Using a tree stand to increase your chances of getting a shot at an elusive trophy buck during deer season is a common practice. Hunters will climb a tree and wait five or more hours just to get a shot at the big one. The best tree stand for bow hunting is something that is discussed by hunters frequently.
We asked expert hunters and expert archery enthusiasts to help us try out several stands to determine which ones are best suited for bow hunters. We asked our panel of experts to pay close attention to safety, ease of establishment, and if the stand made positioning for the shot harder or easier to do.
8 Best Tree-Stands For Bow Hunting
1. Millennium Tree-stands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand
This hang-on tree stand is light and easy to transport. It has back-pack straps that assist you in moving it in and out of your hunting area.
The seat is comfortable and stable so you can stay in position longer while waiting for the perfect shot at the perfect buck.
The seat quickly folds so you can stand to get the perfect aim and arrow trajectory established.
This stand can accommodate a weight of as much as 300 pounds so the majority of all hunters can use it. The stand is quite large and the materials make it durable and capable of being used for many years.
The chain that secures the stand is positioned on the left so you should be on the left side when you install it.
2. Summit Treestands Viper SD- Most Comfortable Climbing Stand
This is a climbing tree stand that can hold a weight of 300 pounds so most hunters can use it. It is excellent for bow hunting.
This stand is light at about 20 pounds so it is very easy to transport. The camo and coloration of the materials make it blend into the surrounding area very well so you are less likely to be noticed by the game you are hunting.
There is a bar positioned across the front of the stand that can be used to steady a rifle or a crossbow if needed.
This is a cable wrap climber so you do not have to worry about losing the pins to it. It also has a unique transport system that lets you carry the weight of the unit on your hips instead of all of the weight being supported by your shoulders.
3. Summit Tree-stands OpenShot SD Climbing Tree-stand
The foam seat pad on this climbing tree stand makes it possible to sit still for a longer period of time while waiting to make your shot.
This unit can handle up to 300 pounds and it is easy to transport because it only weighs 15 pounds. You get a four-point safety harness, rapid climb stirrups, pads, all the hardware you need, the ropes and the straps. The only thing that does not come with this stand is the bow and the target to shoot at.
The design of this equipment affords it an open front so you have a line of vision from all sides.
You can easily stand and aim your weapon, or comfortably sit and wait for the game to come to you. It is highly durable and will last for many years.
4. X-Stand Tree-stands The Jayhawk 20′ Two Man- Best ladder Stand
This is the perfect deer stand for hunting couples. It has two seats on the top of the ladder so you can couple hunt or take a youth hunter and teach them the art of the hunt.
The stand has a full body harness, it is constructed out of steel, and it is a ladder stand so you will not need tree pegs to climb into the stand.
The padded shooting rail can easily be removed from the front of the stand to make it easier to take aim with a bow. If your using a rifle or your child needs a prop for their crossbow the rail is very convenient.
The nylon washers on the screws and bolts eliminate squeaking and noises. It sits silently and securely and is a very stable stand that you will feel safe using.
5. Summit Tree-stands Mini Viper SD- Comfortable Climbing Tree Stand
The Mossy Oak pattern on the seat cover, back-rest, and shooting rail of this stand will help to hide your presence from the wildlife below. It is a climbing stand so you do not have to worry about securing it to the tree and do not have to have climbing pegs or extra ladders to get into the stand.
Safety is a key component with this equipment. It has a full body fall arrest harness so you do not have to worry about falling 17’ out of a tree.
The foam backrest and seat make it possible for you to sit for many hours in this stand without getting uncomfortable, Be careful that you do not get so comfy that you fall asleep.
6. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II- Most Comfortable Climbing Tree Stand
The Lone Wolf hand climber combo II stand is light and easy to carry in and out of the woods. It is designed as a climbing stand so you do not have to have an external ladder or tree pegs to reach the stand. You also do not leave the stand in the woods so you can hunt on government Type II acreage that restricts permanent stands from being erected.
This stand will handle 350 pounds of weight so almost every hunter can use it. You can easily stand and aim your bow or sit and wait for the elusive monster buck to traipse through your neck of the woods. The platform is larger than most so you have plenty of room.
This stand does not have arm rests, padded back rests or many of the accessories that make other climbing stands heavier and harder to climb with.
7. Guide Gear Deluxe Hang-On Tree Stand- Best For The Money
The large and sturdy platform of this hang-on stand gives you ample room for standing and positioning yourself for the perfect shot.
The seat is a complete chair with arm rests and a back rest. It is padded and comfortable and has a safety harness to assure you that you will not tumble out of the stand unexpectedly. The covering is a woodland camo that blends in well to hide you during the fall hunting season.
This is a very durable unit that will last for several years with no problems. It is quiet to get in and out of, and will not alert the whitetail to your presence when you stand to take aim.
8. Millennium Treestands M100U Loc-On- Best Lightweight Climber Stand
This is possibly the most comfortable stand you will ever use. It has a uniquely designed sling seat that alleviates the pressure points while it prevents your back from leaning into the tree bark. The seat is easy to get in and out of and does not make a lot of noise when you shift positions or get up.
The stand is large with a platform that is roomy enough to allow you to assume your favorite hunting stance with ease. You will feel secure because the stand is stable and does not tend to wiggle or shift as you move around.
The chair coloration is the perfect drab green to blend in with the natural flora and fauna.
