Deer Hunting with a Climber Tree Stand

Breaking from traditional stands and venturing to new areas offers hunters the chance to discover un-pressured animals and territory. Often times your traditional spots go cold part way through the  season leaving you frustrated and discouraged.  Don’t be afraid to shake things up with a climber. Going into new areas with little or no previous scouting is challenging and exhilarating, forcing you to use your instincts to pick the perfect ambush.

 Hunt the sign:

Deer Rub Climbing Tree StandUsing a climber effectively takes more than finding a random tree in the woods.  Good climber locations are strategically chosen ambush points along fresh trails, pinch points, bottle necks or scrape/ rub-lines.  When searching a new area, cut to the chase and look directly for the freshest sign.  Especially as the deer transition from early feeding patterns to the unpredictability of the rut, having a mobile mindset seeking out scrapes and rub lines can up your chances. Still hunt and become ghost like approaching a desired area. Take a subtle and effective approach to a fresh area instead of trampling loudly through the brush. Glassing an area before trampling around reduces sent and disruption while allowing you to pinpoint specific trees to climb.


Heed your Elders:

If you are hunting areas hunted long in the past, always keep an open eye  for remnants of old wooden tree stands. Old pieces of wood still attached to trees means old timers knew something. If you find old wooden tree stands, take advantage of their findings.

 Old Wooden Tree Stand

Picking the right tree:

Ok this is a crap shoot.  Finding a climbable tree with no obscure limbs can be difficult to locate.  Yes, you do want a straight and clear tree, however this has been busted more hunters than not.  Like with any other tree stand you want to find a tree that will break up your outline and keep you from being sky lined.  Doing this with a climber can be difficult to say the least.   When picking your tree  take into consideration the skyline and your back drop.  If you get into this tree, will your outline be exposed?   That is a question that we often skip amidst our excitement for the hunt.  When picking a tree also keep in mind the bark of the tree.  You want to find a tree with gnarly rugged bark your climber can grip firmly to.  The worst feeling is your climber slipping on smooth bark and no stability twenty feet in the air.

Side notes to help make your climber experience more enjoyable.

Always wear a safety harness.  There is no excuse to never wear a harness ,being in a climber only ups the odds of something going amiss. 

Hanger screws: Bring at least two, one for your bow and one for your pack.  Nothing is more frustrating than not having a place to hang gear when in a climber 

Speaking of packs, it helps to with a smaller pack, even a fanny pack, reduce your gear and your weight.  Remember, hunting climbers is about hunting light and mobile, take the bare essentials. 

Tow rope:  Not having a tow rope can make for a very tedious climbing scenario. Make sure it is in your pack before leaving the truck

Using climbers is all about making and fine tuning your adjustments.  Deer don’t always travel permanent routs and neither should you. Sharpen your skills, harness up and hunt hard.

Jason Reid

Last Updated: January 13th, 2015

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