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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just hung the first tree stand that I will hunt from with my new crossbow this year. The first thing I noticed was how the tree will really limit shots behind me and even to the side due to making sure the crossbow limbs don't contact the tree.

I'm a bit worried that in the thrill of the hunt with the heart racing and the perfect broadside view of a deer, it may be difficult to remember or judge enough clearance between the crossbow and the tree. I'm thinking about tying a stick or something to the tree to act as a jig or "stop" to physically prevent the bow from coming too close to the tree, or at the very least serve as a quick gauge to eliminate guessing. Does anyone have any similar tips or tricks to prevent the disaster of a crossbow limb smacking the tree?
 

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I had exactly this situation happen with the buck I shot last year. Instead of staying on the trail and comping right past my stand, it left the trail and circled behind me. I turned around in the stand to follow it in the scope. But I stayed as far to the front of the stand as I could so I wouldn't get any interference with the trunk of the big oak that I was in. My crossbow is a Horton Vision with the reverse limbs so the limbs go out instead of forward when I shoot. Still at times I need to make sure I have the clearance to the side of the tree before I shoot. The buck that I got two years ago, I had to lean out from the tree for clearance.
Any way around, it's definitely something you need to pay attention to. Place your stand to be in position for it not to happen, but you just never know.
 

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That is always a concern with crossbows. Hitting the tree with the limb can literally knock you out of the stand. I tend to favor narrow limbed bows and reverse draw is a advantage since you can lean alongside the tree and the limbs will still clear. I also tend to choose a larger platform for my stands. That way I can back away from the tree enough for my limbs to clear and still send an arrow right past the trunk.
 

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My stand sights are set up so as not to have to shoot behind me. Limb contact at the shot is going to prove VERY bad. The above comments are good advice as to your set up if you are planning a possible shot behind you. I would follow their advice.
 

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buy a double ladder stand to have the extra room to get around behind you. That's what i did, just be sure you really have it strapped to the tree so it doesn't shift when you put all your weight on one side. i've seen several 15 ft double stands on sale for 90ish dollars
 

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It is an issue. If I remember correctly, a member here a few years ago had a limb hit and I think it knocked or almost knocked him out of the tree.

Make some mental notes with the bow uncocked of the position of the limbs. This way you will know how far away when it is cocked that you need to be. I try and set my stands so I don't have to shoot behind me.
 

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No different than a compound shooter using a stand with a rail, you just have to pay attention! I sold one of my old bows a few years ago to a friend and he was going to practice shooting out of a ladder stand with a rail. We saw he was going to hit the rail with the bottom limb and just as we were opening our mouths to warn him he hit the release! It rained bow parts on us!
 

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If there is a branch(s) or tree trunk in the way of your setup then you don't have a shot in that direction. Know that, work with what you do have and enjoy your hunt. Rarely will you have a clear 360 degree situation from your stand.
 

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Wear your harness so that you can lean out a bit. If you put your shoulder against the tree and then extend your arms the limbs should clear. I almost always use a climber so I can set it to where I expect to have the best angle to shoot, but nothing's perfect. I have had to let a few walk. If you don't bust them they'll be back.
 

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I'm relatively new to crossbow hunting and thankfully I've never had a problem with my limb hitting the tree when firing. To me this is a matter of simple mathematics. (i'm an engineer so forgive me.) Take the un-cocked out-to-out measurement of your limbs, subtract the cocked out-to-out measurement of your limbs and divide that number by two, and you'll know how much your limbs will spring outward when released from the cocked position. Keep that number in your head and allow that much clearance between the cocked limb and the nearest obstruction plus a little extra for safety and you'll be fine.

One thing I've realized is that crossbows are a really odd shaped piece of hunting equipment. I hunted with a vertical bow for over 15 years before switching to a crossbow due to shoulder and elbow tendonitis problems and the first several times out with the crossbow in a tree stand was a learning experience.
 

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Wear your harness so that you can lean out a bit. If you put your shoulder against the tree and then extend your arms the limbs should clear. I almost always use a climber so I can set it to where I expect to have the best angle to shoot, but nothing's perfect. I have had to let a few walk. If you don't bust them they'll be back.
^This^
 
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