Whether you call them deer stands, hunting tree stands, big game hunting stands or deer hunting stands, they all share the same purpose – to elevate you from the ground level to better hunt the animals you are seeking.
You are relying on the animals you are hunting to walk within shooting range of where you have located your deer stand, so choosing the location is critical to success.
There are many different types of tree stands depending on the environment [availability and type of trees], your climbing skills and height at which you are comfortable, protection levels from the weather and comfort desired for sitting for long periods waiting.
So why have deer stands become so popular. The benefits from being elevated include:
- Increased height gives better visibility over a bigger area compared to being on the ground
- The hunter is able to be more concealed from the deer’s field of view
- Raising the hunter’s scent above the ground to minimize being scented by the deer
- Not moving around and making a noise especially on noisy leaves or crunchy snow
- Prevent getting spotted first by the deer
- The option of some protection from rain, wind and/or the cold. It can range from a canopy over your head, to a blind with a heater
- Having the ability to see or hear the deer moving first
- The ability to shoot over limbs and brush
- When the weather is hot, a canopy can provide shade so you can stay cool while you are waiting
- Suited to unfit hunters or disabled hunters
- Popular for bow hunters who need to be closer to their target
With all those benefits, its no surprise tree stands are so popular.
Tree stand hunting before the 70’s involved simply climbing and sitting in a tree! In the 1970’s the Baker Company from Valdosta created the climbing stand and revolutionized deer hunting.
As with a lot of new developments however, there were problems with the design that resulted in falls and lawsuits, and then the resulting closing of the company.
However hunters had been introduced to a better way to hunt, and so innovators stepped in and produced better designs. The early stands were very different from today and were very basic and had either a strap as a footrest, or your feet just dangled over the side.
Comfort was low on the design list!
The early designs were constructed out of wood or steel. Most modern stands are made from aluminium [lighter than steel] and most models come with thick padding, spacious designs, ease of use, and are made of low maintenance materials.
Deer Stand Types
There are 4 main types of tree stand:
Which Type is best for you?
Choosing which type of stand is the right one or most effective one for you depends on:
- The environment you are going to hunt
- Your ability to climb
- The height you are comfortable at versus the height needed for the environment
- Your level of fitness
- The type of weapon you are using
If you are buying a tree stand – especially a climbing stand or fixed stand, it is worthwhile trying the stand first before you buy.
The key to sitting motionless for hours is comfort. Check the seat and backrest for padding and comfort.
The stand should also be checked for ease of climbing and stability while changing from climbing to turning to sitting.