Learning how to use a climbing tree stand could gain you a large advantage and improve your hunting results. Tree stands allow you the opportunity to rise above the forest floor, which gives you a much better field of view. The portability of a climbing tree stand also provides this exceptional opportunity without the limitations of a stationary stand.
You can follow your prey to an ideal location and then set up your stand rather than having to wait in one place in hopes that the animal will come to you.There are some challenges associated with this versatile solution and it is a good idea to become acquainted with these before deciding if this is the method you want to try. It is important to note that hunting in grassland or desert areas will render a tree stand useless because the stand requires a strong, sturdy tree to climb above your hunting area.
Although there is a growing variety of tree stands available today, each of them has three essential components: the foot platform, sitting stand, and safety harness.
Parts of a Tree Stand
When you examine a climbing stand long enough it will become evident that these are tools that require careful attention when in use.
The stand itself uses the physics of leverage in order to work properly. As such, you want to choose a tree that will match the needs of your stand. A short, skinny tree with smooth bark is unlikely to provide adequate support for your needs. What you will look for instead is a living, thick trunked tree that has rough bark. It is also a good idea to choose a tree that has few to no lower limbs that need to be removed as you climb.
Finding just the right tree can often present a sizeable challenge, but for your own safety, it is good to let patience be your guide. It does you no good to grow impatient and make a poor choice for your stand. A potential timesaving step is to scout out an area ahead of time if you know that you will be hunting in that area. Identify several suitable trees and mark them with some sort of removable identification so that you can unmark them after your hunt is complete.
This is the upper part of the stand upon which you will sit once you have reached the height suitable to view your hunting ground. Place this upper part around the tree above the foot platform.
Placethe platform in such a way that it leans against the tree at a downward angle towards the tree. This is because as you go higher in the tree it will get narrower and the foot platform will begin to even out.
Make sure you have the safety harness before you begin climbing. Too many people skip the safety harness because they claim it gets in the way or slows them down. This is a very hazardous decision to make and is a highly discouraged practice. Consider the result if you are not secured to the tree by the harness and the platform fails – or you fall asleep - high up in the tree. You have no choice but to fall to the ground if disaster strikes.
Raising the Platform
To raise the platform to the desired height:
- Put your feet in the straps located on the foot stand and get a good grip on the upper part.
- With your arms, lift the upper platform a few feet and provide some downward pressure to make sure it engages the tree.
- Once you are sure that the upper part is secure, lift the lower part with your legs and engage that part against the tree.
- Repeat the process until you reach the desired tree height.This height should be high enough to provide unrestricted view of your hunting area and is at the proper angle for properly targeting your game. For most situations, it is not necessary to go more than ten to twenty feet, but higher elevations may be necessary. Use your best judgment and let experience be your guide.
- Secure the safety harness to yourself and to the tree.
With the stand now secure in the tree, the easy part is done. Waiting for the game to appear and in just the right spot for a clean kill is probably the hardest for many hunters. For this reason, many manufacturers of climbing tree stands offer comfortable seat options. It would be wise to consider this as an essential accessory for your stand as personal comfort will allow you to stay aloft far longer.
When you are ready to come back down to earth, hopefully after a successful kill, reverse the process you performed in getting the stand up into the tree.To return to the ground, simply reverse the process.
For a better look at how to use a treestand, check out this video:
An important safety item to consider is not carrying a loaded weapon while setting up,or taking down, the tree stand. This may seem obvious to you, but it is not hard to forget some of the simple things in the heat of the moment. The jarring motion involved in setting up a stand can make a loaded weapon dangerous, and should it fall to the ground, you have no control where the weapon is pointed.
The tree stand safety harness explained:
Hunting is not the only activity that can benefit from using a climbing tree stand. Bird watchers can experience a completely new level of excitement by getting up to the level where birds live and play. Because they are portable, they can also be very useful while scouting out a new hunting area. Looking at a map or signs on the ground are valuable skills to know, but there is nothing like seeing an area from above ground to determine if a certain spot is truly worth your time and effort.
Once you practice with a climbing tree stand and are comfortable using it, employing it on your next hunt will likely be a rewarding experience. If you have never hunted with this kind of stand, you may wonder how you ever did without it.