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Treestands: it's a whole new game for the nineties.


There was a time when offering treestands to deer hunters was as simple as stocking a couple of brands or styles. In recent years, however, tree and tripod stand design has emerged as one of the most dynamic areas in the hunting industry. Gone forever are the days when before the opening day of the season, the average deer hunter found a likely ambush point, and nailed an arm load of planks across the fork of a tree.

Many factors have lead to the evolution of the sophisticated array of treestands available today. Old fashion American entrepreneur spirit lead to many improvements in modern stand design. However, other equally important factors provided a catalyst for several of the new treestand designs.

All stand makers now strive harder for safer, more refined products. The era of treestands made by fly-by-night treestand makers has passed. High liability insurance costs put many early treestand builders out of business. Those remaining now offer treestands of superior stability and much improved safety.

High-tech, lightweight alloys are commonplace in the construction of modern treestands. Non-reflective finishes are standard. Industry insiders believe light, all-metal stands with fabric seats will dominate the future. Presently, the trend appears to be away from plywood that can rot, and that casts solid shadows on the ground, although many high quality stands still employ plywood in their construction.

Treestands have become increasingly "user friendly". Greater emphasis has been placed on incorporating a higher degree of comfort into a stand's design. Comfortable hunters stay in the woods longer, and the more time one spends in the woods, the greater their chances are of bagging a trophy buck.

Outside forces have forced other changes in how stands are designed. Growing objections among farmers and public hunting land managers who oppose "biting" treestands and boring-style climbing aids that often damage valuable trees. Many of the new treestands do little if any damage. Makers often strive to have stand designs okayed by public land managers. It is important for sporting goods dealers to know what is permitted in their state, and what treestands are available which will fill the needs of their customers.

This year potential treestand buyers will discover a whole new generation of innovative climbers and climbing aids that inflict no damage on trees. Amidst it all, is a rebirth in interest in tripod and ladder style stands. These do not require trees. The array of different types and styles of elevated hunting stands is greater today than ever before.

Retailers can increase their treestand sales and their share of the lucrative deer hunting market by knowing values of each treestand and how it applies to the hunting conditions of their customers. Know your products, and take time to find out the type of hunting individuals do. When matched with the proper gear, a hunter's chances for success increase. Successful deer hunters are return customers.

The Stands

Buck shot's new "PortaClimber" is nicknamed the `Cadillac' of climbing treestands. It features padded seat, back and arm rests. You will be hard pressed to find a steadier, safer or more simple to use climbing treestand. When in use, its seat faces the tree, making it particularly attractive to gun hunters. The PortaClimber can be used on trees 8" to 18" in diameter. At under 20 pounds, it is easily carried through the woods. It is recommended for gun and archery hunting.

Forrester Tree Stands' new "Ultimate" ladder stand has five noteworthy features. Its steel tubular frame extends up to 15'. Everything is welded to eliminate moving parts that jam, rust or squeak. The "Tree Gripping" portable ladder attaches so close to the tree it is almost invisible. A camlocking action chain harmlessly attaches the stand and ladder to the tree. The hunter comfortably hunts on a waterproof, 1-1/4" polyurethane foam padded seat above a 13" x 23" `steady-stance' platform: one of the widest offered. It is ideal for gun or archery hunting, especially where stands can be left for extended periods of time.

Warren and Sweat's new "Special" combines unique reversible features that are ideal for bow and gun hunters. With the positioned back rest up, the recliner-style seat faces the tree. Reversed, the user's back is against the tree, and their feet rest on the seat back. The unit weighs under 20 pounds. If going up a tree is out of the question, the company's new "Sentinel Tower" quad-pod stand may be the answer. Its all-aluminum, case-hardened hardware is rated to support up to 300 pounds. The legs come in 4' sections that can extend the Sentinel Tower's comfortable swivel seat up to 20' above the ground. The side and forearm rests are standard. Again, each stand is ideal for bow or gun hunting.

Cross River's new "Hunter's Seat" is designed for deer hunters on the go. At under 3 pounds, this cushioned seat can be carried on your belt. It secures to a tree by rope or chain. Mobile deer hunters will love this lightweight treestand.

