Every hunter faces the challenge of staying concealed at the same time gaining full visibility of the hunting terrain. To be able to achieve this, the hunter uses many devices to make sure that he or she is undetected by animals while watching their every move. This will be achieved by using a tree stand.
A tree stand is a device that is mounted on a tree so that the hunter is elevated and will be out of the animals’ sight and smell. Because the hunter is elevated, he will be able to see what the hunting terrain is like at the same time remain invisible to the game. Tree stands are usually used to hunt deer and it is still the best way to track them. The elevation of a tree stand can raise a hunter to 15 to 18 feet above the ground.
Types of tree stands
To understand how tree stands work, the user must clearly understand the differences among its types. Tree stand varies in structure and in the way they are mounted. The hunter will be the one to choose which one works the best for them.
One of the most popular types of tree stands is the climbing tree stand. This is the type that is mounted on a tree and the hunter steps on the stand and on the platform. Each piece is used as a step upwards and is then removed and attached again. The platform is mounted on the tree trunk by a cable or a durable strap.
The ladder stand is a ladder attachment that is supported by the tree and the ground and holds up a platform. The stand is reached through the ladder. The hunter remains stationary and the platform is wide. There are even platforms which are big enough for two people.
The hanging stand is also stationary like the ladder tree stand but the platform is accessed through a rope or notches that are put on the tree. The hanging stand is mounted on the tree trunk through chains or ropes.
What is a ground blind?
A ground blind is a device that is mounted on the ground to create a temporarily concealed space for the hunter. It is covered with camouflage and blends with the forest. The ground blind covers the hunter and he remains inside as the game approaches.
There are a few benefits to using a ground blind. In terms of visibility, the hunter will have a direct view of the animal. The hunter will be able to see if the animal is close and can make an accurate calculation of how to hit the target. The ground blind also helps the hunter get the attention of the target without being seen. The blind is more mobile and easier to transfer from one area to another. Above all, the use of the ground blind is easier and less risky.
However, the ground blind can also be disadvantageous because the view is limited from the blind and sight of the animal can be limited. Animals can also run away if the scent of the hunter drifts with the air that flows to the animals’ direction. A tree stand is more superior in those two aspects because the tree stand will ensure that the hunter is invisible and that he or she gets the entire visibility of the hunting grounds from up above.
The major disadvantage of using a ground blind is the regulations that restrict the use of it. The user must know well if the blind is legally acceptable in the area, which is unlike the stand because it can be used anywhere.
What are the keys to safety?
The use of tree stands is controversial because it is still the leading cause of accidents during hunting season. There is one out of three hunters who suffer from severe injuries because of misuse of the stand. This is why most people are turned off by the product. However, the use of the stand requires great responsibility and should be used with precaution and great consciousness for safety.
The first thing to remember when using a tree stand is that the user must use all the safety gear that comes with the stand. This includes the harness, safety ropes, and handles. The user must make sure that the safety harness is on before he or she climbs the stand. The stand itself should have enough a rope that acts as a safety and is connected to the tree.
The use should always check the quality of the harness and the safety rope. If these are showing signs of wearing, they should be replaced right away. The safety rope should be connected to the harness. The user must always make sure that the stand is secure and firmly mounted on the tree. A safety strap should be attached to the harness and the tree.
The user should make sure that his or her hands are free from hunting gear when climbing up the ladder. Gear can be put in a backpack or through a line that is connected to the top of the tree.
Other Safety Tips
The use of a tree stand will bring an enjoyable experience if the user is responsible when using this device. It is better to go hunting with a companion when using a tree stand and keeping communication lines open. Communicating by radio is a good way to let people know of the users’ exact location as well as a precaution for emergency situations.
Users should always follow the 3-point of contact to the steps or to the ladder when going up or down the ladder. If the ladder is slippery and if the steps present a level of hazard, the user must make necessary precautions. The climbing stand should be handled with care and the user must also be careful in going up and down.
