View Full Version : What gear do you take when hunting from a treestand?

November 11, 2005, 12:16
Hello, this is going to be my first year hunting for deer and I just bought a treestand so I'd like to know what gear do you guys take with you when you hunt and how do you carry it? I was thinking about buying a back pack or something but I dont think that I can carry both things on my back so any advice you have for me will be well received. Thanks.

November 11, 2005, 12:40
So, you will be packing in the tree stand AND your gear at the same time?

Is there any way that you can take the stand in a day-2-3 beforehand?
The reason I mention it is that you sure don't want to be clanking around and setting that stand up at the same time of your hunt...if you can help it.
If you can, find a tree and rig the thing up and let the new smell disipate for a couple of days prior to your hunt. The critters around there will get use to it being there as well and it will be better on your back.

Don't forget to take a safety strap to lock yourself in when up in the stand.
Also consider the following:
1. If your going to field dress the animal, take your knives, gloves and assorted other cleaning gear.

2. Rifle? DO NOT FORGET to take a lense cloth for your scope. That is one thing I always forget. Rifle/scope rides in a heated vehicle on the way there and sure enough, condensation builds up on the outside of the lenses.

3. Non-crunchy and non-stinky munchies. Don't be bringing crackers and sardines if you get my meaning. Fig bars and beef jerky do it for me.

4. First aid kit. You never know when one of those flying leopard badgers is going to attack.

5. Communications. Cell phone or a GMRS. You never know when you might need it but do keep it off/silenced when not in use.

6. Bottled water. The thicker the bottle, the less likely it will make noise when you use it. Those thin bottles crackle and snap just sitting in the backpack.

7. Duct tape. You never know when something needs to be tied up, repaired, or otherwise secured while up in the stand. You know, some of those limbs that are in your way are better to be pulled back and secured instead of cut and left on the forest floor.

8. Depending on your application, a compass or GPS. Every year, we have to go searching for somebody who is lost, wayyyy after dark as well as picking hunters up walking beside the road who started out 4 miles away and got lost.

9. Patience.

10. Patience.

11. Camera. You will need to be able to snap a few pics so you can show off the critter.

Good luck on your hunt and let us know how you did.

Timber Wolf
November 11, 2005, 14:59
Piece of nylon rope to lift your (round unchambered) rifle up after you yourself have climbed up. Also useful for dragging your kill out. I have one made up and wrapped around a six-inch piece of broom handle. Beats the hell out of dragging deer by hanging onto horns, hoof, tail, gonads, etc.

November 11, 2005, 15:11
Thanks for all the useful advice Faltitude it was very helpful and you mentioned a bunch of things I didn't even think about. Timber, when you tie the deer up to take it out where do you tie the rope to? Thanks.

November 11, 2005, 15:18
You can carry most of your stuff in a regular backpack and set it down in the bottom of your stand or hang it on the tree behind you. Like stated above, be DARNED SURE YOU UNLOAD YOUR RIFLE BEFORE YOU GET IN THE STAND AND BEFORE YOU START TO CLIMB DOWN. Don't try to carry the rifle up, or down, with you, unload it and use the rope to pull it up and let it back down.

Also, think about how much coffee you drink before you go up there unless you are also carrying an empty bottle with you :)

The safety harness and strap is a must. You won't believe how easy it is to go to sleep while sitting there. Many are hurt every year by falling out of a stand.

November 11, 2005, 16:12
I'll put in another word for a harness and safety strap. A fall from 12+ feet can easily paralyze you or otherwise do a lot of damge.

November 12, 2005, 00:51
Use some scent blocker.

I got busted today by a doe that was going to go in my freezer. The youngster walked right out in my field of view, but the older, wiser deer stayed behind me and let out a snort.

November 12, 2005, 21:42
Never done this type of hunting, and won't. I find myself relocated to the eastern woods and would be ashamed to sit on my ass in a tree over a salt lick.

If you don't hunt alone, you're likewise a pussy.


November 12, 2005, 22:02
Knock your lights out, cowboy.