Advanced Hunting Equipment's "Tree Lounge" is unmatched for comfort and versatility. Inventor Bob Hice says comfort is one reason hunters do stay in the woods long. Although it is designed to support up to 1,000 pounds, the Tree Lounge's all-aluminum hardware will not damage trees. The optional 20" wheels create a cart for hauling downed deer. An optional camo pillow and padded seat add perfect comfort while hunting with a 360 degree view. The Tree Lounge is ideal for use in gun and archery hunting.

Noel's Trophy Products' "Easy Climber" is a unique, fully adjustable sit-and-climb stand. High carbon steel and aluminum are used throughout its construction. The Easy Climber has no spikes or sharp angles; its angle-wedge design does not damage trees. The climber has two permanent seats. The platform is stable and does not shift when walked on. An innovative spring loaded wedging mechanism permits instant leveling of the stand at any height. Archers will love the Easy Climbers, but it is also an excellent gun-hunting stand.

Summit Specialties' new "Sentry" hanging stand is compactly designed to allow hunters to easily slip by limbs. It secures via a high strength strap and roller adjuster system that accommodates 6" to 30" trees. At only 13 pounds, the Sentry can be carried anywhere. The new "Summit" climbing stand has big turn knobs, on its unique, `backbar' disengagement for quick, simple use. The Summit features all-steel, welded construction, see-through platform design and comfortable, large seats in Realtree printed fabric, yet it weighs only 18 pounds. Archers find the Sentry much to their liking.

Saf-Tree Products' new "Vantage Point" treestand features "Vari-Pitch" pin screw mounting. The patented grip is insured by the sharp, tapered starting thread that blends into over-sized lag threads. This thread design's grip is superior to that of a standard lag. After the pin is secured, and the stand is mounted on a tree, the stand is belted securely in place against the tree. These 12 to 14 pound stands feature see-through bottoms, and adjustable height and padded swivel seats. When not used, the unit folds against the tree.

Loc-On's new "Ladder Stands" and "Spirit" fixed position stands are available in gray Realtree or Trebark camo patterns. Plastic stops prevent the three-piece, 10' ladder from sinking into the ground. (At 20 pounds, it is easily carried.) A rope or chain can be used to attach the Spirit to trees. This bantam-weight hits the scales at under 11 pounds. Loc-On's compact new "EZY Climb Tree Steps" boast self-tapping screws that bore into any tree. Their non-boring, new "EZY Hang-On Step" secures firmly to trees by utilizing a 1,600 pound tested speed-hitch rope. Loc-On is the oldest name in the treestand industry, and prized by gun and bow hunters.

Loggy Bayou's new stands feature high-tech aluminum with steel fittings separated by nylon bushings for silent operation. They also feature a slated, skid resistant platform and a Trebark camo finish for concealment. The stands weigh just over 10 pounds and have built-in shoulder straps for arm-free carrying. They can be used as a climber or hang-on stand. Loggy Bayou stands are ideal for on-the-go go hunters, especially bowhunters.

Thomas Tree Stand's new "Nylon Camo Blind" for their "Portable Platform" stand turns favorite hunting spots into productive spots. Fully-assembled, the egg-shapened woodland camo pattern covered blind has a 360 degree shooting vent, but can be used with, or without the waterproof top. The quad-leg design incorporates one leg as a ladder to the hunting platform.

East Enterprises' new Apache "Lil' Critter" climbing stand is designed for safe hunting high in trees. It has all-aluminum, tubular/square hardware, yet despite its stout, heavy-duty appearance, the Lil' Critter weighs only 18 pounds. The new "Chief" ladder stand features a safety strap that prevents unexpected shifts while in use. This lightweight (under 20 pounds) ladder stand is easily carried and quickly assembled.

Game Tracker's new "GT Tree Seat" is the lightest stand available. Steel tough nylon strapping holds the cushioned GT Tree Seat flush against trees. Its calibrated center brace allows usage on even crooked trees. Climbing trees is easy with Game Tracker's selection of easy to use, screw-in tree steps that come in folding, detachable and fixed models that hold up to 600 pounds.

Bear Brand's new "Grizzly" ladder stand extends to 10' and breaks down into three sections. At 31 pounds, it features all-steel, welded construction. The Grizzly fits all tree sizes. The new "Climbing" Bear" also has all-steel, welded construction, plus Bear Brand's easy to use sleeve fit adjustable angle brace that reduces rigging time. The Climbing Bear does not damage trees. Bear Brand stands have non-glare anodized finishes.

