Treehopper drills

Tap

Well-Known Member
Just a heads up...
Treehopper drills are available again and they are top quality.
If you use screw-in steps, you should look in to bolts. You'll throw those crappy Ameristep screw-ins into the trash.
 
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Chainsaw

Well-Known Member
I still have three sets of Tree hopper drills, loved those bolts. I used to use them for the steps up to my home built stands--had 47 stands back in the bow days. Starting about three feet below the stand I'd put pressure treated 2x4's lag bolted into the tree with a couple of bolts left proud about 1/2 inch for backup. The steps made entry and exit to the stand much easier. A local bulldozer operator and I were taking a break and he saw one of my stands about twenty-five feet high with steps starting at twenty-two feet. He walked around the tree over and over but didn't say anything for a very long time. Finally he said how the----- do you get to the first step? I laughed and told him it wasn't easy. He shook his head and said something about even the poachers wouldn't shimmy up that high to the first step.It was left at that and we changed the subject to the road building task at hand.
 
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wbpdeer

Well-Known Member
At one time the man that Sold Tree Hopper Drill bits and Tree Hopper safety belts was named Buster - I want to think his last name was Greenway. We used his bolts and found them to be very safe.

Still got some bolts around here somewhere.
 
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wbpdeer

Well-Known Member
Bowriter - you knew Buster - did I remember his last name correctly.

He had some kin folks in Ardmore, TN area.

We liked Buster and his products.
 

wbpdeer

Well-Known Member
Weekender

I am sure you are correct. Buster is man's first name that started Treehopper back in the late 80s early 90s approximately.

Wayne
 

Bowriter

Member
Knew Buster quite well. Used his drill bits for many years on my own stands, loved it. I bought my own bolts in bulk. Did not use them on "guide stands" due to the liability issue. I could climb a tree, drilling and placing bolts as I went and hang a stand in 10-minutes. I used, still use, an old, Seat of the Pants, climbing belt with some pouches I made to hold the bolts, spare battery for the drill and spare bit. Buster was one of the best and I helped him as much I could.
 

Tap

Well-Known Member
There is an issue with the drill bits. The bit is hard to remove from the hole after drilling. Seems that the chips are not evacuating and the bit gets jammed/packed with chips and it's hard to pull out of the tree. I do see some tip and bevel design differences between their hand bits and their power bits. I don't yet know if they got it figured out or not, but I feel confident Treehopper will correct it.
I will keep you informed when I learn anything.
 

weekender21

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I’ve been following that over on the saddle hunter forum. I’m sure he’ll figure it out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Tap

Well-Known Member
Just keeping you guys in the loop.
Here is the latest response from Mark. I sent him pics with mark-up arrows and comments comparing the tips of the hand bit to the power drill bit.
This is what Mark emailed back to me...

Tom,
Thanks for the message and again we’ll make it right! Less than ideal, but a good opportunity to show we’ll do the right thing, take care of any issues with our products and take good care of the customers.
You can have every confidence standing by us and we appreciate it. We won’t let you down. I’ve forwarded your message to our supplier and contacted a couple other sources to expedite resolution.
If you haven’t noticed we can be quite responsive.
Thanks again,
Mark
Treehopper
 

Tap

Well-Known Member
The bit fix is in the works. Test bits are in Mark's hands and look promising. Drills should be available for shipping by late February.
Treehopper will be at the show in Harrisburg.
 

Tap

Well-Known Member
Heads up...
I saw Mark at the Harrisburg show. He asked me to try out the improved bit.
Today I drilled
Shagbark Hickory
Ash
Elm
Maple
Tree of Heaven
Black Cherry
Red Oak
And Black Walnut
The drill worked flawlessly.
Looks like the issue is fixed and new bit design will go into production very soon.
Anyone who uses screw in steps should look into bolts. I love them
 

Mennoniteman

Well-Known Member
Heads up...
I saw Mark at the Harrisburg show. He asked me to try out the improved bit.
Today I drilled
Shagbark Hickory
Ash
Elm
Maple
Tree of Heaven
Black Cherry
Red Oak
And Black Walnut
The drill worked flawlessly.
Looks like the issue is fixed and new bit design will go into production very soon.
Anyone who uses screw in steps should look into bolts. I love them
I'm totally naive about treehopper. What advantages or differences from screw in steps to these bolts?
 

Tap

Well-Known Member
I'm totally naive about treehopper. What advantages or differences from screw in steps to these bolts?
Bolts...
Very affordable. You can prep many trees for a lot less money. Bolts pack much better than screw in...they take up much less space for transport.
The other consideration for comparison is what kind of screw in are you comparing to? The 1 piece style Ameristep type steps absolutely suck. They suck in the pack, they suck to start, they suck to completely screw all the way in, and the suck to remove. Did I mention they suck?

Cranford EZ Climb style screw in are much better for a screw in but they can still be difficult on some species of trees. But they don't pack as well as bolts. They are 2 piece (the step and the lag) so they can fail. I had one break at ground level one time.

Bolts require a drill. Pre prep trees are sometimes done with battery drills. Its fast and easy.
Hand drills like Treehopper are also used. A hole takes less than a minute to drill. Once the hole is bored, bolts are lightning fast to place and remove. Grade 8 bolts are what is used....strong and dependable.

I've used screw ins for over 30 years. I learned about bolts last season. I am selling several dozen Ameristep. I will never use them again. They suck. Try bolts, you won't be sorry.
2 new gear systems for me last year...tree saddle and bolts. Fantastic way to be in a tree.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
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Tap

Well-Known Member
I got an email from Mark.
Sound like the new bits may be available as early as 2/17. Wouldn't be surprised if it takes a little longer than that, but the good new is they are getting fixed.
 

Chainsaw

Well-Known Member
We did not experience any problems with the drill bits sticking, just pulled it out often as we drilled and thought that was a normal thing to do. In the trees here the holes did need re-drilling each year as they would partially fill in. It wasn't a big deal, something we always did a month or so before each season along with maintaining shooting lanes and views. Always liked using the power drill and drilling ahead of time because there were usually branches to trim and that is how we got up the tree in the first place to hang our stands.
 
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