Might get kind of old chasin deer around in circles on a limited size tract of land. You own your own country?

I don't know who your calling names, but I don't think anyone said anything about having a crowd of people up in tree stands.

November 12, 2005, 22:13
WTF is that supposed to mean Treborer?


Timber Wolf
November 12, 2005, 22:43
Originally posted by chico80x
Thanks for all the useful advice Faltitude it was very helpful and you mentioned a bunch of things I didn't even think about. Timber, when you tie the deer up to take it out where do you tie the rope to? Thanks.

Around the head of the deer and the other end is tied to the center of the broom piece to allow two hands if need be. I guess I should explain my luck. I have had well hit deer run on me, and they always seem to run down hill into some mean bush. So when I find them it is not that far back (up out of the swamp/hollow/creek) to the road but I am trying to haul the SOB up, around, over, etc. I have seen harness arangements that are made for this chore but my rig is cheap and handy to have in a small butt or day pack "just in case".

I am taking steps to reduce my tracking chores however. I have been hunting with either a Rem 700 in 25-06 or a Savage 99 in .308 both charged with Hornady light mags. Since I finally woke up to the fact (I am a little slow at times) that I am not really getting shots beyond 100 yards anyway I have decided to hunt with a Marlin 45-70 this year. It helps that I just happened to come across a Marlin 45-70 at the flea market this past summer at a good price. She is sporting a nice 4X Leopold and I have some 300 grain jacketed hollow points loaded up a trifle stout that should be pure unadulterated hell on the white tails around here. Oh yes my little fury four legged forest friends, daddys coming soon to a tree stand near you and HE MEANS BIDNESS!:biggrin:

Timber Wolf
November 12, 2005, 22:58
Originally posted by Treborer
Never done this type of hunting, and won't. I find myself relocated to the eastern woods and would be ashamed to sit on my ass in a tree over a salt lick.

If you don't hunt alone, you're likewise a pussy.


Well, go on with your bad self. I am sure you are a fine sportsman briming with skills honed and knowledge gleened from decades of being a consumate woodsman but your post is totally lacking useful information of any sort. As for me, I will gladly continue to "sit on my ass over a salt lick" for the 3-5 times I manage to get away long enough to hunt this year.

November 13, 2005, 00:17
1) A buddy. Treborer must like being shot and bleeding to death in a ditch. Rifle season is too dangerous to be alone with nut jobs like Treborer and Kerry clawing thru the brush.

2) A light rifle that I'm familiar with. If hunting a field of 150 yards plus, a long rifle that is scoped. If hunting woods of 150 yards or less, I love my ak or FAL with iron sights.

3) Water.

4) A butt pad. Comfy and warm.

5) Layered clothes. Glove and poncho suggested. Also, some blaze orange for the Treborers.

6) Back pack.

7) Cleaning knives and gloves. One for skinning. One that is pointy for cutting the butthole.

8) Binocs. Do not use your scope unless you know you have a deer. Treborer probably uses his scope to see what comes out of the brush.

9) GPS.

10) Walkie Talkie wtih ear/mouth piece to talk with buddy if you need to. You can get these for under $50.

11) I never take food. Some folks do. Depends how far out you are going.

12) A rope. Use it to pull up the rifle and back pack. Again, don't pull up a chambered rifle. I tie my backpack up behind me, within reach.

13) Rest. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. Nothing worse that dozing off and waking to see that white tail disappearing into the brush.

Faltitude called it right on the stand and patience. If going to an area I have not hunted, I scout a week ahead and set up my stand. Rough to do on public land.

