November 5th, 2012, 09:34 AM
Shooting from a tree stand question.
Sat in a tree stand for the first time in my life on Saturday, which was also my first bowhunt. I'm not real fond of heights, so just getting comfortable with being up there was a challenge.
Once I was able to move around a bit, though, I found the only way I was able to comfortably draw back and hold was sitting, aiming to my left. My draw weight is easy enough to pull back, but getting it out in front without running into the tree with my elbow was not really easy. Standing up facing the tree to draw to my left just feels dicey.
Just interested to hear how most of you set up - I'm sure some people are comfortable to just stand and face whatever direction they feel like - how about those of you who sit?
November 5th, 2012, 09:40 AM
Shooting from a tree stand question.
I hunt some of the thickest woods you'll ever see because thats where the deer are. Do whatever is comfortable. I sometimes sit to draw my bow and then stand to shoot because there are branches in my way which inhibit me from standing while pulling back. Another piece of advice, get a good comfortable safety harness if you dont already have one, they give you an great sense of safety and security which makes hunting more enjoyable.
2012 Hoyt Vector 32
Trophy Ridge Fire Wire
QAD Hunter Rest
8" B Stinger Pro Hunter
November 5th, 2012, 09:43 AM
Just be sure you are using a good, safe harness system that you have confidence in.
If I'm up higher than normal (above 20') I find that it helps to have a good, thick limb elbow or waist high. Or another tree or be in a large fork so there's something close by. I may be the only one like this.
But I know what you are feeling. If I were in a hang on, up high, and on a light pole, I'd get shaky too. Mentally, I just need something else close by for comfort.
November 5th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Yep - do have a good safety harness, and it's in a sturdy tree. The stand doesn't move or shift in the least, it's just my comfort level with the situation.
My stand is a Gorilla hang on - nice big platform, and sturdy. I didn't know anything about them when I bought it, was just looking for one that had a big platform.
I'll experiment with the technique of sitting to draw, then standing. I'm sure it's like anything, practicing to get proficient.
November 5th, 2012, 11:20 AM
I set up my harness/tether so that when I shoot, I'm leaning out over the edge of my stand. I'm adjusted to where pretty much all my weight is on the safety strap more or less. I do this because it helps me maintain my form and not have to drop my brace arm, thereby maintaining my "T." I missed my first deer by shooting over the top of it because I did this (dropping my brace arm while sitting down), so I've corrected that form issue ever since.
Some may argue that this set up puts too much faith in the safety equipment but I believe this is the correct way to shoot from a stand. I think as long as you test and check your equipment before hand, you will be safe. If you are just afraid of heights, well that's another issue all together.
Btw: You should at least practice shooting from an elevated position a few times before you try it on a live target. Elevated shots tend to make you shoot high anyway, so you ought to practice that shot so you know where your arrow is going to hit.
Place your stand where you have thick cover to your back so you don't have to worry about turning around on a tree-facing shot. That's not a safe shot. There's too much going on with your feet, too much movement to get in place, and there would have to be too much slack in your strap if you can still turn all the way around. There should be only enough slack in your strap for you to turn to the sides and lean forward a little. That way if you happen to "fall," you won't actually fall as much as you would just catch on the strap a little. These folks who have falls from stands and fall a couple of feet before they are restrained ain't doing it right.
November 5th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Even people with phobia can learn to tolerate heights. Repetitive exposure is the key. Until I started shooting from my backyard practice treestand, I missed many easy shots on deer. I never had a phobia and i used to be a roofer, so it didn't take long for me to get comfortable up there. The answer is the same either way. Find a way to practice regularly from a treestand with a safety harness system you trust. You'll figure out the form problems we all do when shooting elevated. You can also set up a treestand a couple feet off the ground 'Till you get to trust the stand and your harness system. Hang from the harness and lunge against it while you're only 2 feet off the ground. Jump up and down on the treestand. If you can't practice elevated and get used to it, do yourself and the deer a favor and hunt from the ground.
November 5th, 2012, 12:45 PM
Thanks, guys. Good advice, I'll definitely practice elevated a short distance off the ground with my treestand and harness. I did practice elevated from a platform at the range, but it's not even close to the same as shooting from that tiny perch. In the meantime, I will most likely build myself a blind with some stakes and hunt from the ground.