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Field Guide -Hunting Tips

4 Tips for Better Treestand Safety This Season

Every hunting season, a few hunters are not as careful as they should be, and they deal with the consequences. Whether that comes from not properly hanging tree stands or not managing them year-round, it is important to understand the safety and hunting precautions behind hunting in a treestand.

Although tree stands can give you a wonderful advantage in harvesting that big buck, there are several things that we feel are important to keep in mind when hanging, managing, and hunting your stands.

Here are several tips to help you better hang, manage, and hunt your treestands.

A hunter gathering treestand equipment.

1. Selecting Your Tree (or Trees) 

When selecting where to hang your stand, only consider straight trees or slightly lean trees. 

Trees with heavy leans should never be an option, as there is no way you will be able to sit safely in your stand when the wind picks up, or the snow begins to fall. 

Do not ever consider a tree with large dead branches or even dead areas on the trunk of the tree. They are used for building log cabins for a reason. 

Always assess the base of the tree, as that is where most of your stability comes from. Sometimes, a tree's diameter might be a little smaller towards the top; however, if the bottom is large and sturdy, you are surely safe up there. No one wants a little wind to cause their tree to sway and an unethical shot to happen.

A hunter hangs a treestand.

2. Hanging Your Treestands (or Stands) 

We have two solid tips that you should keep in mind when hanging your stand. 

  1. Select your climbing sticks carefully. We all know that slide-in climbing sticks or one-piece ladders cost more money, but that is for a reason. They are fast, safe, and effective. Save your screw-in steps for hanging gear or additional support. However, those should never be solely relied on. 
  2. As we stated above, when selecting your tree, you will want to choose a straight tree – or one as straight as possible. However, few trees are ever going to be perfectly straight. Therefore, you must lean your body weight into the tree as you are climbing and hanging your stand. 

Take a quick look at the tree before you begin to help decide what side of the tree will better your chances of being more in line with the tree.

3. Managing Your Stand (or Stands)

Many hunters leave their treestands up year-round at their property, making it essential to manage their stands properly. 

For instance, if you own private property or have permission from a private landowner to use their land every season, you might have several stands hanging year-round at different locations. Make sure you check your stands routinely by climbing them, accessing your shooting lanes, and ensuring they are still safe, considering the surrounding areas. 

Consider any changes in the terrain or any significant damage that may have altered the tree stands. It is always important to monitor any changes and alterations you should make to your treestands.

Hunters in a treestand.

4. Hunting Your Treestand 

Finally, once you are ready to hunt from your properly hung and managed tree stands, there are millions of tips and tricks to remember. However, some of the most essential tips to keep handy are: 

  1. Never carry equipment while you are climbing. Try utilizing a haul line to bring your gear up and down the tree. You must be focused on safely making it up rather than focusing on your muzzleloader or bow. Make sure guns are not loaded and broadheads are covered.
  2. Be aware of the potential for accidents. Most accidents occur when hunters are climbing up or down the tree. Always use a safety harness that will attach to your lifeline. 
  3. Lifelines should always be attached and in position on your stand. These lines keep you from falling more than twelve inches. 

While these tips are good information, they are just the basics. 

Learning how to properly hang, manage, and hunt your treestands is an ongoing process. However, with these strategies in the back of your mind, we are sure you will see success afield. 

A hunter uses a phone, mark treestands in HuntWise concept.

Mark Treestands and Plan Your Hunt in HuntWise

Finding the best spots for your treestands is only part of the equation when using stands to hunt. Keeping track of them and adjusting them are essential aspects of good treestand safety and success when hunting above ground. 

Never lose track of your stands so you can keep up with maintenance during the offseason when using markers to note their locations in HuntWise. Plus, with your stands marked in the app, our HuntCast and WindCast features can help you choose the best stand for your hunt based on deer movement and wind direction. 

We're here to help you hunt successfully every season! Download HuntWise today and try it for free for a week. 


Content updated September 12, 2023.

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