It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting with a firearm, a bow, or a crossbow, most deer hunting is done from the comfort and concealment of a tree stand or ground blind, especially if you’re hunting in the eastern and central part of the U.S.
Unless you’re hunting in the wide-open landscapes of the American west where using optics to glass expansive mountain ranges, covering ground through spot and stalk methods, then you’re most likely setting up shop high in a tree stand or in a well-hidden ground blind and waiting for the deer to come to you.
Using a tree stand gets hunters up off the ground in an elevated position where they’re above the typical sightline for most deer and have a better vantage point over the area they’re hunting. However, in some instances, a ground blind is a better option, particularly if you’re trying to set up somewhere temporarily or in an area with a thick and over-story of trees or trying take advantage of wind conditions or other factors.
Ground blinds are relatively simple lightweight pop-up tents in a camo pattern with specially designated windows that serve as shooting lanes. Tree stands can be more complicated as several different types are all popular with hunters and all serve different functions.
Ladder stands, as the name suggests, come complete with a big sturdy ladder that runs up the side of the tree to a platform that generally includes a built-in seat. Some ladder stands come big enough for two people. These are some of the most popular, reliable, and sturdy stands on the market, and the ladders make them easy to climb up and down.
Hang-on stands are more portable, smaller, and preferred by serious hunters, especially hardcore bowhunters like these stands. Hang-on stands are essentially just platforms to stand on a small stool that hangs on the side of a tree, and then a smaller portable ladder or screw-in rungs are affixed to the tree to access the stand.
Climbing stands are the most portable of all tree stands. They can be worn like a backpack, and once a suitable tree is identified, the stand separates into a lower platform and an upper platform. The platforms wrap around the tree with a cord and sink into the trunk with metal claws, and hunters use their arms and legs to shift the platforms in a coordinated effort to climb up and down the tree using the stand itself as a climbing mechanism.
Tripods are tree stands that don’t connect to a tree. They’re popular in brushy regions where there may not be an abundant selection of big mature hardwoods to attach a stand. One of the main advantages of a tripod stand is that it gives hunters a 360-degree view, so they’re great for hunting large open areas instead of dense forests.
No matter what kind of stand you’re hunting, anytime you’re hunting from an elevated position, safety is a critical component to keep in mind. Unfortunately, far too many hunters each year are injured or killed falling from trees. Given the incredible technological advancements in safety harnesses in recent years, no hunter has an excuse not to be using a safety harness these days.
Our friends at Bass Pro Shops have the tree stand or ground blind you need to make your next hunt a successful one, and they also have the safety harnesses you need to make sure it’s a safe one too.
When it comes to picking a spot to put up your tree stands, this video from Whitetail Habitat Solutions provides some great insights on finding the perfect place to hunt.
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