Tree Stand Maintenance Every Hunter Should Do on the Off-Season

hunting stand

Every year hunters fall from their tree stand or hunting stand and sustain injuries. Often, it’s due to human error, but sometimes falling from a tree stand occurs because of lack of maintenance. Every hunter should take his or her time at the end of each season to ensure their stand is in good condition and fix anything that’s wrong.

Here are some ways you can do maintenance so your stand is safe and ready to go when you need it.

Take Your Stand Down

Some hunters leave their stand up year-round. Don’t do that. Like anything else, hunting stands are susceptible to wear and the elements will break them down over time. I assume you want to keep your hunting stand for seasons to come, so if you don’t have a permanent one, then you need to take it down at the end of every season.

It can be a pain to take your hunting stand or tree stand down, but it will help keep it in good condition and allow you to make any necessary updates or perform preventative maintenance should any parts need it.

Check Straps, Cables, and Fasteners

deer hunting tree stand

Anything that tightens down, screws in, or opens and closes should be at the top of your list. Don’t let your fasteners rust, your straps get dried out and frayed, or your cables wear out. After you take down your hunting stand, get it back home and then go over everything closely.

You’ll probably notice large issues while you take down your tree stand, so keep an eye out. With that said, don’t assume you’re going to spot every defect or bit of damage while you’re removing it from your hunting spot. Get it home and give it a good visual inspection.

Look for Wear and Rust

When you inspect your tree stand or hunting stand, look for wear and rust. The weather can wreak havoc on metal surfaces, and this can lead to rust, which will threaten the structural integrity of the stand if it goes untreated. A little rust is understandable. Serious rust can be a safety concern.

Most stand won’t show excessive wear unless they’re several seasons old. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for any worn out ladder rungs, supports, or other components. You want to make sure that every part of your stand is strong and works as designed.

Clean It Up Before Storage

view of a bucket with clothes soaked in soapy water.

It can seem silly to clean your stand, but cleaning it with some soapy water or a pressure washer is always a good idea. It will remove dirt and grime, leaving wherever you store your stand reasonably clean. Cleaning it can also help you identify damages you may have missed when doing a visual inspection.

Once you’ve cleaned it, dry it thoroughly. Moisture can cause rust on metal components and allow mold to grow on other types of materials. You want to eliminate moisture as much as possible before you store it away until next season.

If you want, it’s never a bad idea to paint or apply a protective finish to your stand. This will help keep it in good condition and discourage rust and corrosion.

Overall, it’s important to care for your tree stand or hunting stand in some capacity. It’s easy to leave the thing up all year and come back out to it next deer season, but it likely won’t be safe if it sits set up for that long. Like every other piece of hunting equipment, your stand requires some care, and the end of the hunting season is a perfect time to do it.

How do you ensure your tree stand is in good condition? Is there anything I should have mentioned above? Leave a comment. 

Tree stand maintenance every hunter should do in the off-season



  1. Recently was invited to hunt a friend’s lease – it became obvious the stands were not maintained – rusty bolts, dry-rotted straps, trees grown stretching the straps & lifting the platform from the ladder that when body weight was added, separated the ladder from the platform. Sure enough, upon climbing down, the ladder detached from the stand causing a fall. Thankfully, there was no injury. Yearly maintenance, taking down & storing stands are imperative!

    1. 100 percent! I’m amazed at the number of folks who neglect their tree stands. Everyone needs to keep those things in sound condition.

  2. I’m flabbergasted at the quantity of people who disregard their tree stands. Everybody needs to keep those things in sound condition

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