Tree Stand Terror – Climbing Stands For Beginners8 min read
Let me start by saying, no one should be ashamed to say they are terrified, scared, or cautious of climbing tree stands. I have no shame in saying I was once extremely terrified of heights and the first time I used a climbing stand, I had convinced myself I’d never do it again. Now here I am with a very clear favor of using a climbing tree stand and I do so without unnecessary fear. I will always climb if able. Now let me tell you how I got here and a few tips as well as female centered safety views.
First off, let me show you my very first time using a climbing tree stand. Her I am in Kentucky on a public land hunt. Incase you can’t tell, I’m not very high up, 10 feet at best.
After I finally came down, I had made up my mind, I’d never climb again, I was terrified, wouldn’t move at all, more less shoot. I had done a few quick test runs at my house, but this was different. This was live and real. Let me rewind form here. My first advice if I could give any, would be to practice using the climbing stand in full gear, with your weapon, just as a real day of hunting would be. Every single step you would have to do if you were heading out to hunt.
- Wear full gear, all layers possible.
- Walk up to a tree with the stand on your back.
- Unhook , hook to tree.
- Get Into the stand.
- Hook boots in ( reasons why you wear gear when practicing)
- Climb up, bring up any gear hook to draw up.
- Get set with weapon.
- Stand up and reenact the motion if you bowhunt, make sure you can clear the lower stand piece and still feel comfortable.
- Repack gear.
- Attach and drop weapon.
- Begin decent.
- Unhook Stand.
- Carry out Stand.
Being a woman, we at times remember that we weigh less than some men. The way this effects a climbing stand is by how deep you get the teeth of your stand in to your tree. I try to stay away form pines also, they can be extremely sticky and hard to dig into, making it worse to get a good bite into it as it has a hard composition. It’s tempting, but I never use the motion of “ jumping/ bouncing ” to dig in my stand! use your weight on the distal end, the part you would be facing when seated to push down 2-3 times before you put weight on it. My stand currently is a sit and climb, so I can actually sit on mine and dig in this way before I stand and go up more. Be sure the tree is alive, without any visible damage and meet the size specifications and restrictions set by the tree stand company.
Early on I would carry out my stand every time, now I go the day before or more and hook up my stand. This is after I have already been out scouting, picked my spots, and cleared any problematic limbs or brush on the tree as well as the lanes. This is priceless In value , saves a lot of energy and time! I also learned to carry in my heavy coat or top layers.
How far in you have to go to reach your tree is not the issue here. What happened to me is regards heating up the climb and sweat while climbing, dead of winter cold makes no difference. Soon my base layers were wet, turning to chill when I cooled off, leading to me being froze in my stand. So now I pull up my heavy coat and vest after I am in my tree. When climbing , you will need to remember to move and adjust your security tree rope up the tree with you, don’t be like me and not pay attention. I have climbed over mine and had to come down a set to get back on track.
Remembering that there is no rush in how high to climb or how fast to accomplish climbing is helpful! If you are a big fan of early morning hunting, a lot a good hour to get into your tree the first few times, that way there is no rush. I know speaking for myself, I get extremely anxious every single time I head out to a tree! So if I think I’m being schedule and possibly missing my prime time, I am more prone to error in the rush. That only sets me back even more in the end because I will have to redo or undo something and start again.
Over all, the main thing I had to accept was that I was capable! I love the view I have in my tree and will climb every time if able. I have bags on my stand that hold various tools and of course snacks. I use a burlap Camo piece to help cover me and a 30’ retractable reel to pull up my weapon and gear so I know when I hit 30’. If doubt is heavy, practice some more!
My main message to drive home is simple! No one who is free of abnormal physical restrictions is incapable of using a climbing stand. There is not reason to think about physical aspects like short, thin, heavy, tall or lack of muscle. Safety is always key, before anything! Wear a harness, use a quality tree rope, let someone know you are out and where. Over all have fun, learn at your pace and don’t allow the judgement of another to dictate to your hunt.
Good luck and happy hunting!