smoke Armstrong

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I’ve used for many kinds of treestands for hunting to include but not limited to tripod stands, climbing stands, hang-on stands and ladder stands. I was first introduced to hunting from an elevated stand when I started hunting in Maryland. I grew up in Pennsylvania hunting strictly from the ground in the 70's and 80's. My passion for bow hunting made hunting from treestands a must to be successful.

I prefer bow hunting from a climbing stand, it's convenient to carry and provides maximum flexibility in closing the distance. Early climbing stands were very heavy and cumbersome. Today treestand technology has evolved to sleek, stealth, light weight stands. The climbing part of the stand has evolved from a hand climber to the predominant sit down stand up model. The climbing stand usually has a padded comfortable seat surrounded by a security bar/gun rest. I prefer to go no higher than 20 feet while bow hunting from a climbing stand. This is plenty high enough to avoid being seen but minimizes the angle of the shot at a deer at 10, 20, or 30 yards. I have friends that have made bad shots and even missed deer that can be directly attributed to being to high and shooting at to steep of an angle.

I enjoy using hang-on type tree stands as well. These treestands are similar in design to the climbing stand however, hang-on stands are used with climbing aids like screw in steps or climbing sticks that remain fixed to the tree to enable the hunter to reach the treestand. Hang-on treestands are fixed in nature and do not offer as much flexibility in changing positions as a climbing stand. These stands offer a fixed seat on vertical supports attached to a platform and no surrounding bars. This provides greater flexibility and a quieter approach for hunters.

I use ladder stands for the most part during gun and muzzloader season. A ladder treestand is a strong metal ladder with a platform, a comfortable padded seat and chains or straps to secure it to the tree. These stands range from 12 - 20 feet in height. Most are made to accommodate one hunter, however there are ladder stands made for two people called buddy stands. They are ideal for taking your son or daughter hunting with you.

I also use tripod treestands which are standalone stands with a platform and full circle swiveling seat and a gun rest at the top. These are ideal for use in hedgerows and clearcuts where trees are not available to use climbing, hang on, or ladder stands. They can be set up at any convenient spot enabling you to pivot 360 degrees to face any view.

Ladder stands are ideal for those of us who either own large property or have access to hunting locations where we can leave these stands through the hunting season. Hang on stands are also best for use in similarly secure places. Climbing stands are suitable for places where the hunter has to quickly move from one location to the other with the stand and needs to carry it home at the end of each hunting day.

Over my 34 years of hunting I used various climbing, hang on, and ladder stands to include but not limited to Summit, Ameristep, API, Lone Wolf, Rivers Edge, Baker, Equalizer, and Loggy Bayou among many others. Each manufacturer has a range of models to pick from.

Posted by Smoke Armstrong under Deer Hunting on March 8, 10 07:53 AM | Permalink

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