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Tree Stand Hacks to Use During Deer Season

Which Tree Stand Hacks Do You Use?

Have you ever been in the tree stand when a deer appears out of nowhere and catches you completely off-guard? You’re sitting there with a sandwich in hand, and out steps a hit-list buck at 20 yards. If you’ve hunted long enough, it’s probably happened. But there are a few things you can do to set up a tree stand that will minimize those scenarios. Here are several tree stand hacks to help you pick a location, set up your hunting gear, and ultimately, bring some venison home.

Tree Stand Placement

If you’re always picked out in a tree stand before deer get within range, you’re probably in the wrong spot or stick out like a sore thumb. Before you set anything up, think about the direction that deer will likely approach from (e.g., bedding areas for evening hunts, food plots for morning hunts, etc.). Instead of setting your tree stand directly in line of sight along a deer trail, place it downwind off to the side of the trail. Ideally, you should hang it within a dense conifer or oak tree, which will have enough cover to hide your silhouette. This simple idea is one of the most important tree stand hacks to utilize because it can allow you to hunt without spooking deerHanging a tree stand in a bare aspen or maple tree will really make you stick out, and you’ll probably be busted before you ever get a chance to make a shot.

 

There are a lot of tree stand tips depending on what style of stand you use. For example, if you’re wondering how to hang a hang-on stand safely, use a safety harness with a lineman’s belt, which frees up your hands to pull up additional ladder sections and the platform very easily. When you get to the top, you can screw in a sturdy hook to hang your platform from while you attach the ratchet straps around the tree. It’s a great tree stand hack that saves time and frustration, and is much safer for you.

Hunting Gear Setup in the Tree

Before you leave for the woods on a solo hunt, you should obviously know how to put up a tree stand by yourself, but there are other tree stand hacks as well. For example, once you’re in the tree (whether you’re in a ladder stand, climbing stand, or hang-on stand), how do you set up your hunting equipment so that it’s all easily accessible when you need it? How do you organize your camera gear so that it will take as little movement as possible to film your own hunt?

First off, let’s start with your bow. It’s certainly the most important piece of gear you’ll need to kill a deer, so it should be a priority concern. Many bow hunters elect to hold their bow at all times, just because you never know when a buck might pop out of the bushes. But that can get tiring. If it’s hanging above you, you have to turn halfway around and create a lot of commotion. Try using a HAWK® bow holder, which you can attach to your tree stand platform. It takes almost zero movement just to reach forward and grab it with your bow arm versus turning around in the tree stand.

   

Second, let’s talk about camera gear. It can get crowded in a tree with one or two cameras running. And the last thing you want is for one of the camera arms to block your shot. Use these tree stand hacks to solve your filming woes. Fourth Arrow® camera arms are solid and very adaptable in a tree, which gives you flexibility to get the right camera angle. If you’re a right-handed archer, you should place the camera arm on your right side. That way you can easily move the camera with your right hand before drawing the bow and making the shot.

Last, there’s all the other miscellaneous hunting gear that we bring with us. While you can get by with very little on an early season hunt behind the house, you might have to take a whole backpack with you during a late season hunt to a remote location. Use gear hooks to hang your backpack up in the tree beside you, which will keep it out from underfoot and help make sure you don’t knock it out of the tree stand accidentally when you shuffle your feet. One of the most important deer hunting hacks you can use is to eliminate your movement while in the stand.  Hanging it on a hook also keeps the contents up higher so you don’t have to hunch over to access it. But if possible, keep the critical stuff in your coat pockets since they will be much easier to access.

  

Additionally, many hunters use binoculars and range finders to identify deer and make accurate shots. If you’re one of those hunters, you need to be able to quickly grab your optics. Don’t just place them on top of your seat or bag since you could bump them, which would break them as they fall from the tree and ruin your chance at the approaching deer. Instead, hang your Nikon® binoculars or range finder on a chest harness, which will keep them safe, accessible, and out of the way for a shot. 

Do you use these tree stand hacks already or will you be adding them to your list of hunting skills the next time you’re in the deer woods?

hunting technology

Hunting Technology | How Far Are You Willing To Go?

Hunting Technology | Hunting Ethics in the 21st Century

 

The hunting lifestyle that we enjoy in this century is a far cry from the world that our parents and grandparents enjoyed.  Without question, the biggest impact to the sport of hunting is the way we as sportsmen and women utilize technology.  Technology’s impact on hunting continues to grow each and every year, and while there are many cases where this can certainly be seen as a positive, for many there can be a limit to the benefits that advanced hunting technology can provide. One such cap is the duty of hunters to define what is and what is not ethical. As technology inches us closer and closer to this internal dispute, a moment should be taken to step back and debate it out loud.

