Treestand Finder from Custom Devices
by Dave Conrad
Some of the simplest tools known to man can be the most helpful. Like the weed eater is to trimming, the Treestand Finder from Custom Devices is to deer hunting. This device is one of these simple tools that have you thinking, "Why didn't I think of that".
It doesn't matter how well you know your hunting area in the daytime because the early morning dark is a whole different scenario, especially in the early fall with changes taking place daily. If you are like me, stands put in place a month ago are a little hard to find when every tree looks the same. Sight is also restricted to the width of your flashlight beam and with today's bright but compact designs that isn't a whole lot. Finally, how many times have you found yourself waiting for daylight in order to find your treestand? This precious time lost can mean the difference between a successful hunt or going home empty handed. The Treestand Finder helps end this scenario because its blinking red light can be detected up to 100 yards away!
The device is the size of a film canister with a short red plastic cylinder centered on the bottom. The outer covering is waterproof and is camouflaged with tape making it oblivious to anyone passing by during the daytime. The top has an attachment where a tie wraps can be inserted for securing. Opening the device finds a securely held circuit board with a watch battery for power. The battery supplies enough power to easily get you through one season and most likely two since the unit is deactivated during daylight hours. Hanging from the board into the red plastic cylinder is a photo eye with a small light bulb just above it. As your flashlight beam passes the Treestand Finder the photo eye reacts immediately, activating the blinking light for approximately 10 seconds. Depending on the strength of you flashlight beam the device can be activated up to 100 yards in an unobstructed environment.
Hanging the Treestand Finder is simple with the tie wraps supplied. First remove the black cap that protects the photo eye and prolongs the battery when not in use. Next thread the tie rap through the top and loop around a limb or whatever you may be hanging it from and secure in place by tightening the wrap. That is all there is to it!
The first day of the bow season found me walking into an area where heavy pines met hardwoods. My treestand was located on an elevated hardwood ridge about 200 yards in from where the pines started. Not only did I have to contend with the pines but also a steep climb of 80 yards would put me on top of the ridge at my final destination. Three Treestand Finders were put in place when the stand was hung before the season and used to cover the 200-yard jaunt. The first device was located about 50 yards into the pines. Bending down, so the flashlight would penetrate the lower dead limbs associated with the thick pines, I was able to find it blinking as soon as the light passed its vicinity. The second was located at the bottom of a slight depression where the pines thinned about 75 yards from the first. This device was situated about chest height on the lowest limb of a maple. Several scans of the flashlight found it blinking. The reason for several scans was because heavy dew from the night before caused leaves to bend down covering the upper portion of the Finder.
I figured this device had saved me precious time due to the many crossed paths leading out of the depression. The third and final Treestand Finder was located hanging from the bottom of my treestand. As I made my way up towards the top of the ridge one quick scan of the area from about 35 yards immediately set it off. It was made easy because the mature open hardwoods had no low hanging branches and very few leaves. Upon arriving at my treestand I was very happy to have cheated Murphy's Law out of the problems associated with trying to find your way on opening morning
The Treestand Finder has many more uses other than helping you find your stand. Marking the last known spot of your quarry can be helpful when returning later to track. Several devices can be used to alternately mark the last place of a sparse blood trail. Looking back and lighting up the trail may assist you in determining the line of flight from the blinking lights. Once found the device can then aid in finding it when you return with help to drag it out.
I recommend placing the device just below the tree line on the lowest limb in the early season keeping the device unobstructed. The more powerful a flashlight the farther activation occurs, even greater than 100 yards. Actually when the device is activated the whole units glows because of the light reflecting up into the plastic housing. This helps identify the unit a lot faster and easier and is an added plus in my book for an already great product. When finished utilizing the device at the end of the hunting season remember to reattach the black end cap to ensure battery life.
Ease of use - 5 out of 5
Durability - 4.5 out of 5
Functionality - 5 out of 5
In conclusion this may be a simple device but it ranks right up there
as an important device. A hunt on unfamiliar territory from a treestand
cannot begin unless you first find your stand.
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