November 13, 2005, 09:16

I want to reinforce what others have already said. Since this is new to you, make sure , if at all possible, that you get that stand in the tree a day or so before the morning of the hunt. You need to be able to get used to that shooting perspective, and you'll be noisy as hell if you do it the morning of the hunt. Your shooting chances will be greatly diminished. This includes placement of your safety belt!
Pack what others have noted, probably you'll overpack but future hunts will give you the experience of what you don't need.
When you get out of your vehicle in the morning, DO NOT dress in all your clothing. Trust me, by the time you get in your tree, you'll be sweating if you are all bundled up. If you feel you can put your jacket on in the stand, that's where you should put it on. If you break a sweat going in, chances are good that you are gonna get cold fast.
Space on that platform is at a premium. The only thing that goes up with me besides my rifle is a fanny pack with essentials, that I will hang on a brach above me. You don't want to add anything that will limit your movement, it's gonna be limited enough. Don't leave any gear on the ground around your tree.
And it is very sage advice about watching your coffee intake. Shooting time for me next Saturday morning in northern Wisconsin is going to
be around 6:15am ish. Knowing my area, my likely morning shooting window is till 11am ish (dependant on weather and other factors). You don't want to be having to take a leak at 8 o'clock!

Best of luck and have a safe hunt!

November 13, 2005, 12:21
Originally posted by Treborer
Never done this type of hunting, and won't. I find myself relocated to the eastern woods and would be ashamed to sit on my ass in a tree over a salt lick.

If you don't hunt alone, you're likewise a pussy.


Well Trborer, each has a right to his own opinion and each has a right to hunt in his own fashion, but to resort to name calling?

I mean, I've tried chasing deer around the woods and all I get is tired and the deer standing at the treeline laughing at me.

Take into consideration that a tree stand has a purpose. It affords me to watch and learn. I can get a good feel for what cycle the deer are in, spot an obvious animal who genetically needs to be removed, and most importantly, learn the behavior patterns at close enough distance without spooking them by cracking limbs and crunching leaves. Culling comes into play here as well.
No matter who you are, you will not be able to walk in my woods without spooking every animal for a half mile. I don't care if your barefoot and from Botswana, you will not be able to stalk around here. I don't know how you hunt or your surroundings by which allows you to shoot from your truck or walking all day until you get lucky, but here, you have to sit tight and out of sight. By the way, I've never used a salt lick.

November 13, 2005, 16:51
While Faltitude's original list is an extremely good one, I didn't notice any mention of ammo for your rifle (maybe my eyes are just getting too old).

Bring ammo for your rifle. Bring the right ammo. Don't bring .308 Win. for your .270 Win. Judging from what a .308 case fired in a .270 looks like (and, no, it wasn't me), you might just fall out of the tree when you touch it off..)

But the correct ammo is good...


November 13, 2005, 17:33

Some would say that being able to stay warm while on the stalk is pussy. Try staying dead still, 10-15 feet in the air, with your shooting platform swaying back and forth, while it's snowing or -30F, or both. For 10 hours.

Hunting over salt or bait is illegal, at least in this part of woods.

You don't know what your talking about.

November 13, 2005, 19:20
Perhaps someone already mentioned this, but tree pegs or decent climbing sticks are essential if the tree hasn't enough branches to get you to your perch. I usually place my stands at 16' or higher depending on the terrain. I have some at 12' and others as high as 27'. Just remember the higher you go the smaller the kill zone when they're directly underneath you, at least with a bow.

November 13, 2005, 20:03
Here is what I carry in a small camo daypack (size of school backpack). I mainly carry extra clothes because I don't wear much at all while walking through the woods (I'd sweat too much then freeze) , then when I arrive at whatever location I picked out I put on my thermals and additional layers.

Front pocket

1. small flashlight

2. extra magazine with corect ammo

3. cell-phone or GRMS radio if hunting with buddy

Big compartment

1. Thermals, jacket, hunting gloves or whatever that hand warmer is called that is open on both ends and has a strap to go around you, ect....

2. Water bottle

3. Pee bottle, no ones mentioned it yet that I've noticed.

4. about 30-40ft of nylon rope/cord

5. binoculars

6. sometimes Field dressing knives and disposable gloves (that are packed out and properly disposed) depending on how far I'm going to be hunting from my vehicle. more than 30 minute time to drag deer out.

I also carry a foam pad on the outside of the daypack to keep my bum warm.

