Choosing the Right Hunting Tree Stand – A Buyers Guide
With so many tree stand options available, it can be overwhelming to make a purchase decision. Understanding both what your hunting habits are, as well as the specific features of different tree stands, can help you make the best decision for your needs. Before we look at the types of tree stands you will need to answer a few questions.
- What is the age and size of the hunter?
Make sure your tree stand offers the correct size and weight restrictions that work for the hunter using the stand. Keep in mind the hunter’s agility and abilities when choosing a stand.
- Are you hunting on private or public land?
In some cases, having a portable stand is essential. Some public areas will allow for stands to stay though out the hunting season, and some require you to completely remove the stand daily. Make sure you know the rules and regulations in the area(s) you plan to hunt.
- How big is the tree you plan to use for the stand?
Make sure you choose equipment that the trees in your hunting zone can support.
- How big of a platform do you need based on your size and hunting gear?
This is a personal preference, but something to keep in mind when choosing the right stand for you.
Tree stands are available in three types; ladder style, climbers, and hang-on style. We will also discuss the tripod or quad stands for a full scope of options available to hunters. The following gives you a little more information on each option available.
Ladder Style Tree Stand
Ladder stands have a multi-piece ladder assembly with a platform and seat at the top. Ladder stands are attached to the tree with either straps or belts. Ladder stands are an excellent option in part because they can be used with nearly anytree. Ladder stands do not require screwing in steps. Some ladder stands are available as two seat models but note that the cost and weight also increase substantially when looking at two seat models.
One other consideration with ladder style tree stands is that they have higher visibility to deer over climbers or hang-on style tree stands. Ladder stands in general are not the best choice for bow hunters who need the deer in closer proximity for a shot, but these are a great option for rifle hunters.
- Some models accommodate two people
- No screw in steps
- Easier to be spotted by wildlife
Climber Tree Stands
Climbers have two pieces that are a platform and seat assembly. Climbers do exactly that, they climb the tree. There is no ladder or steps needed since the climber is the actual way you get into the tree. The climber attaches to the bottom of the tree and with your feet and torso placed in the platform and upper section you unlock the pieces and move up the tree by repeating the process. Blades or chains on each piece of the climber sink into the bark of the tree as you advance up the tree.
Climbers are light weight and allow for moving your stand with relative ease. These stands are a great option for bow hunters since you can quickly change position to adapt to current game conditions.
- No screw-in steps
- Easy to maneuver/portable
- Great height flexibility
- Often need to trim low branches on tree
- Weighs between 15-35 pounds
Hang-On Tree Stands
Hang-on stands consist of a seat and platform and are just one piece. Hang-on tree stands are lighter weight than either the climbers or the ladder stands. To attach to the tree, they use straps or chains with adjustable buckles, and some models offer options for additional support once the hang-on stand is in place. Hang-on stands are a great option if you plan to leave the stand in place. Keep in mind that to climb into a hang-on tree stand you will need to install, and remove, steps to get in your stand. For stealth however, no tree stand can beat the hang-on.
- Need to install steps
- Less flexibility of moving stand location
- Hanging can be tricky
Tripod, Quad, and Tower Stands
While not a tree stand, tripod, quad and tower stands are available and do not require a tree to use. Using a tree stand is typically preferrable to most hunters, but if no tree is available tripod, quad and tower stands make a great option. Some models also offer a bluff for added stealth. These require a solid base to place stand on and, since they are often out in the open, they are easier to spot for prey.
- Can use in treeless areas
- Wide variety of options to suit your needs
- Cost more than most tree stands
Each piece of your hunting equipment and gear plays a significant role in your overall experience during the hunt. Since tree stands can be a larger investment, take your time to really understand what types best suit your size, number of hunters, where you will be hunting, and how much gear you have.
Regardless of which style tree stand, or tower stand you are looking for, Mimbach Fleet Supply has a wide selection of stands available in any price range. Make Mimbach Fleet Supply your first stop for all your hunting gear, equipment, and apparel.Mimbach Fleet Supply is proud to be an employee-owned hardware, power equipment, and farm store who has served Minnesota and the Midwest with a wide selection of products since 1953.