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Climbing stands

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 16:07
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What have you used, what has worked, what hasn't?


I'm looking at getting a climber for this year (tree stands and tripods are too limiting.)


Looking at a Summit Titan.  It would be used for rifle and bow hunting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 16:29
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  I bought a Summit Bushmaster at the end of last yr for early season when the leaves are on and I don't need to go so high. I need to be getting it out and practicing with it.  Maybe!  Cause I had two climbers before this and I found them to be too limiting and they didn't get used.  Sold them. We'll see. I will tell you I did a good bit of research before buying the Summit and can tell you their products are held in high regard. You may want to consider the optional footrest as it will enable you to use your knees as a rest when hunting with a rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 16:45
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I tried climbing stands for a period about 20 years ago and abandoned them in favor of lock-on style stands (for portable stands; most of my stands on my hunting places are permanent ladder stands and box blinds).  The problem with climbers where I hunt is the fact there are very few trees that have straight sections with no limbs far enough off the ground to make it worthwhile to use the climbing stand in the first place.  If you hunt in an area that has a bunch of really tall, medium diameter trees with no limbs below about 15 feet, then climbing stands will work well and will be far easier to transport since you don't have to concern yourself with steps.  But, the way I see it, many of the tree steps now available are light and compact enough that you can just strap them onto the back of a lock-on style stand and not be transporting much more weight and bulk than you would with a climber.
 
Summit makes good stands.  I have a couple of their ladder stands and one of their tripod stands.  Of the lock-on style stands, I've used Lone Wolf, API, and Gorilla, and all of those have worked well.  I'm partial to the Lone Wolf lock-ons because the platform is all one cast aluminum piece that is very strong, silent, and yet fairly light for its size.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 18:04
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So, in your estimation, would a good tripod stand be preferable to a climber?


I will be hunting on a few different areas this year and thought a climber might be preferable (there are trees with no branches on the lower 15 feet) but also think a nice tripod would be good, easy to locate exactly where I want it, tree or no tree.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 18:16
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I've heard good things about the Lone Wolf stands, too, but have never used one.
 I have a Summit Bullet Backpacker that is ALMOST perfect.  It's plenty strong, fairly light, very quiet, SUPER comfortable-very easy to fall asleep in it, so wear your harness!
 It climbs and descends easily and safely. and it has a cross bar to rest your rifle on; thier Bowhunter- oriented models simply eliminated that part to allow a bowshot.
 
 The only thing I hate about mine is that both sections are exactly the same size, so they don't nest together well at all for packing in and out. They should have designed one frame a couple inches shorter/narrower and built in a simple provision for locking both parts together quickly and quetly. I should modify it myself, but what I may do instead is get the next bigger model and see if I can swap out one platform for another and get two stands that DO nest well. That would be the easiest fix, if it actually works.
 
They aren't cheap.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 18:17
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  I can appreciate the value of a tripod in an area with no trees even though it's not a concern where I hunt. The only thing for me would be if your hunting in woods is it fairly portable. Quite a few times I've had to fine tune my treestand position to pull off a shot.  With a climber you could do that to if needed. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 22:03
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Summit and Lone Wolf both make great hangers. I have eaten bark too many times to trust a climber. Whether a climber or hanger, both are more portable than tripods and ladder stands.
I will take the latter two in a minute if transport is not an issue.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 22:12
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

So, in your estimation, would a good tripod stand be preferable to a climber?


I will be hunting on a few different areas this year and thought a climber might be preferable (there are trees with no branches on the lower 15 feet) but also think a nice tripod would be good, easy to locate exactly where I want it, tree or no tree.


It all depends on the types of trees / foliage available, and whether you want to remain mobile with your stands or if you want to keep a stand in a particular location on a semi-permanent / permanent basis.

A tripod can be setup almost anywhere, and it can be far more comfortable.  However, it isn't a very portable stand like a climber or lock-on stand is.

