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  • Writer's pictureDustin

Is 10 Feet High Enough for a Tree Stand?

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Hunting Tree Stand diagram
Bonus height gained using same 10 feet of total height of stand by changing side of tree or level of elevation on ridge.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first-timer, using a tree stand in the woods seems to be just as unique as the person hunting. Since I am wrapping up my first season using a tree stand, I was left wondering, is 10 feet high enough for a tree stand?

A tree stand height of 10 feet will be high enough for killing deer. Other variables such as wind, thermals, cover, and time of year will affect each individual hunting scenario. However, the total height off the ground of a tree stand is completely dependent on the personal preference of the hunter. 

Hunting with a tree stand
Hunting with a Tree Stand

Every time I hang a stand, I am observing new things, and trying to think of ways I can make the next hang more advantageous for my comfort and hunting efficiency. For those of you just starting out learning to hunt with a tree stand, it is very easy to get caught up in the setup and takedown and then not have any bandwidth left to process other details. Safety is still the priority for every climb and hang, which has resulted in more than a few missed opportunities, less than ideal hang sites, and extra trips up and down a tree (especially while learning for the first time). Making sure you are always attached to the tree from the first step to the last requires mental focus, physical ability, and sometimes a second rope or belt. However, a few quick tips will get you thinking strategically before your feet even leave the ground and save you precious time and hunt ruining mistakes in the woods.

Preparing to Climb 10 Feet with your Tree Stand:

  • Purchase and practice using a hunter safety harness, lineman’s belt or rope, and ascending/descending rope.

  • Go through a tree stand hunt checklist and try to think about every step of the process and organize your gear in an appropriate spot for access while climbing.

  • Silence your gear. Check out our article on silencing your tree stand.

  • Look for climbing sticks with double steps. Very helpful if you are learning how to hang tree stands and sticks for the first time. Hawk makes a version along with Summit and Lone Wolf Custom Gear. you can also buy the individual double steps and replace them yourself on your lone wolf climbing sticks through Eastern Outdoors.

  • Use a carry system with backpack straps and a hip belt.

  • Use bungee cords to attach packs or loose gear to the back of your mobile tree stand

  • Purchase or make a hoist that you can lift your bow, gun, crossbow, or other gear up off the ground once in the stand.

  • Purchase or make a strap and attach it to the tree to hold your bow, gun, crossbow, or other gear. I use the Tethrd HYS strap and S style carabiners or hooks are helpful.

Where to Hang a Tree Stand?

  • Food source

  • Water source

  • Bedding Area

  • Travel routes between food, water, and bedding

  • Look for fresh signs such as scrapes, rubs, game trails, scat, licking branches, and beds.

  • Hang stands on the downwind side of where you expect to see deer. For permanent stands, think about predominant winds for your area.

  • Select trees that are alive, thick enough, and sturdy (safety). Also note the angle they are growing out of the ground, especially if hunting a ridge.

  • Select trees that will provide some branch or leaf cover but still give you shooting lanes to your target area. It is not legal in all states to trim these branches and leaves out of your way.

  • Use the face of a ridge to your advantage. Climb the uphill side of a tree for bonus elevation using the same total tree stand height.

  • Make sure to give yourself some space (using the downwind side) from a game trail if you are not super high in the air. Stay a few yards off the trail or field edge to give yourself some cover and keep your scent further away from the suspected area of travel.

Game trail hunting tree stand diagram
Give yourself some space (using the downwind side) from a game trail if possible.
  • If you are hunting an area for the first time with a mobile tree stand set up, try hunting an evening hunt as your first attempt. Giving yourself extra time in daylight to pick out the appropriate tree and location will be much easier a couple of hours before sunset than it will be to fumble around in the dark a couple of hours before sunrise.

Hunting from a tree stand is usually the most advantageous way to pursue whitetail deer. However, keep your options open to ground hunting if the situation warrants. Also, no matter how comfortable you get using a tree climbing system, always put safety first. Never climb a tree without being attached and always wear your safety harness. Hunting from a tree gives you the visibility that will change the way you break down your hunting spots. It also potentially keeps your scent above a deer and during rifle season keeps your shot trajectory in a safe direction. Your efficiency will increase the more times you set and take down your tree stand setups and you will continue to find ways to get comfortable for both the climb and the sit. If you haven’t already done so, grab your favorite tree stand and sticks and give a tree a hug, sit with it, and enjoy the hunt.

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