This is the time of year when hunters start thinking about hanging tree stands. How many of you left tree stands up from last year? If you did, you need to make sure they are still safe and secure. Tree stands that have straps can lose their strength over time and even stands with chains can. Make sure you are wearing a safety restraint when working with tree stands.
This is a good time of the year to do maintenance on your tree stands. Touch them up with paint to make sure they do not shine in the sun. Hunters Specialties has a high-quality paint that works great for painting your tree stands. You will also want to make sure your stands are still in safe working order. Make sure all bolts and screws are tight. If you’re breaking out any new stands make sure they are put together the correct way. I will also set them out in the sun and continually spray them down with Scent-A-Way Max so they do not smell when it's time to hang them.
Determining where to hang your tree stands can sometimes be a challenge. You might base that on previous years of hunting the same area. Even that can change from year to year. When I'm deciding where to hang my stands I look for deer trails, pinch points, bottle necks, bedding areas and food sources. Don't forget overlooked areas like a fence that may be down or a bench on the side of a hill.
Once I determine where I’m going to hang a stand, it's time to carry in everything. It is important, even when hanging stands, to be as scent free as possible. I try not to leave any more human scent in the area than I have to.
I generally hang my stands around 20 feet off the ground. I don’t like to go much higher and in some situations I will hang lower. I have hung a tree stand as low as 6 feet and shot deer from that level. However high you decide to go, safety is the most important thing. Always wear a safety restraint when in a tree stand, period. There are lots of good ones on the market. One that I like and use is made by Hunter Safety System. They also make a product called a Life Line that allows you to be safely secure from the moment you leave the ground until you return back on the ground.
There are also a lot of good stands on the market. A couple stands that I like are API and Rivers Edge tree stands. I like a stand that has a big platform and has a comfortable seat. Once my stands are hung I will attach a pull-up rope and then spray everything down with Scent-A-Way Max.
Tree stands are just part of what goes into a hunt. But it can also be the difference in whether or not you will be successful this coming deer season. When hanging stands take it slow, be safe, have fun, and good luck!