For me, the most difficult part of hanging a tree stand is the actual placement on the tree.
I have few problems with putting up the sections of steps, but don’t really have the upper arm strength to hold the stand against the tree while I wrap its strap, connect it, and snug it tight.
I’ve eliminated that problem by using a small ladder stand as my “assistant” for hanging stands. I bought a couple lightweight ladder stands – well, of course, from the Sportsman’s Guide – to use in various places. One day, while seated in the stand, I found myself eyeing up a spot a little higher on the tree, which was perfect for a portable stand.
And so it was by accident that I found out how easy it was to hang a portable stand from a ladder stand. The ladder stand is so light that it is easy to hoist it up against a tree. Once the ladder stand is securely fastened, I just climb it and then haul up the portable stand using a haul rope.
When the portable stand is just where I want it, I climb back down the ladder and remove it. I run a set of steps up past the stand, attach them, and I’m finished. Setting a stand is still a two-person job, for safety reasons, but one element of danger has been removed.
Yes, it is a little extra work to break the ladder stand back into two pieces and tote it through the woods to the next spot. But hanging the portable stand is so much easier that you’ll soon make up the time.
That’s an example of enhanced stand placement, and you can combine that with enhancing the stand area. This is another trick I learned by accident.
I’ll freely admit I’m a klutz. Strap a climbing stand on my back and put a headlamp on my hat, and you’ll find out just how bad of a klutz I am. Time after time, as I attempted to slip quietly to a pre-selected tree with my climbing stand, I’d trip on a stick and do a face plant into the leaves. On a good day, I had time to put out my hands and break the fall a bit. But, so much for a stealthy approach! One morning, when I had fallen in the dark on my way into the area, and then fallen again on my way out, I dumped the stand by a shed and exchanged it for a rake.
Fueled by the fresh memories of my falls, I raked a path to the stand, eliminating any fallen sticks and logs that I thought would cause me to trip. It was easy work, and soon I had also removed all the leaves. “There,” I thought, “I’ll be really quiet now.”
Hmm, I thought, maybe I can do the same thing to all my stands? There would be no more rustling leaves to give away my approach, and no more grunts and splats of me onto the forest floor. On Sunday – there is still no Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania – I raked paths to a couple more stands.
There was an additional reward for this work. I found that the deer also really liked using the new quiet “trails,” which led them right to my stands!
Shop Sportsman’s Guide great selection of Tree Stands!