There are many types of treestands available today, each designed to suit a specific purpose. Some treestands are designed to hold only one person, while others can accommodate multiple hunters. There are many factors to consider when choosing a treestand, including the type of terrain you’ll be hunting, the size of the area you’ll be hunting in, and the amount of space you have available.
Types of Treestands
Choosing the right treestand for your needs can be tricky. There are so many different stands available, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of some popular stand options below.
If you are looking for a portable stand because you are hunting on public land or don’t want to leave any signs behind, a climbing stand can be a good option. The two parts can easily be carried. Just make sure that you put something between the metal parts – they tend to clang when you’re walking around with them on your back. But obviously, you want to avoid too much noise.
One of the essential things is to choose the right tree. Chances to find the “perfect tree” are minimal, but a suitable diameter and a firmly attached bark make it easier and safer to climb up. Also, the tree should be in good health. You don’t want to see a bunch of dead branches.
Don’t forget your safety harness; falls from tree stands are on top of the list of hunting accidents. Test all cables and straps before you’re climbing a tree. You can always buy replacements – if you ask me, that money is well spent! Due to the different models and styles of tethers available, make sure to read the owner manual and understand how to use the tether appropriately.
- No climbing sticks or steps required
- Physically challenging
- Straight Trees are needed
Again you are looking for a healthy tree. Since you are using steps or climbing sticks, it doesn’t matter how many branches a tree has – or if the tree is a little crooked.
Hang-on stands are available in smaller or bigger versions. Some people feel more comfortable with a larger footprint. You need to bring screw-in steps or strap-on climbing sticks.
The good thing is that hang-on stands are not very expensive. If you are not hunting public lands, you can set up several around the property.
- Trees can be crooked
- Climbing sticks or steps required
- Takes some time to set up
Ladder-stands are not very portable. You definitely don’t want to remove a ladder-stand every day. So, I’d say that ladder stands are best suited for private properties.
They also require a lot of work to get set up correctly. But once you’ve got everything ready, you won’t regret having bought such an investment. Ladder stands come in various sizes, ranging from small to large ones, armrest, two-person seating. Many options are available.
- Relatively cheap
- Quite to climb
- Timely to set up
- Noisy to set up
Tree saddles are the lightest of all stands available. They are highly portable and ideal if you are hunting on public lands. Yes, you need to bring screw-in or strap-on steps alongside a lineman belt and tether, but this makes setting up so easy. Tree saddles are great for beginners as well as experienced hunters, and as long as a tree can carry you – it’s good to go.
The only downside is that you need to get used to sitting in a saddle. There is no solid platform below you. Safety is a big thing (as with any stand), but tree saddles are as safe or safer than conventional tree stands if set up correctly.
Make sure that you buy a saddle that has the right size! Do not forget that you may wear more layers in different seasons. So buy accordingly – If you are new to saddle hunting, I would advise you to talk to someone who’s been doing it for years. It will save you lots of trouble later on.
- Easy to set up
- Learning curve involved
- More expensive
- Requires screws/straps
Tree Stand Location
Now that you found the best type of treestand for your needs, it’s time to choose a good tree stand location.
Where is the deer at? Look for transition areas and food sources. Could you scout the bedding area? Did you spot trails, or maybe rubs? Fresh scat? Set up your trail camera – think about when the deer are most likely to be in the area. And do not forget, you need to approach and leave your site without spooking the deer.
Consider wind direction and thermal. Double-check and compare with your trail camera photos. At what time of the day, under which circumstances are deer comfortable in the area? Have you been successful last season in the same area? If so, the chances are good that there will be a success this season, too (until proven different because crops have changed, or …)
If you’ve never hunted the area before, try scouting out a place where you know other people hunt successfully. This way, you get a feel for how things could work.
What Type of Treestand is the Best?
Now that we talked about the different stands, pros, and cons, did you find the most suitable one for you? Because there isn’t just one type of treestand out there that is the best. Each hunter needs something specific – Depending on where you hunt, how you hunt, and if you will use your stand on public lands or private property.