November 13, 2005, 22:42
I used to hunt stands that had burlap "blind" wrapped around them. I would get on my stand around 3 pm MAYBE 4 at the latest. I would always take a paperback with me. The deer didn't move till just before dark. Book gave me sumpin to do besides fidgit. Reading will keep you occupied AND still.

Kind of off the spirit of the thread, but I always kept a pair of plain brown jersey gloves on. Sit for trigger finger or page turning. It is surprising how a slight movement of a brown gloved hand is less spooky than the light colored flash of your hand. I have sat the stands for days on end just to watch the various actions of the wildlife. Like a coon and a doe having a Mexican standoff 20 yards from the stand. I would see what movement I could get away with before a deer bolted. I found that young bucks in full view of me would put up with more movement than a doe,,,,sometimes. I also found, and tested it time and time again, NEVER make eye contact with a deer you want to have stay put. In EVERY case of it, when I made full eye contact they were gone in a flash. I have had deer bleat, stomp, rear up on their hind legs. Seemingly to get me to move. Who knows what they are thinking. I dunno if I have told it on here before, but here goes. I was seriously considering shooting a buck that was stalking around the brush near me one evening. I had three does in and around me, easy pickings and one I had considered on several evenings prior. She was seal fat and sleek. Mr. Buck had few points, but an impressive spread. I was frozen as still as I could. Early season in N.C. still has plenny skeeters. Ol skeeter pitched on me and began draining my circulatory system. I literally watched the bastage swell. Still frozen, buck is not in the clear yet. Skeeter is swelling up the size of a dang peach ! Skeeter finally finishes his evening repast and goes airborne. He was apparently over weight for his A/C rating cause he slammed into the burlap wall and tumbled to the deck. My boot wasted his meal.

Never saw the buck again. I figgered I best ensure my nourishment after being bled like that so I took the doe.

Sorry for the long story on your thread chico80x.. Good luck on your hunt.

November 14, 2005, 09:44
In a gas mask bag I carry.

Bow tag (license)
Laser Range Finder
Orange marker ribbon - 1 roll
small container with 2 band aids and iodine cap
spare par -cord...about 20'
Cell phone but it's turned off. It's there for an emergency call
candy bar....whatever is on sale at the time

Edited: I forgot about my flashlight. One of those GI style but small version
it takes 2-AA batteries. I use it mostly at the Gun Season and I flash it
now and then as I cross open field. You never know who is out there
and I don't want to catch a 12 ga slug

Edited again: Grunt call, Doe Bleat

Note: the doe bleat calls in coyotes too

Edited again.....it got cold here, Those chemical hand warmers are life savers
I take two with me and two spares. they last quite awhile,
though. A few hours (that be quite a while)

November 14, 2005, 17:10
I own several climbers and I put them on a tree 2 weeks before season. Sometimes I move them around, but never the same day as I am hunting. I cut too many limbs and make too much noise setting up a climber.

Things to take. Climber already in the tree.

Drink-I use a hydration pack that is built into a backpack.
first aid kit
Knife-A good folder in case of a fall....straightblades are more dangerous in a fall
I always carry someting to eat. Sometimes my stomach growls so much that I am scared a deer will hear it, so I have to have food.
Rope- for dragging and lifting your rifle.
I always have a grunt call and sometimes carry rattle horns
I like to carry my cell phone(on vibrate)

In my backpack always....2 MRE's, a water filter, a lighter, a survival knife, 1st aid kit(a good one)

That is for hunting.....if TSHTF.....I have a bigger backpack!:wink:

November 14, 2005, 18:35
Originally posted by Treborer
Never done this type of hunting, and won't. I find myself relocated to the eastern woods and would be ashamed to sit on my ass in a tree over a salt lick.

If you don't hunt alone, you're likewise a pussy.

i agree with you to a point but can you define hunting alone? theres usually 4-5 guys in my camp and we all have radios and check in with each other but we usually go and do our own thing within a 4-5 mile radius.
what gets me is that tree stand sitting is becoming more popular in this neck of the woods yet when these guys dont get anything one of the excuses is a lack of a "tracking" snow:rolleyes:
treestands do have a useful purpose like if your hunting in a small area,bowhunting or if you have a health condition.i have accses to over 6000 acres so i have some room to run amok.i'd do a ground blind before i'd get up in one of those and that only if my legs cant take my up those hills anymore.

