As the rut draws near more, and more hunters will be hitting the whitetail woods in hopes of finding success and filling their freezers with venison. Across the Midwest, treestands are the norm for many hunters. However, long hours on stand can be downright uncomfortable if you don’t have the right setup or remember the little things when it comes to comfort.
First and foremost, comfort starts when getting in and out of a stand. Sure you’re not climbing the ladder long, but if you’re uncomfortable or nervous it can keep many from ever getting into the stand. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met in camps that didn’t even bother climbing the tree because they were afraid. A tree stand gives you a huge advantage for seeing deer, wind, etc., but there’s no reason to be afraid to get in and out. Simply put, install a lifeline on all your setups. This way, you can connect at the bottom and stay connected the entire time. This is not only much safer, but makes people feel a lot more comfortable about there setup. It also really helps when introducing kids or new people to hunting as this takes away a big fear for most.
Next, if you use a ladder to get in and out of your stand, make sure you always put a ratchet strap around the top section. This keeps the ladder from having any movement and makes it more secure.
A helpful tip is to extend your ladder at least 3-feet above your seat which makes stepping in and out a lot easier and safer. This allows you to continue climbing and step down rather than having your ladder end at the platform and having to pull yourself onto the stand.
Another safety and comfort thing comes in the simple form of a rope. This makes pulling your gear up to your stand much easier and safer. I tie a rope to every one of my setups but also keep a rope in my pocket or even a retractable pull rope so I can get all my gear safely and quietly on stand without any hassle.
Once on stand, I like to always bring along a fat boy cushion. This is a gel-like cushion that is truly amazing for long sits. I know that a seat cushion isn’t always necessary, but the more comfortable you are, the less you’ll move which lowers your chance of getting busted or spooking deer.