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Group,

I have a question. To preface, I should mention that I generally use a climbing stand, and I have two ladder stands that I feel very comfortable in. That being said, I need to admit that I have a strong fear of heights. When using a climber, I can get to 30 ft or so and still feel comfortable. Ladder stands at 15-17' are fine as well. However, I have tried to use a hang on stand at about 20 ft and was terrified. I was almost hoping a deer didn't come by because I was too afraid to stand up. Watching me try to get off that stand was probably hilarious. I'm not sure if its just the fact that there are no rails, small platform, etc. but they scare the heck out of me.

So I looked at the hand ons and want to give them a shot because the profile is so low, and I think I'm going to need that on a new trail I found because the tree is only about 10 yds off the trail. I bought a big dog and some climbing sticks. I could have spent more and got the one with the rails on the sides, but I am a little pinched on cash and thought I just needed to get use to it.

Now, onto the question I started 2000 characters ago... anyone ever modify the seat in a way that it afforded more protection and comfort on the sides? Put on any side rails of sort?? The seat on the vast majority of these things are tiny!! I don't have a huge [email protected]#, but I'd like a little more material to put it on. Just asking the question. I know the platform is what it is, and I think I can deal with that if I'm a little more comfortable sitting first. Thanks!!
 

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I share the same fear, I just don’t like heights. At the same time, I hunt out of very small hang-ons almost exclusively. What’s key, for me, is to choose the right tree. I almost never hang a stand in a bare tree, I always find a tree that ideally is split where I can position the stand between the two, or at least adjacent to one. Sometimes it’s two trees close together, at worst I take advantage of a large limb. I think I like the idea of having something to grab onto if needed. There are other benefits, like breaking up my outline and being able to hang my bow in front of me rather than behind. The seat size isn’t a big deal, at least to me. If fact, the one stand I have that has an oversized seat, I find it to be a hindrance. The wide seat makes it very difficult to get around when trying to step from tree steps onto the stand. Of course this is all just me, but choosing the right tree makes the difference between whether I can comfortably hunt a stand or not.
 

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I always put my stands in crotches, split trees, clump maples, etc to for multiple reasons. It is more comfortable, I can lean on trunks, more places to hang gear, easier to hide, easier to hunt all day when you can move a little easier and still be concealed. I have 30 stands between 22-30 feet. I won't hang a stand on a straight tree without some character.
 

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I share the same fear, I just don’t like heights. At the same time, I hunt out of very small hang-ons almost exclusively. What’s key, for me, is to choose the right tree. I almost never hang a stand in a bare tree, I always find a tree that ideally is split where I can position the stand between the two, or at least adjacent to one. Sometimes it’s two trees close together, at worst I take advantage of a large limb. I think I like the idea of having something to grab onto if needed. There are other benefits, like breaking up my outline and being able to hang my bow in front of me rather than behind. The seat size isn’t a big deal, at least to me. If fact, the one stand I have that has an oversized seat, I find it to be a hindrance. The wide seat makes it very difficult to get around when trying to step from tree steps onto the stand. Of course this is all just me, but choosing the right tree makes the difference between whether I can comfortably hunt a stand or not.
I agree with all of this.
Also use a good harness and it will help you feel more secure.
Also I like to stand when bowhunting and a big seat can get in the way. With multiple trunks I may hang a stand on one tree and add a seat to another tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks much! I appreciate the insight. Being surrounded by something definately makes me more comfortable...
 

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I agree with them on finding the right tree for the same reasons. But a harness is also a HUGE factor to me. I've hunted in stands without using a harness before and actually did a lot recently because I didn't like my harness. I got a new harness this year and have tested it in a stand and it definitely makes me feel a lot safer.

You could probably rig some kind of side rails but it would probably make it difficult to get in and out of your stand. Make sure you extend your stick past your platform so you can step down onto it instead of climbing onto it. Getting on and off your platform can be the scariest/most dangerous part of hunting out of a hang-on.
 

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I definitely avoid "telephone poles" too... you mentioned 30ft up...that's pretty high up...I go between 18-24' depending on tree. I know higher the better, but sometimes you go too high and all your shooting lanes vanish. HUNT THE WIND, and your height won't matter as much.

I use loc on type stands alot, last year finally killed my first buck from a climber:)... but my point is all of my seats are tiny... I want them small as possible. (ease of getting them in & out, lighter weight etc..) While on stand I rotate between standing up and sitting... Usually when my arse gets sore I'll stand, or vice versa... But I don't want my seat to be too comfortable becouse I do the best hunting when standing. I shoot all my deer while standing & I feel that my profile is better hid while standing. (use the widest part of the trunk if you can) Usually in the evening as prime time comes- I'll stand the last hour or last 1.5 hours of the hunt. Early season you can get away with small dia. trees...after leaves fall- forget it.

These are not set RULES by any means... just the way I do it.

Looking forward to this fall!
 

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I appreciate all the responses. These are great. I do wear a harness, as safety and occupational health is my actual profession, and it would be akward to explain to people at work if I were to injure myslef in a fall... or worse... and the fact that you should ALWAYS wear one anyway. But, I digress. The harness that I use is the one I got with my summit stand, and though it is a bit cumbersome, I always use it. I saw someone on youtube that used a heavy duty carabiner as opposed to hooking the loop to the strap, which looks like it will give some more movement. I'm looking at the Hunter Safety System for this year, but I just haven't pulled the trigger. I do also shoot only from the standing position, I'm not a good shot while being seated.
 

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. I saw someone on youtube that used a heavy duty carabiner as opposed to hooking the loop to the strap, which looks like it will give some more movement.
It doesn’t really give any more movement, but it does make it easier to hook up, or unhook. It also eliminates that metal hook getting between your back and the tree. I’m not sure why the free Summits still use that hook/loop system, when the SOP I have uses the carabineer. For the record, though the free Summit harness is a little cumbersome in the mornings, I still think it’s the most comfortable one I’ve worn.
 

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I add 3/4 plywood with ty-wraps to all my hang on's and I have about 20. I have not noticed any noise, i carry my butt pad in and this works for me. For kids I use a safety climb so the kids are on the rope from the ground up. I like the big dog harness and I use a Summit style quick link and the Summit attachment rope with the sliding knot.
 

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You should be able to find some hang on's with arm rests. Also, a good harness and a lifeline for transition in and out of the stand can make a huge difference in confidence. They aren't cheap but makes a world of difference if it means the difference between being able to hunt there or not. On the other hand I have a friend who refuses to hunt out of my hang on's. Has anxiety and almost fell out of one while we were hanging sets. Hasn't been in one since. Everyone is different just find what works for you.
 
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