I recently went through the 2020 deer season injury data as they pertain to hunting from high positions. According to surveys, the vast majority of both rifle and bowhunters utilise some form of stand. According to certain assessments, use might reach as high as 80% or 90%, particularly among archers.
It seems reasonable to use a stand. Hunting may be a significant time and financial commitment, so wanting to be able to demonstrate something for your efforts is not selfish. Hunting from a stand may tilt the odds in your favour, allowing you to have a more successful hunt.
This year’s foliage is falling off the trees slowly. Hunting from a high stand will allow you to see farther. You may not be able to see as far as you could if you were 10 or 12 feet in the air if you were at ground level. Getting a safe distance in the air increases your chances of sighting a deer from a distance, allowing you more time to prepare for an accurate shot when it advances within range.
If the deer isn’t directly in front of you under dense cover, it may pass by within shot distance and you won’t even notice. Getting off the ground increases not just the distance you can see, but also your range of view. The Farm Bill’s Impact on Local Farmers, Landowners, and Sportsmen
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Hunting 10 feet or more above the ground makes it more difficult for deer to notice you. Deer don’t usually gaze up. Sometimes they will, but most of the time they will scan directly ahead of them. This comes in handy when they’re approaching you and you’re attempting to draw your bow or shoulder your rifle or shotgun.
Researchers from Mississippi State University discovered that a deer’s sense of smell may be 500 to 1,000 times more keen than a human’s. Getting off the ground may help lessen the likelihood of a deer smelling you.
There are two more benefits: When shooting a deer with a bow or rifle while seated or standing on an elevated platform, the arrow or bullet will most likely travel into the ground after passing through your target, providing your aim is correct: There’s no need to be concerned about striking an undesirable target outside your range of vision. It also reduces your chances of getting shot by another hunter since you are visible to them from a greater distance.
If hunters are irresponsible, the benefit of a high stand might come at a cost. According to recent statistics, 6,000 hunters fall from treestands each year, resulting in injuries ranging from mild to deadly.
During the 2020 hunting season in New York, there were 13 incidents using tree and ladder stands, one of which was deadly. Ladder stands were involved in half of the incidents.
According to one multi-year research, 35% of incidents may have been averted if the equipment had been examined before use.
According to the same survey, 86 percent of hunters wounded in falls did not utilise a harness. But keep in mind that utilising a harness wrongly may not protect you and may even damage you.
Almost majority of those harmed were not linked at all. Some hunters were wearing harnesses but had not yet fastened them.
A hunter in upstate New York collapsed a few years ago while wearing an improperly placed harness. He died as a result of positional asphyxiation. He couldn’t breathe and couldn’t right himself since his harness wasn’t securely fastened. Know your equipment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
When I first began hunting, the average tree stand was made from scrap timber. Today’s hunting catalogues include a wide range of stands to choose from.
Climbing treestands use your legs as a pump to propel you up a tree trunk. The seat and foot platform of the climber treestand are separate parts. By fastening the seat of your climber treestand into the tree, you ratchet your way up the trunk. The platform is then lifted up toward your seat using your legs. You then lock your legs to the platform, rise, and pull the seat further up the tree. You repeat the procedure until you run out of steam or your stand reaches the required height.
A ladder stand is just a ladder that has been specially designed for that function, as well as a platform on which you may sit or stand.
Separate climbing aids, such as segmented ladders or climbing sticks, are required for hang-on stands.
Whatever you choose, make sure you understand how to install and utilise your stand, and that you examine it on a regular basis, particularly if you leave it outside in the weather. Some stands are attached with a chain that will last for a long time. If it has a strap, it should be inspected on a regular basis.
Back in the day, I recall utilising a treestand I had built years previously but hadn’t used in a long time. I stepped underneath it and saw that it was in desperate need of repair. The ladder had missing rungs, and the cross members were the only portions of the platform that were still functional. Rather than abandoning my hunting plans for the day, I naively opted to use it anyhow. I was much younger back then, so I just made my way up to the crossmembers and spent the next several minutes doing a risky balancing act without the aid of a harness. I would never do anything like that now, no matter how old I was. Being a statistic brings no honour.