Treestands are a popular bowhunting strategy for avoiding detection. Most models are so comfortable you may find yourself longing to get back in the field so that you can enjoy nature from the best seat you own. However, you might have reservations about using a treestand if you’re new to bowhunting or wary of heights. To help ease your mind about bowhunting from a treestand, try these helpful tips to overcome your fears, gain confidence, and get comfortable with hunting from aloft.
Select the Right Stand
Treestands come in many shapes and sizes. To build confidence when using and bowhunting from treestands, choose a ladder stand or a hang-on model with a large platform. Ladder stands have an attached platform, which is easier to step onto and off of from the ladder. To compare models and get more advice about choosing the best stand for you, visit an archery pro shop.
Use a Complete Safety System
Treestand safety equipment has greatly improved in recent decades. It’s easier than ever to stay safe and attached to the tree the entire time you’re off the ground. Three main items create a treestand safety system, beginning with a full-body safety harness, which is the cornerstone of treestand safety and used at all times.
Next, attach a lineman’s belt before installing or removing a stand. Loop the belt around the tree trunk, and clip each end to attachment points on your full-body harness so you’re secured to the tree while working. Once the stand is securely in place, attach a lifeline to the tree above head height when standing atop the treestand. A lifeline is a long rope with a prusik knot, a sliding friction knot that attaches with a carabiner to the safety harness’s tether. Bowhunters push the prusik knot up the lifeline as they climb, position it overhead while hunting from the stand, and then push it down the lifeline as they descend. That keeps them securely attached to the lifeline the entire time they’re off the ground, thus ensuring peace of mind.
Get Familiar at Home
Setting up your treestand in your backyard or anywhere else you can practice provides invaluable experience. Start by placing the stand 3 to 4 feet off the ground, which makes the installation less nerve-wracking and lets you learn how everything works. It also helps you learn how it feels to stand and sit in a treestand while staying near the ground. Spend some time in the stand. Hang out, read a book and practice shooting your bow from it. Once you feel comfortable, move the stand a bit higher up the tree.
Take similar small steps when placing treestands for bowhunting. You don’t need to be three stories high to keep deer from detecting you. If you don’t feel comfortable above 10 to 12 feet high, that’s where you should place your stand. As you get more comfortable through experience, you can move the stand as high as you desire.
Overcoming Serious Fear
If you’re uneasy about heights, but still want to try bowhunting from treestands, you can try a few things to keep your cool while getting comfortable. Start with positive thoughts, which can go a long way toward achieving your goal. Picture yourself succeeding, which meshes with positive thinking. Keep breathing, and ask a friend to remain present for positive encouragement.
As you put these tips to use, take things slowly and make safety your priority while getting familiar with treestands. Before long, you’ll be right at home when perched and bowhunting from above.