Hunting is something that’s inherent in the average human, and it has expressed itself in many forms—from archery to picking a girl up at a bar. But you know that in many ways these two activities are quite similar. Guys would understand this best. Sorry, ladies.
Disclaimer: We are, in no way, comparing the beautiful feminine human to an animal. This is solely for the sake of explanation. We are totally pro-female!
So first, there’s the random walking into the bar or club for some drinks, looking all suave and unassuming with your pricey smartwatch, after your friends have jibed the life out of you for being the only one without a girlfriend. That’s you walking into the jungle with your gear: blind and all
, getting ready to set up.
Next, there’s the drinking at the bar and the surreptitious glances at all the ladies around, looking furtively for the one that might just become “the one.” That’s you setting up your ladder tree stand and other gear and then climbing up on top to wait and observe for any movement of game.
Now, when you’re “observing” as a dude, we all know the importance of not giving anything away until you find the potential “the one” and, even when you’ve found the potential “the one,” you still don’t give away too much until you’ve hit the bull’s eye. Same with observing prey. Stealth is king.
The same way you don’t want “the one that might become ‘the one’” thinking you’re an animal that’s after everything in skirts, or some psychopathic creep that wants to stalk her, is the same way you don’t want the prey catching you looking for it. It’ll either fight or fly. And none of these options make for a successful, or even exciting, expedition.
You must remain a Casper. Inaudible, invisible, and simply non-existent to your prey.
Moving on, when you’ve zeroed in on the one that might be “the one,” then you’ve got to go for the kill. She should notice you noticing her and then you can seal the deal with your wit and some humor. As for hunting, though, that’s where the dichotomy differs slightly.
While a woman is a highly intelligent being with a mind of her own, and can reject you even after all your wit, humor, and chivalry, an animal is sorta different. In the case of “picking up,” there is an interaction and, as such, a choice on the part of the lady.
In hunting, there’s no interaction here; you’re not in the wild with your bow or gun to look for a new pet. And your target has no choice; the buck essentially stops with you and you must make that kill.
Therefore, the hunted must remain clueless at all points until the deal is sealed. And a ladder tree stand plays a pretty big role in ensuring that.
Whether you’re new to the craft or not, if you’re a hunt-enthusiast at all, you know the predominant role that ladder tree stands play in landing game. If the gun, or bow and arrow, is the pick-up line that lands the game, then the ladder tree stand is the six-pack superman build that opens the way in the first place.
On the other hand, we’d like to make an honorable mention to some awesome brands that would easily make it to our list of recommendations. You will be widening your already-great options by checking out X-Stand
and River's Edge Products
for top-quality and superior-performance ladder tree stands.
So you see, anything is relatable if you try. When you want to make that order for a ladder tree stand and you get stuck at some point, especially for the beginners, we doubt you’d forget this small comparison we put up for you. That’s the trick to remembering anything—the law of relativity! (Of course, not Einstein’s!)
There are so many ladder tree stands with widely varying prices, and the most important things to check for are the strength and safety of the ladder stand before making a purchase. In other words, these things matter more than the price, so don’t go around looking for cheap ladder tree stands at the expense of your life.
This point becomes even more poignant when we see that, oftentimes, the price of a good, comfy, safe ladder tree stand hardly ever leaves the confines of $50 to about $300. The high-end ones will, of course, go beyond, depending on how specific your needs are.
Aside from the danger to life, there’s the frustration of wasted time when you purchase a cheap ladder stand that’s as loud as a banshee and scares away your potential game so that you can’t find any throughout the day. It’s just best to invest in a good one that’ll last a lifetime.
If you’re an avid hunter, then you probably already know what to look out for in a good ladder tree stand, but we will still mention a few pointers that can help the amateur and professional hunter alike snag the best ladder tree stand that will deliver on your most basic expectations at the least—and your every expectation to the minutest detail at the most.
- Extension Height
Let’s get into the details already!
Construction and Design
There are a few things in particular that you should look out for when purchasing your ladder tree stand. These include the material, its finish, its extension height, what installation accessories it comes with, the space between the rungs, and even whether it has good seats or not! We know it’s a lot to go over, but very much worth it. Let’s take a look.
When considering the material of your ladder tree stand, it can’t be said enough—it’s either aluminum or steel. Of the two materials, aluminum is the more recent addition and understandably costs more, thanks to its amazingly light weight.