Buck-Buster's new "Pro Set" combo package includes a chain-on stand; padded, Trebark covered stool; and six rope-on steps that never damage trees. The new "BBL3-R Ladder Platform" extends to almost 12" and has a 19" X 32" platform, yet weighs only 21 pounds. It attaches "super-tight" to trees with its accompanying 1,200 lbs. mini-winch. The stand has a wear-resistant camo finish.

Sport Climber's new "Sport Climbers" and "Safety Belt/Lanyard" enables anyone to scale tall trees. Using the climbing aid concept of lumberjacks, the belt-on stainless steel, patented "V" spikes bite into trees without transferring pressure to the ankle. The Safety Belt/Lanyard has military "spec" parachute hardware.

API Outdoor's new Alum-i-Lok "Treecat" is a climber/fixed position stand recommended to hunters up to 300 pounds. Made from 100% aircraft aluminum and weighing only 14 pounds this easy to use climber locks on with a 3,800 pound test strap and buckle assembly. Their new "Predator" climbing stand features the same high quality hardware, and folds up in an easily backpacked, 26-pound portable package. The best part about the Predator though, is its comfortable "Easy Chair" with a foot rest that is ideal for gun or bow hunting.

Buckmaster's new "Tree Chair" climber features aluminum with a steel back blade, grade 5 hardened bolt, lock nut and nylon washer construction. Comfort is insured by a 16" X 22" seat platform. The foot rest takes the weight off of the feet. The Tree Chair folds for easy carrying, and weighs only 12 pounds. It fits 7" to 17" trees. It is only available directly from Buckmaster.

Climax Tree Stands' new climbing stand has welded aluminum/steel construction to eliminate squeaks. Its transparent design and non-glare, flat finish allows it to blend into woodlands. A chain lock-on system provides stability and protects against theft. At only 12-1/2 pounds, these fold-up climbers are easily backpacked.

Joe Amacker's new all-aluminum "Classic Rifle Stand" is the latest improvement of the original Amacker climbing stand. Its new Flex Arm support eliminates the need to remove pins to set the folding arm. It slides away from the main arm, then locks in place easily. A padded backrest provides comfort during day long hunts. Amacker's new 12' "Ladder Stand" features aluminum construction, and a 19" X 29" plywood platform. This economical unit disassembles into three sections and weighs 25 pounds.

Northwest Metals' new Invader series -- the "Climbing Stick/Prospector" and "Invader Tripod" -- are designed and made by deer hunters. The easy-lock, chain-on Prospector has a 24" X 18" platform, yet weighs only 12 pounds. Rope fasteners secure the two-piece, 12' Climbing Stick ladder to trees. (Optional, 6' ladder sections are available.) The Invader Tripod stand provides overview hunting, even when trees are unavailable. Its fold-down, swivel seat and gun/security rail turn together. The Invader Tripod folds flat, and weighs 60 pounds. It is available in 8' and 10' heights.

C&F Products' new "Master Hunter Stand" is a hanging stand that features all-aluminum channel hardware, and quiet "Astro-Turf"-type carpet covered seat and platform. A smooth, 4" steel post insures against slippage. A 2" wide strap secures the Master Hunter Stand without damaging trees. Backstraps are built onto the base of the platform, and at only 12 pounds, this extremely functional stand is easily transported anywhere a hunter cares to take it.

PHOTO : Bear Brand's new "Grizzly" ladder stand.

PHOTO : Summit's Sentry is built for the hunter who is looking for a non-climbing stand with the

PHOTO : quality features of a climbing treestand.

PHOTO : Loc-On's new Spirit treestand.

PHOTO : Noel's Trophy Product's new "Easy Climber".

PHOTO : Warren & Sweat's New "Special" climbing stand can be used by both bow hunters and gun

PHOTO : hunters by simply reversing the back rest.

PHOTO : API Outdoor's Alum-i-lite "TreeCat".

PHOTO : Game Tracker's new "GT Tree Seat" and screw-in climbing steps.

PHOTO : Climax Tree Stands' new "Climbing Stand".
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:hunting equipment
Author:Rivers, Ed; Davis, P.
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Aug 1, 1989
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