Tips for Finding and Using a Tree Stand

Choosing the wrong tree for a deer stand can make or break your hunting experience.  Here are a few hints for the newbie hunter.

Deer Hunter at Sunset **

Advantages of a Tree Stand

There are several advantages to using a tree as your shooting spot, whether you are bowhunting or using a gun.

  • You will be above the deer’s range of vision
  • Your scent will be above the deer’s head (less likely to smell you)
  • Trees generally offer a wider range of view than ground blinds
  • Animals shot from above and exiting lower offer a better blood trail for finding a wounded animal
  • Trees are safer for hunters; you are less likely to be taken for game

Factors for a Great Tree Stand

You have found a likely place to hunt deer.  Since you have decided to hunt in a tree, look around your site. Avoid trees that are dead, leaning with a serious tilt, having a wide base (cypress comes to mind), or one having too many low limbs. One experienced hunter told me that the most comfortable tree stand he ever used had a tilt away from the spot he wanted to face.  Why? He was able to lean against the tree during long waiting periods in relative comfort.

Take Your Tree Stand Along

While scouting for a likely spot, bring an axe (or a small saw) and your stand.  If you are like me, the next idea will be the hard part. Imagine yourself in the tree stand.  Can you move around as you like?  Can you see far enough down the trail, path, whatever — as you need to? Adapting a hunting position is easier now, before you have a gun and other equipment to handle.

Other Factors to Consider

As if the  previous ideas weren’t enough trouble, here are 3 more to think about while selecting your tree.

  • If you are a bowhunter, consider removing overhead branches that might interfere with your bow action.
  • Try to choose a site that will stay in shadows so sunlight won’t give your site away to wary animals *
  • Think about prevailing winds; you don’t want the wind to blow past you toward the game you are watching


*  Remove watches and other bling.  Is your gun matte?  Sunlight (striking shiny surfaces) will give your location away.


‘Sunset Stand’ used by permission of ClearVue Graphics


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Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 10:16 am  Comments Off on Tips for Finding and Using a Tree Stand  
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