Climber vs. Lock-On

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by AR1527, Aug 11, 2017 at 9:00 PM.

  1. AR1527

    AR1527 Well-Known Member

    What do you guys that hunt public land or just walk a long way use? I bought a hand climber last year for the portability but I'm thinking about going to a lock-on with the newer style steps to be able to climb any tree I come to. With the newer steps and a lightweight stand the weight difference wouldn't be much and you could leave it out for a few days (if it didn't get stolen.)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017 at 9:29 PM
  2. whetstone

    whetstone Well-Known Member

    I use both of those you mentioned. It really depends on the type of hunt, stand location, wind. Lots of variables. More times than not I'll walk in and still hunt, or build/ find a place for a quick brush blind. I've had good luck on the ground even with a compound.
    Dermott and AR1527 like this.

  3. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

    I hate a lock on - they scare the crap out of me. Secondly, where I hunt on public, you better have option A, B, and C. If you leave your stand on a tree, chances are you arent hunting it anyway next trip in because someone will already be in the area. I have left a stand on the tree at noon and come back in at two and had someone in a tree 30 yards away. A climber or the ground for me.
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  4. Houdini

    Houdini Elite Member<br>2010 Turkey Contest Winner<br>

    M7 or silverback scout and muddy sticks. Just take the last couple sticks off the tree and take them back out.

    Haven't had anybody take a stand using that method but I wouldn't leave it out if there is much traffic in the area.

    Hate climbers!!!! Not secure enough on the tree.... I've had them slide down the tree and shift. Been dumped off the platform more than once.
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  5. AR1527

    AR1527 Well-Known Member

    Do you just have the 4 sticks that come in a set? If so how high can you get with them?
  6. Houdini

    Houdini Elite Member<br>2010 Turkey Contest Winner<br>

    I carry 5 sticks with me but 75% of the time I only use 4 to get up the tree....
    (17-18ft is usually where I end up) ....
    I use the 5th one to hang binos and stuff on....
  7. miketyson26

    miketyson26 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to give you a different opinion. I've owned a Millennium hang on, several brands of ladders and a Summit Titan. I would consider a hang on stand for bow hunting only. No shooting rail on mine. Definitely less secure feeling and not as comfortable. Ladders are comfortable but not truly portable. My Summit Titan gives comfort. A shooting rail. And the ability to be 100% attached to any tree I climb.

    My vote is a quality climber.

  8. fisherman505

    fisherman505 Well-Known Member

    I am with you, M26. I can take my climber anywhere in the woods and be up a tree within 15 minutes. And I'll be 80 this October. Mite also add that I've been doing this for 30 or better years and have never had a problem with slipping or falling. The climber only weighs 18 pounds and I can easily carry it for as long as I want to walk. I never hunt less than 20-feet up and usually stop around the 30-foot level to ensure that I am well above the scent-line of any deer that decides to walk in on me. Since I gets my limit every year, I do believe I am doing things the right way.

  9. bullcreekboy

    bullcreekboy Well-Known Member

    For me it depends on the type of hunt. If I plan to bow hunt a stand for several days, I'm probably hanging a lock on. I like to be able to get in and out of the stand without making noise. I can't do that very well in a climber. In early season, walking in makes me hot, climbing in a climber makes me excessively hot! I also have a bad back and can't stand more than a few hours at a time without needing to get down and stretch a little. I also prefer to pee from the ground, I'm old.
    I have a summit titan that I use some on public ML or MG hunts.
    I'd say to try both and see what works for YOU cause we're all different. I don't hunt public much anymore. I use lock ons for bow hunting on our lease and ladders or boxes for gun hunting.
    AR1527 likes this.
  10. Nat1

    Nat1 Well-Known Member

    I primarily hunt public land and use a lone wolf climber but a couple years back I bought some lone wolf sticks to start using. My plan was to use cheap but sturdy metal hang ons that I could leave for 5-7 days at a time and either pull the sticks or at least the bottom 2 and hope the other 3 didn't get stolen. My only issue ended up being speed. It just took more and work and time than it did for me to just pack my climber in and out. If I hunted on mostly private land I'd probably go the hang on route more than I do now.
    AR1527 likes this.
  11. OuachitaMtnMan

