Treestands are a fantastic way to see game approaching while remaining undetected when hunting. But just like any other tool you want to rely upon for safety, elevated stands require regular inspection and maintenance. Manufacturers recommend collection and removal of stands at the end of each hunting season. Here’s why:
Ultraviolet rays from the sun will do a number on the woven straps that cinch and attach your stand to a tree. Looking old and faded is the least of your worries—the straps and belts physically weaken when left to the elements. Proper storage, with zero rain, snow, or sun, will ensure years of safe use for successful hunts.
Moisture can weaken the metal components on a treestand. Chains, bolts, nuts, and screws can rust and lose tensile strength. That’s a ticking timebomb! Check stand components that are not aluminum on an annual basis: ensure they are in good working order, with no discolouration, rust or signs of wear.
Trees grow annually—so leaving a stand tightened to the trunk is risky. Your tree can grow into the woody support, or there might be growing pressure put on chains or straps.
Taking a treestand down while it’s in good working order provides you with the confidence in its safety. If it has been hanging in the woods for 12 months, you simply can’t be aware of weak spots that could cause catastrophic failure. Putting your body weight on an unconfirmed stand can cause it to tear from the tree or components to fail, causing you serious injury.
Besides taking your stand down at the end of the season, check it regularly while you are using it. Be sure it doesn’t lean or move while you are getting in or out of it. Make safety your first concern—wearing a climbing harness that is properly tethered while climbing and sitting is peace of mind, and insurance to your loved ones.
Not too mention—treestands left in the woods reveal your prime locations to other hunters. You’ve put in time to spot and pattern wildlife, so don’t leave an easy-to-read sign for others to take advantage of your hard work.
Taking down a treestand after the hunting season is also a serious show of respect to private landowners. Conservation sites across the province request that treestands be removed at the conclusion of a hunt or the season.
Be smart, be safe, and enjoy your vantage point up there!
Looking for more tips on treestands and hunting? Check out our articles here.