Hanging the ‘Perfect’ Treestand

The stars must have aligned perfectly, because when my wife said “Yes… that sounds fun…” after I asked her if she wanted to help me hang treestands this season, I was shocked! Either way, I was thankful for her company and help. We had a great time together and she was full of questions. Near the end of our adventure she also said “You need to write about this process…”

I’ve always considered it an art to finding & hanging the ‘perfect’ treestand. The majority of the time it takes years & years of valuable deer movement information to zero in on that tree. But the only way you’ll find that perfect tree is to strap on your boots and start looking.

Stand Location

I hang three types of stands for different situations throughout the season. The first stand I look to hang is a doe-killing/rut/late-season stand. The concept behind this stand is simple, and it serves many purposes. I hang it over a popular food source known to be frequented by does. In the early season, if I’m not on a mature buck and want to fill the freezer, I sit in one of these stands to shoot a doe. Bucks like does and does like food, so in the rut, I’ll also babysit one of these stands in hopes of a cruising buck to come nosing through during daylight. In the late season, rut worn bucks will show up in food sources early and often to stock up on precious calories before the winter.

Be sure to plan accordingly when hanging these stands. A popular food source on October 1st may be a distant memory come November. Acorns will always trump anything, but they don’t last long. Hay fields and crop fields are always a solid bet, whether harvested or not. A huge majority of a deer’s diet needs to consist of woody browse, so any low growing soft bushes and trees will also be a dependable food source.

The second type of stand I hang is a pre-rut stand. In the pre-rut time of the year, bucks really start ramping up their scraping and rubbing. Hoping to establish their breeding dominance, the bucks leave a lot of telltale clues to their existence. These stands are usually located on travel routes, downwind from doe bedding areas, a staging area, or anywhere else a cruising buck may frequent. I usually won’t hunt these stands until the sign and trail camera evidence tells me to.

The third type of stand I hang is a gun season stand. In my neck of the woods, and most other areas in Michigan, gun season resembles some sort of archaic war zone. Any deer worth their salt heads for the hills and finds the thickest, nastiest cover they can to rind out their impending doom. These stands are usually located in far off or hard to reach places where deer will feel safe.

There is a fourth type of tree stand I prepare, my portable sets. Each summer I’ll also trim out trails and trees for the potential to hold a portable climbing or lock on stand. These possible spots could be anywhere, but in my opinion don’t warrant the use of a permanent lock-on or ladder stand. Or, in some cases, I don’t know the neighbors enough and am not comfortable leaving anything permanent on the property. No matter the reason, it’s nice to own a high quality portable stand and have the ability to use it in pre-arranged locations. I prefer the ultra-light HAWK Helium series of stands and sticks.

Entrance and Exits

I can’t stress enough the importance of stealthy entrances and exits. Many good stands are quickly ruined due to poor planning. Often, a hunter will access a trail upwind of a bedding area that holds deer. Those same deer may have heard or smelled the hunter, and most likely won’t show up during shooting hours. Also, leaving a stand after dark and disturbing feeding deer is bad as well. Those feeding deer won’t feel comfortable coming out until much later, once again, after shooting hours.

Keeping in mind my entrance and exit strategy, I first hack and slash a few wide trails to and from the stand. I prefer to use a small chainsaw whenever possible, but will and have resorted to pruners and a handsaw when in a bind. Realize any pruning will need to be done very aggressively because the new growth will still come back with a vengeance. I cut all of my trails extra wide, knowing that once it’s fall, they’ll have shrunk a bit. I also walk circles around the stand trimming shooting lanes and checking distances. I like to trim several trails to make sure I can always access the stand safely no matter the wind direction. After trails have been trimmed, it doesn’t hurt to rake them clear of debris. A clean trail will allow for quiet access. Also, at least before the leaves fall, a lot can be learned from studying tracks on a clean dirt trail.

