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By far the most popular way to hunt white-tailed deer and black bear with a bow and arrow is from an elevated stand. The most common type of elevated stand is the tree stand—a temporary stand placed in or against a tree. Tree stands have become increasingly popular in recent years with both bowhunters and firearm hunters. While they offer certain advantages, they also have some drawbacks, including a degree of risk.

Avoid permanent stands


  • Due to wider field of view, let you spot game sooner than at ground level, which allows time to plan for the best shot
  • Position a hunter above the animal's normal field of vision
  • Make a hunter's scent harder to detect and movement less noticeable, allowing a hunter to move more easily into a shooting position
  • Give the bowhunter a shot angle where the arrow exits lower on the animal, potentially creating a better blood trail to aid in recovery
  • Reduce the possibility of a hunter interfering with another hunter's experience
  • Provide a better vantage point for viewing wildlife and enjoying the total hunting experience


  • Increase risk of injury from falling
  • Can be difficult to carry, especially large, portable stands
  • Provide no protection from cold or wind
  • Give little room for movement, which adds to fatigue and increases the risk of falling
  • Make estimating distances and shooting accurately more challenging because of the downward angle
  • Cannot move toward game while hunting