Skip to main content Skip to main content

September Is Coming: Now Is the Time to Check Your Treestands

September Is Coming: Now Is the Time to Check Your Treestands
Photo Credit: Nicole Belke

I liken treestand repair to gun cleaning: No normal person looks forward to it, but it’s vitally important. Indeed, making sure your treestands are in tip-top shape is likely the most important task you’ll perform all year. Other than saving your neck, last-minute tweaks can also be critical to your success, as one squeak from a loose screw can send a big buck sprinting away faster than you can mumble “greased lightning.”

Of course, hunters are best served by bringing all their treestands in after the season and stacking them in a rat-free shed or garage. But it’s often impractical to pack up all those metal ladder stands. So hunters should venture into the field a month before the season starts to check them, too.

Inspection

First, inspect all your stands for signs of wear or damage. Every part of a treestand is important, so check all cables, bolts, straps, the platform, and the seat. Tighten all the screws and grease all the moving parts. Consider camo duct tape for any foam arm cushions that are coming off, or replace them. Spray paint worn metal that gleams in the sunlight. Most importantly, thoroughly inspect the stand’s hang strap for wear. If there is any question at all about this nylon strap—if it shows fraying or is extremely faded or brittle—replace that thing now! In fact, go to Tractor Supply and buy at least one quality ratchet strap for each of your treestands. It is possibly the best and cheapest investment in your health that you’ll make all year.

Double Up on Straps

As you climb into each stand, make sure all screws and bolts on the ladder are tight. If you use strap-on tree steps, make darn sure each of them looks and feels solid. Once in the stand, attach your safety harness and then place a new ratchet strap around the stand. Mark the straps with the Sharpie by writing the dates that both were hung with a piece of duct tape wrapped around the tag end of the strap. The idea here is to always have two straps on each treestand, so if one fails, the other will save you. Next year, remove the old strap and replace it with a new one. Do this every year for all of your stands.


Stop Squeaks and Cut Shooting Lanes

Next, sit down and stand up as if you were shooting. Move around and shift your weight to identify any squeaks and fix them by lubing or tightening. Look out over your field of fire and mentally note branches that need to be cut for your shooting lanes. If you’ve brought a friend, now’s the time to use the laser pointer to point out limbs that need clearing so that he/she can lop them off from the ground with the pruning pole.


Strongly consider cutting strips of grip tape and placing them on all parts that will be stepped on, such as your ladder rungs and platform. Some hunters love to line the standing platform with carpet, but it gets old and ratty fast. So if you do choose carpet, plan on replacing it often.

Make Notes, Prep for Opening Day, Return if Necessary

In your notebook or smartphone, label each stand as you check it and note any tools, materials, or fixes it may still need so you can return soon and bring everything necessary for the final touches. (This is especially important if you have homemade wooden treestands.) Finally, hang a pull-up rope, screw in a few gear hangers, and attach your lifeline if you plan to use one.

I realize this is a lot of work that many of us neglect each year, but you absolutely need to check and, if necessary, repair your stands annually. Your hunting future depends on it.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Wheeler Sporter Bi-Weaver Style Picatinny Rings

New for 2021: Wheeler Sporter Bi-Weaver Style Picatinny Rings

New from Wheeler is the Sporter Bi-Weaver Style Picatinny Rings for all of a shooter's favorite optics.

Pheasant Egg Rolls Recipe

Pheasant Egg Rolls Recipe

These egg rolls come together fast, making them a great choice for an afternoon snack, a tailgate appetizer or as a side dish with an Asian-inspired wild-game dinner. No birds in the freezer? Use the same technique with ground venison.

New for 2021: BOG Clandestine and Blood Moon Trail Cameras

New for 2021: BOG Clandestine and Blood Moon Trail Cameras

The BOG Blood Moon and Clandestine are two new trail cameras with some great features.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Petersen's Hunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now