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Looking for affordable deer stands for this season's hunt? Good news: You won't be compromising on much when you choose to purchase a budget-minded deer stand over the more expensive options. The first and most important factor to consider when looking for an affordable stand (or any deer stand, really) is safety. That's one thing you can't skimp on. Whatever your choice ends up being, make sure that the locks, seats, and ladder materials are sturdy. You should also practice hanging a treestand low to the ground to understand its safety elements before you use it on your next hunt. Most deer stands include all of the safety accessories that you'll need, but it's imperative that you're wearing a safety harness and all of the proper safety restraints are in place before you head up to your stand.
The next thing you should look for is the type of deer stand you want. The most popular options are ladder stands, tripod stands, hang-on treestands, and climbing treestands -- and all of them have different purposes and benefits for your deer hunt. We didn't end up including tower stands on this list because they're typically at a much higher price point, but between those four options you should be able to find a sturdy and affordable stand.
What type of affordable deer stand is best for you?
Most deer stands hover around 8 to 16 feet off the ground, with some exceptions going a bit higher. Ladder stands are great for hunting with two people, as it provides an opportunity to converse without making a lot of noise. It's also good for someone who wouldn't feel comfortable on a hang-on stand and want some more space to move around. Tripod stands require more set-up, but are perfect to use in an open field and offer the 360-degree views other stands don't. They're also the only option on the list that don't require a tree to use. Hang-on tree stands are the simplest option: they simply attach to a tree with a belt, chain, or other safety measure, and a hunter uses their own climbing sticks or ladder to access it. They allow for a little more flexibility when hunting, so it's a good pick if you're well-versed in setting them up and want to purchase a few for your property. Finally, climbing stands have climbing aids attached to them already, and don't require tree sticks or other ladders to get up a tree. You should be familiar with how to use one before you take it with you on a hunt: it's broken up into two sections separated by a tether, and you use your hands and feet to shimmy up the tree.
After looking at the options, we think a price point under $250 qualifies as an affordable deer stand, because ladder and tripod options generally clock in at higher prices. Check out our picks below:
1. The Best Affordable Ladder Deer Stand
This ladder tree stand from Guide Gear is made for two people (or just one person who likes a little extra room), stands a little over 16 feet high, and features a flip-top shooting rail. The seats are padded and comfortable, and reviewers are impressed with the quality for the price. One writes that it's "very secure, very stable, and [has] lots of room." It weighs 76 pounds and supports up to 500 pounds.
2. An Affordable One-Person Ladder Deer Stand
This one-man ladder treestand is easy to set up, has a flip-up shooting rail, and is comfortable for those up to 300 pounds. If you're looking for a stand to set up quickly, but still want it to remain in the same spot for an entire season, a one-man stand is probably a sure bet. Personally, if I can find a two-man ladder stand for a similar price as a one-man stand I will err on the side of the larger stand for added comfort. However, one-man stands are easier to maneuver and easier to transport, so we've included options for both.
3. The Best Affordable Tripod Deer Stand
This tripod stand was our affordable pick in our tripod round-up, so of course it's worth adding to this one. It's 10-feet high, has a 360-degree rotating mesh seat that's height-adjustable, and includes ground stakes for extra security. The weight capacity is 300 pounds and it accommodates both bows and firearms equally as well.
4. The Best Affordable Hang-On Deer Stand
I like the fixed position on stands because I have a wide angle to shoot from, especially if I'm using my bow. This one from Guide Gear has a large foot stand to help you comfortably sit for hours and stand up when needed. It's easy to set up and holds up to 300 pounds. Again, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to actively wear a safety harness and install a safe line your first trip up.
5. The Best Affordable Climbing Deer Stand
This climber from Sportsman's Guide is durable, reliable, and fits trees up to 20 inches in diameter. It comes equipped with adjustable nylon foot straps, cam-buckle straps to lock the feet in place, and a full-body safety harness. It weighs 33 pounds and has padded armrests and a backrest. I always look for a really comfortable seat like this one in a climber. It allows me to sit long hours in the woods when most hunters are otherwise grabbing lunch or coffee.
This article was published in 2018 and has since been updated by The Wide Open Spaces Commerce Team.
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