There are many types of deer hunting stands. Ladder stands, Climbing tree stand, ground blind and box stand are among the most common. There are other stands but are not as common. I’ve started out hunting deer using a folding chair. Each one has it advantages and disadvantages.
Anytime that you leave the ground, make sure that you are wearing a safety harness. I can’t stress this enough. Each year you hear about people falling and getting seriously hurt or worse. It could be prevented if they were using a safety harness.
I myself learned the hard way. I was climbing a tree using a climber and as I was leveling the stand I fell out backwards. 7 feet later I fell onto my back. I landed on the edge of a cut field after it had rained but still hurt nonetheless. Lucky I didn’t break anything. Only had a few bruises and scraps. Since then, I wear my safety harness all the way up from the ground.
If you are interested in the stands shown click on the image or the reviews.
A ladder stand is constructed like a ladder that goes up to a platform and usually has a seat available. The platform is secured to the tree as well as the center portion of the ladder is also secured to the tree. These type of stands are very secure after they have been setup.
Setting up a ladder stand takes a bit of time and are usually setup and left out in the stand location for extended periods of time. One piece of advice I will give you is a ladder stand is easier to set up with more than one person. I do sometimes set them up by myself but are safer with two or three people.
I have hunted out of a few ladder stands that I set up years ago. Each year I replace the ratchet straps just to be sure the stand stays in the tree. After the last hunt of the year, I loosen up the straps so the tree doesn’t grow around the straps. You can read my review of the stand shown at the right here.
A climbing tree stand comes in two times. There is a hand climber and a sit and climb climber. The difference is how the stand is raised and lowered down the tree. A climber needs to be setup in a tree that is fairly straight up without limbs. I suggest carrying a folding saw if you chose to use one of these stands.
Once the stand sections are attached to the bottom of the tree, the hunter climbs up or down the tree depending on which way they want to go. These style of stands are very portable and lets the hunter move easily from tree to tree and area to area. This is my favorite style of stand and one that I use regularly. You can read my review about the climber shown to thee right here.
Box blinds are usually built onto a platform. They are usually placed wherever they are going to go and left there. These blinds can be very effective. Windows can be added for additional comfort and opened only when needed. Box blinds can be build by the hunter or purchased from a store. Both styles work ok.
The box blinds can also be setup on the ground but offer less visibility. A word of advice on these type of stands is to check them yearly for needed repairs. Also, at the beginning of the season check them for bee hives. I have seen a few hunter’s that were stung on opening day as they never checked them before the beginning of bow season.
The hunter can bring a propane heater to make hunting in a box blind fairly comfortable. When driving through the countryside in Wisconsin, you see them everywhere.
Ground blinds have been around forever. In recent years there has been an explosion of commercial blinds. A blind can be constructed out of lumber, fabric, down trees found on the forest floor, or any other material to hide the hunter’s presence. A word of advice is to brush it in using foliage found in the surrounding to hide the ground blind. The idea is to make it look like it belongs there.
I personally use a ground blind during the gun season on a regular basis. They conceal a hunter’s and their movements from whitetail deer and other animals. Commercial ground blinds have made turkey hunting much easier as turkeys don’t see a blind out of the ordinary.
Hand on stands attach to the tree. The hunter has to use either climbing sticks, strap on steps, or screw in steps to climb to the desired height. The stand is than attached to the tree so the hunter can climb into the stand to hunt. This style is fairly simple to use and allows the hunter to just take the sticks or steps and leave the stand to discourage theft.
Hand on stands can be a little more dangerous than the other kinds and requires a decent level of physical fitness to set up. They are one of the most adaptable stands. They can go into trees that have a lot of limbs or trees that are not straight.
I personally usually hang some of these at the beginning of the season and just take the climbing sticks in and out. On private land I’ll leave both up for the season.
I have found them to be extremely useful in a pine tree where you can climb up and cut the required branches out of the way to give natural concealment.
Wrapping it up
Deer hunting stands can come in many designs and types. Some go into the trees, some are designed to be mounted on a raised platform, and some sit on the ground. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Blinds work well at concealment but the hunter has to give up some visibility. Usually the hunter can’t see behind them very well.
I suggest having more than one style of deer stand. I prefer to be able to be as versatile as possible. I have ladder stands, climbers, hand on stands, and ground blinds. The only one that I don’t have yet is a box blind. I have used a box blind but don’t have one setup currently.
Sitting on the ground is usually safer than going into the ground. Gravity causes things to fall to the ground. Without a safety harness the hunter could get hurt or worse if they are not strapped in when off the ground. I highly recommend that a hunter wears a safety harness from the time they leave the ground till the time that they return to the ground. Happy hunting.
I look forward to seeing any questions or comments that you may have below.