10 Ways to Improve Your Favorite Treestand

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

There’s Always Room for Improvement

Create Good Entry and Exit Cover

Image 1 of 10

1 | Create Good Entry and Exit Cover

Having a good entry and exit route is extremely important. Have a way in and a way out that won’t spook deer. To do this, use cover and terrain to hide from prying eyes, ears and noses of whitetails. Planting shields via corn or Egyptian wheat is one way to do that. Using ditches, ravines, creeks, hills and other physical barriers to slip away from deer is another. Your favorite stand will be so for much longer if you find a way in and out that doesn’t spook deer.

Image 1 of 10

Add Felt Strips or Cloth Along Noisy Contact Points

Image 2 of 10

2 | Add Felt Strips or Cloth Along Noisy Contact Points

I always try to make sure my treestands are quiet. If they aren’t, they get worked on. Adding felt or some other cushion to noisy contact points could just save your hunt. Plus, it’ll give you more confidence during that moment when deer are walking into range. And we all like confidence.

Image 2 of 10

Add a Comfortable Seat

Image 3 of 10

3 | Add a Comfortable Seat

It’s impossible to tame those all-day sits without an acceptable seat. Make sure you do a routine maintenance check on your stand, and while you’re at it, replace that flat, hard seat with something that’ll treat you right.

Image 3 of 10

Analyze the Right Height

Image 4 of 10

4 | Analyze the Right Height

I prefer to be around 20-22 feet high. That’s my desired height when bowhunting whitetails. However, it’s silly to believe that I’ll be able to hang every stand at that height. Trees. Limbs. Terrain. And tons of other things get in the way of that. Because of this, I always check the view as I’m going up the tree. Sometimes things look a lot better from 17 or 18 feet than 20 or 21, and vice versa.

Image 4 of 10

Add a Lifeline

Image 5 of 10

5 | Add a Lifeline

If you aren’t putting safety first, you should be. Attach a lifeline to every tree you have a stand in. This simple act could just save your life one day. You’ll be glad you bought the $10 rope and 10 minutes it took to do so if/when it does.

Image 5 of 10

Hang It Leaning Slightly Backward

Image 6 of 10

6 | Hang It Leaning Slightly Backward

Don’t hang treestands so they’re leaning forward or sitting perfectly level. You want to hang them so they’re leaning slightly backward. Not much. Just a few degrees. This will cause for a better experience in the treestand. Not to mention, the more comfortable you are, the longer you’ll be able to sit still.

Image 6 of 10

Cut Shooting Lanes

Image 7 of 10

7 | Cut Shooting Lanes

Cutting shooting lanes is paramount. One of the worst feelings is putting in the time to pinpoint a deer, do the hard work to get yourself in position, only to see the deer walk through in range without a shot opportunity. Trim those limbs. But remember, don’t trim too much. There’s a fine line between cutting adequate shooting lanes and chopping down the forest.

Image 7 of 10

Hang Some Cover Around It

Image 8 of 10

8 | Hang Some Cover Around It

I love having cover around me in the treestand. Sometimes adding cover isn’t necessary, especially if you’re in a cedar tree. Adding cover is a great way to stay hidden, though. My favorite way is to cut cedar branches, pull them up into the stand with a pull-up rope, and tie them onto branches around me. Having cover behind you and up to your mid-section can help keep you hidden. I’ve gotten away with a lot of movement in treestands where I’ve done this. Leave holes and gaps in the cover to shoot through. And you need to be able to stand up and shoot over the cover that you’ve added, too.

Image 8 of 10

Add Some EZ Hangers

Image 9 of 10

9 | Add Some EZ Hangers

Nobody likes holding their backpack, bow and everything else while in the stand. Screw in some Realtree EZ Hangers. They’ll keep all of your stuff out of the way and easy to access once you need it. It can mean the difference in getting a quick shot off and missing an opportunity.

Image 9 of 10

Set the Trap

Image 10 of 10

10 | Set the Trap

This will be different for everyone. How you set the trap will vary based on state laws, location, time of year, public vs. private, etc. But there are many ways to do so. You can cut down trees and pile brush to steer deer where you want them to go. Maybe you’ll plant food plots. Adding a water source is good too. Mock scrapes don’t hurt, either. You can even put out minerals or bait. Your specific situation will dictate what is best for you. But it never hurts to make the location more desirable to deer.

Still need to get the basics first? Check out our related content below.

Read: 5 Characteristics of a Bullet-Proof Deer Stand Location

Click here for more deer hunting articles, galleries and videos.

Follow us on Facebook.

Image 10 of 10

The off-season is the best time to get treestand work done. Why? Because of pressure. Hang most of your treestands now and you don’t have to worry about the pressure it puts on deer. Wait until late summer or early fall and that’s a whole different ball game. But regardless of when you take care of your treestands, there’s always ways to improve them.