Best Hunting Tree Stands: A Brief History
The first tree stand was made in China around 4000 BC. They were used for protection from animals such as bears, wolves, tigers and other dangerous creatures.
However, they are not so popular anymore nowadays due to their high cost and time consuming to make. Later on the Chinese invented the use of bamboo poles which were much cheaper than wood. These wooden platforms could be easily constructed using simple tools or even just with hands.
Ladder trees stood up to 30 feet tall and had a base of logs. They were usually built along trails or roads.
There are different types of ladders, but the basic idea is similar – a ladder with two legs at each end. The ladder would be supported by one or both ends and then the top part could be lowered down to allow easy access to your prey.
In the 19th century, the American lumberjacks started building these ladders in their logging camps. But there were problems with them because they were difficult to build and hard to maintain.
Also, it took too long to cut them down and move them. So, the American lumber companies stopped making ladder trees altogether in 1872!
As technology evolved, the world started using trees that had their boughs cut off. This meant that hunters had a clear view of animals approaching the base of the tree without risking them hiding in the foliage at the top of the tree.
In addition, a hunter could remain almost completely hidden while he was in his stand. This is how the modern tree stand came about.
Best Hunting Tree Stands: Why You Should Trust This Information
Nowadays, you can find many different types of tree stands on the market which makes it very confusing for the first-time hunter to know which one to buy. Some are expensive but are of great quality and will last you a long time, whereas others are cheap but won’t last as long.
So, here are the most popular types of tree stands and a brief history of how they came about:
The Rimfire: This type of tree stand was popularized by a hunter called John Goforth in the 1920s. It consists of a metal loop that is wedged into a tree and then another loop goes around the tree and is tightened with a wing nut.
Hunters must ensure that this metal loop is securely wedged in the tree to prevent it from falling out. The safer way to use this tree stand is to have two hunters: one to climb the tree and the other to steady the tree stand from the ground. This allows for safe and easy climbing without losing your balance.
The Lone Wolf: The lone wolf is pretty much the same as the rimfire stand, but it doesn’t require another hunter to assist in setting it up. The lone wolf has a tightening screw that can be turned with your hand to tighten the metal loop around the tree.
This means that you only need one person to set it up. Although, it’s a lot heavier than the rimfire so it might be quite straining for one person to set it up.
The Hang On: This is one of the most common tree stands nowadays and is very affordable too. These are simply two metal brackets that are hooked on to the tree and then tightened with the help of a tightening screw.
Hunters must ensure that the brackets are well hooked on to the tree to prevent it from falling out while they are climbing. The only drawback with this stand is that it can be quite heavy so it might take some time for one person to set it up.
The Climbing Sticks: Hunters call these as stick-ups! These are two long wooden poles which can be tightened by twisting a metal ring with the help of a rope.
These wooden poles also require you to secure them around the tree. Hunters need to ensure that they build a solid foundation before using these sticks as one fall could be very dangerous.
The Treestand: This is the most popular type of tree stand and is used by most hunters nowadays. Since this needs two people to set it up, hunters can either choose to set it up alone and climb up or get another person to set it up while they climb.
These stands are usually set up with the help of a metal bracket that hooks on to the tree and then tightened with the help of a tightening screw. They do require two people to set it up but they are highly affordable and easy to use.
The Stump: These tree stands are also very popular among hunters and are sometimes even more effective than most stands. Hunters can make their own stump by cutting out a small piece of tree bark and sitting on it.
However, this is only possible if you are very familiar with the area and know where the safe spots to sit are.
The Perch: This type of stand is very similar to the hang-on but instead of sitting or standing, you crouch on it. The perch is slightly more expensive than the hang on but hunters claim that this provides a clear view of the surroundings without the hunter being seen so easily.
The Blind: These are the most affordable and basic tree stands available. They don’t feature any of the bells and whistles that other stands provide but are solely meant to be absolutely silent and hidden from the prey.
This is often done by tying a rope around the tree and having hunters pull it up from beneath while they hide inside. This is very effective in areas with limited sight but can be dangerous in windy conditions as they tend to sway quite a bit.
