Sitka Gear
stands in small trees?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
BrentC 11-Dec-22
JTreeman 11-Dec-22
APauls 11-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost 11-Dec-22
Catscratch 11-Dec-22
Basil 11-Dec-22
Jebediah 11-Dec-22
W 12-Dec-22
Starfire 12-Dec-22
ahunter76 12-Dec-22
DonVathome 12-Dec-22
Michael 12-Dec-22
KHNC 12-Dec-22
goyt 12-Dec-22
From: BrentC
Our entire lease has been clear cut in three stages. The oldest cut was in 2005 so the trees are maybe 10-12” in diameter. Just barely big enough for the climbing sticks. I have a couple sets in some split gum trees but they are still flimsy. I thought about strapping the trees together to firm it up. Any suggestions or tricks for setting up in small trees? Any brand of stand better than others?

From: JTreeman
I don’t know how dense your brush is but I’ve hunted several places with tripod stands tucked into the trees. It kinda depends on the type of trees and how spooky your deer are too.


From: APauls
Hunted a LOT of small trees. Some areas that’s all we got. Hang about 10 feet up or even less. Saddle is better cause you’re behind the tree.

From: Aspen Ghost
Ladder stands can work but 10-12" diameter is pretty small. It may sway a lot. You may need to go with the tripod stands or maybe even build a freestanding elevated stand. All these options do limit your flexibility to change sets to some degree and make it more expensive to have multiple sets.

From: Catscratch
I've hunted a lot of small and twisted trees. Shifted to ladder stands for quite a while then converted to mostly ground hunting. I can handle some swaying if I'm in a ladder but with those small trees you need to be careful about the skyline.

From: Basil
I’m a big guy upwards of 250#. I hunt small trees quite a bit. Need some wind or they seem to notice branches wiggling every time you shift your weight. Not preferred but sometimes it’s the spot on the spot.

From: Jebediah
Perfectly happy with smaller trees like that, but I only go up about 12 feet.

From: W
Ladder stand is the answer.

From: Starfire
Ladder Stand, I've actually had good luck with low stands (only two ladder sections) in areas that have been cleared. The underbrush grows up and I set my stand so I can just see over. In one area like that I raised my stand to be higher and every deer would bust me. I lowered the stand into the brush and shot one of my biggest bucks.

From: ahunter76
Ladder stand. I actually used a 12 foot double ladder in Texas where it was just brush. I put it in a thick pile of brush & then used "lots" of nylon tow strap I had. Mind you, this brush was growing & so thick you could not penetrate it at all. A miss & a kill out of it.

From: DonVathome
Tough one. Unless you branch in your stand you are going to stick out. Branching in could easily alert a mature buck for at least a year. Movement issue others mentioned is also a factor.

Mature bucks will notice a ladder and avoid it. I have often seen 1-1/2 year old bucks instantly spot something new that is less noticeable then a ladder stand.

From: Michael
I have hunted out of trees that small over the last few years.

A saddle with sticks works well. I use Amstel rope instead of a strap on the sticks.

I did put a stand in a 12” tree this year though and it worked out pretty well.

As others have mentioned. Usually don’t get very high. I think the highest I got was maybe 15’.

You just can’t afford to get caught off guard in a tree like that.

From: KHNC
Deer completely ignore guys that saddle hunt. Read that online. Seems legit.

From: goyt
I put a stand in a 12" or less tree this year. There were larger trees that may have worked well for most of the deer using the area but there was a corner that I thought that cruising bucks might use that this tree was perfect for. Also, the tree is an oak with a wide crown. I was able to put the stand above where the crown spread out and as of a week ago the dry leaves were still providing cover. I used some sectional sticks to get to the stand. With the tree being so small and having the stand in the crown, I can't access the stand from the side. I stood on a branch in the crown to hang it. I have to tie the stand in the vertical position and step from the sticks to a branch to get around and above the stand and then drop the stand platform down with the rope and step on to the stand. I wrapped hockey tape on the stand in places to reduce noise while I was doing this. I just love the setup. Nothing sees me up there. I think that so far I could have shot every buck that I have seen. The only negative is that the tree does move a little when I stand. I have the crown cut out so that I can shoot either standing or sitting.

The tree is only 8"s or so where the stand is hung, probably less. I added a rachet strap near the top to make sure that it does not unhook. I have to leave it loose enough raise and lower the platform as I get in and out. I have a safety line and I feel perfectly safe in it.

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