Bowhunting takes an incredible amount of skill and patience. Come early November, you might see the perfect opportunity to fill your tag for the year during the upcoming rutting season. That moment isn’t likely to happen as soon as you climb into your treestand, though. The trick with bowhunting is to know where to wait, and then to be capable of waiting as long as it takes for the deer to arrive.
Dressing appropriately for conditions is essential, so make sure you’re investing in high-quality whitetail hunting gear. If you’re dressed right and have the proper equipment, it’s time to focus on the bow stand.
A comfortable bowhunting stand lets you focus more easily and makes waiting for a buck to come into your line of sight less of a chore. Ensure you’re starting with a frame that has a large platform so you can step where you need to with ease. The less moving around you have to do to get comfortable, the less likely you will miss your shot.
A Sturdy Base
Installing your tree stand properly is crucial when it comes to comfort. No matter the platform’s type or size, if it is not installed securely, you will have a hard time balancing and moving stealthily when you need to adjust positions. Ensure your bow stand is level and securely held in place.
Use a Safety System
Bowhunting has become a lot safer in the last decade due to advances in the security systems available. Rather than depending entirely on your agility, you should now be strapping into a harness when you set up and ascend to your bow stand. There are many products on the market at varying prices, so it’s easy to find the right fit for you.
A high-quality safety harness should be comfortable to wear while allowing you a full range of movement. Look for adjustable harnesses that feature shock-absorbing bungee tether, padded leg straps and accessories to hold hunting tools.
Make Room for Storage
Since you’re likely to be out in your bow stand for hours at a time, it’s necessary to have a designated space for storing the goods you need for the day, such as food supplies and additional rain gear in the event of unpredictable weather. You need to quickly and efficiently access these items so that you don’t compromise getting your shot.
If there isn’t room on your platform to store these items, you can hang them off the rails in a way that’s easy to reach.
Dress for Conditions
When you’re planning to sit out in your bow stand for the better part of a day, it’s a good idea to dress for colder weather than forecasted using hunting base layers. It’s possible to remove layers if you need to, throughout the day, but it will be challenging to aim correctly if you arrive underdressed and start shivering. You also don’t want to be left unprepared for rain and have an unwelcome storm shake your focus.
Design Your Space for Quick Access
The best way to set up your stand for comfort is to make sure you don’t need to move much to get a hold of any of the items you brought with you. Tools like hangers and mounts make it possible for you to hang binoculars or your bow nearby, so you don’t have to hold them all day but can still grab them quickly. Just install the hangers beside your stand in the tree once the stand is set up.
Remember to Eat
In the hunt’s excitement, you might forget about your day-to-day needs, leaving you less equipped to react quickly when you have to. Don’t let your blood sugar drop by forgetting to eat throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be a big meal, but packing some nutrient-dense snacks can keep your energy up and your focus sharp.
You also don’t want to allow yourself to get dizzy when you’re up at such a height. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated while you wait for your deer to present itself.
Select the Right Seat for Your Body
Choosing a seat that allows you to be still for hours is the ultimate test of comfort. If the seat pinches or is too hard, chances are you’ll often be fidgeting and can potentially blow your chance of making a successful kill.
Opting for a seat with insulation and a cushion can make the whole experience of sitting up in a tree stand all day much more enjoyable.
Allow Time for Practice
Many people have a genuine fear of heights, making climbing up into a tree stand a willpower test. To make the process easier on yourself, consider doing a trial run at home before you head out on your hunting excursion.
If you have access to a suitable tree near home, practice setting your stand up just a few feet off the ground. When you become familiar with the setup, try it again, but this time higher up. By practicing in a situation without pressure, you can become more comfortable with the space, and you won’t jeopardize the outcome of your hunting season.
Get Comfortable This Bowhunting Season
It can take time to feel comfortable in a bow stand if you’re not used to heights or sitting still for prolonged periods. But with a little bit of time and effort, you can rework the experience to be one that is enjoyable and relaxing while you wait for your prey to come into view. If you have the opportunity, you can also come down off the stand and explore the surrounding area or take a break on the ground to give yourself a moment to relax.
Make safety a priority whenever you’re working with a bow stand, and remain vigilant and energized by creating a comfortable space to wait for your prey.