• The SH Membership has gone live. Only SH Members have access to post in the classifieds. All members can view the classifieds. Starting in 2020 only SH Members will be admitted to the annual hunting contest. Current members will need to follow these steps to upgrade: 1. Click on your username 2. Click on Account upgrades 3. Choose SH Member and purchase.
  • We've been working hard the past few weeks to come up with some big changes to our vendor policies to meet the changing needs of our community. Please see the new vendor rules here: Vendor Access Area Rules

Screw-ins or Bolts for preset ROS?

rhagenw

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
815
Anybody have experience using both for a pre-set ROS?? Standing surface is non issue...I’m thinking the screw in would be more secure and stable but less worry with grade 8s rusting and snapping? Or am I over thinking this?
 

Noonespecial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
294
The larger screw in Ameristeps (Grizzly) are the best! Depending on the tree species you will get sag and wobble with bolts.
 

Schwonkhead

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
157
Location
Illinois
My thought is ultimately you are overthinking it, I do the same thing. They are basically the same thing except bolts will put you a couple inches higher using the same holes.
 

Stykbow1

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
444
Location
New Jersey
I have used the large Grizzly steps in the past, and they worked great. I have never used the bolts as a ROS but have used them sparingly to climb in areas where they are legal. If I were pressed, I'd give the edge to the Grizzly steps. I hope this helps.
 

JC3

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
145
Bolts all the way, whether for climbing and or ROS.
Bolts are cheaper per step and easier to put in (cordless drill).
I used to use the screw in style but the bolts and drill are a "no sweat" system.
Use an Alfa Tool 3/8" x 4" short auger with a 1/4" hex shank # AUG61373.
Add a collar from McMaster Carr #9414T8 or similar supplier to control depth.
"Ream" the drilled hole to get a good fit, might be a little tight with one pass.
Started with the original "Treehopper " system many moons ago and have not have any problems at all.
 

Drew A

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
13
Location
NW PA
How deep do you drill your holes for bolts? I bought some 6 inch 3/8 grade 8 bolts to try and have used search to find out how deep. One post said 2.25 inches but I could not verify that.
 

Wolnut

New Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
25
Drew A: the treehopper drill bit is 2.25". You can vary the depth depending on your preference if you pre-drill with a cordless. It is easy to make a custom length wood collar with a piece of scrap wood. (Can post pictures if you are interested.)

Back when folks were first experimenting with bolts for climbing, my grandfather was hunting with Jerry Simmons in Alabama. They used 4.5" bolts and drilled 2.75" holes at first. (I am not sure if this is what Jerry was using, but I have my grandfather's drill and "bolts," which were actually hardened steel teeth from a cotton picker with a nut welded on the end.) Over time, they used longer bolts and shallower holes. Some trees with very thick bark like cottonwood might benefit from a deeper hole, but I have not climbed these.

Whoever above says you will get "sag and wobble" with bolts probably has not used them very much. I have climbed a lot of poplars with them (only slightly harder than pine and the softest tree I climb) and there are no issues. They are very solid for ROS.
 

Drew A

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
13
Location
NW PA
Wolnut thank you for the response, i will try it as soon as my poison ivy subsides.
 

Noonespecial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
294
The “Sag and Wobble” came from doing presets in the early spring (March-April) when most trees are saturated with water making the wood very soft, no matter the species. I do many presets post season and this was the problem I was having. I don’t like to wait until mid summer when trees are dryer to do my presets. Hopefully this better explains my dilemma.

w
Drew A: the treehopper drill bit is 2.25". You can vary the depth depending on your preference if you pre-drill with a cordless. It is easy to make a custom length wood collar with a piece of scrap wood. (Can post pictures if you are interested.)

Back when folks were first experimenting with bolts for climbing, my grandfather was hunting with Jerry Simmons in Alabama. They used 4.5" bolts and drilled 2.75" holes at first. (I am not sure if this is what Jerry was using, but I have my grandfather's drill and "bolts," which were actually hardened steel teeth from a cotton picker with a nut welded on the end.) Over time, they used longer bolts and shallower holes. Some trees with very thick bark like cottonwood might benefit from a deeper hole, but I have not climbed these.

Whoever above says you will get "sag and wobble" with bolts probably has not used them very much. I have climbed a lot of poplars with them (only slightly harder than pine and the softest tree I climb) and there are no issues. They are very solid for ROS.
 

JFin15

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
356
Location
Central AL
As soon as you attempt the comparison, you'll remember how much it sucks to have to screw those steps in! Ive got the treehopper bit and drill so I drill a bunch of trees during the spring so come fall, I'll touch up the holes that need it and climb. It's so much easier to grab a bolt, put bolt in hole, and keep advancing. No comparison really. With my aider, 10 bolts gets me 30ft

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

Noonespecial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
294
As soon as you attempt the comparison, you'll remember how much it sucks to have to screw those steps in! Ive got the treehopper bit and drill so I drill a bunch of trees during the spring so come fall, I'll touch up the holes that need it and climb. It's so much easier to grab a bolt, put bolt in hole, and keep advancing. No comparison really. With my aider, 10 bolts gets me 30ft

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
I use the Ultimate Treestep Tool made in PA. No problem screwing in any style treestep. I personally use the Ameristep screw ins, just back them out a turn at the end of every year and you’re done for as long as you want to hunt that tree. Simple easy done!
 

