I grew up treestand hunting in Kansas and Illinois for whitetail deer. With over 30 years of treestand experience, I have developed my own routines, gear lists and habits that mostly serve me well. Here are a few items and situations that I consider important.
While bowhunting, I always remove my quiver from my bow once in the stand. My bow shoots well without the quiver because it is better balanced without it, and the quiver just adds bulk that has a possibility of getting snagged or banging against something when drawing back for a shot. Instead of hanging my quiver on the tree, I try to always have a backpack that has external pockets down low that I can stuff the head of the quiver into.
I always take extra screw-in hooks in case I feel like hanging something in a different place. Even if you sit in the same tree and are used to the same hanging spots, things could change. The wind could switch in a different direction and you might have to readjust and move something around. Also, sometimes I just change my mind about things and like to hang extra stuff just to do something differently.
I like to always wear my binoculars around my neck. I have tried hanging them on hooks or setting them on my hanging backpack, but it is just too far to reach when you need them in a split second as a deer approaches. It’s not worth taking a chance of them catching your movement, so I wear them around my neck. I always have to be careful of them interfering with my bow shot if I am shooting across my body. With just a little practice, this task is easy.
Next, I like to hang my rangefinder separate from my pack. I like to slowly stand up when there is no action and range my vicinity. I also like to hang my bow so it is right in front of me and not off to the side. I think most people do this, but some forget to move their bow hanger out of the way when the bow is retrieved so it is not in the way.
Finally, you have to deal with the bugs. If it is warm, mosquitoes are a nuisance. Bug spray is a no-no hunting deer, but I hear there are natural unscented repellants that work. I don’t know of any though, so I use a head net when needed. If it is fall or winter, ticks are my next concern and I use Rynoskin bug protectant clothing. It is available at Bass Pro Shops. It keeps out all bugs and prevents bites and I swear by it.