Use the Buddy System When Hanging Treestands

Hanging treestands with a friend (or two!) is faster, safer and increases your chances for success on whitetails.

Use the Buddy System When Hanging Treestands

During my 40-year career of pursuing whitetails, I’ve probably hung more than 500 portable treestands in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Knock on oak — I have yet to have an accident. That said, I can remember several times when I was a close to trouble.

One thing I’ve learned is going solo can be a recipe for disaster. Can you go it alone and do it safely? Absolutely. But using a buddy system is faster, safer and increases your chances for success on whitetails.

With help from a friend, you can divide the work from the moment you leave the truck. Climbing trees can be hard work, especially as a hunter gets older, so it’s good to take turns going up and down trees when hanging more than one stand. Of course, a Lifeline or similar safety product allows you to stay connected from moment you leave the ground and should be worn at all times. With a buddy it’s easier to tie in the bow hauling rope at the correct height, too.

Why does the buddy system of hanging treestands increase your chances for success on whitetails? Two words: shooting lanes.

When you hang a treestand solo, you must stand or sit in the stand and picture where a deer might travel. You trim as much as needed from the stand, but then must climb down and trim what you can from the ground, looking back at the stand and guessing the path of your arrow. It’s especially difficult to determine whether branches and twigs halfway from your treestand to the deer trail are in the way. Finally, when you trim shooting lanes solo, it’s easy to say “good enough” because the task is difficult and time consuming. Of course, this comes back to bite you when you eventually hunt the stand and realize more needed to be trimmed.

With the buddy system, one person is in the stand while the other plays the role of the deer. You both can be trimming shooting lanes. And that halfway branch; is it in the way? With two sets of eyes on it, from the deer trail and the stand, you can determine whether it needs to go. 

Ladder stands are especially difficult (read dangerous) to place solo because of their weight and bulk. Plus, you have nobody holding the ladder as you climb to attach the top rachet strap to secure the stand. In my opinion, every ladder stand requires at least two people to safely place it on a tree.

Ladder stands are a two-man or three-man job. Period.
Ladder stands are a two-man or three-man job. Period.

This late summer and early fall as you hang portable treestands and place ladder stands in preparation for deer season, use the buddy system. As I stated before, it’s faster, safer and more effective. Plus, it’s a lot more fun.

Photos courtesy of Summit Treestands Facebook

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