A 15-foot tree stand is designed to allow the hunter to hunt from an elevated height in the tree, above the branch that the hunter wants to hunt on.
But how high should your tree stand be? How tall should your tree stand be? What’s the ideal height of a tree stand? And what are the safety risks of hunting too low or too high in a tree?
We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article on how high should your tree stand be.
Is 15 Feet High Enough for A Tree Stand
How high should you hang your tree stand? The conventional wisdom is to set it at a height of 15 feet.
But if you live in North America, chances are that’s about six feet too high for optimum hunting opportunities. There are two main reasons for setting up your tree stand at a more reasonable level.
The first reason is that your scent won’t travel as far as lower heights.
Humans have an astonishing sense of smell, so you need to do everything you can to mask your odor.
Fresh air and fresh trees will help keep your scent from carrying downwind and alerting deer to your presence.
The second reason to set up at a lower height is that most North American deer species rarely look upward.
Scientists have found that white-tailed deer – the most widespread type of deer in North America, rarely look up past 15 feet when searching for potential predators.
Related: Best Ladder Stands for Deer Hunting
How High Should I Set My Treestand?
If you’re planning on hunting from a tree stand, your number one concern should be safety.
You need to ensure that you’ll be safe when sitting in your stand and climbing up and down it before even considering what game you’ll try to bag. If you don’t feel safe in your treestand, you won’t be able to concentrate fully on hunting.
In general, it’s recommended that you set your treestand as high as possible, which is usually about 15 feet off of the ground.
Some states require hunters to hunt from a minimum height, so check with your local department of fish and wildlife before you start setting up tree stands.
Even if there aren’t legal restrictions in your area, higher tree stands are more comfortable and safer than lower ones.
What Height Gives Me Maximum visibility?
When choosing a tree stand, you need to consider not only how much room you have between your position and your target but also how tall your intended target is.
After all, if you’re targeting deer or turkeys, a 15-foot stand won’t give you any more visibility than a 12-foot stand will if those deer are 8 feet tall.
So why do I need such a tall tree stand?
That said, when you’re hunting big game such as bears or moose, it’s a different story.
Bigger animals are easier to see at greater distances and can be seen more easily from a higher stand. And even though they move more slowly than whitetail deer do, you still need to anticipate their path.
Keep in mind that deer and other animals move more quickly at dawn and dusk.
If you’re hunting during these times, you’ll have a better chance of success with a 20-foot stand or even a tree stand positioned 30 feet off of the ground.
What Height Helps Me Detect Bucks?
The general rule of thumb for a tree stand is that you should have a clear view of approximately 180 degrees (three-quarters of a circle) from your stand.
If your stand sits just 15 feet off the ground, you’ll only be able to see about 120 degrees – so it may be harder to detect bucks coming in from different directions.
If you choose a tree stand height of 20 feet, for example, you’ll be able to see about 180 degrees from your tree stand.
Your view will be limited by trees and other obstructions in front of you, but at least you’ll have a better chance of seeing deer entering your field of vision.
If you’re hunting deer, a bow stand should be 15 feet high so that if an arrow misses its target, it won’t hit anyone on the ground.
But if you are targeting squirrels or other small game, any stand higher than 10 feet is likely to be unsafe because it will make climbing difficult.
Squirrels won’t hesitate to climb up your tree stand ladder and attack you; they feel threatened by humans in their natural habitat and will do whatever they can to protect themselves.
When selecting a tree stand, make sure you select one that’s sturdy and has a wide foot and leg platforms.
This will help to ensure that your stand is stable, even if there are high winds or heavy rains.
Most stands also come with straps for securing it to a tree, which will help keep your stand from slipping or moving during those high winds.
Locking your platform in place is another important safety measure because it ensures that you won’t fall out of your stand while climbing up or down.
Tree stands are great for bowhunting and archery; with that being said, you want to make sure your stand is high enough to get you above most trees and low-hanging branches.
On average, a 15-foot tree stand should be able to accomplish that goal. If you have any more questions about using tree stands or anything else related to hunting, feel free to leave us a comment. Thanks for reading!
Joseph is the owner of LadderGeek. He is a home remodeling enthusiast. He has created this blog to share some of his knowledge on Ladder and accessories.