Deer & Deer Hunting

SAFE STANDS FOR GUYS OVER 50

My entry into bowhunting “Eastern” whitetails coincided with early-20s youth, university enrollment and accompanying financial difficulties. Youth and limited funds led to some highly questionable perches, including sitting on horizontal branches with no stands at all and two-by-six lumber scrapes wedged into tree forks — all without the benefit of safety gear, of course. Eventually I’d invest in a couple budget-priced treestands, minimalist hang-ons with polypropylene anchoring ropes, webbing seats and extremely cramped platforms. I killed many deer from those Spartan stands.

Even through my 30s and 40s, traveling widely to the latest whitetail hotspots and eventually settling in northern whitetail country, my preference was always lightweight, compact hang-on stands. They were easier to tote into the public “walk-in” properties I found myself hunting most often, and eventually the big-woods surrounding my Idaho home.

After blowing past 50 with little notice and quickly bearing down on 55 years old, I find those backcountry stands increasingly intolerable. Knees and especially my lower back

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