During the late 80s I began hanging treestands. I won't go through the incredible number of treestand manufactures that I have navigated through during the past decades, but with as many as over 50 stands in the woods in multiple states in 1 year alone, you can probably imagine I have sat in nearly every brand made. Another stat is that almost all of those stands I set myself and used often, while becoming very picky in which brands that I choose to use, in particular when it comes to treestand comfort.
*Make sure to check out my whitetail book series to help you find public or private land mature bucks this Fall, including "Whitetail Success By Design" and "Food Plot Success By Design"
It amazes me today, that some of the most popular treestand brands produce very uncomfortable treestands. Great marketing, good quality, lightweight, good branding...but WOW, if you are looking for all day treestand comfort many are lacking.
I personally require 3 critical ingredients for treestand comfort:
1. Saddle Style Seat
If it has a metal or wood platform covered in some type of cushion, I avoid it if I can. Nets, straps or hammocks are a must, providing zero pressure points. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have hunted in someone else's set ups over the past 30 years, but one of those sits sticks out. The stand was light, quality made, and included the smallest little thin-cushioned little seat I have ever sat in. GREAT brand, but the stand was so uncomfortable that I actually re-set the stand above a large branch, and sat on the platform instead of the seat. That was about 10 years ago and that day I vowed "never again" to sit in set with such a low level of treestand comfort.
2. Mesh Style Platform
Why does my personal level of treestand comfort have anything to do with the platform? There are two things:
*Grip. Have you ever sat in a stand coated in a misty fog of ice on a cool, damp, frozen morning? Channel can be incredibly slick. If I can't stand on an icy morning on a treestand it isn't too comfortable for mind or body.
*For over 2 decades I have been setting my bottom cam on my platform, leaned back between my lets with an arrow loaded and ready to fire. With my release hand literally inches away from the bowstring at all time and my bow upright, I am ready to fire within 10 seconds or less.
*Throughout the decades of bowhunting mature bucks in natural movements, one thing has become certain: You have a set amount of time to identify, ready yourself and bow, and fire. How long is that amount of time? To find out try reading, "10 Second Bowhunting Rule For Big Bucks".
3. Strength and stability
Quiet, strong, and stable may not jump out as descriptions of treestand comfort, but they sure do add up to equal a good dose of peace of mind! I could personally care less about the overall weight of a treestand, with the exception of backpacking my climbers deep into the heart of public land. My stands are set prior to the season to allow for a quick and quiet access, so will happily choose big, strong, stable, comfort and quiet over lightweight, "ting and pingy", and tiny. 3 important factors are:
*No cables. A rubber coated chain or square steal tubing have been my favorite attachements to secure the platform.
*Chains, T screws and multiple straps are perfect for mounting a treestand to a tree.
*I greatly appreciate a good foot rest, but only if welded to the platform. Excess nuts, bolts and washers are not a trade-off I accept, because I have found that noisy treestand comfort is no comfort at all.
*The treestand pictured above is from Family Tradition Treestands, and is one of the very few stands that I can personally recommend that I have set up throughout the last 30 years.
The Total Package of Treestand Comfort
My current favorite treestand brand includes several things that meet my own requirements. I know I am picky...but hey, this is what I do for not only my passion, but my career. By rough estimation I have sat in over 400 trees throughout the years and if I find myself nodding off because I am so comfortable, the treestand I am in passes the test! Here is why my latest treestand definetely "passes the test":
1. HUGE, strap-style, sling seat.
2. Rubber coated chains to hold up the platform; which appear strong enough to pull my truck out of a ditch!
3. Welded foot rest. This not a "must"...but it is sure a welcome addition when it comes to total treestand comfort
4. Steal Mesh Platform. Need I say more? Virtually slip proof and enough welds to make sure it is absolutely dead quiet on a frosty, frozen morning.
5. Tree attachment is critical for both safety and comfort, so how does a solid T Screw, and two 800 pound ratchet straps sound? It sounds like "peace of mind", to me.
*Have you set your stands yet? It is not too late! Check out these strategies for early, on-time and late treestand set ups by reading, "When To Hang A Tree Stand".
All day treestand comfort is critical to your success as a mature buck hunter. Can you imagine an incredible predatory cat trying to effectively slink through the timber undetected...with a nail stuck in it's paw? I can't, and that's what I think about when my tailbone has become so numb with pain that I take turns sitting on the right cheek, the left cheek, the front of my tailbone and then the back, while finally having to stand to give my discomfort a break. Instead, I much prefer to sit quietly in almost a meditated state of predatory comfort, waiting to ambush my prey.
Are you set for all day treestand comfort in your favorite ambush locations this year? If not, consider some of these points for your future set-us and I bet you will never look back!