Ladder stands are basically platforms on top of a ladder. they usually have a seat and a foot platform. The stand leans against the tree and is strapped in place with straps or chains. These types of treestands come in varying heights from 8 feet high to 20+feet. Most ladder stand manufacturers make and sell ladder sections that you can use to raise your stand even higher. Some of them have rails around the entire platform and others have a partial rail or no rail at all. The stands with no rails are best for bowhunting, because they do not get in the way of the bow limbs.
Installing ladder stands is best done with at least two people but it can be done with one person if you are extremely careful. To install a ladder stand you put the platform onto all of the ladder sections while on the ground. Once the stand is together you raise the top of it up to the tree. When the treestand is stable against the tree, if you have a helper or two, have them hold the ladder stable while you climb the stand to strap it to the tree. I prefer to use ratchet straps to secure my treestands to the tree. I feel that you can get the straps tighter and run less risk of slippage than with chains or other types of straps.If you are installing a ladder stand alone, a method I like to use, if the tree you are using is compatible, is to have a rope of at least twice the distance of the ladder and platform. You throw the rope over a limb above the point at which your treestand platform will sit. Then you tie the rope to the rail or the seat of the stand. Once it is tied off you pull the other end of the rope raising the platform to the tree where it will sit. After the stand is against the tree at the proper height you tie off the loose end of the rope to aid in stabilizing it.Then climb up and strap off the stand. site
When your treestand is in place and strapped to the tree, sit down in the seat and check out your new bowhunting locale. You need to see if there are any branches and limbs that need to be removed so that you have clear shooting lanes. Also while in the stand you should use your rangefinder to check the distances to several locations to give you an idea how long your shots will be with your bow. That will allow you to know what distances you need to practice shooting your bow and you can use your bow sight also. Before you get out of your stand you should also tie a small rope or string to the seat and let it hang to the ground. This will be your haul rope so that you do not need to carry your gear up the ladder.
Ladder stands protrude away from the tree quite a bit more than other treestands, so deer and other animals will notice it, so you definately want to put it up well before you plan to bowhunt from it. A month before the season if possible.
The seating areas and platforms of these types of treestands are typically larger than other types of stands. You can actually get “buddy stands” or two man stands of the ladder type. With these you can bowhunt with a buddy or your children. Two man ladder stands are great for exposing your children to bowhunting. You can be there to answer any questions they may have and show them how to bowhunt efficiently and effectively. Just make sure that your children are ok with being high up in a tree before you take them out and don’t forget their and your safety harnesses.