The Tree-Hugger's Guide to Treestand Crossbow Hunting

by admin on 12-30-2014 in Hunting

From high above the forest floor, you can spot a trophy buck cautiously approaching your location much easier than you can on the ground. It's also easier to determine from a treestand perch whether the crunching of leaves is a game animal, a noisy squirrel digging for nuts or a fellow hunter. These are just two reasons why treestands are popular with so many crossbow hunters. If you've been interested in trying your hand at treestand hunting but haven't been sure where how to start, the following tips will help you get your feet — and crossbow — off of the ground.

Kevin's Tree Stand

Photo by Flickr user laffy4k

Safety First

Climbing high up in trees and carrying guns or crossbows is a recipe for disaster. Never carry your crossbow while climbing up or down from your treestand. Instead, you should always use a haul line to bring your gear to your treestand and then back to earth.

In addition, you should always wear a climbing belt to prevent you from falling all the way to the ground. Even if you believe you are an expert climber, the unexpected could always happen. For example, a hunter was killed in the Pennsylvania wilderness last year when his tree stand malfunctioned. In fact, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources states that falls from tree stands are the No. 1 cause of injuries to hunters.

Get Educated

Hunter education courses are now required in many states before you can get a hunting license. Even if your state doesn't require a hunter course, it is a good idea to take one if you are planning on using a tree stand. Many courses offer basic safety instruction on their use, including information about the various types of platforms available and recommendations on their care, such as how long a stand can be left up safely.

Location, Location, Location

Placing your treestand too high or too low on a tree or in the wrong location could result in a very boring day for you. Situate your treestand just high enough so that the game animals you are hunting won't be able to pick up your scent, but not so high that you will have a hard time striking your target. As for location, look for a tree that is situated close to a known game trail or close to a source of food — such as a corn field or near a watering hole. Try to place your stand downwind of the direction you believe deer or other prey will be approaching your location.

Stay Alert

Long hours up in a tree waiting for a deer or other game to show up could make you sleepy. Of course, the last thing you want to do is nod off while perched high up in a tree. Don't take chances. If you are starting to get sleepy, it's time to head down.

Phone a Friend

Before you head out to the woods, make sure to let someone in your family or your friends know where you are heading and for how long you're planning to hunt. That way, if you don't return by a certain time, your point of contact will know that something may have happened and can either go looking for you or alert the authorities that you may be in trouble.

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