There is no form of cover in the woods more effective with the treestand. Getting yourself elevated and above the game puts you at a notable advantage from errant scents and visual cues that can give away your location. With an effective treestand you can practically be on top of an animal and it won’t know you’re there.
Hunting from a treestand, however, requires a enormous patience to remain seated for hours on end in complete silence waiting for an animal to come your way. That’s why it’s so important that you’re comfortable in the field. There’s no reason to be miserable waiting for that big moment.
The evolution of treestands have come a long way since the first hunters pinned some boards to a tree and climbed into its branches to get a better shot. Today’s treestand accessories offer a world of possibilities. But you can only do so much with limited space.
It’s usually a tight spot at 30 feet in the air, but here are nine ways you can trick out your treestand to make it more comfortable and effective.
Whatever type of treestand you choose, it’s a good idea to cover it in camouflage. Camo makes everything more effective. Even though you’re some distance in the air and animals are unlikely to spot you, it’s still a good idea to envelope your stand in a universal blind cover, which you can pick up for just $20 at Sportsmansguide.com.
While you’re probably not going to have as much success hunting in the rain as you would otherwise, it’s still a good idea to have an umbrella above your treestand for the occasional shower and even the beating sun when it makes its way through the trees. I wouldn’t bother with a robust roofing system that requires you climb even higher into the tree to erect it. Rather consider a quick pop-up umbrella you can also use elsewhere. Here’s one at BassPro.com for $30.
When it comes to sitting for hours on end, nothing is more important than a comfortable seat. Most treestands come with thin foam padding, which isn’t going to cut it. Consider the Summit Treestand Surround Seat with padded sides and ample back support. It creates an enclosure that helps fight fatique, and also has convenient storage for $90 at Cabelas.
There is never enough room to store your gear in a treestand, especially if you’re up there with two people. For bowhunter’s it’s even more difficult. To safely store things such as your bow, rifle, binoculars or backpack you want a good hanger system like the HME Super Hanger at Sportsman’s Guide.
Most treestands are made out of metal, which has a tendency to be noisy when struck. For an inexpensive solution take pieces of foam rubber and zip-tie them to the steel railings. Along the same lines, any moving parts can be wrapped with hockey tape to reduce squeaking.
Add grip tape
To the floor of your treestand and the rungs of each ladder, consider adding strips of grip tape to prevent slipping especially in the morning when condensation can make it slippery.
Add cup holders
Snacks and drinks are important when you’re sitting somewhere aimlessly for several hours. Cup holders are absolutely essential. Just pick up a set of cheapies at the local walmart that mount to the rail and you’re all set.
Now what’s the point of doing all this if nobody gets to see it, right. For those fame seekers and glory hounds who want to caputre all the action, there are camera mounts that you can buy, which strap to the tree with a quick-release camera mount. On the Muddy Basic Camera Arm, the mount adjusts 360 degrees and swings a full 180. $34 at Amazon
Erect a satellite dish and solar panel
Now this is taking things a step toward the extreme we fully realize, but if you really want to get comfortable in a treestand — short of hoisting an entire school bus 28 feet in the air like this guy — then we are throwing out there the idea of erecting a satellite dish and solar panel to accommodate high speed internet and cable television. Again, just throwing it out there.
Photo credit: Flickr