Treestands are an intricate part of bowhunting. You may not like it but it’s that time of the year where it’s almost impossible to ignore the importance of hanging in the trees while the mature bucks roam freely. Early November rut peak offers the rare opportunity to make the perfect kill you may not get during other seasons. And you want to be in your treestand when this short window opens up. Dedicated hunters make most use of this window. But if you are a newbie, it could also be the perfect time to learn the trade and probably conquer your fear of heights (if you have one).
However, staying in your treestand all day, will require some planning. And you want to be as comfortable and alert as you possibly can when the big buck comes along. The tips highlighted below should give you a head start.
- Get The Right Stand
This is the first and most crucial step. A bad stand means you’d have to move around a lot in search of comfort and risk missing your shot. And most times, you do not have a lot of time to think before making your one and probably only shot. There are quite a number of treestands in the market to choose from. But ladder stands and hang on stands with a large platform are probably the best options available. They both provide a good platform to step on and off from when you want to without causing too much fuss.
- Stand Placement
Now that you have chosen a good stand, you need to make sure that its placement is equally good. While hanging your stand, do your best to keep everything solid and mostly level. In general, make sure nothing poses a threat to your comfort. This is important because a little lapse in concentration as a result of discomfort could put your 10-hour wait in jeopardy. And trust me, it can be very painful. So make sure everything is solid and level. A solid platform will increase the accuracy of your shots regardless of the number of bends and twists that you need to make.
- Get a Comfortable Seat
If the seat in your stand isn’t going to provide you with comfort all day long, then you need to make some adjustments. Padding the seat you already have could do the trick. But some cases may require that you get a replacement.
A seat that provides the right cushion and insulation should be your target. Hard seats with bad cushion will cause you to move often and probably scare a nearby buck away.
- Use Recommended Safety Systems
Dedicated hunters today have more safety systems to choose from than 10 years ago. Back then you rely more on instincts to make sure you are safe at all times. Thank goodness, you don’t have to experience such rigors anymore. Once you are set, you need to first adopt the full body safety harness. This should be on every time you are in the stands. Before installing the stand or removing it, ensure that you wear a safety linesman belt to protect you while you work. You could also make use of a lifeline while you are off the ground. This should keep you safe and prevent worry while you set up your treestand.
- Get Adequate Storage Space
Since you are going to be in your treestand all day, you need to be ready for any occasion that may arise. It is important that you have a large space to store your gear. You can keep your gear at arm’s reach by hanging bags on the rails of your stand. Though your treestand may have an extra space infused into its design. However, there are treestands that do not come with these extra spaces. So help yourself by preparing a large day pack. This should help you stay close to your gears and reduce the chances of you scaring a matured deer away.
- Stack up enough food supply
Yes, you are going to be hunting all day but that doesn’t mean that you starve while you are at it. Ensure that you pack some snacks, and drinks along with your gear. This should keep you fresh and alert all day long. I’m sure you don’t want to miss a shot simply because you lose concentration as a result of being famished. A bottle of your favorite drink and a burger would be out of place. At least I know I enjoy one every now and then when I go hunting.
- Get Familiar with the Environment
Just because you intend to stay on the treestand all day along doesn’t mean you shouldn’t climb down, walk around and get familiar with your environment. This could help calm your nerves especially if you are scared of heights. You could also take a copy of your favorite book along and read while you cool off. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time on it. You don’t want to forget the reason why you were in the stands in the first place. Do you?
With the above tips, you should be OK! But aside all the technical hunting preparation, you need to dress the part. It could only take a slight shower, a cold breeze to cause a chill. And you don’t want to be shivering while taking a shot.
So, you would do well to add an extra layer to your clothing. And when it gets hot at midday, you can easily pull it off and enjoy the breeze. Hang extra clothes on the rails of your treestand if the manufacturers create enough room for it. The weather could get bad without warning, so get ready. Also, with all the tips highlighted above, you could still be stranded if you don’t find a tree where you can hang your stand.
Having a backup plan like getting a ground blind should keep you covered. Blinds such as these will keep you protected from elements and equally prevent smart mature bucks from noticing your presence and probably fleeing even before you get the chance to start your hunt.
About the author: Alex Ramsey – Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter, Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and loves the USA. Founder of Thebigdeer.com where he shares his hunting experiences with all. Alex’s site is all about guns, showcases real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let’s Get Out & Go Hunting