Monday, November 26, 2012

Gear Review - The Tree Sledge

A few months ago, The Will To Hunt had several drawings for Muddy Outdoors Products. We won one of those drawings for a Tree Sledge. We wanted to try it out and give it a review.

Upon opening the Tree Sledge, you'll notice the solid feel from it's one-piece construction. The magnet built in to the slot on the backside of the Sledge secures tree steps nicely and it does not feel as though a step may slip out. The sheath is a nice touch as you usually have your hands full when setting up stands. The bright orange, although it is Muddy's signature color is perfect should you drop the Sledge while setting up a stand as it will stand out from all foliage and underbrush. One addition I might suggest after using the Tree Sledge is some non-slip construction on the handle, whether rubber, athletic grip-tape, or otherwise, as you will typically be sweating while setting up stands in the warmer months and it will prevent possible slipping of the Sledge in your grip (we did not experience an issue with this, just an item of note).

In testing the Tree sledge, we used Ameristep screw-in tree steps. The tree we chose to perform the review on is a Scrub Oak. Native to Oklahoma and extremely tough wood, it seemed only right to test the Sledge on the toughest tree we commonly set stands in. Upon swinging the Sledge at the tree, we did notice some bounce back of the step. This appeared to be due to the toughness of the type of tree chosen. After a few swings, it became apparent the step was not seating itself deep enough to start to screw in. Had the step been sharper, or the tree not as hard, it would have seated just fine. I did grab a hammer to assist in digging the step into the tree. With the sledge in place, my fingers were safely out of the way of the hammer and it gave a larger surface to hit versus the step itself. After a few light taps, I was able to use the Tree Sledge to wrench the step into the tree without an issue. The leverage the Tree Sledge provides is great and it saves your hands a lot of abuse while getting the job done quickly. I look forward to putting this tool to a lot of use this Spring and Summer as we hang new stands and reposition our current ones.

We did a video review so that you can see it in action.

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