Your hunting season has ended and the thought of spring has entered your mind. Turkey hunting and bass fishing can quickly steal the love for whitetail deer and leave it abandoned until archery season approaches next fall; however, don’t find yourself sacrificing a safe hunt next year because you don’t want to spend a little extra time taking your stands down for maintenance. The best time to complete a routine check is immediately following your hunting season, before storing your stands in a dry location. This is especially true in areas with more extreme weather conditions. Here are our steps to assist you in carrying out your end of the season tree stand maintenance.

Step 1: Take It Down - Take your stand down as soon as the season is over. Leaving it out in the weather, or bed of a truck, exposes it to moisture and elements that can lead to damage.

Step 2: Observe & Assess - Before and after each use meticulously look over every single part of your tree stand to detect and identify potential problems.

Step 3: Keep It Tight – go over and re-tighten all nuts and bolts that can become loose after a long season. Completing this step when you take your tree stand down eliminates the need to remember to tighten bolts before hanging tree stands in July.

Step 4: Eliminate Rust – prime and repaint any areas that show sign of rusting to prevent further deterioration. Summit Touch up paint is a good option to quickly repair minor nicks, chips and scratches with ease.

Step 5: Check Connection Points – make sure all cables and straps are in good working condition. Immediately replace any questionable parts. We provide a full line of Summit Treestand Accessories, including replacement parts.

Step 6: Examine Pins, Ratchets & S-Hooks – carefully inspect all tree stand pins, ratchets and hooks for signs of rust, stress and wear. Be sure to inspect all straps used for hang on stands and Bucksteps as well.

Step 7: Properly Care For Seats – check padded seats for rips, tears and holes. Make sure all seats are completely dry before storing them inside of sealed plastic bags.

Step 8: Clean & Store – remove all dirt and debris before storing tree stands in a scent-free environment with a constant temperature. Fluctuating temperatures can generate problems with rust and mildew. Heavy plastic bags and large rubber storage containers are excellent choices. Use scent elimination products, like EliminX 360 by Code Blue Scents, to spray down your storage location. 

It is critical to check all tags on load bearing straps for expiration dates. All Mounting Straps have a Max. Life of 2 years, it then must be destroyed and tossed out. When in doubt throw it out! Dispose of any straps with missing tags (cut them up and throw them out). The same goes for any frayed or loose stitching. Also, be sure to take care of any warranty issues during the off season.

The same care should be taken for all Safety Harness. Harnesses have a Max. Life of 5 years, then it must be destroyed and tossed out. Also, It is important to wear your SOP harness when removing tree stands from the tree.

Remember to perform a routine maintenance check before putting your stands back out in the summer. These simple steps will help keep you and your tree stands safe, quiet, and performing flawlessly season after season.