As a safety precaution, the user must also know that the devices come with manufacturers’ instructions on how to use it. Users should follow these instructions and make sure that they follow the product’s weight rating and the diameter of the tree trunk.
|Guide Gear 18′ Jumbo Ladder Tree Stand||$$||4/5|
|Millennium Treestands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand||$||4.8/5|
|Sniper Deluxe 2-man Ladder Tree Stand 18′||$$||4/5|
|Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand||$$$||4.8/5|
|Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand||$$$||4.5/5|
|Guide Gear Deluxe Hunting Hang-On Tree Stand||$||4.1/5|
|Lone Wolf Alpha II Hang – on Tree Stand||$$||4.7/5|
|X-Stand Deluxe Hunting Climbing Tree Stand||$||3.8/5|
|Millennium Treestands M150 Monster Hang-On Tree Stand||$$||4.6/5|
|Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber||$$||4.1/5|
5 Best Tree Stands
Based on consumer rating and evaluation of experts, the best tree stands are enumerated below. They are rated based on their performance and durability as well as safety and the sense of the users’ security when using the product.
Guide Gear Jumbo Ladder Tree Stand
This is a product that is designed for large-sized hunters because it can carry as much as 300 pounds. The foot rest is wide and the chair is big to provide room for the user to stretch or have a stable stance when hunting. The seat is padded and will be comfortable to use for hours.
The platform is stable and the product comes with armrests that are also padded. The ladder sections have pins that mark and lock the joints of the product. When the seat is put up, there is more room for the hunter to aim and shoot. Visibility is wide and complete because the elevation is at 18 feet.
This is a durable and a comfortable product to use. The seat’s construction is high quality because it is made of steel. For heavy users, there will be no issues because the seat is wide and the user will be able to sit comfortably for the entire day.
The frame will not bend or break. The armrest is foldable and the footrest is wide and stable. When the seat is raised up, there is ample space under the seat to put food and water. The stand is noise-free.
However, the metal frame is heavy and two people are required to set up. Mounting the stand will be very challenging because the product is heavy. Many of the bolts and screws are incompatible and unlabelled. The manual is unhelpful with unclear instructions.
- Made of durable steel
- Ladder is 18 feet tall
- Has 3 pinned ladder sections
- Easy to collapse and fold
- Seat has cushions and foot rest is padded
- Has silencer embedded in the seat
- Has a wide seat and foot rest
- Has a 300-pound weight capacity
- Has padded armrests
- Comes with stabilizer straps, ratchet straps, and safety harness
- Tricky to assemble
- A little difficult to mount
- Seat can sometimes make noise
Millennium Hang-on Tree Stands
This is a hanging tree stand that is comfortable and is fit to be used for long hours. The seat hangs tightly around the tree trunk and the footrest is easy to mount. The seat folds up and gives a lot of room for a standing shot. The durable metal base is sturdy and will not bend or fold. The product is made of metal and can be carried by back straps that come with the product’s packaging.
The product weighs only 19 pounds. The foot rest is wide and gives the hunter enough space especially when standing up and the hunter gains visibility while on the stand. The user also gets a wide range of view through the foliage. This is a lightweight stand but the chair is made durable and is strong and has a weight rating of 200 pounds.
The design of the seat is better than using a tree ladder because it can be set up by just one person. The seat can be folded and transported anywhere, which makes the hunter mobile. The hunter can sit comfortably for long hours because the seat is 20 inches wide. The hunter will not encounter any discomfort while on the seat and will be able to stay on the tree stand for the entire day.
However, the chains on the product make it heavy and ascending is an issue. The chains scrape the exterior of the tree bark. The stand needs to be reinforced by additional straps and chains. It is a very heavy product to pull upwards.