Along with proper access to the stand, be sure to remain scent free. Deer act like dogs, and are very curious. Quite often, long after the hunter has left, deer will come into the stand area to investigate. They’ll use their sniffers like CSI investigators and try to learn as much as possible about the intruder into their woods. After a few sits, a sloppy hunter will have given the deer all the possible information they need to pattern him, and survive another season.

Safety

Safety is of course priority number one. Although it is a hassle at times, it is possible to hang a stand and hunt it while being tethered to the tree the entire time. Wearing a full body safety harness is a must, and with the help of a lineman’s belt… the hunter can be attached to the tree from the moment he leaves the ground. For stands that will get used frequently, a safety line with a sliding prussic knot is recommended. The safety harness tether fastens to the sliding knot, and allows the hunter to climb in and out. In the event of a fall, the knot engages, safely holding the hunter at whatever height they were at until they can climb back on, or call for help. With an old baseball duct-taped to a strong rope, a safety line can also be secured high up in the tree before the hunter ever leaves the ground, similar to the way a tire swing is laced in a tree.

Height

A lot has been written about how high to hunt. To me, the most important thing is to remain hidden. At higher elevations, our shot angle on the animal becomes significantly less, but… we can get away with more movement. At lower elevations, we get decent shot angles, but can’t move as much. It’s a tradeoff. I prefer to hunt thick, brushy trees at about 15-20 feet that hide my silhouette and allow for decent shot angles. In the right spot, like in between two standing cornfields, the Transformer Hunt Pod at 8′ is perfect. In other situations, the 21′ Destination ladder stand may be what’s necessary to get above that wise old buck’s field of view. And for anything in-between… climbing sticks with a hang-on!  

Tricks

Most people hang a stand selfishly- and just think about themselves. But… I want to challenge everyone to think like a deer. It’s really important to hang a stand so that the sunlight will be in the animal’s eyes when the shot opportunity comes. First, the sunlight will illuminate the animal, offering the best possible shot. And second, the deer will be hesitant to look up, and if they do, it will be hard to make out the hunter’s form while squinting at the sun.

Making a series of super wide, clean trails to and from a stand help for several reasons. First, if well raked and maintained they’ll be quiet. Second, to avoid the deer patterning us, it is good to never exit the stand location in the same way. And, the chances are good that the deer will start using a few of the trails- and we don’t want to interfere with those, so we always need options.

Funneling the deer with fallen trees, snow fence, old wire, brush, or anything else works really well too. Just make sure the funnel drives deer toward the treestand, and not further away.

Some people also like to hang an old towel or t-shirt above the seat of their treestands so when they move, the bark doesn’t make noise. Depending on the tree- like a shag bark hickory or cherry for instance, I think hanging something is a really good idea.

When to Hang

I don’t know if anyone will ever completely agree on the perfect time to hang a treestand. I’m hooked on summer because I’ll get a good idea of what it will look like come fall, and by the time the season rolls around any scent or pressure I have left behind will be long forgotten. However, it is also important to be flexible and mobile. Many hunters waste quality time in an unproductive stand each fall waiting to get lucky. Have plenty of stands prepared and hung well before the season starts, but also keep a portable one handy to hunt fresh sign when it appears. When preparing or hunting a stand, be sure to use proper safety equipment and lock into the tree before even leaving the ground. With a lineman’s belt, safety line, and quality safety harness, complete treestand safety is possible.

Grab your favorite boots and treestand – The perfect tree is out there somewhere.

Best of luck this season.

#HUNTFROMABOVE

HAWK HUNTER Jason Herbert lives in Michigan and hunts across the Midwest. 

HAWK® Hires Customer Service Manager

HAWK Group is pleased to announce and welcome Greg Jones as Customer Service Manager for the Hawk® and Killer Instinct® brands.  Greg will be responsible for providing top notch support to all customers.

Greg has 17 years of technical customer service experience and is well-known, very personable and widely liked in the hunting sporting goods industry. The first 12 years of his career, Greg worked as a Customer Service Technician at Eastman Outdoors. For the most recent 5 years, Greg provided sales analytics and high-level Customer Support Representation at Michigan-native and industry-leading G5 Outdoors.  Greg has a proven record of providing outstanding customer service to Consumers and Dealers alike and his commitment to go above and beyond enhance HAWK Group’s ability to meet the needs of our customers as we continue to provide quality, innovative products to the marketplace.

Greg Jones, Customer Service Manager

“I’m really excited to join the remarkable team at Hawk and Killer Instinct.  Everyone’s passion for hunting and the outdoors was evident from the moment I stepped into the office.  I look forward to working with the team to help grow this incredible company.”

Greg Jones may be contacted at [email protected].

HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE®.  HAWK is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   For more information about HAWK, please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

Field & Stream “Best of Best” MACHINE Crossbow Award Winner, Killer Instinct® Crossbows is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   Killer Instinct® is passionately committed to Deadly Performance™ technical products.  We focus on next-level design, innovation, durability and superior quality so you can have ultimate confidence in your gear.  Our Killer Instinct is a tenacity that never stops, it’s our born spirit and the continual pursuit of achieving success.  We are a hunter-driven company and expect our equipment to perform at the highest level. For more information about Killer Instinct® Crossbows please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.killercrossbows.com.

Get yourself a HOOKSTER™ by HAWK®

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their new HOOKSTER™ ‘The Anywhere Gear Hook’.  For that extra hand, the HOOKSTER™ is the perfect companion while hunting, working, playing or for everyday tasks.  This super-convenient non-slip hook attaches to nearly anything with an industrial-strength GearTie® connection – Twist It, Tie It, Reuse It.

The HOOSTER™ 360 SilentGrip™ Hook features a soft rubber grip with non-slip grooves that will keep hanging items secure and the incorporated 360º rotating socket allows the user to adjust for the perfect hanging angle.  Popular uses for hunting include hanging weapons or accessories from overhead tree branches, from the side of treestands or from the interior of hunting blinds.  There are hundreds of other uses around the home and garage.

HAWK® is a hunter-driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE®.  HAWK is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   For more information about HAWK, please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

The Gear Tie logo and Nite Ize are registered trademarks of Nite Ize, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Gear Tie is a trademark of Nite Ize, Inc. Pat. #8,387,216 and other patents pending.

HAWK® BIG DENALI™ LADDER STAND – THE BIGGEST THERE IS

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter-driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their latest new ladder stand, the BIG DENALI™. The HAWK® BIG DENALI is sure to live up to it’s name offering the largest and most comfortable seat ever offered on any one-man ladder stand.  The XXL MeshComfort™ Seat is the same size as a deluxe patio furniture chair and is approximately 30-40% LARGER than other mesh seats offered on treestands!

Although certainly the highlight, the XXL MeshComfort seat is not the only unique feature on this stand.  The Big Denali™ features Patent Pending SLS™ Stacking Ladder System.  With SLS™ that ladder sections stack [nest] together to create a portable package that is easy to carry or transport.   The SLS™ results in a wide-stance base, which creates a stable and safe footprint and the combination of HAWK® heavy-duty tubing, solid-bolted sections and proprietary tensioning system make this stand hard to rival in any comparison.  Also, features a Comfort Footrest, Adjustable Shooting Rail and Integrated Bow/Gun Holder.

 

The Big Denali™ includes many other small premium details that HAWK™ is known for including Tree Digger teeth, silent Teflon® washers [at articulation points] and built-in grab-handles. These high quality, professional grade treestands are designed for the hardcore hunter on a blue collar budget. Go big with the Big Denali™ or stay home! All HAWK™ treestands are TMA tested and approved, and come with a full-body safety harness.

Specifications

  • Load Capacity- 300 lbs.
  • Construction- Steel
  • Height- 18′ to seat
  • Platform Size 14” X 26”
  • Seat Size- 26” W X 18” D
  • Backrest Size- 26” W X 24” T
  • Seat – XXL MeshComfort
  • Weight 65 lbs.
  • MSRP- $164.99

About HAWKR Treestands:

HAWK® is a hunter-driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE®.  HAWK is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   For more information about HAWK, please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

HAWK® introduces their new partnership with the world-class archers from Name the Game TV

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their new partnership with Levi and Samantha Morgan of Name the Game TV. HAWK President Scott Lee is very excited to be working with Levi and Samantha. “Our HAWK gear is perfect for dedicated hunters like the Morgan’s, who appreciate the small details and advantage that HAWK products offer.”

World champion competitive archer, and hardcore hunter Levi Morgan had this to say about the relationship. “HAWK tree stands are easy to hang, quiet, and unbelievably comfortable. On top of that, their entire accessory line is full of really innovative products that help get the most out of our time in the woods.

Levi also added this, “Hawk put some real thought into their stands and new accessories this year; they’ve mixed quality engineering with high-end materials and the results have been fantastic. And that’s why we couldn’t be happier to partner with HAWK again for 2016.” To see the Morgan’s using their HAWK gear in action, be sure to tune in to the Sportsman Channel for the new season of Name The Game, beginning the third quarter of 2016. For more information, visit their website at www.namethegametv.com.

About HAWK™ Treestands:

HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE®.  HAWK is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   For more information about HAWK, please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

ABOUT LEVI MORGAN: World renowned archer, Levi Morgan, is a 11x World Champion, 48x National Champion, 12x Shooter of the Year and has won the ASA Shooter of the Year title a record setting 9x in a row.

Innopower Recalls Hawk Climbing Sticks Due to Fall Hazard

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Recall

Recall Date: October 21, 2015
Recall Number: 16-015

Innopower Recalls Hawk Climbing Sticks Due to Fall Hazard
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/Innopower-Recalls-Hawk-Climbing-Sticks

Recall Summary

Name of product:
raZOR Climbing Sticks

Hazard:
Folding steps can bend or break during use, posing a fall hazard.

Recall Details

Units

About 730

Description

This recall includes 2014 and 2015 Hawk 2085 RAZOR 3PK (32 inches long), the 2085-1 RAZOR 1PK (32 inches long), and the 2015 Hawk 2084 RAZOR SHORTMAX 4PK (20 inches long) and 2084-1 RAZOR SHORTMAX 1PK (20 inches long) climbing sticks. The aluminum sticks, which have a gray finish, tie with nylon strap to tree trunks and provide steps for consumers to climb. Recalled steps have three rectangular holes cut in the bottom of them, which differentiate them from non-recalled steps, which have circular holes. Model 2085 and 2085-1 have two 32-inch long metal poles with steps and a tree V-bracket to contact the tree.  Model 2084 and 2084-1 have two 20-inch long metal poles with steps and a tree V-bracket to contact the tree. The model number is on the black and gray sticker located on the back side of the vertical post.

Incidents/Injuries

The firm has received reports of five incidents of steps breaking. Only minor injuries, including scratches and bruises, have been reported.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately stop using the climbing sticks and contact Innopower for information on returning the folding steps for a free replacement.  

Please visit www.hawkhunting.com/pages/hawk-razor-recall for complete details.

Sold at

A-1 Archery, Camofire LLC, Cinnamon Creek Ranch Archery, DNW Outdoors, Eunice Archery Range, Franks Great Outdoors, GameMasters, Grabow Archers, Hunter’s Refuge, & Gear, Innovations of Home, Jay’s Sporting Goods, Jon’s Sports Shop, Long Range Archery, Mack’s Sport Shop, RackFan Addicts, Simmons Sporting Goods  and Woodbury Outfitters from June 2014 to August 2015 for between $38 and $130.

Importer(s)

Innopower, Inc. (owner of the Hawk brand), of Frankenmuth, Mich.

Manufactured in

China

HAWK® utilizes TreeCam™ anti-spin anchor for a solid, spin free tree accessories.

HAWK® , industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their new TreeCam™ anti-spin anchoring system.  With the TreeCam™, it’s as simple as flipping a lever that bites into the tree bark and securely holds your accessory in the tree. It’s that easy. The combination of HAWK ‘s® sharp AugerTip™ screw thread, and the TreeCam™ locking mechanism ensures that the accessory arm wont shift or spin- regardless of what it is holding!

The TreeCam™ is quiet and sturdy- handling anything the hunter can dish out and can be found on many HAWK® accessory tree arms. From cameras and bows, to guns and backpacks, the TreeCam™ will make sure that the only movement in the tree is the bow being drawn.

About HAWK® Treestands:

HAWK® is a privately held group based in Frankenmuth, MI. HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.® – For more information about HAWK® Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

HAWK® introduces their new partnership with The Break TV

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their new partnership with The Break TV.  Scott Lee, President of HAWK had this to say about the relationship. “We love Derek and the guys at The Break. They are hard-working, average guys with obsessive attitude toward hunting which is exactly what HAWK is all about. We appreciate their dedication to our sport, and we’re confident HAWK treestands and accessories can help them get the job done.”

 

Derek Dirnberger, host of The Break is equally excited about the relationship. “When I need to sneak in and set up on a buck, I use the HAWK Helium hang-on stand and climbing sticks because they’re lightweight, easy to pack in, and super quiet to set up. Plus… the memory foam seat cushion allows me to sit comfortably all day long.” To watch HAWK gear in action on The Break, be sure to turn in to The Hunt Channel on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 CST.

About HAWK® Treestands:

HAWK® is a privately held group based in Frankenmuth, MI.  HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.® – For more information about HAWK® Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

HAWK® tree accessories with AugerTip™ screw-in with no sweat

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, highlights their new AugerTip™ Screw thread system. Designed similar to the old style ice fishing augers, the AugerTip™ literally cores out and devours anything in it’s path! A curved, wood boring machined tip allows the hunter to easily start the process, and within a few twists of the handle, the aggressive threads have bitten down for a lasting hold.

No longer will hunter’s have to worry about bruised palms and noisy cordless drills. With the AugerTip™ system, anchoring an accessory into any type of tree will be a snap.  The AugerTip™ out chews and drills the competition, and will stay sharp for many seasons to come. From this point forward, with HAWK’s®  AugerTip™ system, the setup will come easy, and the hunter can focus his efforts where they belong- on making the shot.

About HAWK® Treestands:

HAWK® is a privately held group based in Frankenmuth, MI.  HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.® – For more information about HAWK® Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

HAWK® introduces the new Traction SS™ climbing sticks- boot gripping confidence from the ground up.

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter driven treestand design and accessories, introduces their new Traction SS™ climbing sticks. Featuring boot grabbing traction steps and 32” in length, the Traction SS™ sticks are a great value in a premium climbing stick.  Rock-solid steel sticks weigh 4.6 pounds, and comes standard with the company’s exclusive overmolded tree strap hooks and a heavy duty webbed nylon strap for quick, quiet climbing and decent. Each Traction SS™ step has raised teeth to bite into the hunter’s boot in any weather condition. With the Traction SS™ climbing sticks, climb with confidence in mud, snow, ice, and whatever else Mother Nature has to offer.

The Traction SS sticks were designed to be quiet and ultra sturdy for those hunters that want the ultimate in safety and confidence on every climb. The individual sections of the Traction SS sticks can easily be moved from location-to-location by stacking together for easy carrying as the action changes throughout the season.  All HAWK™ climbing sticks are TMA tested and approved.

Specifications

  • Load Capacity- 300 lbs.
  • Construction- Steel
  • Weight- 4.6 lbs.
  • Length- 32”

VIEW TRACTION SS™ CLIMBING STICKS ON YOUTUBE®

About HAWK® Treestands:

HAWK® Hunting is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI. HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.® – For more information about HAWK® Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

 

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