5 Ways to Use Your Tree Climbing Stand in the Offseason

Do you use a tree climbing stand to hunt deer? Here's how you keep the dust off of it in the summer.

During the summer doldrums, or what you and I might refer to as the "black hole" before deer hunting begins again, we all have the tendency to bump into our favorite hunting gear down in the basement, including our venerable tree climbing stands.

Certainly not everyone owns the same type of tree climbing stand, but for those of us that love these patently mobile stands, we have an affinity for being in them even when it's not deer season.

Now has come the time to get them out to review and renew the thirst to attach it to a tree and at least pretend we are making it useful.

Of course, we don't recommend using any tree climbing stand without a safety harness, even if you're just going a few feet off of the ground, but with that in mind, it's about time that you dusted yours off and put it to good use.

Since a climbing stand can be more effective than, for instance, a ladder stand, lone wolf hunters can set up virtually anywhere, which is an especially valuable factor for bowhunters.

While hang-on treestands have an open front like any good stand, they're still stuck in one spot until you bring out the ladder.

This all makes the climbing treestand one of the most useful tools in our deer hunting repertoire, and the stuff of legend when it comes to taking that big buck in the fall. There's only one problem: It's not fall!

In lieu of our love of the pursuit, and chasing deer until we can't walk any more, we can always use the dog days of summer to relax in our climber or even put it to work.

Let me begin with a quick proviso: not everyone owns an old-school Tree-Lounge tree climber like mine. When I first received this venerable stand (from the original manufacturers), it came with a long instruction booklet, and a 30-minute video to boot.

Even with the multiple warnings and alerts they provided therein, even they said that when everything was taken into account and the hunter was strapped in with the provided full-body tree harness, you could even sleep in it!

With that in mind, here are five unique ways I can use my tree climbing stand on a tree without the need of my camo.

1. Reading

tree climbing stand

Craig Raleigh

Whether you like the sun or the shade, relaxing in a tree while you read your favorite hunting book was never as enjoyable as it is while being up a tree. And when you're done:

2. Take a Nap

tree climbing stand

Craig Raleigh

There's nothing quite like a relaxing snooze, except when that snooze happens in a tree!

If your stand allows the sitter to kick back a little and enjoy the inside of their eyelids, then attach it to the base of a tree and just let it happen. Don't forget your phone or radio just in case you oversleep.

3. Fishing

tree climbing stand

Craig Raleigh

That's right: fishing. Whether you put it next to your favorite bullhead pond or the nearby creek, it can hold your rod or your lazy rear-end while you wait for your creel to fill.

Hint: You may want to revisit #2 on this list again while you wait.

4. Workout

tree climbing stand

Craig Raleigh

Okay, so you're like me and you need to feel like you've accomplished something during your off-hours. Hanging your stand—just about any stand—high enough to get your feet off of the ground can make for some great calisthenics, and maybe just get your hide a little tanned as well.

Don't forget to treat that thing like it's 20-feet up: make sure that it's attached correctly or it will clobber you right after you hit the ground. If your stand doesn't have an included tree strap like mine does, don't even try this.

5. Hang a Bat House

Yeah, I said that: hang a bat house. Again, this is inherently dangerous so trust me when I say I was wearing my full-body safety harness, and you should too. If we're going to climb during the fall and winter months when the conditions can be seriously cold and icy, then why not during the warm months?

You can see that I had already placed the main frame and was going up to insert the interior piece, but in the days between the two, it had swelled and I couldn't get it in. What you can't see is that I was wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a mosquito head net.

The vantage point that you get from a tree climbing stand is much the same as any stand, it's just that you feel more free to adjust your height, or even better, your location. Seeing deer continue to pass you from where you are and not being able to get a shot off doesn't have to be a big frustration.

An aluminum climber treestand in the place of ladder treestands can be the difference between the best climbing bowhunting experience you can have and seeing nothing. If you just want to be an old man and kick back on the armrests and the footrest, then so be it.

When deer season comes around again, you'll be glad that you got yours out and got familiar with it all over.

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