Baker tree stand memories

turkeykirk

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Back when I first started deer hunting in the early 70's, most people who hunted from trees usually just climbed them and sat on a limb (very uncomfortable !!) or hauled a ton of lumber to the woods and built their stand before the season (way more comfortable, but not very mobile). When the Baker climbing stand came on the market, I just knew I would be in deer hunting heaven if I had one. So I went out and got me one of the oversize models. Little did I know that I would be in deer hunting h-ll when I started using it! The stand was well built and fit the need for a portable stand. But it caused a lot of choice words in the deer woods which probably didn't help my deer hunting any.
First thing I notice when using it was where to set the bracket on the stand where it would be level when I climbed to the height in the tree I was hunting out of. I learned real fast that a tree is a hard thing to judge the diameter of when you are 20 feet below on the ground. Take my word for it, there is nothing fun about spending time in a tree stand constantly sliding forward. If the stand leaned back too much you had to worry about it sliding down the tree.
Secondly, you had to either stand up or sit down on the platform.When standing you had to worry about about falling out since this was in the days before safety harnesses. If you chose to sit down (which I did, except in bow season), your legs would eventually get numb from sitting on the platform with them dangling in the air unsupported. Finally half way fixed the leg numbness by putting some foot straps for my feet to rest on.
Third, you had to make sure your feet were hooked securely in the climbing straps so the stand wouldn't slide off your feet and down the tree, leaving you hanging like a squirrel on the tree with your stand 20 feet down on the ground! I walked up on a buddy of mine one day hanging in a tree with his stand on the ground below him. Got a good laugh out of it though he didn't think it was too funny!
Fourth, I didn't have the hand climber (too cheap even then to buy one) so I had to use the bear hug method of tree climbing. Talking about fun! There is nothing like climbing up a tree 25-30 feet by hugging the tree, pull yourself up, stand up straight and hug the tree, pull yourself up and hug the tree, doing this over and over until you get to the level you want to hunt at. This process looks kind-of-like an inch worm climbing a stick. Also, I found out quick you didn't want to hug climb the tree in a tee shirt. You always skinned your arms up and filled your shirt up with ants and bark. I learned to wear a heavy long sleeve shirt or jacket when climbing no matter how hot it was!
It's been over 40 years since I hunted with that type of stand and wouldn't even think of using one today. Back then, I was young and having fun deer hunting. Anyone else have any similar experiences?
 

KDarsey

Senior Member
#2
I bet there are a lot of people reading this that never had the pleasure.
I killed many deer from the Baker Suicide Climbers. It was a sight to see when we all compared our skinned & bruised chests & arms.
You could always tell when your buddy was having a bad day....nothing like the sound of one of those as it left you suspended in mid air as it clattered down the tree..
Still have mine around somewhere.
 
#3
I was hunting out of one in my younger days, did think to tie a rope from the seat part to the foot climber. The problem was, I didn't think to tie it short and you guessed it..... down the tree it went about 10'. From the noise of this thing bouncing off the tree, me cussing, the the commotion of both as I tried to work it back up the tree so I could get down. Did not hunt again from a climbing stand for years until I finally got a Warren and Sweat Bow Hunter model. Killed a lot of deer out of that one, retired it have have been spoiled by the Summit Viper for years now.
 

papachaz

Senior Member
#4
is there anyone who ever climbed with a baker stand that DIDN'T wind up sliding down the tree while hugging it at least once? It only took me once to quit using it, I didn't even cuss when it was stolen out of the back of my truck. I was tempted to just keep a check on the emergency room at the hospital to find the thief...........
 

RangerJ

Senior Member
#5
I remember very well, and encountered most of whats been said. I think I have scars on my arms and chest from those days.
 
#6
My neighbor gave me a Baker stand when I was a kid, I thought that was the nicest thing... little did I know.

Did the hug the tree method until my dad bought me a handclimber. Did the 20ft up tree hug/slide down because the danged thing had slide down the tree so many times I finally stopped using it as a climber and just sort of attached it to a tree at ground level as a seat.

Later got a TomCat I (just sold it, as a matter of fact) and never looked back. I forget what I did with the Baker, probably gave it to some other unsuspecting victim.
 
#7
I remember wishing I had one. I was so excited to get my Warren & Sweat Woodsman. I later upgraded with the addition of an Amacker hand climber seat. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way to take my gloves off to adjust the blade so I wouldn't have to hug the tree back down and hope I found the nut.
 
#9
When i was a kid my dad had an old baker and sometimes i would use it without him knowing it. Had he known i was in that death trap he woulda wore me out. After getting all skinned up doing the tree hug thing which was much worse coming down than going up i found the perfect setup. I had a small pine that climed good and had another tree i think it was actually a big privit hedge beside it. I could climb up 10 feet or so and when ready to come down i would let my gun down and grab the privit hedge and ride its bend to the ground then take a long stick and poke the baker and it would fall like a brick. That spot was perfect except it had no deer not even a track.lol
 

rhbama3

Administrator
#10
About 1983 or so, i left a 15 foot long trail of skin and blood down the sides of a pine as i dropped slightly slower than the speed of sound after the bark broke under the teeth.
Nothing worse than being strapped into a baker after a trip to the bottom of a tree with sprained ankles and bleeding profusely from your hairless, skinless, arms.
 

Arrow3

Senior Member
#11
I killed a 5 pointer out of my dad's the first time I ever hunted out of it. I was 13-14 at the time. I thought I had moved from a pinto to a Lincoln when the first Tomcat 2 came out and I got one.
 

ts602

Senior Member
#15
This is so funny. I have done every thing that is mentioned. A few months ago I happen to see one at a yard sale, and no I didn't buy it. It did bring back alot of memories. Thanks of sharing.
 

Davexx1

Senior Member
#16
The original Baker was my first climbing tree stand. Bear hugging the tree was a pain and only for the young. Later, I traded something for a hand climber and it was better, but still a real pain to use. I had a great idea and made a hinged hanging seat and mounted it on the hand climber frame. It worked very well and was much easier (and safer) to climb up/down with. Some time later the Baker company came out with their own version of a seat climber. I should have patented my idea. Oh well.

Dave
 
#17
The seat was so rough on your butt I stop using it. Instead I would hug the tree and pull my self up, and stand up for hours. Some things you don't forget that was one of them.
 

Arrow3

Senior Member
#18
Duck hunters like to use them for dog stands now. I think my dad sold his at a yard sale for $10.
 
Thread starter #19
I remember wishing I had one. I was so excited to get my Warren & Sweat Woodsman. I later upgraded with the addition of an Amacker hand climber seat. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way to take my gloves off to adjust the blade so I wouldn't have to hug the tree back down and hope I found the nut.
I forgot about loosing the wing nuts. Nothing like crawling around around on your hands and knees, early in the morning darkness, looking for the wing nut you just lost in the leaves and pine straw! Learned to carry a few extra duck taped to the stand.
 

KDarsey

Senior Member
#20
Yep, I painted my wingnuts fluorescent orange so I could find them.
And since this has been more than 20-25 years ago can you imagine using one now.
How did we ever go from the sitting position to standing on that itty bitty platform 20-30 feet up....if we were lucky to make it that high.
 
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