The Definitive Pre-Season Treestand Checklist

Ready to hunt that treestand? Not without this pre-season checklist.

A lot goes into a hunting season, and for those hunting from treestands, there's even more.

Not everyone knows about all the things that should be done before a hunting season can truly begin, and that list becomes more important when a treestand comes into play.

For explanation purposes, we've divided the pre-season checklist into two sections: Safety, and The Hunt. Both should be self-explanatory, but don't neglect either one.

Please enable Javascript to view this content


Basic operation

Make sure your stand, whether it's mobile or permanent, is in good working order. By that we mean checking bolts and screws for tightness, welds for weak areas, and mechanisms for any trouble spots.

Noticing a malfunction and addressing it now, and hopefully on the ground, will make things a whole lot safer in the long run.

Master the safety harness

It goes without saying you should be using one, but if you're unfamiliar, or got a new one this year, now's the time to test it out and get the process down.

Ideal height

Just because you see a great-looking tree from the ground, doesn't mean you're going to like what you see from high up its trunk. Find the sweet spot now, and make sure you have cleared obstacles like larger branches.

Emergency plan

It might sound a little silly, but not a season goes by without hearing about someone seriously injured from a treestand fall. If that were to happen, what's your plan?

Anytime you go hunting you should let people know where you'll be and for how long, but if you're treestand hunting, make sure you have some way to communicate should you encounter a disaster. Will your phone me on you, and will it work? If not, do you have a satellite phone or some sort of signal device? Could you last a night in your treestand if somehow you weren't able to get down?

You could even consider attaching a survival kit to your treestand, or at least adding it to the things you bring up with you.

Think about this stuff ahead of time, and it you'll be closer to worry-free once you reach the season.

The Hunt


Entering and leaving the area your treestand is in should be one of the first things you address. Are you able to do it in cover, relatively undetected? If not, are you able to arrive extra early and stay extra late?

Don't let a great treestand location be jeopardized because of neglecting to consider your entrance and exit strategy.


Does the treestand visibly stick out too much? What can you do to create more cover?

Think about synthetic elements like fake Christmas tree branches, and make sure you're still in hiding without compromising your shooting lanes. Which reminds us...

Clear the lanes

Right alongside maintaining the cover is clearing your shooting lanes. Make sure that you're trimming branches enough to keep clear shots available.

Gear protection

Whether you're climbing with a bow, a scoped rifle, or anything else, you want to make sure you can get it up and down without issues. Do you have a good scope cover? Is your sling sticky enough to prevent slippage? Make sure you gather everything you'll be taking up to the stand and figure out how you'll get it in as few trips as possible.

Use a TreePod

The Deadshot TreePod is easily one of the coolest new hunting accessory that's shown up in a while.This smart addition to any treestand makes a steady shoot a far more achievable thing.

Take care of these steps, be smart about it, and let the good luck roll in. By following this checklist, you're at least increasing your odds.