Climbing Stand Safety
There are a few small things you can do to increase climbing stand safety and that can make a huge difference when opportunity comes your way. I am a bowhunter. To be successful I need deer close to my tree.
Most trees get smaller in circumference as you climb. To compensate for this always adjust your stand so the platform and seat angle up before you begin to climb. As you climb and the tree gets smaller, the stand will level out. When the stand levels out stop climbing and hunt at that height. If you climb until the platform and seat have a down angle you will not be comfortable and the stand is not safe.
I try to pick a tree that has cover around it. I look for a tree that has a decent-sized limb just above where I plan to settle in for a hunt. When I have climbed to the desired height I adjust my harness tether so there is not much slack when I sit, pull up my pack and secure it to the tree. I then take my saw and cut any branches I can reach above so they hang and give back cover.
Another useful adjustment I make before my hunt is the distance between the seat and platform. When bowhunting I want the seat as close to the platform as possible and still be comfortable. This helps get the top of the stand out of my way when I stand to shoot my bow.
For gun hunting it’s just the opposite. I want the seat as high as possible yet still comfortable. This allows me to kneel on the platform and use the top part of the stand for a gun rest.
Pull Up Rope Length
I am most comfortable hunting from a climber when my feet are 20 feet off the ground. This height gives me great visibility; good shot angles, and gets me over a deer’s line-of-sight. I carry a pull-up strap that is 28 feet long. I tie one end to the top part of the stand and the other to gear on the ground. As I climb I check my height by the slack in the rope. When there is three to four feet of slack my feet are 20 feet high. This is especially useful when climbing in the dark.
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