Deer Hunting - From a "Level Playing Field"

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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!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks for the tip. I don't

Thanks for the tip. I don't use climbers but if I ever do I will keep this in mind.

groovy mike's picture

who knew?


It might be super simple to you and guys that routinely use tree stands.  But it isn't obvious to those of us new to using them.  I don't use a tree stand much so this was a very good tip for me.  It was not something obvious at all.  In fact, I hadn't even considered changing the angle of my stands.  I didn't even know that there was an option to change the angle.  I suspect that it may not be on ladder type stands at all.  Those are the ones that I resently have, but I have made a mental note to be aware of this in case I ever get or even use a climbing stand.

Thanks for the tip!