The true answer to the question of how high should a tree stand be for bow hunting is- it depends! There are actually terrains where you won’t even find a tree and there are those where you will only see branches of trees at every foot. Both require different heights of tree stand for bow hunting. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind.
Height Based on the Deer’s ability to smell you
Even if the deer can’t see you, it can smell you if you are in direct line of contact with it. In general, it is believed that if you are over 30-feet in height from the deer, it won’t be able to smell your presence. It just seems like such mystic stuff, doesn’t it?
So, to conceal your presence (smell), you have to go, at least, above 25-feet in height.
But, what happens if there is no tree that can get the tree stand so high?
In this case, you do not really have many options but to use just any tree, that is strong enough to handle the tree stand. Usually, you need a tree with at least a diameter of 18 inches to fasten a tree stand to it. Then, you can consider the height.
You can try to conceal your smell by wearing smell-concealing clothes or hunting gears. Then, you can focus on getting the perfect line of view to shoot an arrow at your target deer.
In this case, all you have to do is get to a height above feet that give you a certain level of elevation so that you can take a shot through the other branches. If there are a lot of branches around, it can be harder for the deer to detect your smell.
So, in this case, you can prioritize a better line of view.
The distance from the deer
Higher is not always better. Apparently, the higher you go, the harder it is to shoot the deer just the way you want to. You can take better shots if the deer is more on a horizontal line from you, not vertical. On the other hand, you have to know the gear used in a better way. For example binoculars, rangefinders, etc. Can you imagine how difficult it will be for you to use your bow and arrow if the deer is directly underneath your tree stand? You get the idea!
But, how can you prevent this from happening? You do not know where the deer will go. Apparently, you have to keep the place you expect the deer to go 15-20 yards away from where you place the tree stand.
It will make taking a shot at your target easier for you.
Keep the sun behind
When do you usually go hunting? What’s the location of the sun during that time? Find the answer to these questions and install your tree stand in a way that when you are hunting, the sun is behind you. This way, the sun rays won’t disturb your view and you will be able to hit your target.
You have to observe your terrain and the trees around to find a tree high enough to hold your tree stand.