Recurveaholic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
1,685
Bolts are the ultimate platform because you can put as many as you want and make it very comfy!!! Has anyone ever gone to the extreme on how many bolts they used?
 

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
4,782
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Every method has its strengths and weaknesses but IME bolts have fewer downsides than screw in steps...especially the one piece type steps.

The amount of clearance that a screw in requires to make a full revolution while screwing them in can restrict where on the tree that they can be installed. And its especially worse if you are using a tool to install them. Measure and compare the clearance needed to install a bolt versus a screw in step...and its even worse when using an install tool.

I think most of us prefer to have some branches around us for cover. I avoid those bare, telephone pole type of trees. I cut as few branches as possible. With screw in steps, it can be really difficult to place a step in the exact position where it really needs to go.

There is a huge importance in planning the climb and planning the exact placement of the ROS or stand. Branches can be a friend or an enemy in this process.

Screw ins and install tools may work on 90% of trees that some guys hunt, but I've had plenty of times where the ideal stand location has barely one tree that will work with wind travel patterns, stand access, back cover, etc. And sometimes that "only tree" can be a challenge to install steps due to the structure of the tree and branches.

I want a system that works in as many circumstances as possible. Bolts simply work better in more situations.

Even a bump or knot on the tree, when its located in just the wrong spot, can make fully inserting screw in steps very difficult. And relocating any step a few inches away from that ideal spot can cause a lot of problems...both for climbing or for ROS.

Bolts require less space to install than screw in steps.

Bolts can also be installed at slightly accute angles if the need arises. Screw in steps MUST be started and completely set perfectly square to the tree.

Bolts are lighter in the pack and are much more affordable, too.

No contest.
 

Buckhorn70

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
651
Anybody used those little “bicycle pedal” gizmos that Treehopper sells to make a bolt more friendly on the foot? They slide over the bolt to even the pressure out on the foot.
 

Noonespecial

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
294
Every method has its strengths and weaknesses but IME bolts have fewer downsides than screw in steps...especially the one piece type steps.

The amount of clearance that a screw in requires to make a full revolution while screwing them in can restrict where on the tree that they can be installed. And its especially worse if you are using a tool to install them. Measure and compare the clearance needed to install a bolt versus a screw in step...and its even worse when using an install tool.

I think most of us prefer to have some branches around us for cover. I avoid those bare, telephone pole type of trees. I cut as few branches as possible. With screw in steps, it can be really difficult to place a step in the exact position where it really needs to go.

There is a huge importance in planning the climb and planning the exact placement of the ROS or stand. Branches can be a friend or an enemy in this process.

Screw ins and install tools may work on 90% of trees that some guys hunt, but I've had plenty of times where the ideal stand location has barely one tree that will work with wind travel patterns, stand access, back cover, etc. And sometimes that "only tree" can be a challenge to install steps due to the structure of the tree and branches.

I want a system that works in as many circumstances as possible. Bolts simply work better in more situations.

Even a bump or knot on the tree, when its located in just the wrong spot, can make fully inserting screw in steps very difficult. And relocating any step a few inches away from that ideal spot can cause a lot of problems...both for climbing or for ROS.

Bolts require less space to install than screw in steps.

Bolts can also be installed at slightly accute angles if the need arises. Screw in steps MUST be started and completely set perfectly square to the tree.

Bolts are lighter in the pack and are much more affordable, too.

No contest.
Bolt holes fill with water and freeze, some trees like black cherry fill with sap leaving you to clean out the holes or drill new ones the day you are hunting. Holes are hard to find in the morning at dark and require the hunter to mark up the tree where they are or put reflective tacks near them. I’d rather take the time during preset in the early spring get everything right so when I go back to hunt late October or early November I don’t have to worry about anything. Each system has its pro’s and cons I’m just explaining my experience with both for presets. Believe me I’d like to only have to buy 20 bolts and a drill and preset as many trees as I want but it just doesn’t work better for me than screw in steps for presets.
 

Nutterbuster

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
7,928
Location
Where the skys are so blue!
Anybody used those little “bicycle pedal” gizmos that Treehopper sells to make a bolt more friendly on the foot? They slide over the bolt to even the pressure out on the foot.
I have two of their pedals and love them to death. I'm honestly just as comfortable on them as I am on a big platform.

It irritates me to no end that bolts aren't legal everywhere. Last year I just started ground hunting if they weren't legal on the property I was hunting that weekend. They will spoil you.
 

Drew A

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
13
Location
NW PA
Wolnut thank you for the response, i will try it as soon as my poison ivy subsides.
Finally got over poison ivy and tries out climbing with bolts today. Used an auger bit on my battery drill to make the holes. I was surprised how easy they were to set up and how comfortable they are to climb. I will predrill a couple of trees on my property. Thank you for the a guidance.
 
Top