Buying Guide of Comfortable Tree-Stand
Before you buy a tree-stand consider the area in which you are going to hunt. You need a stand that is compatible with the trees and natural cover in the area. You also need to know the hunting regulations so you can make sure the stand style you choose is permitted in the location you want to hunt.
The stand you choose will either hide your presence and enhance your odds, or it can increase your visibility to other hunters and make your chances of getting a good shot more difficult.
The style of the stand is very important to consider. Ladder stands are the heaviest of all tree stand types and it may take you and a friend to carry and set up this type of hunting stand.
Hang-on stands are the lightest of all stands but they do not come with a method of climbing the tree. You will need to insert tree pegs or tree steps, or a ladder to use when getting into your stand. In a lot of hunting areas, the tree steps are not permitted because you can do nothing to alter or damage the tree your stand is located in.
Climbing stands come with their own steps, and they are the most portable of all stands, but they also require you to master the skill of using them so you can climb them into the tree. When you take a shot, you will also be slowed down when exiting the tree because the stand is more difficult to get down from.
The comfort of the stand will determine how long you can stay in position without giving away. You want a stand that has a seat you can sit in and feel relaxed in. You might be waiting several hours.
The weight of the stand will limit how far you can carry it through the woods. The weight of the stand increase or decreases the portability of the device. Ladder stands are the least portable, and hang-on stands are the lightest, but climbing stands are the most portable because the stand comes down with you every time you exit the tree.
One of the most important things to consider is the safety of the stand and other equipment that you will use during your hunt. If the stand is hard to put up there is a chance that it could be less stable and if that thing falls you could be injured.
You also want a device that is made from materials that are going to be durable and able to withstand the outdoor elements that your hunting area will expose them to.
The weight capacity of the stand must be considered. If you exceed the weight capacity then the stand will not be stable or secure. The weight of everything that you will have in the stand needs to be considered not just your personal physical body weight. Your weapon and everything you carry with you will add to your personal weight. The clothing you have on will also add to your personal weight.
Types of Tree Stands
Tree stands share one common feature; they are designed to use natural existing trees to help a hunter gain an advantage. These pieces of hunting paraphernalia come in different styles and varieties so the hunter can make the best use of the natural flora and fauna in the area where they hunt.
There are three major types of tree stands for a hunter to choose from.
These stands are created out of two sections. They have a platform and a seat assembly. The climbing tree stand offers you a way to get up the tree and then offers you a place to sit while you are waiting for that trophy buck to appear.
- You do not need screw in steps to reach the stand
- They are portable and mobile if you decide to change locations
- You remove them when you descend so they are not going to be stolen or alert other hunters to your favorite hunting spot
- They require some branch pruning on some trees
- They are often larger and heavier than hang-on stands
- They cost more than hang-on stands
These stands have only one piece, but they are designed to be put up and left in position. They do not come with a means of getting you up the tree.
- These stands only weigh between ten and thirty-five pounds so they are easy to carry in the woods
- You can get in and out of these stands quicker than if you have a climbing stand
- You do not have the noise factor of coming out of the stand
- You do not have to carry the stand in and out of the woods every time you hunt
- The hang-on stand can be difficult to set-up the first time
- To remove the stand, you have to remove the steps that you placed in the tree also
These are ladders that lean against the tree trunk and have a seat or place to sit at the top of the ladder. These may be in multiple pieces. The sections of the ladder secure to the tree trunk using straps or belts to hold them in place.
- They do not require steps to access the seat and they do no damage to the tree
- They are easy to install
- They can be large enough for two hunters to share a seat
- They are heavy and you will probably need assistance in carrying this type
- They are very noticeable by other hunters and possibly by the wildlife
- They cost more than hang-on stands do
Stand selections are based on your preferences, the game you are hunting, and the area you hunt in. In some places it is illegal to use screw in steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
How High should a Tree Stand be for Bow Hunting?
The majority of bow hunters that use tree-stands will position their equipment between 17 and 20-feet off of the ground. To ascertain the exact height, you should hang your stand from you have to look at the cover that is offered from the position in the tree. Move higher up the tree until you find the ultimate amount of cover to conceal your presence.
Where to Hang the Perfect Tree Stand for Bow Hunting?
It is recommended that you hang the stand on the back-side of the tree. You want to be able to stand in the stand and peer around the tree to see the game trail you are watching. Having the tree between you and the trail provides you with cover because you can hide behind the tree, and it provides you with a secure item if you need to prop your arm to steady your shot.
Where to Aim When Bow Hunting from a Tree Stand
The majority of expert hunters encourage you to aim slightly lower on the animal than where you want the arrow to enter. To be completely accurate with your shot you need to calculate the drop the arrow will have when covering the distance to the animal.
When using a bow and arrow you have to be closer to the animal than you would if you were using a rifle. Bows and arrows require the hunter to have greater skills and more finesse when they are in the woods. A tree stand offers a hunter the ability to watch a game trail without being spotted by the wildlife they are hunting.
Tree stands are equipment that has been used for many years. Hunters know that these stands provide them cover and more shot possibilities. Choosing the right stand for your hunting requires you to know the area in which you will be hunting. Ladder stands, climbing stands, hang-on stands, and ground blinds all require different things from the surrounding area. Research your chosen position and the natural cover that position offers, then choose the stand you think will serve you best.
Time and practice will improve your skill and your ability to choose where to set-up your stand. Good luck out there.