Tree Stand Innovations

climbing tree stands
The portability offered by climbing treestands can play a key role in staying mobile and being able to hunt over fresh sign, leading to higher success rates. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

When push comes to shove, the only other piece of hunting gear besides a bow that will actually make a big difference in the outcome of a hunt is the tree stand. Sure bowhunters can hunt from the ground or climb a tree and stand on a limb, but they would be severely limited in location and comfort. A tree stand is extremely important to success, and helping your customers choose one that complements their favorite style of hunting will free them to hunt with much greater enjoyment. Also, caring enough to understand their needs will also impress them with your professionalism and service. In this article you will read the pros and cons and selling points of several treestand styles and offer some hard-working models in each category.

Trends

Manufacturers are making their treestands bigger, more comfortable and safer. These are the three key areas of continued change and they are changes that will appeal to your customers. Tree adjustability is another area of tree stand design that is getting some attention. While an extremely adjustable fixed position tree stand may be a niche product, it is a valuable niche.

Bigger

A big treestand is like a luxury box at the ballpark; even though the game remains the same and the view doesn’t change, it just feels a lot better. There is not one bowhunter that would prefer to sit in a small tree stand over a large one. Sure you have to carry the larger tree stand and it may not fit as easily into the fork of a gnarled oak tree, but these are minor points compared to the increased sense of security and greater maneuverability these stands provide.

Only a few years ago a platform treestand with a platform that was more than two feet square was considered giant. Now, the average platform tree stand has a platform that is 30 inches long and 27 or 28 inches wide. They will just keep getting bigger until they reach a point of diminishing returns. That will come when the tree stands get too bulky to be considered a portable tree stand and they begin to attract the attention of passing deer. Tree stands will reach 36 inches long and 30 inches wide before bowhunters start to worry that they are getting too big. There are a few tree stands this size on the market already, but most still have room to grow. And grow they will.

lone wolf tree stand
Today’s treestand platforms are getting bigger with each passing year, like this Lone Wolf. Lone Wolf is making a groundbreaking push towards a bigger, lighter treestands using new age materials and alloys. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Size has really become a selling point in ladder tree stands. Always in the past ladder tree stands were cramped, uncomfortable and basically a bad time all the way around. But, with the average age of today’s bowhunters increasing it is only reasonable that ladder tree stands (the most secure of all manufactured tree stands) should also become more intensely designed. The trend here is toward treestands that will seat more than one person. There are at least seven double ladder tree stands on the market designed for two hunters, whether it is a father/child, husband/spouse or grandfather/grandchild these tree stands apparently are finding demand or they wouldn’t continue to flourish.

According to one tree stand manufacturer, “Double ladder stands are selling surprisingly well. It will never be our most popular stand but we get a lot of guys hunting leases and clubs that are buying these stands and then just leaving them in good spots.” If you have spots where you lease one of these giant super comfortable double ladd stands might sell better than you think.

There is no question that size is a selling point. While some bowhunters are specifically looking for a tree stand that’s easy to carry and set up, most will prefer the bigger tree stands when given a choice.

More comfortable

Thick padding everywhere and a great seat design are the real source of comfort in a treestand, and there is no style that has made comfort more attainable than climbing stands. It seems that every climbing stand on the market is at least as comfortable as a recliner. However, in the past two or three years, tree stand manufacturers have taken their cue from the success of their climbing stands to make their fixed position stands more cushy, as well.

The wide webbing and thick padding on most climbing stands makes them a very comfortable option for all-day hunts. The 2011 Lone Wolf stands will now feature a pad almost an inch thicker. As a die-hard, that means more of a comfortable time in the stand, and one more excuse not to quit out early. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Many fixed position stands now have built-in padded backrests. While many think this may be overkill with a fixed position stand – especially one with a bench seat that you don’t sink down into. Like size, comfort is a tremendous advantage. A big, comfortable treestand is hard to resist and will help you to stay out in the woods longer. More hours in the tree means more success.

Safer

As treestands get bigger they automatically become at least a little safer. If nothing else, they produce a feeling of greater security as you move about on the platform. A lot more tree stands strap onto the tree in two places – one high and one low – for a super-solid lockup.

Another big step that tree stand manufacturers are taking to assure safety is including better tree stand safety belts and tree stand safety harnesses with their tree stands or at least offering them as options.

Adjustable

There are several treestands on the market that are designed for total adjustability to fit any kind of tree no matter how twisted or crooked it may be. If you hunt in a region of the country where crooked trees are the norm (river bottom cottonwoods, Texas mesquite and live oak flats and many parts of the Midwest come to mind immediately) these tree stands are a great option.

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