Every hunter knows the importance of having the advantage over their surroundings. Whether your weapon of choice is a bow or firearm, gaining the upper hand with a treestand can make your season a success. Hunters must know their weapons, the laws, the nature of their prey as well as the natural environment they will be hunting in.
Treestands put the hunter above the line of sight of the animal they are hunting. To be effective, a treestand must be placed high enough to clear the line of vision of the prey and give the hunter a birdseye view of his surroundings. On flat ground, a treestand located approximately 15 to 20 feet off the ground may suffice. If the terrain is sloped or has hills or valleys, you’ll have to adjust accordingly.
While every hunter is required to wear something orange to distinguish him or herself from other natural elements, camouflaging a treestand will help you to blend into your surroundings when unsuspecting animals enter your hunting area. Gear with a tree camo print is more beneficial in the fall than bright green camo—which works better when there is abundant foliage. Choose an appropriate camo pattern for the season and terrain where you’ll hunt. Camo clothes and gear can be found at major retailers and specialty stores.
A treestand only works if it allows you to maneuver yourself for the best shot possible. Small ones may be adequate if they allow you to reposition yourself without making too much noise. Larger stands that have a platform and railings for you to hold onto while balancing yourself for a shot may seem bulky when they are being assembled, but once they are in the tree can give you the necessary leverage to make a dead-on bullseye. A single person stand (approximately 30″ x 40″, weighing 20lbs) can be purchased for $30 to $250 depending on quality and durability. Larger two person stands with a blind and ladder start around $250.
Security Is Everything
When securing your stand to the tree, check and double-check everything. The last thing you want is to disrupt the environment or worse yet, have the stand shift underneath you when your prize buck is standing in your cross hairs. The key is to place your stand before the season starts and test it out once or twice before it comes time to take your position during the actual season.
An Official/Approved Hunter Course
Most states have mandated the taking of an approved hunter course before a person can receive their first hunting license. Hunting courses provide future hunters with the tools they need to hunt safely and confidently. Courses are designed to instruct hunters in how to care for their weapons and leave as little imprint on the natural environment as possible. Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, New York and Washington are just a few of the states that require the completion of at least a basic hunting course before being licensed to hunt.
Cover photo from Flickr user laffy4k.