Off-Season Tree Stand Care

Do you leave your tree stands in the woods all year, from one season to the next? I used to, but not a good idea. I’ve had a couple of stands stolen. But the real problem is wear, tear, rust and potential safety problems.

Hunter Safety System sent out a press release reminding us to remove all straps and ropes from trees and stands if we haven’t already: “Be sure to inspect all straps, ropes and climbing gear for wear and damage due to prolonged exposure to the elements…which can degrade the strength properties of nylon, rope, polypropylene, etc. and could lead to premature failure. Replace any gear that shows signs of wear or deterioration.”

So go pull your stands if you haven’t already, and store them in a shed out of the rain. Check them later this summer; replace rusted bolts, frayed straps, etc. Oil squeaky seats.  You’ll be good to go come the season, and safe.

BTW, how many of you use the Hunter Safety System? I use the vest a lot and like it. I wish mine (an older model) were lighter, and the leg buckles are a little noisy. But it is easy to put on, comfortable and quiet.

You wear some type of full-body harness in a tree, right? If not, you’re crazy, buy one and wear it this fall. The reversible camo/orange HSS vest shown here (about $ 115) would be a good choice.


NY Bowhunter's Gravatar I have one just like the one pictured. This big boy aint hittin the ground. I wear it all the time. Good product
# Posted By NY Bowhunter | 5/18/09 10:54 AM
jstreet's Gravatar Loggy bayou came out with a product called the transformer safety system a few years back. I wear mine when I'm on my stand, but I
still don't use anything climbing up/down and getting in/out when most people fall.

Does anyone stay attached from ground to stand and back?

My treestands come in after season, I go through them then (checking bolts, straps, cables) and replace what's necessary way before
season. I will say that as the years have past (and I'm hunting private ground) we are using ladder stands that we don't take out every
year. We change the straps and check the bolts but it's probably not the safest thing to do.

# Posted By jstreet | 5/18/09 11:22 AM
jstreet's Gravatar I should have said "we are using MORE ladder stands". We still use a few hang ons, but I spend a lot of time in ladders anymore.

# Posted By jstreet | 5/18/09 11:23 AM
Rodger's Gravatar I don't use ladder or hanger or climbing stands. Either box blinds or tripods for me.
# Posted By Rodger | 5/18/09 11:36 AM
Flatlander's Gravatar i don't have a hunter safety system but plan to get one soon....... they are awesome
they donated some to a bowhunter safety course here in IL. and we demo'd them.
i wiegh right at 300 pounds and am 6'1" and that thing fit well and performed great. we actually hung a stand
at 4" and had to fall out of it and get back in it....... several tried it of all shapes and sizes and everyone admitted
that panic set in even 4 feet off the ground....... not as easy to get back in the stand as you think.......

thaniks again for their donation to educate hunters......
bad thing is once you fall in one you need to replace it......... small cost to live and walk again though:)
# Posted By Flatlander | 5/18/09 12:13 PM
Doug In Wisconsin's Gravatar I use a Summit Seat-O-The-Pants. It's not as easy to get into as the HSS but it is very quiet. I have been thinking about switching over but I can't seem to put away my Summit yet. I do like the Transformer one as well. I think it is Summit that has the Fastback system. Looks nice as well.
# Posted By Doug In Wisconsin | 5/18/09 12:54 PM
pappa necbone's Gravatar I wear the hunter safety vest as pictures and so does both of my boys. I'm an ol' tree trimer and when I would climb I would use a knot on my life line so I could move up or down with ease and when I was done I could just lean back and repel out of the tree, this knot is known as a monkey's fist or climbing knot. jstreet try this,
get a length of climbing rope tye bowlin knots at both ends then a cara-beaner (bad spelling) on one end climb to your spot now choke the rope with the cara-beaner on the end that attaches to your vest, learn the monkey's fist and attach this piece of rope to your life line and you will be able to climb up and down while hoked up
This knot in the evnt you would fall it will pull tight to your life line were ever you are and hold you at that height. Work with this knot off season and you will see how valuable it will come.
# Posted By pappa necbone | 5/18/09 7:28 PM
hanback's Gravatar pappa necbone, thanks for the great advice!
# Posted By hanback | 5/18/09 7:41 PM
Jake in WI's Gravatar Brian, your thoughts are understood but I recommend getting back on that horse! Make sure the rope is the right height and you should not have any more problems.
I got the new pro series vest this past Christmas and so far I love it. Mike your problems with it have been addressed. The leg buckles have a rubber coating on them and the vest is like 30% lighter because they slimmed it down, also no more velcro (hunters arch enemy).
# Posted By Jake in WI | 5/19/09 11:28 AM
hanback's Gravatar pappa gives good advice! i never use crew steps anymore, just ladder sticks/sections. Like he says, run those steps UP
above where you plan to hang your lock-on; hang the stand a foot or so BELOW the top of the steps. This not only makes
it easier and safer to set the stand, it is easier and safer to get in and out of the stand in the dark.

Great stuff, we have some super deer hunters on this site!
# Posted By hanback | 5/19/09 12:58 PM
pappa necbone's Gravatar I have one more tip on this subject guys if you all don't mind then I'll shut up and move on. I started doing this a couple of years ago, using a 15' ladder stand for my climbing sticks (this works great for a permanent stand for the year) stand on the platform and secure my lock-on (because they are more comfortable) . situate the lock-on exactly how you want it and strap it it. I use ratchet straps, top and bottom, so that baby don't move at all. wrap your static line around the tree and hook your cara-beaner from your vest into it. Awesome set up. Then if you have
a youngster going hunting with you, they can sit on top of the ladder, watch and learn or a buddy can film the hunt.
# Posted By pappa necbone | 5/19/09 2:26 PM
hanback's Gravatar another great tip--that is exactly how we film a lot of our TV hunts, me hunting from a ladder, and the camera guy in a
lock-on just above, at a 45-degree angle left or right of where my ladder is facing.
# Posted By hanback | 5/19/09 2:31 PM