Knowing how to use a climbing tree stand properly can drastically improve your hunting experience.
These kinds of tree stands are easy to set up and take down, but it takes time to get used to the process. Learning how to put up a tree stand requires more thoughtfulness and care than you might originally realize.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
A safe hunting trip starts before you begin. If you plan for safety, you’ve already done a chunk of the work. Once you get to the area where you want to set up, there are several measures you should take to ensure the safety of yourself and anyone else with you.
Accidents happen every year with hunters and their tree stands, and you can’t prevent every disaster. However, if you have all the right gear and pick a good tree, your risk of an accident or fall decreases.
Assemble your gear
One way to protect yourself while using a tree stand is to make sure your climbing tree stand is secure. While some hunters are proud of their DIY climber tree stand, it may not be as safe as popular commercial models like the Summit Viper SD.
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy…
- Closed-front aluminum climbing…
- Suspended foam-padded seat…
- Weighs 20 lbs. and holds up to…
- 18” W x 12” D seat size,…
- Includes Full-Body Fall Arrest…
Climbing tree stands oftentimes come in two pieces, and you need to tether them together. This ensures that even if one piece falls down the tree, it’s still within reach. Without a tether, you’d be left stranded in the tree until help arrived.
You should also check that the bottom piece of your stand has a safety strap or stirrups for your feet. This enables you to properly lift and lower the piece as you ascend and descend the tree.
It’s also absolutely crucial that you wear a tree stand hunting harness when learning how to use a climbing tree stand. Attaching the harness to a tree strap will keep you stationary if you lose your balance or your stand falls.
Hunter Safety System X-1 Bowhunter Treestand Safety Harness,…
- STAY SAFE THROUGHOUT THE HUNT:…
- LIGHTWEIGHT MEETS PHENOMENAL…
- VERSATILE ENOUGH FOR…
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: Primary…
- 5 YEAR WARRANTY: Strongest in…
Once you have a secure tree stand and harness, you’re ready to find a tree to perch in.
Pick the right tree
Even with all the right gear, you can still fall victim to an accident if you don’t pick a good tree. It’s great to find signs of the animals you’re hunting, but it won’t do you any good if there isn’t a good tree nearby.
You should immediately rule out trees that are dead or dying. These trees can break at any time, and all the safety gear in the world won’t be able to prevent that.
Next, look for trees without branches at the base that will prevent you from climbing up the trunk. If you’re hunting in an area that allows hunters to chop off low branches, you should bring a hacksaw with you.
The trunk should be thick all the way up to where you want to sit, and it should be sturdy enough to withstand your weight. If it starts to narrow toward the top, you’ll need to adjust how your stand sits so it stays parallel to the ground.
Pay attention to the bark as well. Climbing tree stands have a hard time gripping smooth bark like that of beech trees. Thick, sturdy bark like that of pine and oak trees is ideal.
HOW TO USE A CLIMBING TREE
Once you find the right tree, you’re ready to start climbing. Within a handful of simple steps, you’ll have the perfect perch that allows you to spot and fell the beast you’re after.
Ascending and descending the tree use the same steps, but merely in a different direction. Once you get up to your desired height, you’ll use the same process to get back down.
Ascending the tree
When learning how to use a climbing tree stand, start by choosing how far up you want to go. You don’t have to climb to the top of the tree, but you should be high enough to see through the brush and create a clear field of fire.
At the base of the tree, attach the tree strap and two pieces of the stand to the tree. You’ll likely need to add some weight to the stand to ensure the teeth dig into the bark. Attach your harness to the strap, and you’re ready to go.
To start, loosen the tree strap, place it above your head, and tighten it again. Place your feet in the stirrups of the bottom piece of the stand and place your torso through the top piece. This position will allow you to use the sit and stand method to use a climbing tree stand.
Sit on the top piece of the stand while you use your feet to bring the bottom piece further up the trunk. Dig the teeth back into the bark so you can stand on it again. Once you stand, lift the top piece and lift it higher up the trunk.
Next, repeat the process of raising up the tree strap, bottom piece, and top piece in that order. Repeat this as many times as necessary to reach the desired height.
Once at the height you want, make sure both pieces are secured to the tree. Raise the strap high enough so that there’s limited slack between the strap and your harness. The idea is that the strap will hold you in place in case of a fall, not catch you mid-fall.
You’re then ready to enjoy your hunt.
Descending the tree
When you’re ready to descend, you use the same steps for how to use a climbing tree stand to ascend a tree.
To start, loosen the tree strap your harness is attached to and lower it. You’ll then sit on the top piece and lower the bottom piece. Once it’s secure, stand and lower the top piece.
You’ll continue this pattern until you make it all the way down the trunk of the tree. You can take off the tree strap once you’re close enough to the ground to get off safely.
KNOWING HOW TO USE A CLIMBING TREE STAND KEEPS YOU SAFE WHILE YOU HUNT
When learning how to use a climbing tree stand, your safety comes first. You can’t have a successful hunting trip if you’ve fallen out of a tree and hurt yourself.
Make sure you have the best climbing tree stand and harness to ensure your safety. You’ll then need to carefully lift and lower each piece so that the teeth dig into the bark and don’t fall. Before long, you’ll have the process down.
What are your climbing tree stand tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments section.
Featured image by: Amazon
My articles appear in Marketing Edge Magazine, on Gizmogrind, and with various Medium publications. But one thing hasn’t changed in all of my life: no matter where I was or what I was doing. I’ve always loved to be outdoors.
A man needs nothing more than a good flannel shirt, a well-worn pair of jeans, and comfortable hiking boots. I don’t go for all the fancy luxury stuff. Suits are uncomfortable and shaving sucks.