December 9, 2022
tree-stand

TREE-STAND SET-UP FOR BOWHUNTING

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I have a clean 32 yard shot to the bait pile and am well blended in with only having to trim 4 branches.

Hello fellow outdoorsman and outdoorswomen. We hear a lot about what we should do when hanging our tree-stands. We have to hang them a certain height, we have to consider scent, when we should hang them and even where we should hang them. Even though we read and hear some great advice, it isn’t always a “cookie cutter” world when it comes to white-tailed deer hunting. I would like to share with everyone the things I consider when hanging a tree-stand for hunting white-tailed deer. Just remember, these are only my opinions and you know what they say, everybody has one.

Once I have my heart set on a location I want to hunt, I first look for the right tree to hang my tree-stand. The first criteria for the right tree is the prevailing winds. Here in the U.P of Michigan, that is a North to Northwest wind. We are allowed to bait during deer season so I want the deer coming into the bait upwind. I also do not like to trim a lot. I look for natural open pockets that require the minimum amount of trimming. This goes for shooting lanes and the tree itself. The less I disturb the better. Of course I need a clean shooting lane like everyone else, but I don’t want it to look like I am logging the area either.

I prefer my tree-stand set-up to be between 20 and 30 yards from the bait and other shooting lanes.

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View of my tree-stand from under it.
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View of my tree-stand from between 10 and 15 yards.

 

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View of my tree-stand placement at 32 yards from my bait pile.

The terrain and trails usually dictates the distance for me. I just make sure I know the distances before I even hunt. The height I place my tree-stand is not that big of a factor to me. I keep the height between 10 and 20 feet up in the tree. What I must have is a good backdrop and cover to help break up my outline. The shadows that the backdrop and canopy provide really help me to blend in as well. As you can see from the above progressive photo’s at increased distances I like my tree-stand to melt into the tree. Another must for me is the ability for me to remain as silent as possible. This means I like to modify my tree-stand to make them as quiet as I can. To learn more about how I try to keep things as silent as I can, see my other article “Silence is Golden”.

Of course safety and security is the highest priority. I have a family I need to take care of so getting back home safely is job #1 and should be for everyone else as well.

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I keep the ladder steps no more than a foot and a half apart for better sure footing.
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I use ladder sections with the horseshoe shape to allow for 1/2 your boot to fit in for foot security.
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These steps allow you to get a better grip when climbing and descending your tree.

I believe every new tree-stand bought comes with a safety harness for your protection. USE IT! If you don’t like the ones they provide, then purchase one you prefer. The bottom line is to make it home safe. Statistics also show that the majority of falls from tree-stands comes from climbing up or down from the your perch. This is why I use strap on ladder sections for climbing the tree. Not the ones that only give you 3 – 4 inches of step to place your boots, but the ones that come in a horseshoe shape where I can fit at least half of my foot in. I also place the ladder sections close together so I am not over-reaching my step and increasing the odds of losing my footing. Usually a foot to a foot and a half max apart. I use extra ratchet tie down straps to secure the tree-stand to the tree. At least 2 straps, one at the top of the stand and one at the bottom portion is used for securing the tree-stand. Combine this with the original equipment that comes with the tree-stand and you can really secure the tree-stand to the tree.

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I use 2 ratchet straps, 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom to secure the tree-stand.

There you have it, in a nutshell, what I like to consider when placing my tree-stand. Remember that safety is your highest priority and stick to what is comfortable for you. If you incorporate as many details that you can to help tip the odds in your favor when bow-hunting deer then do it. It is a great feeling when a deer comes in at close range. Whether you shoot or not, it definitely gets your blood pumping.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share it on your social media. As always, get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Tim Collins.