By Tim H. Martin
Here's a dilemma most hunters have dealt with when setting up a climbing stand:
You're scouting a new area and finally locate the right tree to give you the perfect vantage point. You can see, shoot and stay upwind, and the way the game trails intersect nearby, you just know this tree is The One to help you ambush a big buck.
But there's just one problem. The base is so big in relation to the mid- and upper-trunk, you'll practically have to walk on stilts to get into your climber, and you chance breaking a leg doing a dismount to get out of it. If only you could hang it a little higher up the trunk to get started.
Here's a solution a fellow hunter showed me years ago. It was so simple, I wondered why I hadn't already thought of it.
Simply take a screw-in treestep or two and place them at the base of the tree so you'll have a foothold from which you can easily climb in and out of your climbing stand.
On most trees, even those with fat bases, you can start a climber in a nice level position if you hang it just a few feet higher, and the treesteps give you that ability. And no more awkward climber angles!
So don't let a fat-based tree keep you from hunting from it with your climber. When scouting, remember to keep a couple of extra screw-in steps in your backpack and give yourself a foothold to step up to your climbing stand.