Need a new tree stand or two this season? Consider these tips before shelling out several hundred dollars of hard-earned money.

Choose a fixed-position stand if:

  • You hunt a place with lots of crooked or stunted trees with low-growing branches (a climber won’t work here).
  • You typically hang 3 or 4 stands and leave them in the same spots all season.
  • You’re reasonably fit. Hanging and pulling fixed perches and steps are hard work.
  • You’re a stickler for concealment. A fixed-position stand is the smallest of the lot, and it’s the easiest to hide high in a tree.

Choose a climbing stand if:

  • There are plenty of straight trees 8 to 20 inches in diameter where you hunt.
  • You don’t have much time to scout. You can hit the woods one day, do a little speed scouting, and run a climbing stand up a tree over hot sign in minutes.
  • You like to move around a lot. Climbers are mobile.
  • You don’t like the hassle of wrestling to hang a fixed stand and ladder steps. Or you can’t imagine toting a huge, 60-pound ladder stand out to the woods and setting it up.

Choose a ladder stand if:

  • You hunt where many trees are crooked or stunted, but you don’t like fixed stands.
  • You hunt primarily with a gun. You can get by bowhunting from a ladder, but the big perch is tailor-made for gun hunting (most all ladders have rails for rifle rests).
  • If you’re leery of heights, getting a little old and gray or suffer from a bad knee or back. A 12- or 16-foot ladder is big and heavy to carry, but once in place it’s the easiest stand to climb into.
  • You’re a stickler for comfort. It’s easiest to sit all day in a ladder stand with a roomy seat and foot platform.