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December 17, 2007

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Bill Heavey: A Sticky Question

Unless you own your hunting grounds, you are probably using a portable stand, either a climber or a hang-on. I’m a climber guy. While I certainly haven’t tried them all, I have tried a bunch. Mine’s a Lone Wolf hand climber. (My intent here, incidentally, is not to start a whose-treestand-is-the-best debate. We  bowhunters seem particularly prone to silly equipment arguments. How else to explain that in virtually every archery chat room the majority of posters deem it necessary to list the make and model of their bows, arrows, and broadheads? If your identity as a hunter depends on whose name is on your stuff, you’ve got problems hunting can’t fix.)

I like a climber because you can go as high as you want (or as high as the tree will let you), and it’s a fairly simple arrangement. I confess, however, that even after years of using one, it usually takes me a fair amount of time to get both parts on and adjusted to the taper of the tree, to get my harness attached, and to inch-worm my way up to hunting height. Is there a better way?

I’ve heard from a number of guys that they prefer climbing sticks, those two- or three-runged “ladders” that are strapped onto the tree. Some claim they can set up faster and – far more important – more quietly with sticks.

I don’t dispute this; I just find it surprising. The few times I’ve tried this method, I’ve found it difficult. Unless you’re climbing a tree with a lot of branches that can double as steps, you’ve got to carry a fair number of sticks to get to a decent height. Then there’s the fact that the stand itself is the last thing you attach to the tree. Do you make multiple trips or haul it all (however many sticks plus your stand) up at the same time? And, since it’s safer to step down to your stand rather than up, do most of you hang your last stick higher than the stand or what?

Forgive my ignorance, but this is keeping me up at night.


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bill t

and for bubba where are you man, i will come set up a ladder stand for you so you can hunt, anything to help a brother get out in the field, or come to connecticut and you can use mine


With the ladder stant i just stick together, reaise up, climb and strap off, sit down, pullgun up(unloaded) and i'm ready, I haul on small trailer which is useful to haul deer out.


Well bill t, you ain't driving from Ct to me in time to set me up a ladder stand by tomorrow morning! Better figure on at least 2 days, one way! Just say I'm closer to OK than I want to be!


David S Sorrow

I started hunting before I could eat solid food. In those days we found a tree with a semi comfortable limb, climbed up and sat it out. Later we built our own stands using nailed on steps and seats( legal in those days). Later I made my own climbers.
I now own a Tree lounge climber, several lock on's and some ladder stands. I also have a very good ground blind (Ameri-step).
Terrain, time restrictions and distance determine which I use on any given hunt. I am now forty eight years old and find that the less effort involved the better. I hate trying to hunt after a stand has whipped my butt.
I don't think any one type stand is better than any other all the time. Each has a time and a place where it should be used. The trick is to know when and where that is

bill t

sorry bubba, the offer still stands (get it stands) if you want to come use mine.

On a serious note, for all of you guys using stands PLEASE USE A FULL BODY HARNESS everytime and bring a cell phone. I went on a call today for a guy up on his stand in big medical trouble. First if he didnt have his cell we would have never known he was in trouble. And before we could set him out he slumped over and would have fallen if he wasnt harnessed, without either of those things he would not be home for christmas, so please do the right thing for yourself and your family. Merry Christmas everyone. And bill h amazon got me your book last week.


bill t

Thanks anyway for the "standing" invitation! LOL!
This season has been a real "bust" for me, with the stands I'm using being the least of my problems.
Not to be a name dropper, but I'm using the Ameristep G-20 Grizzly pop-up and have been very pleased with them. So far I've been able to miss three turkeys, one a nice double beard with 1 inch hooks and two deer, one of which was a very decent buck!
It's just that there's been other things on my mind and when I did get the time to go hunting, I really couldn't concentrate on the task at hand and just kinda sat there like a dummy! I'm just hoping next year ('08) will be better.
Problem is, I already know the place I'm hunting this year will not be available (to me) next year. Will be starting in Jan of '08 to try and locate another hunting area within my financial grasp!



Hey Bubba - If you are close to OK, I'll put ya up for the hunt. Just have to know where to go here when the wind comes sweeping down the plain. Might also be helpful to have some lightweight gear in case next year is anything like this one - highs were in the 70's from ML through the first whole week of Rifle. Ugh! Nothing like huntin' in a t-shirt during the rut!



Know of Waurika WMA? I'm not too far from that! Actually closer to Duncan than Lawton!



Sounds like Bill already has his answer, but I would submit that a climber is the way to go for anyone that plans to hunt for an extended period of time. While it does limit the type/style of tree (unless you own the land and can cut small/medium limbs as you ascend), you can't beat them for comfort when compared to hangers.

I fought with a friend for years that a platform/hanger with climbing sticks was the way to go, not climbers. My arguement was around the flexibility of choosing a tree, which is fair.

After finally picking up bow-hunting, I hunted several years and did not fill the buck tag. In the past 5 years of using a climber, I have harvested 3 good-size bucks. I attribute most of these successful hunts to my climber. Not because it's light to carry or quiet/easy to enter the tree, but because it provides a level of comfort that is unsurpassed! 2 of the 3 bucks were taken during early afternoon times when, in the past, I was getting out of my stand to relax, doing a still hunt or going back to camp to re-energize.

Climbers afford the hunter (when spouses permit) the opportunity to stay quietly in position and hunt all day. It's tough to bag a buck when you're not in your stand!

Stick with the climber Bill!

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