Here's my philosophy on stands & blinds:

If you want to setup a permanent stand location in a relatively open area with long shot potential that you will hunt year after year and want to be very comfortable, setup an elevated, totally enclosed tower blind.

If you are hunting in a heavily wooded area with tall trees, you want to get up high to be hidden, you don't plan to move the stand often, but you don't want a huge hassle if you do move it, and you want a comfortable seat that allows you to remain on stand for many hours, use a tall ladder stand.

If you are hunting in short brush country where there are no tall trees suitable to hold or support a stand, yet you want to be elevated for better visibility into the brush, use a tripod stand.

If you want to be totally hidden, yet not elevated, and desire portability, get one of the cloth "pop-up" ground blinds (i.e. Double Bull).

If you hunt an area with plenty of tall, straight trees, you want/need to be elevated, and you want to remain portable and move your stands semi-frequently, get a lock-on or climbing stand.  Personally, there are no situations I can think of where I would rather have a climber than a lock-on style stand with tree steps.  Lock-ons are far more flexible, working on far more trees, as you don't need a perfectly straight trunk and low limbs aren't a problem.


Edited by RifleDude - August/26/2009 at 22:13
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 22:21
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A lot of guys like hangers, and there's a lot to be said for the fact that you can put one into a lot of trees in which a climber won't work. If you can drill holes in trees without getting into trouble, the screw-in steps work fine. In hardwoods, a good cordless drill with a pilot-hole-sized bit makes it a lot faster and easier to start and turn in the screw. (Not too practical to carry in on opening day, though. Set your stands and steps and trim shooting lanes before the season if possible. You can drill the holes ahead of time and mark them with reflective thumbtacks if you don't want to leave the screws  in the tree.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 22:31
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Heck, I don't even use the screw in type steps.  I use the climbing sticks with folding steps that strap to the tree.  Simply strap a set of steps on, climb up a level and continue adding steps until you get to the height you want the hang-on stand to be.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 22:37
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 Never tried them.
Who makes yours?
  I've used the steps with the web straps and hated them, same with the nylon cord ones.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2009 at 23:18
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This is what I use exclusively when a climber is called for..
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 05:01
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  These are the cat's meow for hunting with a hanger:
    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 07:01
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I like summit stands (I own one).   I would make sure to get one that is a 'sit and climb' and not one that you have to do 'dips' to climb up a tree.  I had the open front style and didn't like it at all.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 07:57
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Ol Man, Grand Ol Man climber.  Easy on, easy off.  Quiet and comfortable (actually had deer come in on me while climbing up and down).  Top and bottom nest together very well.  Very portable.  Carry a cushion if it's real cold; the mesh seat will freeze your arse literally.  Been using mine in South Ark. for >15 yrs. (put a refurb. kit on it 2 yrs. ago).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 10:34
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I would tend to agree with Ted.  I have used Tree Lounge--wonderfully quiet, safe, but an aggravation to transport--I like the Summits--but safety wise, I have converted to Lock ons and sticks or ladder stands.  I have also begun to hunt ground blinds, which solve the problem of falling, foliage in the way, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 22:32
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I almost bought a Tree Lounge before choosing my Summit instead.
The promotional video is pretty convincing...
 I'd like to try one out sometime.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2009 at 23:32
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The tree lounge is a good stand. The only draw back is the turning around part once you are where you want to be. Beyond that, there isn't a safer and better built climber out there. I still like my gunslinger though, that turning around part (tree lounge) can be a we bit disconcerting in the wind, and trees swaying. Something I don't have to worry about in the gunslinger.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 08:11
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Originally posted by cyborg cyborg wrote:

The tree lounge is a good stand. The only draw back is the turning around part once you are where you want to be. Beyond that, there isn't a safer and better built climber out there. I still like my gunslinger though, that turning around part (tree lounge) can be a we bit disconcerting in the wind, and trees swaying. Something I don't have to worry about in the gunslinger.



