Deer Hunting - From a "Level Playing Field"
This may seem like a super simple tip and one that requires little brain use but if you are a hunter that uses a climbing stand and you hunt the same trees fairly often – consider making a mental note (or a recorded one, I store mine inside my cell phone) as to what setting your stand should be on – for tree diameter – so that when you climb the tree and reach the appropriate hunting height – the stand is level or at least canted the way you like it.
I have about 12 trees that I climb fairly often and this helps me quite a bit.
Trees have varying degrees of taper and that really creates a situation where you have to guess – when you are setting up your stand on the tree – as to where to set the angle of your stand.
This problem is exacerbated even further when it is dark and you are fumbling with your stand adjustments.
I primarily use a Summit stand with a cable system and I simply count the numbers of crimped sections that are outside of the locks… so for the tree I climbed this morning, I knew I needed a 4 for the upper section and a 5 for the lower section and then, at 18 feet, my stand is level (I have a 20’ pull rope and use that as a climbing gauge) and I can then hunt from a level stand.
For the Summit - and this part is great - it does not matter if I have one crimp out on one side and three on the other (for a total of four) or four out on one side.... it is still the same!
I also have a blade style climber that I use periodically – I just list this as a 4 (for instance) and then I put the bolt and wing nut in the fourth hole from the end of the square tubing.
I make GoogleEarth maps of all of the areas that I hunt and will often also record these measurements on the map so I do not even need to reference the cell phone at the base of the tree… I just look at the map before I go and as long as I climb the correct tree… set the stand to that setting and up you go!
Try this – if you often climb the same tree – and see if it does not help you.
For stands other than Summit or blade style climbers… I am not sure how this will work… maybe you could mark the exterior of the chain, belt or whatever the gripping / securing system is… or perhaps count the links if it is a chain, etc…
Be careful out there and good luck!