Like any hunter, I am eager to try new products that will help aid me in the process chasing the elusive whitetail. I recently came across a newer treestand manufacturer that is doing just that. They are Hawk. I decided to check out their new EXPLOR treestand. This is not your run of the mill hang on style stand but it has several features that set this stand apart from the rest.
Out of the box the only assembly required is attaching the seat to the stand frame. This involves two bolts, several washers and two nuts. Its easily done in minutes. I've had other stands where it takes close to and hour to assemble the whole thing. No worries here.
The stand itself is extremely well built. It has a nice powder coat and looks as good or better than some of the more well known companies stands. Now, lets get to those features that make this stand great. The first is the flexcomfort ergo tractor seat. We've all sat on padded seats that are several inches thick that compress to the size of a pancake when you sit on them. These are not any fun and before long the metal base of the seat is digging into the back of your legs. Sitting on a seat like this takes a toll on your body. Well, with Hawks ergo seat all the frustration is gone. The seat flexes to fit the contours of your body and is actually comfortable. Its a seat you could easily sit in for those all day mid November hunts. There are not many hang on style treestands out there that can make that claim. Unlike cloth style padded seats that hold scent, no scent will be held by this seat. The seat also quietly flips up and out of the way while you stand for a shot.
Another feature that gives this stand an added edge is its portability. I'm not just talking about its 11.5 pound stand weight compared to its generous 21''x27'' platform size. I'm talking about how quickly and quietly you can set the stand using its mounting brackets. The stand comes with two mounting brackets in the box and additional ones can be purchased. You can easily attach the brackets to different trees on your property. This will give you the advantage of being able to hunt a bedding area in the morning and easily move the stand itself to a pre set bracket in a tree on the edge of a corn field where that buck you are chasing is coming out to feed for your evening hunt. If you're a public land hunter you can easily set your hanging brackets in trees you scouted out and then carry in sticks and your stand. Having the bracket set eliminates the noisy ratcheting straps common on other stands. Once the bracket is set, the stand simply slides down in with a "post and socket" attachment. It is securely attached with a safety pin. There is no noise when setting the stand in the bracket. Once in the bracket the bottom of the stand is quietly secured by wrapping a strap with a cam style buckle around the tree and cinching tight.
When you climb onto the stand there are things you want and things you don't want. There was no shifting of the stand, there were no squeaks as I repositioned my body, there was no inkling of feeling unsafe. However, there was ample room, a sense of safety and comfort, and a great view.
The last little feature seemed insignificant at first, but I soon realized it was genius. There is a small hook built right into the platform. This hanging hook allows you to easily carry the stand through the woods as you hike to your hunting spot. You can use your belt or the side loops in your safety harness where you normally attach a lineman's rope. The hook is positioned on the stand so it balances perfectly and you barely notice the stand is there. The stand comes equipped with backpack straps if you would like to carry it in that way, but the hook is the way to go for those of you who already have a large back pack full of gear to carry. Or a bow sling could be used on your left while the stand hangs on your right.
In closing this is one stand that I will be using for years to come. It is well built and it is affordable. The old adage you get what you pay for normally rings true when it comes to hunting equipment. However, in the case of Hawk products, you get MORE than what you pay for. Be sure to check out this stand and the other products Hawk offers. Their 2015 Product Catalog is loaded with innovative gear to help you hunt.
Tree Mounting Bracket
Tree Mounting Bracket Secured to tree
Rear view of stand and seat
View from above seat
Post placed in mounting bracket and secured with safety pin