Both aluminum and steel are tough and will hold you up without wobbling or buckling. But when it comes to portability, aluminum definitely takes the shine off steel. It’s the reason many savvy hunters are getting the aluminum type more these days. And you might want to join the bandwagon this time. It’s a good one.
Before you get a ladder stand, make sure that it comes with a good finish. It’s going to be outdoors for the better part of its life, so it’s got to have some form of immunity from the elements, or else rust will take over the stand and you won’t be sure who the actual owner of your tree stand is anymore.
The height of your ladder stand also matters—it should be as high as reasonably possible. The higher up you are, the safer for you and the higher your chances of getting game. But then it shouldn’t be so high that it begins to give you the creeps. Aim for something that’s below your phobia level but still high enough.
The reason we advise that you get a really tall ladder tree stand is because, for most of these animals hunted, especially the deer, their most powerful sense is usually their nose. Ah… you don’t wanna mess with it. If you’re high enough, your “humany” scent will disperse before reaching the level of the animal, so you’ll be safer and your hunting will have a higher chance of success.
Of course, all ladder tree stands come with installation straps and harnesses and all that stuff, for securing the stand to the tree. It’s even better when they also come with a support bar half-way up the stand. That way, you’re even more confident.
The space in-between rungs is another point often overlooked but equally important—if it’s too far apart to be safe, return the stand. You’ll most likely slip off it sometime soon if you don’t. Rule of thumb is usually 12 inches. It’s safe and practical.
It’s probably only a novice that thinks that hunting involves shooting “pow!” “pow!” from start to finish like it’s an action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The more seasoned hunters and hunt-enthusiasts know that there’s the part of sitting calmly for long hours (most times a whole day), observing and monitoring the prey.
Hunting is a true test of patience.
It goes without saying, therefore, that your stand should come with seats. But not just any slab of plastic or metal. It should be cushioned, spacious, and comfy to enable you to enjoy sitting. You know how sitting in a place for too long can make anybody grouchy. How much more sitting on a lousy seat for 24 hours! Ha! Even a murderer on death row would probably have a better seat on “the chair.” And he is a murderer! On death row!
Performance and Ease of Use
It is vital the ladder tree stand you go for is safe (and has a TMA certification), comes in at a convenient weight, and is as quiet as possible—these things will ensure that you get the best use out of it. Let’s go into more detail below.
Perhaps the biggest question that should plague the mind of the potential ladder tree stand buyer is that of safety. Is that ladder tree stand you’re thinking of buying safe enough?
Consider that question seriously, because there will be a small circle of people who love you and will probably spend a large part of their lives praying earnestly for your return each time you pick up that thing and announce that you’re going for another adventure—adventure to you; probably a death-wish to them. Not everyone will understand the thrill you get from hunting.
The question of safety often leads to another, deeper question: is your stand Tree Stand Manufacturers’ Association (TMA)-certified? In case you didn’t know, all manufacturers are mandated to have their ladder tree stands and other related products “stamped with the seal of approval” by TMA after being subjected to a series of tests before they can be deemed safe enough for use.
It is of grave importance, therefore, that your ladder tree stand be TMA-approved, for your sake and for the sake of your loved ones.
Another practical issue you will need to consider with the purchase of a ladder stand is its weight. You’re going to be lugging this dude to your tree of choice and, even if you own a utility vehicle, there are still some parts of the wild that are impossible to navigate with a vehicle. So, you’ll most likely end up having to carry your stand yourself at some point in your trail of adventures.
So, you see why the weight matters. Luckily, most ladder tree stands come in at less than 100 pounds, and aluminum tree stands are even lighter. You might want to take advantage of the convenience that the aluminum tree stand affords you.
Now hush! You know you need to spring up on your prey, and that means you need to be as quiet as possible. It’s true that you know the rules and your partner does too—but does your ladder tree stand know the rules? Is it quiet?
If your ladder tree stands sound like a clashing cymbal while carrying or setting up, return it. It’s a waste of money and time.
Your darling ladder tree stand would tip off the entire family tree—ancestors and descendants—of deer, and you’ll be lucky to even catch a glimpse of just one juvenile deer all day.
Make sure your stand comes complete with all silencers possible unless you’re willing to spend the extra to get it done yourself. If you are, then go ahead and get any ladder tree stand you favor.
Now that you’ve read the preceding guide, you are definitely armed with all the necessary info to get the bang for your buck when it comes to purchasing a ladder tree stand. Go over to our reviews and see what’s rocking it among ladder tree stands in the market today.
You made it to the end of this review! Yay! Now go ahead and order that ladder tree stand like it’s yours already!