Types of Treestands for Hunting

If you’ve recently lucked out on your first hunting lease or purchased a plot of land, you might be looking for the perfect tree stand. There are many different kinds on the market, and we are here to help you narrow it down based on your needs and how long you plan to use it. Let’s take a look.

Nearly every commercial tree stand is made from either steel or aluminum. Which one you choose will be based on two factors: how strong you need it to be and whether or not you plan to move it often. Steel is best if you are concerned about structural integrity, but aluminum is lightweight and easy to carry. Stands have a max weight capacity ranging from 250-500 lbs. If you’re over 250 lbs, you need to be sure the frame you choose can withstand long hours of use, so check the description. If you’re close to 250 lbs, understand that the weight capacity includes all of your gear and clothing. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Another factor you want to consider is comfort. Hunting in a stand means you’ll be there for hours at a time, and you don’t want to shift at the wrong moment and spook a deer. Some stands have padding and ample seating, while others are simply metal grate or fabric sling. The more comfortable you are, the longer you can hunt. This means steering away from the cheaper options and opting for a few perks.

As for style, there are three basic versions to choose from. The first, a climbing stand, combines both the seat and platform. They’re made in such a way that you can climb the tree using both pieces in tandem and lock in when you reach your desired height. These stands are incredibly easy to move, making them the preferred stand for most bowhunters. Because they’re so easy to assemble and move, you can quickly tweak your position within a tree or choose a different location to hunt on the same day. As a bonus, you can ensure your stand isn’t stolen since it comes and goes with you. However, they can weigh anywhere from twenty to thirty-five lbs, making them a hefty haul every time.

The second type of stand is called a Hang-On. These reside in fixed positions and require tree spikes to reach the perch. They use chains and adjustable straps to stay in place and need to be put up before the season starts, as you don’t want to be installing the tree spikes before dawn on opening day. They’re lighter than climbing stands by a good ten lbs, and their best feature is they stay in place all season, making them quick and efficient each morning or afternoon when you set out on a hunt. Still, if you want to move it, you’re looking at hours of work.

Ladder stands are the final type, which use belts and straps to hold the seat, platform, and ladder combo. Like Hang-Ons, they remain fixed for the season, but they’re easier to install as long as you have a truck to haul one. They also coke in both single and buddy form and offer the best structural integrity of the bunch. They also work well in nearly every tree, allowing you to pick and choose the optimal spot before opening season. Due to their construction, they work best when hunting with a rifle because you can brace your arm along a bar and aim long distances. The downside is that deer are very aware of them, so you want to place your stand for months before the season opens, or you risk spooking a prime buck or doe.