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Best Public Land Tree stand
Wanting to start hunting public land. Any suggestions on what tree stands and climbing method to use. This year I tried the saddle with helium hawk sticks. Not sold on saddle. Helium sticks are okay except I noticed they made noise when climbing on them. Thinking about the chippewa wedgelok system. Any suggestions?
I'm a fan of my saddle, but for longer sits, the JX3 Hybrid looks interesting.
I run a lone wolf alpha as well as a Tethrd Phantom saddle depending on distance and brush. Use lone wolf sticks to climb with.
I prefer a climber with a full enclosure as long as there’s a tree that I can run it up. I have a respect for heights and prefer to carry the extra weight for the added piece of mind. With practice, you can be very quiet.
If I have to use a hang on because of the tree, I still pay a weight penalty for a larger platform. I also tape my climbing sticks to cut down on noise.
If you’re more comfortable with heights, my buddy uses the lone wolf stands and likes them a lot.
Summit makes some very good quality climbers an an economical price point. I bought the “180” fifteen years ago. Only thing I’ve ever done is replace the seat (new this year). One of the better investments I’ve made...
Lone Wolf Sit and Climb climber and Lone Wolf Assault hang on and 4 Lone Wolf sticks.
I have a Summit climber too but rarely use it because it's so much bulkier and noisy to carry, attach to the tree and climb with compared to the Lone Wolf. If you're buying a climber for the first time I recommend spending the extra money for the Lone Wolf.
API Outdoors Alumi-Tech 20' QuikStik is my favorite to use with hang-on, can take the stiks with me for days not going to be in the stand, there light weight and easy to use. Still using my older API hang-on. Bought a Summit Open Shot Climber this year, light weight and easy to use, but a bit noisy, but easy to quite down.
If the area you are in has a good number of straight trees like red oaks or white pines for example, a climber like a summit or LW is solid.
But if you will travel or are unsure, a sticks and stand or saddle is the way to go. I've used a climber for a LONG time, and just moved to a saddle this year. It has a learning curve for sure, and I think a fixed stand like an XOP or LW could be used in the same situations. But the saddle is lighter, and the "hide behind the tree" thing is legit in terms of how it helps when hunting.
The Chippewa stand and a saddle, you get the best of both worlds. You can use stand as a platform than loosen the tether and turn around and sit. I use a 20" knaider and 4 20" hawk sticks. Works great on public!! Shawn
From a weight-saving standpoint a saddle sounds like a good idea, but I just can't get past the idea of the dang thing snapping and sending me to the ground back first...seems like it would dump you right on your neck with no chance of using your arms or legs to break the fall.
Ditch the straight saddle and get a Jx3 saddle stand. Has a bar to put against the tree. You can relax and not be crammed against the tree or have to use kneepads. I use lone wolf or Hawk sticks on my setups. The XOP sticks are what i would get if i didnt already have some tho.
For run and gun on public it's hard to beat a climber. I have an old Loggy Bayou that I like. One piece with a seat. But, there have been a lot of times now that I'm in a woods full of trees and can not get up one where I want with a climber. I bought 3 sticks now to use with my loc-on that works better, but the saddle may be the better option.
I am old and still hunt some public. I use a ladder stand & haul it into location pre scouted with my Deer hauler Then, if needed it's there. I only have to put one section in as I keep it together. Little slower in & out than other ways but best for me. I have a 12 footer I use sometimes if there is good tree cover.
South farm - I struggled with that, man. I thought I was past it pre season learning to shoot form the thing in my backyard. But some how in the woods... I kept thinking I was going to do a "trust fall" into the earth like a dang lawn dart. Not good for a guy who dislikes heights, quite a bit.
I discovered a fair number of folks feel similarly and have done different things. One guy on my local state Bowsite Forum made a second tether out of amsteel and a second bridge of amsteel, thus is redundantly attached to the tree and loves is. I tried that with a normal tree stand safety line, but ultimately settled on making a tether of tubular webbing off the linemans loops on my saddle, and I clip in to the prussic above my ropeman / carabiner which is the main attachment for my bridge to the tether. That way if the biner or ropeman broke (probably not possible) or my bridge broke or the bridge loops on my saddle broke (I probably get hit by lightening before finishing this post before that happens) I'd still be attached. It was a level of redundancy that I liked.
I could still see the double tether as the other guy I noted has done, but this approach gave me the confidence I needed and it's worked out.
Do all you can though to try a saddle and maybe shoot from one a bit before buying. It's great, but it's different and while some folks "get it" fast... I took some time to really warm up to it. Now I really like it and enjoy hunts from it, but that took consistent practice from March to September and then hunting Sept to now!
Thanks for this info. Will, could you send pics sometime of your saddle setup? Also I will look at LW setup too.
My last 5 bucks have been all on public land I have learned you have to go in silent and be able to set up silent. I use the Lone Wolf with a Hushcover installed before leaving the lot, the back rest/seat wont clang when folding and un folding. Then when hoisting up things don't clang either. Although most do not use screw in steps I still do but I also do not go over 10' - 12' high either.
Where I hunt on public land, you have to move your stand every third day. It also is a game cart.
I really dont understand the quiet as a mouse thing!! I do not sound dampen any of my sticks or platform. I mean you walk in through a woods covered in crunchy leaves and than set up. I have hung stands and my saddle platform with deer bedded under 100 yds away. If ya did not bump them walking in and are not seen setting up they most likely wont bust ya setting up your stands and sticks as long as you take your time. Also saddles are everybit as safe if not safer than your harness and that damn black strap. I tried a saddle 20 years ago, hated it, now I absolutely love being able to walk in, find sign and be up and hunting in 10 minutes or so, as I said you can do that with a stand as well but with the saddle and a real tiny stand you get the best of both worlds and can pretty much shoot 360 degrees as just a stand limits you to maybe 320 degrees and thats if your lucky. Shawn
TV, I’m not Will but, I ain’t got nothing better to do either. So, I laid out my setup. For you.
My pack is a Kifaru tactical frame that I use a DT3, 22 mag., or a custom pack I had made. The sticks are hawk helium that I cut to 21 inches and Added a two step, 36” amsteel blue aider to each stick. The platform for this year past is called the podium. It’s made by out on a limb. I liked it. But, will probably go with an amsteel mod instead of the suppliedvstrap next year. And, in the brown pouch is my saddle with pockets, bow holders, pull up ropes, and knee pads.
Im over packed for hunts where packing deer aren’t required. So, when I hunt areas that I drag it cart them out to the truck, I use a cheapo back pack from Walmart to carry this stuff.
Hope this helped.
I worry less about crunching leaves as I do metal on metal sound.
I do quite well on public and as I said to each their own, but I am as quiet setting up as the guys who bundle everything in stealth strips and moleskin and you name it. I will also say I really likie the 20" helium sticks but if you read forums or look at reviews you will see they have an issue the male/female connectors to hold them together are way to tight. So tight in fact 80% of the folks using them broke one or more or all. I actually had to open up the step and smack it off a tree on three sticks and broke them all on one set. the other set I was at camp got them apart and than reamed out the female part with a drill bit and they are wonderful. Again look at the Chippewa platform or their tiny Ghost stand as a platform and stand combo. Shawn
i use the chippewa system. i either have chain set in tree or take one in with me. i like it a lot better than taking in a climber. i just hang sticks and leave them up for the season. i lose one or two per year but its worth it to just have to hang the stand real quick and get in it with out too much exertion.
Shawn, I had that problem with the longer sticks too. So, I just took them off altogether.