Lastly, before you begin setting up the tree stands, it is very important that you ensure that you know how to get down as well. In an emergency, you cannot rely on others to help you down!
Some of the ways to ensure this is by either tying a long rope around your waist and then fastening it to the tree tightly or by ensuring that there are two separate stands so that if one fails, you always have another option of coming down.
Once you are ready to begin, set up a base or home-tree where you can keep all your equipment and from where you can begin your expeditions. From there, you can begin to explore and then decide on your tree locations.
Your base tree must also have a way for you to get down quickly in case of an emergency so be sure to pack some rope or a hunting harness if you have one. Now you are all set to begin your journey into the wild!
Best Hunting Tree Stands
Hunting, as a sport, has been around for thousands of years. It dates back to even before the time of the cavemen and is an activity that is enjoyed by people all over the world regardless of age or gender.
However, with this popularity comes a whole plethora of different opinions on what is the best approach. This is especially true of hunting tree stands.
Many hunters swear by them while others claim they only complicate matters and make the whole process more dangerous than it is worth.
While it is true that many accidents in the wild are caused due to carelessness or lack of preparation, setting up a tree stand does increase the odds of an accident occurring. This is because most people do not set them up correctly and end up hurting themselves.
In addition to this, it is also very easy to get distracted and hurt yourself in the middle of the activity so if you are not careful, you might land yourself in a sticky situation!
So, if you are thinking about using a tree stand for your hunting needs, here are some tips that can help you be as safe as possible.
Do a test run: The first thing you should always do before any major hunting trip is a test run. Take the tree stand you have selected and set it up at home.
This way, you know how to put it up and take it down without any issues when you are out in the wild. If you are new to this, it might also be a good idea to ask for help from someone who has done it before so that they can show you how to do it properly and avoid doing any damage while you are at it.
Test the equipment: While you are at it, you should also test out the tree stand itself and make sure everything is in good working condition before the big hunt. This means checking and double checking every component that makes it up.
If you notice any damage or weakness, get a new one rather than risking your safety. It is not worth it!
Practice makes perfect: The more you practice setting up the stand, the easier it will be for you to do so with your eyes closed! Seriously though, the first few times might feel a little slow and difficult but after a few tries, it will get easier.
Your hands will remember what to do and you will be able to set it up much quicker. This is especially useful when you have to do it in the dark so it pays to practice a lot before the big day!
Bring the right equipment: As with any other hunting trip, you need to be prepared. This means having all the right tools and equipment with you.
Your tree stand is only as good as the arrows in your bow so be sure to have plenty of practice shots before you leave. In addition to this, you also need basic tools such as rope, pliers, knives, flashlights and anything else you think might be useful.
Relax and stay focused: While you are up in your stand, you might be tempted to do a few practice shots at the trees around you. This is a bad idea for several reasons.
The sound of your arrow might scare away any nearby game and more importantly, it can also give away your position and scare off anything that might be lurking in the area. Stay focused on the task at hand and try to remain as still as possible. This way, any nearby animals should stay unaware of your presence.
We hope you will find these tips useful when it comes to setting up your tree stand. As long as you remember the basics of safety and preparedness, you should have a great and memorable time out in the wild!
Sources & references used in this article:
Spinal injuries after falls from hunting tree stands by RS Fayssoux, W Tally, JA Sanfilippo, G Stock… – The Spine Journal, 2008 – Elsevier
Wisconsin firearm deer hunting season: injuries at a level I trauma center, 1999-2004 by MA Halanski, TE Corden – Wisconsin Medical Journal (WMJ), 2008 – wmjonline.org
Modular hunting ladder by RR Woller, S Echols – US Patent 7,232,010, 2007 – Google Patents
ATV hunting stand by JE Hale – US Patent 4,696,374, 1987 – Google Patents
Portable step and a stand for use in hunting wildlife including the same by A Hegele – US Patent 3,835,958, 1974 – Google Patents
Bow hunting stand by D Kessinger – US Patent App. 11/084,520, 2006 – Google Patents
Adjustable hunting stand system by CD Fast – US Patent 6,367,585, 2002 – Google Patents