As an avid whitetail bowhunter, I’m a firm believer in having very generous shooting lanes on my treestand setups. I also believe in always cutting numerous lanes so you have a few options if a big buck comes through. Think of some of the lanes as viewing lanes that allow you to know a deer is coming, then have your standard shooting lane out front.
The error made by many bowhunters is they cut one shooting lane and think this will be my best shot, so that’s all I need. The trouble with this reasoning is sometimes deer will surprise you, and by the time you see a buck, he is already leaving your shooting lane and moving on, especially during the rut. To combat this, I like to have two or three lanes from every treestand to allow proper viewing and numerous options for shooting.
When it comes clearing shooting lanes, I’ve found it best to use a buddy system. Send one person up in the treestand and have them direct the person on the ground with what needs to be cut. This will save you time because you’re not cutting branches or brush that won’t matter.
Next, always remember that if you’re cutting saplings around the base of your stand to cut them off right at ground level. It scares me to see people who leave a 6-inch stick poking up out of the ground. Not only is this easy to trip on, especially in the dark, but should you ever slip and fall out of your treestand, this could act just like a spear and cause serious injury. (Of course, you should be wearing a safety harness and using a Hunter Safety System LifeLine to avoid this, too.) It happens every year, so take the extra time to cut saplings off right at ground level.
I usually rely on a hand saw and pole saw/trimmer, but I’ve recently discovered a great way to speed this up. The Hooyman cordless 40V Lithium pole saw (above) folds down into a compact carrying case (below) and then becomes a 10-foot telescoping battery-powered saw that’s easy to put together.
I’ve used Hooyman hand saws for years, but it’s awesome to see a product like this come on the market that can get my shooting lane work done quicker and more efficiently. Check out the video below to see how I use the Hooyman battery-powered pole saw to trim shooting lanes.
Images and video by Melissa Bachman