    OuachitaMtnMan Well-Known Member

    I carry my old Summit Ioen Shot almost exclusively. I'd like to get that real light viper because the old viper was the best stand I ever had. Just too heavy at 21lbs
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  12. I'm thinking about adjusting my setups for "lightness." My original Viper is, like you said, too dang heavy to tote around. I'm thinking about buying a different light climber and a light hang-on to go with my Hawk Helium sticks I have to give me other options for light, mobile, stand sites. Like others have said, I'm so used to using my climber and it's so comfortable (I can sleep in it and be safe) that I almost prefer it over anything else. I do wish the Viper I have was lighter.
    OuachitaMtnMan likes this.
  13. y hunt

    y hunt Super Moderator Staff Member

    For me it has more to do with the type of trees in an area. If there is a good mix of pine I will use the climber. If hard woods and lots of low limbs I will use a lock on. Some areas a climber will not work due to the number of limbs. Like others have said the climber is comfort at its best. Lock on placement can put you in places a climber will not work. Safety is a major concern and a life line is a must. No napping in a lock on. That being said I can sit all day in my climber. In a lock on after two or three hours I can't seem to stay still.
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  14. OuachitaMtnMan

    OuachitaMtnMan Well-Known Member

    Ive got a set of 3 nice XOP sticks and a set of 3 real nice Lone Wolf Sticks. As well as a really light aluminum hang on. I just cant get comfortable with the idea of hanging a hang on to hunt that particular morning, in the dark no less. Not sure I could do it quietly or quickly enough to be happy with. I carry my open shot and if I find a killer spot, I'll carry a cheap chain on in and hang it when its real windy and carry my sticks in and out each time. My favorite is when I can just use cheap screw in steps and a cheap stand and leave it all and go sneak in like a ninja and be sat down with the absolute least amount of unnatural noise as possible. Not many places I'm comfortable leaving my stuff though because even the cheap stuff is important to me.
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  15. miketyson26

    miketyson26 Well-Known Member

    When we had an urban hunt in Fort Smith I used my Millennium hang on stand and either rapid rails or my 20' stick ladder in a lot of places. The hang on stand is great for using a compound bow. And I found it easy enough to hang a day or so before a hunt. I would never risk my life trying to put one up or take one down in the dark. And so to me it is the least viable option. Finding a tree I can climb with my Titan isn't hard. But I do recommend some preplanning. A treestand locator app on your phone is perfect for this. Just tag a good looking tree while scouting and the GPS on your phone will bring you back to it. I have zero issues ascending or descending a tree in the dark in a climber. I use a choker rope around the tree thats hooked to my harness and every couple of steps up I reach up and move it up.

    Something I have to say. I don't have the time and money of some of you folks. I have to make the most of my hunts. The last couple seasons I've started doing long most of the day or all day hunts. I simply couldn't do that in a lock on. Or in most ladder stands. After a couple of hours my back, butt, legs are killing me. But my Titan is like a lazy boy recliner. And in my Sainted Father's opinion? "You got to be in the woods to hunt".

    Maybe it's an age thing. The older I get the more I wanna hunt and I want tools and equipment that make it happen.

    AR1527 likes this.
  16. B725

    B725 Well-Known Member

    I have the API bow hunter and I love it but I wish it was a little lighter. Anyone wanna trade?
  17. Punkinseed

    Punkinseed Well-Known Member

  18. tomhunter

    tomhunter Well-Known Member

    ^^^ if it's rifle or muzzleloader season I'd much rather be on the ground. Use a low profile browning chair (same one for turkey hunting) with a set of shooting sticks.
    Don't really have a preference of a lock on over a climber. Depends on the area.
    A set of climbing sticks up the side of a tree sure is convenient and easy. Climbers are more portable to me.
  19. Biggars

    Biggars Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you are doing. Climbers are easier to me and quieter for one time sits. If its a hot spot you plan to sit several times set a lockon or ladder leave it and take your chances. My climber is way more comfortable but it sure is nice to walk in and get in a stand vs carrying one every trip. Lockons leave a small footprint if you take the lower steps off too, a lot easier to get away with than a ladder stand or leaving a climber at the base of a tree overnight. I prefer to mix it up. Move around with a climber to find some good spots then hang a lockon where I think I have the best chance and leave it. Its a cheapo lockon so if I lose it no big loss, will just piss me off that I had a good set up that got screwed up.
    I hate a thief but way I look at it is if I spend 100 bucks on a set and keep it 2 yrs thats 50 bucks a year. After that if I lose it thats just the risk I take.
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  20. whetstone

    whetstone Well-Known Member