Setting up a treestand in December is no fun, especially
when the temperatures are hovering in the low 20s.But that is just where you would have found
me earlier this week, preparing to bowhunt a couple of food sources.Add in a 10 mph wind and I was dreading this
task, but in order to score this late into the season you have to be prepared
to adapt to your bucks adjusted travel patterns.
I am after two respectable bucks this season of which the larger
will score in the 160-inch range.I have
yet to get close to him but the other, a 150 plus inch 8-point, I had an
opportunity for a 15-yard shot about three weeks ago.But as he was closing the distance I was
shocked to see that he had snapped his left antler off at the base.You talk about a disappointment as he fed
within easy bow range.
Oh well, that is why they call it hunting and that brings me
back to the frigid temperatures of December.Now this could have been a lot worse for me, because I had left home
without my gloves, but actually a smile came across my face as I secured my
first screw in step to my new ambush position. The reason for my smile was that
I was using a new set of Cranford EZY Climb Deluxe Tree Steps, which would make
for a quick job in the frigid temps.
I am familiar with the fine products from Cranford
and I have used them with confidence for many seasons.Last year for example I was able to silently
get into my treestand with Cranford EZYClimbRodTreeSteps while a 190
inch buck fed less than 60 yards from my stand.I know his score because later that morning he fell to my arrow.
Cranford steps are solid
and made from the highest grade materials in the industry.They are the only manufacturers that are
producing a step that is not of a solid rod style.The EZY Climb Deluxe Step is a folding step
which starts off with the famous EZY self-tapping screw.This feature is what brings a smile to my
face because little effort is needed to start them into a tree.Other steps would have taken, what would have
seemed a lifetime in that cold, just to get started in the hard wooded
maple.The heavy 11-gauge steel of the
Deluxe Step was securely in the tree quickly with a little more than half a
dozen turns.As I reached the end of the
2 1/8 screw the step, which pivots on a stainless steel rivet, could be
positioned for maximum leverage.
Within minutes I was securing the last of my steps and
placing the hang-on stand at a vantage point of 18 feet.The precision machining of the screw from the
edges to the valley allows not only for ease of screwing in but reversing as
well.I needed to do this a couple times
as I repositioned the steps for better entry and exit from my stand.Even though I use a safety belt and harness,
I always think safety as I enter and exit my stand.
As mentioned earlier a solid stainless steel Rivet makes the
transition from the EZY self-tapping screw past the hot-forged bend to the
large step area.The bubble pattern and
raised end combined with the four inches of step area gives me overwhelming
confidence while climbing with my large pac style boots.At the bottom of the inner curve where the
step bends the support has been expanded on both edges.This design aids in biting into the tree as you
place weight on the step thereby eliminating it from turning or
repositioning.I dont know about you
but I dread the scare of insecurity while I am more than 10 feet off the
Another great feature of the steps is that at a little over
five ounces I was able to place all that I needed into my two pockets.The fold up design is compact and keeps the
sharp, self-tapping screw from digging into my clothing.With a safety belt on and maneuvering around
a tree I know the last thing I need is a sharp point poking into my side, hip
or upper thigh.
Looking down from my new vantage point brought yet another
smile to my face for two reasons.First
off because the Cranford Steps helped me attain my goal of hanging the new
stand quickly in the freezing weather.Secondly because of the ability to hang the stand from a great vantage
point from where to hopefully ambush the trophy buck of this area.
In Summary there is nothing worse than the aggravation of
struggling to start a dull or poorly designed tree step.First of all every second counts while
hanging a new stand, especially if you plan on immediately hunting it.In early season, the extra work will cause
you to sweat, thereby alerting any downwind game of your position.In late season, your fingers nearly freeze,
as you have to take off your glove in order to get a better handle for
leverage.I hang several hang on stands
before and during the season and I always trust Cranford
steps.No matter what the conditions you
can always count on the self-tapping screws and quality construction.While climbing to any height, I always trust
the Cranford name.
Design 5 of 5 The always reliable self tapping EZY screw
makes for little effort from start to finish of installation.The quality components that make up these or
any other Cranford style step is something I
feel I can count on season after season.The compact design allows for easy packability, meaning less weight and
bulk that is common with many ladder style stands.
Price 5 of 5 At a retail price of $4.75 a piece you can
attain greater heights than that of a quality ladder type stand.Besides you do not have to worry about a not
so straight tree or one with many limbs that would interfere with a ladder.