As a seasoned hunter with decades of experience, I've had my fair share of adventures in the great outdoors. Today we'll talk about an essential piece of gear for hunters to get elevated and see their surroundings – the Hang-on Tree Stand.
Picture yourself in the crisp, early morning air, perched high above the forest floor, waiting for that perfect moment to take your shot. That's where the Hang-on Tree Stand comes into play. It's a trusty companion for hunters who know the value of staying concealed and getting the perfect vantage point.
So, you might be wondering, what exactly is a Hang-on Tree Stand, and why should you consider it for your next hunting excursion?
Allow me to shed some light on this fantastic piece of hunting equipment.
The Hang-on Tree Stand: Education 101
A Hang-on Tree Stand, also known as a "hang and hunt" stand, is a versatile and portable hunting platform designed for mounting on trees. It offers hunters the flexibility to adapt to different terrains, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer to have the flexibility of being mobile and out of direct eyesight when hunting.
One of the standout features of a Hang-on Tree Stand is its simplicity and ease of use. It's typically a lightweight platform with a comfortable seat and a place to rest your feet.
What makes it unique is its compatibility with various tree sizes, making it a versatile choice for hunters exploring different hunting locations.
Comparing Hang-on Tree Stands to Ladder Stands
Now, you might be considering a Hang-on Tree Stand but wondering how it stacks up against a ladder stand. Well, here's where things get interesting.
Ladder stands are more permanent structures, typically requiring more setup time, a buddy or two to get them safely secured to a tree, and effort.
They're great for established hunting spots where you'll be spending extended periods and provide more comfort while waiting out that monster buck.
However, Hang-on Tree Stands are all about adaptability. You can move them relatively quickly from one location to another, allowing you to follow game patterns and explore new areas.
If you'd like to read more about hang-on vs. ladder stands check out our article "Choosing the Right Treestand for your Hunt hang-on vs. ladder stands" where we go into a deep dive description of the differences between the pros and cons.
The lightweight and portability of Hang-on Tree Stands make them the go-to choice for hunters looking to change things up on the fly.
5 Benefits of a Hang-on Tree Stand
Now, let's talk about why a Hang-on Tree Stand should be a top contender for your hunting gear collection:
- Stealth and Concealment: When you're elevated in a Hang-on Tree Stand, you're less likely to be detected by your prey. You have a bird's-eye view of the landscape, allowing you to spot game from a distance.
- Adaptability: Whether you're in thick woods, open fields, or on the edge of a food plot, a Hang-on Tree Stand can be set up virtually anywhere. This versatility is a game-changer for hunters who crave variety in their hunting experiences.
- Quick Setup: Setting up a Hang-on Tree Stand is straightforward. With practice, you'll become a pro at it in no time. It's an ideal choice for hunters who prefer the "hang and hunt" strategy.
- Mobility: If you're like me and love the thrill of the chase, a Hang-on Tree Stand allows you to follow game patterns and move during the hunting season as travel patterns or location change.
- Comfort: These stands come with comfortable seats, making those long waits more bearable. You'll appreciate the support and comfort they provide.
Key Safety Tips for Tree Stand Usage
While the tree stand look appealing, it is a relatively risky hunting platform. You need to be safe during installation but also while sitting in the stand.
There are several key safety items we go into detail on in our article "5 Tips for Deer Hunters to Safely Hunt From a Treestand".
Hunters should take all practical and precautionary steps before using a tree stand.
Take it from an experienced faller, get the best lineman's rope available, and make sure it is long enough to get around the tree. This tool is one of the most important to get your steps and stand installed.
Who Should Consider a Hang-on Tree Stand?
Hang-on Tree Stands are perfect for hunters who enjoy the hunt as much as the harvest. If you're looking for a more dynamic, versatile, and stealthy hunting experience, this is the gear for you.
Whether you're a seasoned hunter like me or a newcomer to the world of hunting, a Hang-on Tree Stand can elevate your experience (no pun intended).
Being in the best health, strength, and physical conditioning will be beneficial for any hunter wishing to utilize this type of hunting platform.
If you're of poorer health but wish to get elevated, consider a ladder stand if you can traverse a traditional ladder. For safety, you may want to include a harness fall protection system and tree anchor system once seated on the platform.
Hang On Tree Stand for Western Hunting:
I've been using a hang-on tree stand both in Montana and Arizona when I've had the opportunity to hunt both deer and elk. I enjoy being elevated, but knowing the animal's patterns makes for the best stand location.
The great part of a hang-on stand in the west is the ability to move the stand if I find a better trail or once I have patterned the animals.
Hang On Tree Stand for Mid-West and Eastern State Hunting:
When you have the opportunity to hunt the same location over 30-60 days the hang-on treestand is a good option. Having sturdy trees and good ground makes for a safe location to install a stand.
While a ladder stand could be a better option for safety, the hang-on stand allows you to put a treestand between two larger branches so you have more cover.
A key to a good location is off the trail, but close enough for a shot. Find a tree with good cover, sturdy, and appears reliable for those windy days.
Components to a Typical Treestand
Let's walk through the typical components a a hang-on treestand. These components may change slightly by manufacturer, but you will find similar components in every stand.
- Strap Attachment - each hang-on treestand will come with one or two straps to connect the stand to the tree. These straps are strong and can handle upwards of 300 or more total pounds of weight. Make sure you read the manufacturer's instructions for attaching any hang-on treestand to the tree.
- Seat - the seat can be made of mesh or lightweight steel. The seat could come with a cushion or be just standard. I like to add my own thinner cushion to make my seat more comfortable for those longer seats. The seat generally can pivot up and out of the way so a hunter has the option to stand.
- Platform - the platform that comes with your tree stand may vary greatly from this photo or be very similar. Today, most platforms have some open bottoms to allow for water to go through. This also lightens the overall weight of the tree stand. Platforms will vary in overall size. Remember, when buying a hang-on treestand you consider installation. Just because one has a larger platform or seat doesn't mean it will be the easiest to install.
Additional Accessories Needed to Use a Hang-On Treestand
You need to understand that buying a hang-on treestand comes with additional accessories needed to be 1. safe and 2. get yourself into the stand. The main items are the ladder stand, safety harness with lineman's rope, and tree strap.
To get your tree stand into the tree a hunter must first install some type of steps. Each state is different so check your regulations. Michigan for example allows for twists in steps on private land but not public land. Arizona doesn't allow the twist in steps and therefore any hunter will need some type of ladder to attach to the tree. In the picture to the right, you can see my Michigan set-up where I have three sets of ladders that are 36" each. You can purchase this type at any outdoor sporting good store.
Safety should be concern #1:
To be safe installing, traversing, and sitting in the tree you will need these three items:
- Harness (Fall Protection System)
- Lineman's Rope (for installation)
- Safe-Line Rope (to connect to when going up or down the tree.
Safety Line Tree Attachment:
Once you have the treestand installed you will want to install a tree strap above your head to attach your carabiner too. This attachment will not prevent you from losing footing and coming off the platform, but it will hold you and keep you from falling to the ground.
A key safety feature every hang-on tree stand hunter should use.
Final Thoughts on Hang-On Tree Stands
Now that you know the ins and outs of Hang-on Tree Stands, you're well-equipped to make an informed decision. It's a piece of gear that has stood the test of time and has earned its place in the arsenal of any serious hunter.
So, go out there, explore the great outdoors, and experience the thrill of the hunt from a whole new perspective with a Hang-on Tree Stand.