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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question that maybe some of you hunters that have been climbing trees on state land since the good old days could answer:

Was it at one time illegal to use climbers on state land ?

I remember back in the day there was a regulation stating it was illegal to damage trees on state land (and assume that regulation still stands) and guys would argue that you couldn't use a climber for that reason. Many of those early treestands , like the Baker, did tear up the bark pretty good. And then there were guys that would argue that any damage done to the tree was superficial and did no real damage to the tree. But were stands ever specifically banned, or was it a grey area ?

I never bow hunted on state land, so I didn't pay real close attention at the time, but I do remember guys debating this subject years ago. The recent post regarding fall restraints on state game lands got me thinking about this.
 

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I think by the letter of the law the climbers with more aggressive teeth may in fact be illegal, but since the PGC and DCNR are effectively in the junkyard business with all the ladder and hang on stands that aren't removed within the prescribed deadlines, how can they honestly enforce a guy toting a Summit around chewing up a little bark? It's one of those things as a hunter I think you just have to use common sense and realize that 99% of the Wardens and Deputies you will run across will do the same, and if you draw the short straw and have to deal with one of those 1% specials, you just chalk one up in the loss column and move on with a story about that nutjob deputy you encountered.
 

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Simply put, tree portable tree stands are not illegal, what is illegal is any damage that is done to a tree by a climbing tree stand. If the bark is cut though to the cambium layer, it is considered that damage has been done because a cut that deep offers access to insects and diseases that enter trees through damage to the bark. Not choosing a thin barked tree such as a beech or birch lessens the chances of doing damage.
 

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My old Baker did more damage to my "bark" than any tree... LOL.

I replaced it with an API that had 2 - 1" spikes that came off both sections. What I did was wrap those spikes with rubber tape, sort of ended up with bulbs on the ends. After about 3 seasons the tips would poke out and I re-taped. No issues with climbing in fact that stand was the most stable that I've owned. Several officers commented on the tape "good idea type stuff" - none had any problems.
 

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If you used a Baker you must have some age. :smile2: I was on a hunt back in the 90's where one guy said someone done him a favor by stealing his Baker stand. He was able to get one now that was much safer.
 

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Several officers commented on the tape "good idea type stuff" - none had any problems.
You must have bad luck Icemole.:plain: I hunt public land quite a bit and I haven't been checked or even seen a Conservation Officer,,,er,,Game Warden in the woods since around 1998 or 1999. I'm not complaining, I'm glad to be left alone,,they must spend all their time picking on you.:wink2:
 

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I shot several deer from a baker stand. I did alert one as the Baker stand made a squeaking sound as I stood; however, I got that buck on the last day last hour of the season. He was a beautiful 8 point buck with 3 white stocking feet. My API is the most comfortable stand I have used.

The problem with selecting a good tree stand is that the trails always tend to lead direct to the best straight trees with the best bark with the least amount of low limbs. So the deer are walking directly at the hunter, directly under, then directly away lessening the chances of a good kill shot and increasing they will pick up scent the hunter has left at the bottom of the tree.

Oak, popular and ash trees are good quite climbing trees with good bark.
 

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You could always tell the guys using baker tree stands if they took their shirts. They were the ones with scars on their chests and on the inside of their forearms.>:) Back when they started to become popular half the guys I worked with would be in the maintenance shop over lunch building Baker stands. Manhy of them had skid marks from sliding down trees.
 

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Never felt truly comfortable in my Baker. I always felt I was one move away from skipping down the tree! Used it one season & moved on!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've had a: Baker -the second happiest day of my life was the day I got it, the happiest day of my life is when I got rid of it.
Summit Cobra -Big improvement over the baker, but not real stable.
Ol' man -the most comfortable stand I've ever had (climber or fixed).
Lone Wolf (sit and climb )- all around best stand I've ever owned. Packs flat, light, quite, rock solid, pretty comfortable.
 

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I guess that over the years I've had most of them at one point or another. But as to the original intent of the post, i.e. tree damage, probably my favorites were the TSS climbers. Total rubber contact with the tree and zero damage. In fact, they left no trace, with I liked because no one could see what trees I was using. With no teeth to grab, they always tracked straight up and down the trunk and always held fine for me. I had an original wood platform version as well as the later aluminum version.
 

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When I was at the store to purchase my baker stand a guy told me not to waste my money on the climber section only buy the platform that is all that is need just hug the tree as you go up and down. Hum, I had been hunting from trees for many years with no type of climber.... so? In those days money was hard to come by and there was one climber section in the store and they were in fact sold separately so I took the guys advise and only purchase the platform section not being sure it was the best decision.

So when I got home I went directly out back to climb a tree and selected a big hardy cherry tree. The neighborhood was all excited so they followed me out there kids and all. Being the center of attention I wanted to awe them my athletic ability so I quickly fastened the platform around the trunk of the tree, jumped on it like I knew what I was doing and proceeded to inch up the cherry tree by hugging the trunk, holding on tightly then bring the platform up the to assent higher and higher. I was doing great until .......I lost grip with my tiring arms.

Well, I slid back down the tree about 10' while trying my best to hold on tightly with both arms halfway around the cherry tree. It was the middle of summer and I had no shirt on so my chest was held tightly against the tree with a bear hug as I slid down rather quickly. Well, are your familiar with the bark on a cherry tree? When applying this method of descending it is amazingly just how sufficient it is to remove ones chest hair and leave a rather unique red rash. As you could imagime was somewhat painful and I could not act like it hurt and there were words I could not use in front of the neighborhood kids. So, I said something like I guess that was high enough. Needless to say I figure out then and there not purchasing the hand climber was not the right choice.

Immediately.... that is after rubbing on some ointment on the blemish and putting on a shirt I rushed back to the sporting goods store desperately hoping they still had the one climber left on the shelf, but even more I hoped the guy telling me I didn't need a climber section was still there so we could have a discussion about that.
 

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I was a dinosaur that continued to hug the tree until I was 55 years old, then finally went to using an upper.
 
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