There are hundreds of different treestands, and each one will have its own pros and cons. What it really comes down to is this:
1. Use only a safety-approved stand (Treestand Manufactures Association).
2. Pay attention to the instructions.
All treestands need to be set up to manufacturer’s standards. Some use cleats screwed into a tree, while others use seatbelt-like straps. Others use chain boomers or binders, and some use ratcheting-type straps and hooks. Whichever it is, the most important thing is to follow the directions.
The angle the stand is placed on the tree changes when the foot support is pulled down and in place. Most stands are first placed on a tree in the folded position. Hang-on stands tighten to the tree when the bottom foot platform is fully extended—“biting” into the tree and sitting horizontal to the ground.
Ladder stands are convenient to piece together in the field and lift into place, with the seat and tree grip coming in contact with the tree. You will have to lift the full weight of the stand from the ground until it is free-standing, then rest it against the trunk. Doing this safely usually requires two people. Once again, following the full instructions on how the stand should be angled away from the tree’s base and how it fastens to prevent movement is critical.
Get familiar with the models you intend to use and set them up as directed. Avoid an accident and ensure your stand is set up properly. That means no shortcuts or improvised gear. Your stand should be absolutely secure and unable to move whenever you’re accessing it or sitting in it. We get it—the rules and recommendations seem redundant—but a fall or malfunction can be truly devastating.
Then enjoy! Do it right, and you’ll have a bird’s eye view of wildlife in a concealed position against the sky.
Looking for more tips on treestands and hunting? Check out our articles here.