 

The Very Real Debate of Hunting Technology

To really argue whether or not recent advances in hunting technology are ethical, hunters need to understand what technology is out there. By far the biggest developments is the ever expanding scouting technologies. Technology such as pinpoint accurate aerials, GPS units, mobile game cameras, and personal drones are now creating difficulty for every hunter. On one hand, the technologies help us get closer to game, they keep us busy in the stand, and they instantly connect us to what is happing in the woods when we are not around. On the other hand, there is no mystery left in hunting, no giants in the woods we don’t have a name to, and no hidden locations left to discover. These are the difficult questions associated with this debate. At what point or technology do we simply draw the line at?

Scouting Technologies

If you really want to know just how big technology’s impact on hunting has been, you need to look no further than the average, everyday trail camera.  Without a doubt, trail cameras have changed the world of deer hunting over the past few years.  What began as 35mm cameras enclosed within a semi-durable case has now turned into cellular enabled devices that have the ability to Livestream your hit-list buck right to your smart phone.  If that isn’t a revolutionary change, it would be hard to point to something that is.  Trail cameras, GPS systems, aerial imagery and even your smart phone are all pieces of hunting equipment that are helping outdoorsmen and women not only enjoy the sport of deer hunting, but time spent afield chasing a wide variety of species.  They have shrunk the world in many ways, and have given you the power to be able to better plan and strategize your approach to the game you are chasing, and by default have assisted many in finding success.  The future of hunting certainly appears to be speeding up, and it can be hard to imagine what the next five years will bring. In particular, one area of “scouting technology” is the most frightening. The recent advances and commonality in aerial drones are not only concerning for scouting game but hunter harassment. Do we draw the line at mobile game cameras? After these cameras? Before drones? Or do we draw a line at utilizing any of these recent advances including cell phone apps and scouting?

 

Scent and Detection Technologies

By far scouting technologies such as the drone and mobile game cameras are the biggest hot button issue when it comes to hunting. However, we as hunters must note other technologies that simply push the boundaries of limiting the game’s advantages. In particular, the scent management, and game detection technology has taken a far leap in recent years. Odor eliminating products such as Scent Crusher ozone activated technology now gives hunters an edge in taking away an animal’s greatest defense…scent! On the other end of the spectrum, advances have also been made to virtually eliminate a game animal’s sixth sense. Hec’s hunting garments block electromagnetic fields that every living being emits. This blocks the animal’s ability to sense these signals, allowing hunters to get very close to game. These technologies combine to give a hunter advantage over the far more developed senses game animals possess.

Firearm and Archery Technology

One important aspect of technology that we should also take note of would be the ever-expanding limits of today’s firearms and bows. With a host of optical improvements in scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars, hunters are now able to see animals further and more clearly. This allows hunters to shoot even greater distances. It’s not just limited to rifles and other firearms, however. Compound bow advances such as bow sights, releases, and broadhead developments have allowed archers to push the limits of ethical shooting.

As you navigate these technologies be sure to take notice of what is actually being changed, your ability at hunting, or the ethics of hunting!

Stay True to the Sport

Hunting technology, whether we are talking about hunting equipment like those previously mentioned, or advancements in firearm and archery technology are all fascinating ways that technology has impacted the sport of hunting.  These advancements generally lead to an increased level of success, comfort, and lower the level of difficulty when taking to the field.  Often times these technologies allow us and others to enjoy the sport of hunting.

One of technology’s impacts on hunting, while certainly not intended, is often one of philosophy.  Simply put, we can become so engrossed with technology and its application to the sport of hunting that we can get lost in it. We might forget why we run to the outdoors in the first place.  The sport of hunting has never been about number of game harvested or the size of the rack.  The sport of hunting is about connecting with nature and getting lost in the wilderness. It is about allowing your imagination to run wild.  This philosophy is obviously at odds with technology’s impact on hunting, and the future of hunting in general.

At the end of the day, it is all about balance and remembering that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Just remember why you enjoy this sport in the first place. Now think of how your children or the next generation of hunters will view hunting as. Will it automatically involve technology, or will the roots be placed in what really matters…the outdoors? As you debate this question internally just note that the outdoors is one item that will never need an upgrade!