November 14, 2005, 20:48
Didn't mean to sound like an "A -Hole", it's just I feel you don't get the real experience of nature with a team of people and vehicles etc. tree climbing seats etc.

Truly with a lot of hunters out I wouldn't want to be on the ground either.

Hike alone, hunt alone, no backup, on foot, break an ankle you might die etc.

This manner of engagement with Nature will teach you more about yourself, and elevate your awareness level to a more appropriate consciousness, than blasting around on 4 wheelers with a base camp full of Buds, hey thats fun too, but , well try it, and compare.

Native American young men would go on a Quest alone, and that was with ancient weapons, sort of on that thread, a man has to reckon better and go with the flow of his surroundings, or die.

Hey anytime you get out into nature is mighty fine, however you do it!!


November 15, 2005, 16:50

Didn't mean to sound like an "A -Hole"

too late...

November 15, 2005, 19:16
Treb, going back to stories of my g-g-granfather who was full blood Cherokee, I remember him telling me that the prefered method of hunting he was taught, was to take perch in a tree along a game trail and wait. After hundreds of years, the method still holds.
I'll also mention that I hunt alone 90% of the time. If I die in the woods alone due to an accident, I'll consider myself very blessed to die in those surroundings.

Regal Beagal
November 15, 2005, 20:12
All the ideas aft mentioned are good ideas. I prefer to carry lightly and that includes my tree stand. If using a lock on most definitely try to get it up a few days before your hunt. I prefer a self climbing tree stand for gun season. This allows me to set up anywhere and anyway I need to, depending on the wind, terrain, location, etc... I always check my stand and other equipment the day prior to my hunt. Before the season starts I check all the welds and look for stress fractures on my stand. Make sure all is working fine. I don't like any suprises especially 20-30 feet up in a tree. Lets see most of my gear fits in my camoed fanny pack and pockets, either in my shirt -pants or jacket. Ammo I place in the mag, magwell and ammo pouch that attaches to my sling or belt. Skinningknife and maglight are also attached to my belt. I use a millitary issue canteen for liquid when I expect to be in the woods all day. Like others I put a couple granola bars/protein bars in my shirt pocket when I'm in the woods for a full day. Heck if you get lost in the woods the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. The woods can provide you with food if you know what to look for and know how to trap and kill it. As far as attachin' a line to my rifle I would rather not. I have heard of to many guys placing bullets in their foreheads because the trigger got hooked on a twig or the hunter bumped their rifle on the ground or a tree. I prefer to sling my rifle on my back when climbing with the muzzle pointed out to the side or to the ground. Rattling antlers I attach to the back of my seat on a well placed hook with the antlers tied together as not to make a sound. Oh as far as making a racket going up the tree, if you take your time and not rush, you can slip up a tree pretty quietly. I've actually had critters come up under me while I was climbing and they didn't even know I was there. This past weekend I decided to hunt with a couple of buddies of mine and as soon as we came out of the woods they commented on how they didn't hear me and didn't know where my stand placement was. Definitely don't forget that all important safety belt/harness. Better than a cell phone or a radio is letting someone know where your stand is and when you're planning on coming out of the woods. Hope this helps. RB

November 15, 2005, 21:01
Being from the NW, I have never even seen a treestand, or seen one for sale. Hunting methods differ depending on where you are.

That said, I HATE venison, but thats more for those that like it.

November 16, 2005, 00:03
Just pissed about living in the east-a choice I made after 9/11 for family reasons.

Totally different reality, I'm sure these folks here use the best methods appropriate to meet all the minutae of the stack of regulations.

Getting high with short range weapons is reasonable, if your subsistance hunting anything goes.

Hell these guys started the civil war at Bull Run, what can I say?

Vienna Sausage is good too ,if your hungrey enough.

:D :beer: