I've spent a lot of time in tree stands. Only while bow hunting though. It makes me too nervous to think that someone might see me that is to far off to holler at. I use home made hang-on types. They seem to be stronger and the trees where I hunt have too many limbs to make a self climber practical. Effective? You betcha! Gives you a real close look at game.
You limiting responses to Ca. residents only?! From the midwest here :wavin: and won't go back to sitting on the ground (for deer)! You usually can get away with a lot more movement perched 15'+ up in a tree. We're using a lot more ladder stands because they're fairly inexpensive, but we leave them out in the woods all season too......and that can make a difference.
I used one for the first time last year in Conecticut for whitetail. This year I bought a grand ol' man climbing tree stand. I used it in Utah, and really think they are effective. Especially when it comes to staying confortable and still for hours at a time. When I sit on the ground my legs fall asleep, and it takes 2 minutes to recover just to stand up.This year I took it back to Connecticut went up in it 4 days in a row. The only way I could sit that long and be confortable would be in my truck. The new Ol' man vision has a bar that sits in front of you and can act as a gun rest. I think this would be real helpful as well as added security when standing up in your stand.
I didn't use it here in California this year because I didn't do enough scouting to know the trails being used. Its important to set up near a heavily used deer trail or funnel between terain changes for mule deer. We don't hunt the d zoners during the rut and I don't think they do scrapes and rubs like whitetails do, to mark their rut path. Another place to set up a stand would be near a guzzler or other water sources. Muleys are tough to pattern especially with rifle hunting pressure I think that has been why they haven't caught on here in so.Cal.
That's almost all we used in NC, both ladder stands and climbers. I wasn't allowed to shoot a rifle from the ground, which is a good safety rule out there anyway. Most counties in coastal NC have an "8-feet rule", which means you have to be elevated 8 feet to use a centerfire rifle.
In CA, I've finally found a couple of places where I'd like to hang a tree stand, but haven't been to buy one yet.
Not from Ca. but I use a Summit Viper XL in Ohio. I use to ground hunt with very little luck. I started getting up in the trees and really increase my sightings. The deer normally don't look up as much and you can move more to get in shooting position.
If you hunt the same place a ladder stand works well and it's less work when you get it set up. If you want to move and hunt different locations a climber the way to go. I feel very safe in mine and I use my safety strap.
NC checking in here. I use chain on stands mostly. I have 9 of them. I have built 6 ladder stand's. Have one climber.
I'll let you CA guys in on a little Florida trick. I used to hunt a couple place's where there weren't any tree's big enough to put on a tree. Mostly brushy sorta open prairie.
I took an 8ft fiberglass step ladder, camo'd it, screwed a bass boat butt seat to the top of it. Put a couple "I" bolts in the side for haging stuff and put it in some place's you would never think to hunt. That little trick has let me be successfull in area's that other's weren't. Get's you up off the ground. It works......
I've tried it here in CA but I don't think that our local mule deer pattern nearly as well as the whitetails back east. If you're talking rifle range then it's a bit easier but you could still be looking at a couple hundred yard shot and you're really just getting a better perspective than on the ground. Bowhunting and waiting for something to walk within range is pretty tough from what I've seen.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has been able to pattern CA deer in any reasonable way (from bed, to food, to water, back to bed, etc. all on the same path and roughly the same time).
In my little "secret" valley, I was able to pattern most movement of does and yearlings. The timing was tricky, since I was only there from weekend to weekend, but once movement started I could follow it all the way through (barring quail hunters and the occasional other hunter).
It's a fairly self-contained area though, so maybe that's why. Food, water, and bedding were in the same places for years. Also, the deer in that region don't migrate. The recent fire probably is going to cause some major league changes, though. All the old escape routes are exposed. It'll be road hunter paradise next year.
Blacktails sure don't pattern like whitetails, though. Too much country, widely scattered food source, and all that's even before you throw in a migration. I really like this hunting.
I bowhunt out of treestands all the time. I'm a little amazed that so many people do not feel you can do this for mulies and blacktail!! I have had better luck up a tree than on the ground.
I have three chain on type stands with climbing sticks that I put up before the season. I put up all three in the same general area.
I have a self climber that I pack into the trinity alps and use. I usually find a good trail and up I go.
I agree with Songdog. Up until this season, I'd only seen them on TV. In Wisconsin, I got to sit in two ladder types. My legs still fell asleep, so I stood up. No problem with the deer as long as I moved slow. A GREAT way to hunt - conditions allowing.
Richard, were you out in southern California. Most mule deer seasons have been closed for at least a month or more( A31 excluded). They may very well do scrapes( with their front legs in dirt right) if they are doing it now it doesn't help during the season. I've seen rubs in muley country but I think they do it more for getting the velvet off and sharpening their points, rather than marking turf. Atleast not marking, and defending their turf as adamently as a rutted whitetail. Rather than patterning their need for sex and turf like WT's I have been succesful near muley beds and the trails to and from them. Also escape routes out of larger areas when their are other hunters in the field. Water holes work too, in the mountains I've found the most tracks around a puddle of water in the thickest stuff, as oposed to an open stream or pond. I'm going to do allot more scouting in the local area next year and plan to use my stand.
Brian, I am hunting in A-22 San Diego,Ca. It is either sex, bow only until the end of January. The scrapes I have see where done on the ground and they had a V-shape to them. Looked like they were also marked with a scent gland (I am not sure). The day I came went out I did not see any bucks. But alot of deer sing do to the snow.
I use them exclusively here in Illinois for whitetails. I have 2 hanging stands, 2 fixed wooden stands and 2 climbers. I bowhunt and treestands are the most effective way to keep the deer from scenting you. As mentioned above, also lessens the chance of the deer detecting movement as I draw my bow.
I used a tree stand one year. It was a home made stand that my hubby built but he didn't get it off the ground high enough. I got busted by the deer. So this year I built a ground blind and got two deer with two shots. I don't trust climbing treestands after my ex used one. I was helping him get in his stand. He got to where he wanted it and while trying to get it adjusted, it slid back down the tree leaving him hanging there like a possum. I couldn't resist. I looked up and said, "Can I go now?" Bad thing about it was, it was getting daylight by the time he got done with it and I still had to walk to my stand.