Concerns about strapsContributors to this thread:
Backpack Hunter 15-Aug-17
elk yinzer 15-Aug-17
I am going to set up on some private land and the land owner doesn't want me to use screw in tree steps so that means I must use my strap on climbing systems. I have Summit Rapid steps, Jim Stepp ladder rope on steps and a centipede strap on ladder. Besides theft (I live 2.5 hrs from the land) I am concerned about squirrels chewing on the straps as I recently have heard (much to my surprise) squirrels tend to chew straps be they ratchet straps or cinch straps. Finding out your strap has been compromised due to squirrels after placing my 270lbs on the step it's attached to at 15-20' above ground is not something I would care to experience. I have for 25+ years used screw in tree steps for all my long term stand placements and till now have only used strap on climbing systems for very short term placements, rarely longer than 3-5 days. So to those who have left your strap on climbing systems in squirrel infested woods have you ever had any of your straps be they either ratchet straps or straps used to attach climbing sticks or steps to a tree ever damaged by a squirrels chewing on them? Thanks, DTJager/Art
I have had straps on ladders left out in the woods all year long for 10 years straight. I've never seen a what you describe. and we have a billion giant red squirrels in our woods. I have had a strap or 2 fail in my day. But we check them with climbing harnesses before the start of season every year and replace anything needing it. Climbing sticks are actually really safe. If one strap was to fail, there are many more holding it up. I usually double strap the top rung just to be safe. Double strap tree stands as well.
From: Backpack Hunter
If seriously concerned about chewing on the straps just spray with Sniff N Stop's Chew Breaker spray. Keeps squirrels, mice, etc. from chewing on soy based electrical lines, and LP lines. Don't see why it wouldn't work for treestand straps.
From: elk yinzer
Packable sticks are an obvious solution and really it is much more advantageous to be mobile anyway. Hawk helium are a great design in my opinion, I have my eyes on a pair for this offseason. I use a Muddy brand set that is similar but the steps do not fold. I have to practice them a few times each year to get fast and quiet but pair them with a lineman's belt and they are really pretty simple to use.
I've had ladder stand straps gnawed in two by something, rat or squirrel, I never knew. Makes no difference, still dangerous.
I see more sun damage from straps left in for the full season. The squirrels never touched them and we have tons of grey and red squirrels. If they show any signs of fraying, I replace them. But overall leaving them out in the elements for long periods of time is not a good idea. Portability removable climbing sticks or steps make the most sense.
If you don't want to hang your stand each time, I would hang the stand and then just bring your 3 strap on steps such as LW or others with each time. No one is getting into your stand unless they have steps, and all concerns are gone. 3 steps take about 3 minutes to put on a tree very quietly.
As for straps , I would replace them each yr if left out , and inspect them . Two yr limit . Animals chew my pull cords and blinds , seldom mess with my stands though.
Always had more damage from weathering than the tree rats. I have several stands that hav been out for several years
I use the 20ft ladder sticks for all my setups, its continuous vs separate sections. I have had a strap or two chewed on over the years but when you have many straps holding the ladder its not an issue and easy to fix. You can get the 20ft sticks fairly cheap nowadays so if they get stolen, your only out $30.