Essential Treestand Gearon Oct 12, 2012
Know the Distance
Without a doubt, one of the biggest obstacles we face as bowhunters is knowing just how far away our target is. When quick, humane kills are the goal, and they always should be, knowing the exact distance to that buck standing down-range can make all the difference in the world. Even if you plan to take only short, up close shots, it is always a good idea to have a rangefinder handy.
One of the most critical aspects of making a good bow shot is knowing the distance.
There are several good models to choose from and each year companies offer smaller, lighter, and faster units; and that’s a good thing. Depending on your budget, your next rangefinder can come with just the basic features, or the most cutting edge technology. Either way, I think the one characteristic you should be most concerned with is “angle compensation”. This simply means that when the rangefinder calculates the yardage to your target, it is also compensating for the height and angle to the target as well.
Let there be Light
I think everyone carries some sort of light in their backpack so advising you to do so would be pretty lame on my part. However, I do believe the color of light you use can have a bearing on your success. While some instances call for your standard white-light, the rest of the time you should be using a red or green light because red is at the bottom of the color spectrum when it comes to colors whitetails can see. On the other hand, it has often been stated that a whitetails eyes are extremely sensitive to colors in the blue spectrum so avoid those if you can.
For most applications a standard "white" light will do more damage than good when accessing your stand site.
Not only is the color of your light significant, but the manner in which you carry it is important too. Trying to climb a treestand with a light in your hand, or even your mouth, isn’t the safest option in the world. The best way to get in and out of your stand, or climb a tree, is with both hands free. You can accomplish this by simply using a light that straps to your head or any other part of your body.
Hang in There
The very fact that I have to mention this item is disturbing. However, it amazes me the number of bowhunters who are willing to gamble with their own lives because they choose not to wear some sort of safety harness when hunting from a treestand. I‘ve tried to understand the reasoning behind the decision not to wear one, but I just can’t. Especially when you consider how much safety restraint systems have improved over the last few years.
Without question the most important piece of gear you can take with you is a quality safety harness; pictured here is the Ultra-Lite by Hunter Safety System.
Most fall systems have indeed gotten lighter and more use- friendly, which by all accounts, should eliminate any excuses for not using one. Many are even offered in the most poplar camo patterns. The vest-type models even have pockets for storing essential gear such as calls, rangefinders, etc.