If you want to learn how to hunt like a pro then you need to get involved with tree stands.
You see, these little rafters up in the tree can bring many benefits to your hunting game. They provide great anonymity, limit the noise you make and, ultimately, get you that little closer to the big shot.
But someone who’s new to hunting probably has a million questions about how to hunt from a tree stand. Don’t worry, though, as I’ve got a wealth of experience on the subject.
And here are all the answers you’re ever going to need.
When Should You Put Your Stand Up?
Putting up a stand can be a noisy job and takes a long time to properly secure, so it’s really going to spook any nearby game.
That’s why I’ve always found the best time to start is at the beginning of the off season. There’s less impact on your hunting efforts and you’ve also got the previous season’s knowledge to work from.
All the hotspots such as feeding locations, sleeping locations etc will be fresh in your mind and they’re unlikely to change for the following season.
Of course, hunting is unpredictable and you never know what’s going to happen, so you may have to put a stand up during the season. If you do then you’ll want to make sure you invest heavily in scent control and keep noise to an absolute minimum.
How High Should You Go?
One of the greatest benefits to using a tree stand is that, by getting yourself off ground level, you limit the chance of your scent drifting into the hypersensitive nostrils of your target.
But at what height do you need to go to achieve this?
Well, you don’t want to go too high. I mean, set your stand up 40 feet in the air and you’ll find that the shooting angle becomes way too tricky.
A better compromise is between 20 – 25 feet. At this height you can still get a great angle for a shot at the lungs on elk and deer.
And never forget that the higher you go the more risk there is of doing yourself a serious injury.
Which Trees Are Best?
You can’t just hitch your tree stand up to the first tree you come across. No, instead you need to thoroughly survey the tree to see if it’s suitable.
The most important hunting tip I can give you is that it HAS to be alive and healthy. If you try and setup a tree stand on a dead or diseased tree then you’re putting yourself at risk of a big fall.
Do your best to ensure the bark looks healthy and the tree limbs are strong.
Talking about bark, you should also aim to find a tree where the bark has a semi-rough feel to it. This type of texture will provide a much more secure fixing point for your stand than a smooth or flaky type bark.
And, finally, make sure the tree isn’t cluttered with too many low branches or you’ll struggle to climb it efficiently. If need be use shears to cut down some of the branches to clear your route.
What’s the Best Position for Your Tree Stand?
With 360 degrees worth of tree it’s difficult to know exactly where you should position your tree stand. And it’s a question that many newbies ask me.
Firstly, you need to position your stand where it’s easy to get in and out of the tree. This makes life much easier and provides you with a safe route.
Next, you have to make sure that you’ve got plenty of visibility. You don’t want too many branches obscuring your view and this applies to surrounding trees as well.
Although the natural scent of the tree will cover your scent – to some degree – you’ll still need to position yourself upwind of the deer. This will improve your chances no end.
Just the One Stand?
You should never limit yourself to just one tree stand!
It’s obvious really because, you know, you may not have picked a great location to hunt from. And this is the same for all hunters – beginner or veteran.
Certain locations may just remain cold, so you need to make sure you always have a backup location elsewhere.
If you’ve got this already in place then you’ll find you can get between your stands with the minimum of noise and fuss.
This is why you need to make thorough scouting of the territory a priority in the pre-hunt period.
I hope you’ve found these tips really helpful and made you a bit more confident in using a tree stand.