Tips & Tactics

Eliminate Tree-hugger Stands

Eliminate Tree-hugger Stands

By Mike Stamp

Have you ever tried to stand up and draw your bow in a fixed-position stand that had been set up crookedly? It can be scary and dangerous.

When I set up my stands, I like to get them comfortably level from the get-go. That’s why I bring a 6-inch level with me on treestand setup day.

First, I lay the level on the foot platform, making sure it is perfectly level side-to-side, then front to back. However, I like my stands to angle slightly back, but never forward. 

I find it is much easier to sit for several hours when I don’t feel as if I am going to fall off the front or side.

It is also much better for your back if you are not sitting at an angle. Hours of straining to remain upright can be much more taxing on your body than you realize.

So, omit the guesswork and get your stand’s foundation right from the start. This simple tool will help you be much more comfortable but, more importantly, you’ll be safer way up there.

– Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin

Mike Stamp’s tip brings back bad memories of a long morning in an Illinois bow stand.

The outfitter dropped me off before daylight in an area that was ripe for ambushing a big buck.

Mike StampAs fresh scrapes materialized in the beam of my flashlight, I was anxious to get settled into the fixed-position, lock-on type stand. This could be THE day!

But after I climbed into the stand, I could tell even in the pre-dawn darkness that it was going to be a precarious hunt.

The base of the stand was pitched forward — the absolute worst direction for a bowhunter trying to stand and draw.

Even with my safety harness on, I couldn’t have launched an arrow if I’d wanted to, not standing, and not without losing my balance and risking toppling out.

The remainder of the morning was spent sitting with one arm around the tree, waiting for the outfitter to pick me up, and hoping a monster didn’t appear underneath my stand at an angle I couldn’t shoot from a sitting position.

I was almost relieved that I only saw does that morning, and I alerted the outfitter about the crooked stand, which probably got wrenched by an extra large client the previous week.

Mike Stamp touched on something I want to expound on. Being able to lean forward slightly to draw your bow is important.

When setting up fixed-position stands, give your toes a brace by allowing the front of the platform to be a couple of degrees higher than the rear so you can lean into the shot without fear of pitching or sliding forward.

Over time, your weight will push the front end downward as the stand settles against the tree’s bark — especially in soft-wooded trees, such as pines.

If you are a big guy, you might want to account for this a bit more during the initial setup so you aren’t leaning forward by season’s end.

A small level can be purchased for next to nothing, and it will ensure your treestand setup is rock solid from the start.

More Treestands Tips:
Designated Treestand Day

Pull Those Stands!
Rock Climber’s Tip for Treestand Part 1
Rock Climber’s Tip for Treestand Part 2

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Set BIG PICTURE Goals: Learn how the big picture is more important than the big buck when setting pre-season goals — especially for those new to the sport.

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd