Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Choosing The Right Treestand… (Climbing Stand)

© By Othmar Vohringer

Climbing Stand:
The climbing treestand is almost as popular with hunters as the hang-on stand. Since the first stands of this type were introduced almost twenty years ago they have come a long way in regards to comfort, safety and ease of use. Some of the modern climbing stand models are every bit as comfortable as your favorite TV chair at home. The old, complicated-to-assemble and noisy rattletraps have been replaced by stands that need very little or no assembly at all. Modern climbing stands are light in comparison to the older models and with a bit of practice very quiet to transport and set up.

Climbing treestands, although easy to set up require considerable strength and agility to move them up a tree. Not only does the hunter have to move the weight of the stand up the tree but with the open frame models also his or her own weight too. Climbers come in two basic models: The sit-down-stand-up models and the hang on-and-pull models. Most of the so called “bowhunter climbers” are hang on-and-pull models. The sit-down-stand-up models are much easier to climb because you can sit down on the upper frame as you pull the lower platform up with your feet. The bowhunter models do not have that feature and the hunter has to hang on with his hands to the seat portion and then pull the standing platform up with his feet while his full body weight and that of the standing platform is fully suspended from his hands. Regardless of weather I hunt with bow or firearm I always use the full upper frame climbing treestand that permits me to sit down as I pull the lower platform up. I have never found that the full frame is in the way when I shoot the bow.

The problem with climbing stands is that they only can be used on straight trees of a relatively small diameter, most only will fit on trees not much larger than 12 to 14 inches in diameter. If the tree has low growing branches they need to be pruned flush with the trunk to enable climbing. This could lead to excessive pruning and loss of important cover.

Portability: For me the climbing treestand is a true run-and-gun stand. With this stand I can quickly change locations, set the stand up and be ready to hunt in a few minutes. The down side, as mentioned, is that you need straight trees of a relatively small diameter and it requires a certain amount of strength to climb up a tree with these stands. On the positive side a climbing treesrand can be converted into a very comfortable hang-on stand. Installing a climber as a hang-on stand is best done with two people. Simply climb up the tree to the desired height then have the other person lean a sturdy ladder on the tree so you can climb down. When you want to hunt that stand take a ladder with you or install a ladder directly onto the tree. To give a hunter true versatility and mobility I would recommend that you should own at least one climbing stand provided your hunting area featured enough straight trees.

In the next post we will look at ladder stands.

Image courtesy of Gorilla Treestands

Related articles:
Treestand Hunting Safety Tips
Choosing The Right Treestand for The Perfect Ambush (intro)
Choosing The Right Treestand…Hang-on-stands

Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit

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