As the winter hunting season approaches, securing a tree stand option that works best for you is the best way to ensure you bring home a prize animal at the end of your hunting trip. Ladder stands and hang-on stands are two options that appeal to different hunters.

Depending on your hunting style, a ladder stand vs hang-on stand would make more sense for your needs. 

hang-on treestand

Variables like whether you hunt on private or public land, convenience needs, and personal habits will make it clear whether a hang-on stand or ladder stand is the best fit for you.

Hunting on Private Land

The freedom of hunting on private land means both a hang-on stand or a ladder stand is a viable and convenient option. 

Private land makes it possible to either fix a ladder stand to a tree on the property and makes it convenient to use a temporary hang-on stand.

Hunting on Public Land

If you are hunting on public land, your tree stand options may be more limited. The main difference between hang-on stands and ladder stands is their convenience, so understanding the flexibility you need is crucial for deciding your tree stand options.

Hang-on, or climber, stands are temporary and can be easily disassembled and taken with you once you are done hunting on public land other hunters share. Leaving a hang-on stand is possible, but it may not be there when you return, depending on local and state laws.

While some hunters are more dubious of hang-on, or climbing stands, due to safety reasons, hang-on stands are easy to carry and move to a new hunting spot, making them the ideal choice for hunting on public land.

Ladder stands are impractical for use on public lands, as they are not portable and must be carried and built every time they are used on public land. Ladder stands are really only practical for private lands, where cumbersome and loud transport is kept to a minimum.

Pros and Cons of Hang-On Treestands

There are three key questions to think about before deciding between a climber or ladder tree stand:

  1. How often you plan to relocate your tree stand
  2. How high up you want to be sitting to hunt, and
  3. How unlimited you want your vantage point options to be.  

Pros

For hunters who want the spontaneity of moving with their prey, hang-on tree stands offer the most versatility. Hang-on stands quickly turn almost any tree into a tree stand with this packable, convenient option.

Hang-on tree stands can be quickly taken down and packed away so hunters can effortlessly move throughout their hunting grounds. Hunters can easily set up high in their chosen tree, offering a helpful vantage point. 

The largest and most elusive animals usually hide in dense areas, making hang-on tree stands capable of tracking the most prized prey.

For many hunters, these minimal chairs in the sky offer an easy-to-use tree stand with maximum comfort, allowing hunters to focus on the thrill of the chase.

Hang-on tree stands also blend right in with the trees, supporting the hunter’s camouflage.

Cons

While some hunters enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a hang-on tree stand, others are wary of this minimalist option. Hang-on tree stands look like a chair in the sky, and hunters must climb a tree, with poles included in the kit, to attach a seat to a tree.

If a hunter is not comfortable with, or capable of, using climbing sticks to affix a tree stand to a tree way up in the air, a hang-on tree stand is not for them.

Hang-on tree stands include a small seat, making these not a good fit for larger hunters or those who carry a lot of equipment.

Compared to a ladder stand, which securely uses a standard ladder to help hunters climb into a tree, a hang-on tree stand may look risky. Especially for hunters with medical needs like bad knees, the minimalist hang-on treestand may not be a good fit.

Pros and Cons of Ladder Treestands

If you are looking for a more permanent or season-long tree stand and hunting on private land, a ladder tree stand is the better choice. 

Ladder tree stands use a traditional ladder to reach a larger platform within the trees, requiring extensive hardware to be taken into the woods.

These tree stands are designed to be more permanent, making them the most comfortable option for hours of sitting and waiting.

Pros

Ladder tree stands are the traditional option for hunters, providing secure and easily accessible vantage points for effective hunting.

Ladder stands are the most comfortable options for long-term waits and make deer hunting accessible to more ages and health conditions.

Especially if you are hunting on private land, a ladder tree stand provides security and comfort.

If you have a hunting ground that consistently sees slow-moving herds of deer, like a transitional spot or feeding spot, having a fixed tree stand like a ladder tree stand is a great option.

Cons

Ladder tree stands do not offer a flexible or easily transportable tree stand, and hunters using this option should be prepared to pick a spot for their day and stay there. 

Ladder tree stands are large, heavy, and cumbersome, so assembling these during the hunting season can be too loud and scare away nearby animals. 

If you hunt on public lands, ladder tree stands are impractical and not worth the investment.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the correct tree stand for your hunting style requires a careful examination of your individual hunting habits. As a day of deer hunting involves long waiting periods of patient silence, having the best tree stand for you is essential.

For adventurous hunters looking to capture elusive animals, the flexibility of a hang-on tree stand offers hunters the ability to scurry up a tree and hunt from a high observation point. 

Hang-on tree stands are great for both public or private property and are best for nimble hunters who can maneuver climbing poles.

Ladder tree stands provide traditional comfort for hunters of all ages, offering a secure way to enter the tree stand and a larger platform for long waits.

Ladder tree stands provide a fixed location for hunting, and users should expect to pick a spot and stay there for the duration.

Related Article

Hang-On vs Climber Treestands

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