Hole drill tree steps?? [Archive] - ArcheryTalk Forum: Archery Target, Bowhunting, Classifieds, Chat

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RubyCreek Ted
September 22nd, 2002, 05:48 PM
Has anyone here ever used one of those drills like I see on this web site?


Looks like you drill the hole and then use 3/8 inch bolts for steps. Just stick the bolt into the hole and remove it when you leave. Looks like you use special hardened bolts. Seems very simple. Is it legal where you can'r use screw into the tree steps?

Daniel Boone
September 22nd, 2002, 07:28 PM
I have bent several and proved at Amo show that they break. Guy told me they wouldnt break, well he was wrong and you should have seen his face when they snapped right there at show. I am big guy and several screw in have broke on me. I buy sucker rod in 5/8" size and drill into tree and drive with hammer. They are there for good though.

September 22nd, 2002, 09:11 PM
Why not use the screw in steps? They may be a bit on the expensive side but I know they start a lot easier than a std. lag bolt.

RubyCreek Ted
September 22nd, 2002, 11:19 PM
Russ, I have many screw in steps. I am always looking for new ways to climb. It seems like it would be good to drill at least the bottom 3-4 steps so that I could remove the steps when I leave to help keep the stand in the tree and prevent others from climbing up. I usually hunt several stands that I leave in the trees for the 2-3 weeks I get to hunt each year. Also, these 8" hardened bolts that slide into the holes are less expensive and 'may' be legal where screw in steps are not.

September 22nd, 2002, 11:30 PM
RubyCreek Ted,

I'd have to go with Russ on this one. It looks to me as if the bolts wouldn't fit tightly into the tree; if that's the case, I would be worried about knocking one out while climbing up or down. Most screw-in type steps aren't that hard to remove, and once the step has been removed, it is usually fast and easy to screw back into the same hole.

As to legality, you really need to check with the Michigan DNR or equivalent. One state south here in Indiana, it is illegal to use any type of climbing device that extends deeper than 1/2" into a tree on public lands. That would rule out the drill, I'm sure. I can't imagine anyone who doesn't want to mar their trees with a screw-in step approving a device that removes part of the tree for the same purpose.


September 23rd, 2002, 12:25 AM
I have hunted in Michigan, it has been several years now, but it seems to me screw in steps were legal for bow hunting (any treestand is, or was, illegal during gun season). I would be sure to check the hunting regs before using anything like that. Here in WI, we cannot use anything that penetrates the bark on a tree, so on public land I use strap-on type steps, and I have actually grown to like them better than the screw in ones. Much quieter, and far less effort to put them up, and to take them down. The only drawback is that they take up more space when carrying them, but with a little prep work, like wrapping the straps around each step, I can get a dozen of them in my fanny pack easily, also it keeps them from getting tangled together.

If you've got a lot of older screw in steps, keep an eye on those suckers, I've had some that I used for several years break while screwing them into trees, just glad I wasn't standing on 'em!

Good hunting!

September 23rd, 2002, 04:25 PM
Rhino is dead on about watching out for older screw in steps. I had one break on me last year while climbing a tree. Luckily though I wasnt but a few feet off the ground.

September 28th, 2002, 06:27 AM
I use climbing sticks. I hunt public lands where in Michigan the law says that if a guy gets to your stand before you do, he has a right to use it. I don't take my stand down every day, so I remove the bottom stick at the end of the day. That way I'm not damaging the tree, and I don't have to keep screwing and unscrewing my bottom steps.