Hello fellow hunters! Cap here, back with an expanded guide covering all the key facts, stats, questions, and tips you need to master hunting from treestands. Consider this your definitive handbook for elevated bowhunting success.
We’ll cover critical factors like safety, equipment, shooting technique, scouting, and troubleshooting common mistakes. I’ve hunted from treestands for over 20 years, so I’m packing this guide with hard-won expertise to help you stick trophies and stay safe.
Before anything else, I must emphasize treestand safety. Over 75% of bowhunters prefer elevated stands because they offer concealment and improved views, but they also introduce risks that you must mitigate with proper precautions:
- Always use a full-body safety harness attached to the tree before leaving the ground (over 90% of treestand hunters use a harness to prevent falls)
- Inspect all equipment thoroughly before each use and replace anything damaged or worn
- Clear shooting lanes completely to avoid risky branch snapping at height
- Use a haul line to raise and lower gear rather than carrying items by hand
- Take time to select a solid, healthy tree that can bear your weight
- Never trust questionable or damaged stands or trees again – it’s just not worth the risk
Follow these rules and you’ll be able to enjoy a rewarding hunt rather than becoming another treestand accident statistic.
Picking Your Platform
With safety covered, let’s discuss stand types. Over 50% of hunters use climbing treestands because they offer versatility to set up quickly and quietly wherever the deer sign is freshest:
- Hang-ons: Lightweight and portable but require tools to install. Perfect for hunters who rotate locations.
- Climbing Stands: Allow you to set up on almost any tree, though cheap versions can clank loudly and be tricky to install quietly.
- Ladder Stands: Offer stability and easy climbing but are heavy and permanent. Difficult to haul over distance.
- Tower Stands: Provide luxury 360 degree views and space to move in a permanent stand. Very expensive and must be placed perfectly.
Portable stands like climbers allow you to approach the tree while making minimal noise – important when over 80% of bow kills happen within 40 yards.
Installing your treestand properly is critical for success. Follow these tips:
- Clear shooting lanes beforehand so you aren’t snapping branches once you’re at height
- Cinch straps very tight – even a few inches of slack can lead to a startling downward shift
- Level out the seat if needed – sitting lopsided all day can ruin your hunt
- Pick a suitable height, usually 15-20 feet – any higher and you can lose shot confidence
The average treestand hunter spends 1-3 hours scouting the perfect tree and another hour setting up the stand. Take your time to do it right!
Mastering Shooting Technique
Gravity impacts your arrow’s trajectory at sharp angles, so practice shooting from your treestand to prepare:
- For downward shots, lean forward at the waist – don’t just point your bow down
- Rotate your torso and square your shoulders to the target
- Add a kisser button to your bowstring to ensure consistent anchor points
- Consider a pendulum sight to auto-adjust for elevation
- Take angle-compensating rangefinders afield to improve distance judgment
Practice under realistic hunting conditions while wearing your safety harness. The average treestand hunter only takes 1-2 shots per hunt, so make them count!
Picking the Perfect Location
Even the best stand setup can’t compensate for a poor location. Use these tips when scouting:
- Identify deer funnels between bedding and feeding areas
- Watch wind direction and thermals
- Key in on water sources like streams or ponds
- Look for major trails, rubs, and scrapes
- Note entry/exit points to feeding areas
- Consider fringes of bedding areas
The more time you spend observing and patterning deer movements, the better your ambush location will be.
Avoid these common errors that I see from many beginners:
- Picking a marginal tree rather than taking time to find an optimal one
- Forgetting critical safety gear like harnesses and lifelines
- Dozing off and missing opportunities
- Making excess noise moving around
- Abandoning your stand to track a deer prematurely
- Taking risky shots in low light
Stay safe and stick with the fundamentals – the treestand success will follow!
Those are the key tips and stats to help you master hunting from above. Follow this guide and you’ll be sticking trophy bucks in no time! Let me know if you have any other questions. Now get out there and claim your place among the treestand elites!
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.