Black Gold Sights
Tree Climbing Gafs?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
DarrinG 03-Mar-19
Fields 03-Mar-19
3arrows 03-Mar-19
Drahthaar 03-Mar-19
Bake 03-Mar-19
Woods Walker 03-Mar-19
Franklin 03-Mar-19
crowe 03-Mar-19
NDN 03-Mar-19
ground hunter 03-Mar-19
Tonybear61 04-Mar-19
Tonybear61 04-Mar-19
hawkeye in PA 05-Mar-19
Zbone 05-Mar-19
Tonybear61 05-Mar-19
Zbone 05-Mar-19
Woods Walker 05-Mar-19
Single bevel 06-Mar-19
pirogue 06-Mar-19
From: DarrinG
03-Mar-19
Anyone tried tree climbing gafs for mobile treestand hunting? I am always on the lookout for better ways to be super-mobile and lightweight for quick setups for hunting elevated. Ive saw a couple video's with guys using tree climbing gafs like arborists use. Seems super-lightweight way to get up a tree, but it looks like there could be an extensive learning-curve to using them safely. Thoughts?

From: Fields
03-Mar-19
I tried them one time, my dad was a lineman... I never used them to hunt... IMO, there are easier ways to hunt out of trees.

From: 3arrows
03-Mar-19
Make sure you own the tree.

From: Drahthaar
03-Mar-19
I was a tree climber with hooks many years ago, took thousands down from the top to the ground. DO NOT JUST GET a pair of hooks and think you can climb with them SAFLEY. they will KILL YOU. But yes they are a quick way to get up a tree. Forrest

From: Bake
03-Mar-19
I looked into these about 10 years ago. I was lighter and more nimble then. A buddy who works for an electric company borrowed a good pair from a lineman, and we spent an afternoon climbing trees.

I wanted to pair with a tree saddle.

I concluded it wasn’t worth it. For one thing, it wasn’t quiet. I never felt entirely comfortable either.

From: Woods Walker
03-Mar-19
Listen to Drathaar!!! I used to do tree work too many years ago. Gaffs are NOT for weekend warriors. Definitely a professional's tool.

From: Franklin
03-Mar-19
I tried these as well....forget about it. I didn`t get up 4' in a tree before I said forget it...lol

From: crowe
03-Mar-19
I own a tree company and climbing trees is an everyday thing for us. Don't just buy a set of gaffs and start trying to get into a treestand. Theres much more to it than that. We never leave the ground until we have set a climbing line in the tree and always work with two points of attachment. Also we try not to use gaffs on trees we aren't removing, they leave the tree open to all sorts of bugs and diseases. It is an industry standard to use rope access without the use of spikes /gaffs whenever possible for trimming etc.

From: NDN
03-Mar-19
Have used them since 1983 and yes they require a learning curve but once comfortable with them, they can make you a very mobile hunter. I'm sure they can cause a tree to be more susceptable to a disease or injury but that's not what I've experienced as I've been climbing many of the same trees for many years and they're still fine. Try a good set with actual bark spurs (not pole spurs) and see if you're comfortable. They can be dangerous if you kick out but climbing any tree has potential for danger so just do what you can handle. I say get them and try them out.

03-Mar-19
I just watched Free Solo,,,,,, that guy could climb a tree I am sure

From: Tonybear61
04-Mar-19
Been using them for about 25 years now. The professional type (Buckinghams) not the knock off ankle sportsman climbers. Get the off-set gaff, synthetic straps and extra big pads. Use a full body harness with double lineman's belt. Belt for climbing, back lanyard once in the stand. That way always clipped in. Talk about mobile and quick to set-up, can't be beat. I move around enough in the huge wooded forests I go to that I don't damage any one tree to the point of destruction. Come to think of it trimming a tree for shooting lanes, etc. probably does as much "damage". Its mostly surface bark, some scars that fill with sap, etc. Compare that to a tree step that goes 2 1/2-3 inches into the wood. With all the clear cutting on the public lands I hunt the trees generally don't make it more than 25-30 years anyway. Loggers appreciate I don't leave metal steps, nails, hangers, etc. in the trees.

From: Tonybear61
04-Mar-19
Add to the that I have had both hips replaced, easiest way to still get in to trees..

05-Mar-19
In Pennsylvania they would be totally illegal unless you owned the tree. Also gaff length is different between tree 'hooks' and lineman 'hooks'.

From: Zbone
05-Mar-19
Been working telecommunications industry for 39 years and own 3 sets of hooks, my pole climbing hooks are Klein's, and have set of Bashums (sp) with tree gaffs, and an old pair of Brooks I retired... Tree gaffs are MUCH longer than pole gaffs, and although I tried hunting with them when younger, they are not feasible...

Klein's are the most comfortable to me, and their gaffs are available in 3 pole lengths, (I know, cause recently purchase a new set of gaffs,,, $80 just for the gaffs) but I don't think they make a true tree gaff, at least not for my model... Their climbers are designed for poles, (or at least my model is) although they may have different models, maybe for trees, don't really know, didn't check at the time because was no longer interest in climbing trees on hooks....

But if you are serious about climbing trees with hooks, they do do a lot of damage to the tree and will scar and/or kill the tree if used too much...

From: Tonybear61
05-Mar-19
But if you are serious about climbing trees with hooks, they do do a lot of damage to the tree and will scar and/or kill the tree if used too much...

Depends on the tree, on some Red Oaks barely makes a scratch past the outer bark, especially if its cold out. Aspens -sap fills the damage in the same season, same with pines, basswood not so much. I know as I have been using some of the same trees for over 20 years. Of course I alternate locations, the trees I have lost were broken in half or knocked over by straight line wind storms or as I mentioned earlier taken down by loggers...

From: Zbone
05-Mar-19
I agree Tony, it depends on the tree and as you mentioned, some trees are tougher than others,,, but any damage to the trunk, even small scars, especially repeatedly is not heathy for any tree...

crowe could probably help us out more about hooks and tree damage specifics, telephone poles is more my forte...8^)

From: Woods Walker
05-Mar-19
When I did tree work we'd only use gaffs on trees that were coming down. For trimming no gaffs.

From: Single bevel
06-Mar-19
You might want to ask about them over at the saddle hunter.com forum. Several guys over there use them. That site has some very creative tree climbing guys. Lots of "unconventional" ways to get up a tree. Stay safe.

From: pirogue
06-Mar-19
I've used for many years. Like already stated, get proper instruction, and use bark spurs instead of pole spurs, professional brand like Klein, instead of something on Zulilly. You can be as safe as you want with lifeline and harness. Been piercing the same tree(s) for years, and the trees keep on growing. A lot of negativity comes from people who can't use them on certain public land.

  • Sitka Gear