The gunslinger looks good, might try that one.  Ideally, I'd like a climber that could face toward or away, but the combow hunter doesn't look especially comfortable.

I do appreciate all the insights, I'll let you know what I get.

The tripod I was(am) considering is from south texas tripod and feeder and they are about 50 pounds and 11 feet tall - so relatively portable, easily carried out.  They aren't as convenient as a climber but not far behind.

I'll be hunting 3 different pieces of dirt and needing to find the best spot with each outing.

Again, thanx.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 09:14
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Originally posted by RONK RONK wrote:

 Never tried them.
Who makes yours?
  I've used the steps with the web straps and hated them, same with the nylon cord ones.
 
I have some of these:
 
and these:
 
They work great!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 09:30
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Just out of curiosity, Jeff, why would you rather have a climber than a hang on stand?  Besides being less flexible, climbers aren't as safe as hang on stands.  Climbers rely on your weight to cantilever the stand against the tree and bite against the trunk to stay put.  Most of the time, it works fine, but they can slip if you aren't careful.  A buddy of mine had one slip on the tree, and he was lucky he wasn't seriously injured.  Hang on stands are as easy to transport as climbers, and if you get relatively compact climbing steps, you can strap them to the stand on your back and not carry much more weight than you would with a climber.  You can work around limbs and adapt to trees that aren't straight with hang on stands.  If you find that perfect spot to hunt and the perfect tree is crooked and/or has too many low limbs, you're out of luck with a climber.  Not necessarily so with a hanger.  It is because of these facts that fewer manufacturers are even offering climbing stands anymore -- too many disadvantages and too much liability. 
 
Educate me -- what am I missing?  Other than maybe being faster to setup, what advantages do climbers offer over hangers nowadays?
 
A buddy of mine has that South Texas tripod you are referring to.  I've hunted out of it a lot.  It is a nice tripod for a bowhunter, because it folds up and is easy to transport.  On the downside, I don't care for the foot rest they use.  Unless they've changed the design, it is a small diameter ring made out of welded rebar that doesn't offer a very substantial place to rest your feet.  The small diameter also makes it a little trickier to climb into the seat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 09:47
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You can't do this with a climber, unless you bring a saw with you and saw off the limbs as you ascend the tree.  The steps pictured can be stacked and strapped together into a very compact package during transport...
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 09:59
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I've been bowhunting for 35 years; made my own climbing stand for the first one because there weren't many around.  I used an Ol Man for a long time after that.  I had too many close calls in climbers and switched to hang ons.  This is the most comfortable one I've found:
Comfort is the priority as far as I'm concerned, far above portability.  A lot of hangers are miserable to sit in, and if you're not comfortable you won't be still; or you'll get down, and if you're not there.....
I always kept a strap around the tree and hooked my harness in after I got up.  After having a stick ladder fail this year and drop me 10 feet I'll be tied to the tree at all times this year (if I'm able to draw my bow).  I'll also not be 25 feet up like I used to be,either.  I'm switching to mostly ladders.  This one is the best I've found, but not at all portable.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 10:36
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+10 on mwyates comments about wearing a harness and safety strap.  I've mostly switched to heavy duty ladder type stands that strap to the tree and I use the two person versions as they're more comfortable than the one person versions.  The wider ones give you more room to store your thermos, lunch, thermacell, ect..  I'm putting mine up this weekend and cutting some shooting lanes too.  Good luck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2009 at 10:47
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Originally posted by mwyates mwyates wrote:

This is the most comfortable one I've found:
Comfort is the priority as far as I'm concerned, far above portability.  A lot of hangers are miserable to sit in, and if you're not comfortable you won't be still; or you'll get down, and if you're not there.....
 
Very true, which is why I use hangers with large platforms and large seats.  I also frequently strap an additional folding cushion with built-in backrest onto the seat for additional comfort.
 
I've never tried any Millennium products.  I like the seat design of the stand you link above!
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