- Has portable features
- Can be used by amateur and intermediate users
- Has a contoured sling seat
- Has a seat that folds up
- Footrest and seat are roomy
- Comes with a backpack sling
- Coated with good black finish
- Includes mounting chain and 35-inch rope
- Rope has carabiner and knots for easy climbing and dissension
- Seat and platform reinforced by chain
- Reasonably heavy
- Sometimes scrapes the trees bark
- Tricky to assemble
Sniper Deluxe Tree Stand
This is a product that provides a high vantage point at 18 feet. The frame is made of steel and is big enough to be used by 2 people. The seat is 38 inches wide with a 1-inch cushion, which makes it very comfortable to use. The product has a railing that is padded and is comfortable to use. The product has 2 safety harnesses and safety fasteners. The elevation is great at 17 inches and visibility is optimal.
This is a product that can carry as much as 500 pounds and the product itself is 65 pounds. The product comes with a shooting rail and is padded to ensure zero noise. However, this is a heavy product because it has a large frame. Assembly should be done by two people instead of one.
The product only comes with one ratchet strap which is insufficient to provide security, which users should reinforce to make it stable. The product is not for one person. Users with large frames will have a hard time fitting another adult on the stand. This is a product that rusts and will not be good for long-term use.
- Provides elevation of 18 feet
- Standing and seating capacity is good for 2 people
- High elevation provides good visibility
- Vantage is superior
- Product is made of solid metal
- Seat has width of 38 inches with foam of 1 inch
- Comfortable foot space with 38-inch width
- Carrying capacity is 500 pounds
- Comes with 2 safety harnesses
- Has seat elevation of 17 feet from the ground
- Can only fit one large-sized adult
- Short service life
Summit Climbing Tree Stand
This is a product by Summit that is very strong but lightweight. The stand is made of aluminum and the user’s legs are locked in the metal railings which are covered with foam. The hunter is secure when sitting down and when the seat is raised, the user can have a stable position while standing up.
This is a product that is extremely light but can carry as much as 300 pounds. The item itself is only 20 pounds and is very easy to haul around. The seat is really comfortable and the hunter can stay on it for long hours.
Aluminum is the material that is used to make the seat and reinforcements. They are all well and protected with expandable foam which makes it quiet and reduced in sound when the user is on the product.
Both feet are sturdy on the platform because of the added reinforcement and will remain stable as the hunter aims and shoots from a sitting position. The seat is well-constructed. However, there is wide criticism over tree stands because there is a high risk when using them. These products are deemed unsafe. Users should always be equipped with proper protection gear.
- Climbing stand is made of aluminum
- Seat has closed front
- Seat and safety rails are padded
- Product weighs 20 pounds
- Carrying capacity is 300 pounds
- Seat size has width of 18 inches
- Platform size has width of 20 inches
- Comes with accessories and harness
- Very portable
- Not really a negative but just like all tree stands it can be unsafe to use.
- Should be used with high-quality safety standards
Lone Wolf Hand Climber and Tree Stand
This is a product that is versatile because it serves as a tree stand and getting up the tree is simple with the use of its climbing mechanism. The product is only 17.5 pounds and is easy to transport. The stand makes the hunter mobile and the structure is made of aluminum.
The product size is 30 inches by 19.5 inches but can be folded to a size of 5 inches. The seat is contoured and padded and the product has a bow holder. The product has back straps to make it easy to carry. The safety rope is made with a safety arrest fall system that ensures the hunters’ safety while on the seat.
- Product weight is 17.5 pounds
- Has a padded seat that measures 30 in x 19.5 in
- Weight rating is 350 pounds
- Can accommodate two limb bows
- Good to hold trees minimum of 9 inches in diameter
- Entire product can be folded to 5 inches
- Expanded size is 30 inches by 19.5 inches
- Once again, not really a negative but just like all tree stands this product can be unsafe to use.
- Makes unnecessary noise when moving around.
There is a rising number of injuries that are attributed to the use of a tree stand. This can be lessened if the user is safety conscious and will implement the proper methods to make sure that the user is safe. The manufacturer will provide all the safety instructions and the user should make sure that they are followed.