3 Must Knows for Moving a Treestand

Field Tactics: Treestand movement

1/15/2021
Casey Keefer

We’ve all been there – hot sits, long sits and cold sits – good sits and plenty of bad sits – so the question often comes up-  When do I move my treestand? How do I move my treestand?,even Why should I move my treestand?… These are all great questions that deserve attention – so let’s take a deeper dive into the ins and outs of treestand hunting and the 3 things you must keep in mind if you’re going to make a move mid-sit.

My very first rule of treestand hunting is simple – don’t ever get married to one particular treestand set. Believe me when I say this, I’ve learned it the hard way. I have spent countless hours in treestands trying to will them into being great spots – even if the trail camera intel said otherwise. Nowadays, I go by a simple method : If I see it happen once it’s a fluke, twice it’s a coincidence and if it happens in front of my eyes for a third time – well, that’s called a pattern. Operating my hunts under that mind set has proven successful, but it also means that I have to get outside my normal comfort zone. I’ve found myself ripping down a treestand set at 4pm only to move it a hundred yards – and be back in the game by the magic hour. I’ve done it numerous times and it works…alot, but you have to pay attention to a few key elements. So with that, I’ll save you some frustration and hopefully some wear and tear and we’ll get right into what I think is important when it comes to making a move mid-sit.

1. Make Sure It’s a Pattern:

I don’t even consider making a move from an already established treestand location until I’m 100% confident I see the pattern. Even then, I weigh the odds:  what will the move potentially cost me vs. what another day or two in stand will do to my stamina, afterall, I’m hanging where I’m currently at for a reason – or as I say in my head “I had to have some sort of information that led me to hang in this tree in the first place”. Moving spots is always a gamble – make sure to hedge your bet anyway you can and that starts with confidence in the reason why.

2. Time to Move:

Timing when you move a treestand mid sit can make or break your chances. Too early, you might blow the buck out. Too late and you might blow the buck out. If I’m going to move a treestand, I like to sit in it immediately prior to moving it – and I mean I will actually climb down and right there on the spot start taking the treestand and ladder sticks down. To me, having a solid window of intel for a few hours leading up to the move helps me for a few reasons:

  1. I know exactly where the deer are and where they aren’t.
  2. I get one last chance to confirm my suspicions.
  3. I could end up getting a shot – back to “I’m here for a reason”

For those 3 reasons, I find it incredibly valuable to be able to sit the stand I want to move right before I actually move it. If I know I’m going to do this I will go in light – meaning I’ll strip down my gear to only the bare essentials. Doing so allows me to be quick and quiet and avoids unnecessary trips back and forth between trees. Think scent prevention.

3. Read the Room:

When you’re moving a treestand you still have to pay attention to entry and exit points – also pay attention to any scent trail you might be laying down when moving through the woods. Watch the wind and the thermals, don’t skyline yourself – all of it. All of these things get amplified now because you’re beginning to hone in on a bucks core area even more than you were to start out…which translates to one thing – he’s probably close by. One slip up here and you can kiss your hunt goodbye. So, if you’re going to work up the guts to move mid-sit, do yourself a favor and don’t cut corners.

Conclusion:

Overall, I can count more than a few bucks that I have literally made a move on right smack dab in the middle of a hunt – only to let an arrow fly an hour later from my new treestand location. If you’re like me and you find yourself constantly observing what’s happening, asking yourself why, how, where and when each time you sit – and taking note of the answers to those questions, you just might find yourself moving a treestand mid-sit more often than you ever thought possible…And just a pro tip. always, always, always use a safety harness and a lifeline when hanging or moving a stand!