Planning a bow hunting trip? Do not confuse it with simple hunting method. It’s different! Bow hunting requires a particular strategy in terms of area and positioning of the hunter. Hunting in the wild requires a clearer view and a hideout where you are least likely to get detected by the bucks. As it can take hours in waiting for the target, nothing could be a better option than a tree stand. Being a novice hunter, if you don’t know how to build a tree stand for bow hunting, no worries. Here is all that you need to know about hunting from a treestand.
What Is a Tree Stand?
A tree stand promises a safe and secure corner where you can stay high above the level of the animals and wait for your target for hours. Sitting on a heighted position, you get an open, wide view of what’s happening all around. At the same time, the animal cannot detect your smell when you are sitting above its level.
Types of Tree Stands
There are many types of tree stands available in the market; portable and non-portable. Each tree stand is manufactured for a specific area and a different style of hunting. You should choose the one that is best for your hunting style. The basic types of a tree stand include;
- A ladder stand that comes with a seat and leader. This is not a portable stand. Once the ladder and the seat is fixed, you can’t move it to some other location easily.
- Lock on Tree stand is lighter and safer. It’s a kind of a small tree house that is set up with the help of screws in the tree. So it’s not easily removable.
- Climber Tree stands are what I always recommend for sit-and-wait bow hunters. These can simply be tied with ratchet straps, to a tree (preferably a straight tree). Even the hunters who do not know much, can learn the process with a bit of attention. And once you are done with your hunting experience, you can carry it back, home with you.
Note: There are few states that do not allow permanent treestands or the use of nails and screws in any tree on a public land. So before you make a choice from the mobile or fixed treestand, get complete info about the state’s law. Secondly, Whatever style of tree stand you opt for, make sure that it’s approved by Treestand Manufacturers Association.
Why I Recommend a Climber Tree Stand?
All these types of tree stands can be used for bow hunting. Each of it has its good and bad points. I always used and recommended a climber tree stand. Let’s take a look at a few points that make it a better option over others.
- Portability and mobility
- Easy to carry on your back
- Promises multiple hunting set ups in a day
- Easily adjustable and takes about fifteen minutes in setting up
- Does not terrify the animal around
- No damaging of trees with screws or drill
- Can simply be tied with ratchet strap
How to Set Up a Climber Tree Stand for Bow Hunting?
Before we proceed with our step by step guide about how to build a tree stand, there are a few important points that you must keep in mind.
- Read the instructions well, given by the manufacturers
- It’s important that you practice earlier on the ground level
- Other than your camouflage hunting dress, don’t forget to wear your harness for safety sake
- Don’t be hasty in building up the tree stand. Just be calm.
Choosing the Right Hunting Location
It’s very important to find a hunting area where deer visit frequently. For that you would have to look for certain signs that may include; rubs, scrapes and tracks of deer.
All these signs signify that the deer are using this area for their everyday movement. An area with a water storage or a pond of fresh water in the vicinity is another noteworthy sign of bucks living somewhere around.
Note: Deer need water and they normally choose an area to live where they do not have to travel too far for drinking water.
Pick the Right Tree!
- The tree should have straight and tall stem without much branches. For a tree with branches on the stem, it would be hard to ascend and ultimately you would have to remove the branches (it could be against the law if it is a public property that does not allow cutting of trees).
- Tree should be perpendicularly downwind and also away from the animal’s traveling direction, to make sure that you remain unnoticed.
- It should be located at a distance of about 12 to 20 yards from the animal hunting area (for bow hunting).
- The width of the tree should be reasonable enough to hide your silhouette.
- Find a tree that provides sufficient covering of leaves on the height of about 25 feet (where you sit). Tress like oak, cedars and maple are known for the best cover to camouflage the hunter.
Note: Oak trees can be the best option, also for the reason that it has acorns and deer just love them.
How to Set up the Tree Stand?
As you have brought your climber tree stand to this far, now is the time to get it fixed on the tree. A climber tree stand consists of three basic parts;
- A harness rope
- A hand climber or climbing aid
- A platform
Note: Each tree stand comes with its instructions card to help you knowing how to build a tree stand. Read that well as each device has its own specifications. Whatever installing info I am sharing here is based on my general knowledge of the climber treestands.
Moreover, it’s also necessary to have the required tools to set up your tree stand. Before going out to set it up, make sure you have a hand saw, a pole saw, a pulley system, a pair of wire strippers, and a cordless drill (for steps) to make your installation both faster and easier. If you can, it also helps to take a friend with you for assistance.
To reach the top, you have to raise each item on the tree respectively, once the tree stand is installed. Let’s discuss it in steps.
Step-1: Wear your harness!
Make sure that you have put on your harness belt and there is a harness rope that you would connect with the tree strap to mount on it. It’s important for your safety.
Step-2: Install the Platform
First is to install the Platform or the climbing base to the tree. Loosen the knobs, unlatch the device. Pull the belt from the tube to place it around the tree. Once you have encircled the tree with it, get it inserted back in the tube of the stand.
Relatch the device.
Step-3: Top Section Installation
The second step is top section’s installation. This part is also known as a hand climber. Mount it to the tree by using the same method as we followed for the platform.
Note: Once you are up there, you would definitely need a lot of things like arrows, bow, food, water, gloves and so on. Make sure you carry all these things with you. Tying a bag containing all the things on the hand climber, is what I always recommend.
Step-4: Interconnect the Stabilizer Straps
Both the parts should be firmly interconnected with stabilizer straps on it. As long as you are on the tree stand, these straps must remain connected to each other.
Step-5: Step on the installed Platform
Before you step on the platform to start climbing up the tree, ensure that you have attached your harness rope to the tree.
Step-6: How to Raise the Platform?
Put your weight slightly on the hand climber and place your feet under the hinges and bars on the platform we have installed in the first place. Apply slight pressure to hinge with inside of the foot. Bend your knees to disengage and then raise the platform from its place.
Step-7: Process to be Repeated!
Keep one foot under the hinge bar and the other in the middle of the platform to maintain your balance. Slide the harness rope (with tree strap) to an appropriate height (as much as your hands extend).
Now disengage the climbing aid and raise it to a higher level. Put the pressure on it and raise the platform. Repeat the same process again and again, unless you reach your desired height.
Step-8: Get yourself Adjusted in the Seat!
Once you have reached your ideal height, adjust and tighten your harness rope and stabilizer straps in a sitting position.
Note: I prefer a sitting position because a sudden transition from sitting to standing position, as the animal appears, may produce sound and can alert a mature buck. You are free to choose whatever position you like.
I hope this article have made it easy for you to understand how to build a tree stand. Although each climber tree stand comes with different specifications. But the basics of getting on the tree is the same for all of them.
It’s up to you which one you find suitable for you. Those who want to use climber tree stand, following the above mentioned criteria would surely make the climbing process easy for them.
All the best and stay safe.
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