In search of the perfect trad bow ladder stand...

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by Triple C, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:08 AM.

  1. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    Last year I had the good fortune of having a well know trad bow hunter here in GA in his 70's down to my farm for a weekend hunt. He connected on a nice doe on his 2nd afternoon sit in a lock on stand that he hung earlier that afternoon overlooking a loaded persimmon tree. To my amazement, he hung the stand only 10 ft off the ground. A little backstory...First day down I showed him all of my ladder stands I had set that I thought were in good locations as I had seen deer out of all of them. All were a minimum of 18 ft high. I could tell he wasn't overly impressed with my setups. After he hunted the 1st afternoon and 2nd morning with no luck, we were having lunch and he asks me if I have a known food source that deer were using. I immediately think of 2 persimmon trees that were loaded and dropping and off we went to check them out. 1st one is on the edge of a small swampy beaver pond with a small rise overlooking it with thick cover. He spots a pine tree about 8 yds from the persimmon and surrounded by thick vegetation and says that's where I need a stand. I grab an extra hang-on and sticks from the shop and he proceeds to hang it. And to my amazement, hangs it maybe 10 ft off the ground. I'm thinking busted. Well...he proved me wrong. 1st sit and he has backstraps on the ground with his self made bow, arrows and stone point. Lessons learned:
    • Stand must be over an active food source with a shot opportunity of 12 yds or less.
    • Stand must be portable and easy to move during season to adapt to food sources as they change.
    • 10 to 12 ft is plenty high for trad bow hunting. Anything higher and the shot angle becomes too steep.
    There's a reason he kills so many deer with a trad bow. Boy, did I learn some lessons from him. With that in mind, I began to search for the perfect ladder stand (I prefer them over hang-on's at my age). I've bought a number of different stands over the years. Most in the 20 ft range, heavy and once set, you just didn't wanna move them due to the weight and aggravation of setting when alone. I hope I have finally found the stand that I can easily move from area to area without needing help setting against the tree - The X-Stand Apollo. 10 ft high...weighs 38 lbs...ladder folds and packs against the stand...easily maneuverable...locking jaw system...and easy for one person to move and reset. I have one X-Stand with the locking jaw which I really like but it is a 2 person job to set.

    So, I just ordered a couple of these. Hopefully it will fit the bill as a very portable, lightweight ladder stand for trad bow hunting. I'll update as to how I like it when I set em up and begin to hunt this season.
    X-Stand Apollo.jpg
     
  2. gut_pile

    gut_pile Active Member

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    Good looking stand. Hope it works well for you.
     
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  3. rswink

    rswink New Member

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    Keep us updated, always willing to try new things.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    What about a smaller tripod stand, can set-up in front of some trees real close and brush it in for good cover? Most of them by myself i can tip over onto a utility trailer i pull behind ATV drive to next location tip it up and ready to roll....granted i still prefer my saddle for ability to adapt during the year, but if you are anything like the Wise Men that i hunt with they want nothing to do with that! But is another option that we have used for them.
     
  5. Deadeye

    Deadeye Active Member

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    I like that simple easy design.

    Sort of like a Hang On with a ladder attached.


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  6. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    BC20...At 38 lbs, this thing should be light enough to easily move without help. Ladder folds in on itself and straps to platform and can be carried with backstraps like a climber. I've posted several different ladder stands over the years thinking I'd found the perfect stand for trad hunting. Last year was the River's Edge Archer's Lock Down Pro. That is one awesome ladder stand. I removed one section of the ladder but still bout killed myself trying to get it on the tree by myself. And once there...you just don't wanna move it.

    Biggest concern with this one is that it is only 10ft off the ground so picking the right tree with plenty of cover will be critical. I'll post follow-ups after I set it up.
     
  7. suburbhunter

    suburbhunter Active Member

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    How sturdy is that ladder? I would be concerned about it buckling in the middle, as opposed to a conventional way of the ladder being against and strapped to the tree for support. I still wouldn't want to crash down from 10'.
     
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  8. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    Gonna find out when this thing arrives. Weighted to 300 lbs. Has the locking jaw that all X-stands have which is a really nice feature. And straps at both the top and bottom of platform. Will report back when I set this thing up.
     
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  9. suburbhunter

    suburbhunter Active Member

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  10. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I’ll hold your beer cause that thing looks tricky to set up. And if u fall I’ll give u chest compressions but no way mouth to mouth. Seriously 35# is pretty cool light weight.


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  11. Deadeye

    Deadeye Active Member

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    Honestly it looks to me like the Ladder Part is really there just for entry/exit and not so much for holding it up.

    Two Straps around the Top part of the Seat Frame is basically what holds a Hang On stand and this one has that as well. So to me it's actually safer than a Hand On would be with an extra support that also happens to be a ladder.
     
  12. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    My thinking as well. We shall see. Plus all the X-Stand ladders come with the locking jaw system that locks the platform to the tree prior to ever climbing to strap it down. Truly a game changer.
     
  13. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    dogghr...Preciate the offer on the chest compressions. If mouth to mouth required then just stand there and watch to see if I recover. Don't know if you've ever seen the X-Stand ladder stands. Their jaw locking system is truly a game changer as far as setting up. You lock it in place with steel cables from the ground before you ever climb to strap down the platform.
     
  14. jlane35

    jlane35 Active Member

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    I think I’m going to order one of these. I’m constantly bouncing around looking for the perfect tree for my climber during the rut.
     

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