I think we can all agree that hanging a stand isn't the easiest or funnest part of hunting. But regardless, like anything, there's an easy way to do it and a hard way.

Take a look at the information below if you're trying to hang a stand for the first time, or if you're just looking for a better way to do it. I'm sure there's a thing or two you'll learn! 

Gear You Need Before You Start

Before hanging your stand, you're going to need a gear checklist to make sure you're prepared. Remember to bring the following items, so you don't have to drive back home!

Gear You Need To Hang A Stand

1. Safety Harness

We all know treestand accidents are way too common, and even though you're not technically hunting - you need to have a hunting safety harness on with a lineman's rope attached as soon as you leave the ground.

2. Pruning Shears or Saw

Sometimes you find the perfect tree and that one little limb is right in the way. For this reason, be sure to bring along a pair of pruning shears or a small saw just in case you have to clean up a thing or two.

This is will also come in handy in a section below!

3. Trail Markers

When you hang your stand, you'll most likely be in a relatively new spot. As a result, take a few trail markers to layout your perfect entry and exit route from your truck to your stand.

4. Gear Rope

Lastly, once you have your climbing steps and hang on properly up and secured, you're going to need a way to hoist up your gear. Bring along a strong rope that is lengthy enough to reach your stand height.

Picking Your Tree & Location

No matter if you pick a hang-on stand, climbing stand or ladder stand, you need to be mindful of your tree type, as well as your location.

Best Trees For Hang-On Treestands

When picking a tree, I like to find a reliable maple, oak, or poplar.

Now, that doesn't mean these are always going to be the best, but they do give you the best chance to find a straight, solid tree with a good amount of cover.

Also, make sure to avoid any dead or leaning trees, or those that are too skinny to support a stand and hunter. Furthermore, staying away from trees with smooth or scaly bark will help your stand stay secure.

Best Trees To Hang A Stand

Considering Location

Of course, when picking a treestand location, you want to be where the deer are! 

Travel Corridors

If you're in a new area, try your best to identify the feeding and bedding areas of the deer around you. From there, recognizing travel corridors and trails between these two points is going to put you in the best possible spot to succeed. 

While scouting, remember to utilize trail cameras to confirm these travel patterns, and keep in mind that those mature bucks are most likely going to travel in thicker areas, away from open terrain, to avoid being spotted by predators.

Wind Direction

From here, don't forget about the wind. While wind is relatively hard to predict, try your best to pick stand locations based on different situations. If the wind is bad in one location, having another stand in a different location might save you from getting winded.

Entry & Exit Points

And lastly, consider your entry and exit routes to your stand. If your best route to the stand is right along those beginning travel corridors, you're most likely putting yourself in a bad situation. Try to avoid directly crossing over any trails, especially as deer start to move.

Starting With The Steps

To begin with, most hunters today are using climbing sticks, which are attached steps in 14-20 inch sections. While these aren't quite as mobile as traditional screw in steps, they are very light and much quicker and safer to use.

Once your climbing sticks are separated, start with your first step (bottom step) about knee height off the ground for optimal comfort and reach. Securely strap your stick onto the tree and push down with your weight. You should feel the step slide down slightly, then halt as the stick's teeth grip into the bark.

This sequence can be repeated over and over again as you start to attach more steps. 

Some hunters prefer to hook all of their steps around their safety harness, while others might take their time going up and down the tree with one additional step in hand. The choice is really up to you.

Of course, remember to attach your lineman's rope around the tree as soon as you exit the ground.

Hanging The Stand

After you have all straps unwrapped from your hang on stand, place your hang on stand on your back and begin to climb. Again, while having your safety harness and lineman's rope attached.

Once you get to your final step section, I would recommend placing your hang-on stand slightly off-centered from your climbing sticks. You don't want the stand to be directly above your sticks, and you don't want it to be anywhere close to 90 degrees off-centered either.

Also, when placing your stand, try having the base at eye-level to your final top step. Of course, if you want additionally security you can always have it below your final step in case you want to use this section as a final hand placement.

In the end, the further away you get from that final step, the harder it's going to be.

Finally, secure your hang on stand with both straps - the order does not matter. At this point, it's all about personal preference. 

Remember, before you step onto the stand, fold up (or cam over) the stand and retighten the straps. As you fold up the stand, you should see the straps loosen - we won't to avoid that. Once they are tight, fold down the stand and the two straps should secure even more.

For a visual summary, watch the video below!

Preparing Your Shooting Lanes

Now that you have everything in place it's good to take a breather and check off that final step - preparing shooting lanes.

Before you start, keep in mind that you're not trying to clear all brush within 15 yards of your stand. Your job is to identify passing trails and key points that put you in the best possible spot for a shot. If anything is in the way, do a little trimming.

If you clear too much, either in the tree by your stand or on the ground, you're forfeiting your cover. And I don't care how good your camouflage is, you will be sky-lined by a deer.

Also, if you're interested, we have a great blog showcasing information related to Deer Rubs & Scrapes!