This is an age old question that I have been asked by hundreds if not thousands of people (or at least I feel like it’s that many). Most of these questions have come from new hunters, young or old. Well, the short answer to this question is there is not a right answer. Like anything, there are a lot of different opinions on the subject, but make your own opinion the one that is right for you.
Here are some helpful tips on the subject. The average hunter goes about 13 feet up in the tree. The average ladder stand comes equipped to have you at 15 feet. Ladder stands can be extended with added sections, but most manufacturers recommend that you stay at or below 20 feet for safety reasons. Then, you have lock-on and climber treestands. These can go anywhere from 1 foot off the ground to the tippy top of the tallest tree you can find.
Generally, everyone I know that hunts out of a climber or lock-on stand will tell you it will depend on the area that they are hunting. On average, they go 20 – 30 feet high in a tree. This would also hold true for me, as normally I am about 25 feet up. However, the height really depends on the terrain of where I am hunting or the type of trees that I am climbing. Generally, I stay to that average 25 feet, but if you are hunting on a hill and you are not at the top, it may require you to go higher so that deer coming over the hill are not at eye level. One tree in particular that comes to mind that I hunt out of several times a year is on a series of small hills that make up one larger hill. The tree is about half way up the hill, so for me to be 10 feet above the crest of the hill, it requires me to climb to about 35 feet. Yes, sometimes I feel like I am up in the clouds, especially on foggy mornings! Other trees I only climb 12 – 15 feet off the ground because they are in flat areas that lack good climbing trees. Since I mostly hunt on public land, I have to use a climbing treestand and many areas have great hunting but poor quality climbing trees. Therefore, you make the best of the area that you have to work within. The best trees to climb are tulip poplars, pine trees, and in some cases oak trees, but this is just an overview, there are many trees to climb and it depends on where you are.
So, the right answer to the question is actually a series of questions. Where are you hunting? What type of trees are you hunting out of and most importantly, what height are you most comfortable at?!! Remember if the right height for you is on the ground, that is ok, that is why they make ground blinds! It took me a while to get use to heights, so if you are new to the sport or getting a youngest into the sport, sometimes tree seats or ground blinds really are the best way to go!
How do you feel about climbing? How high up in a tree do you go on average? Share your thought on the subject.