By Dan Carlson
As 2019 hunting seasons wind down, attention turns to 2020. Spring turkey hunts will be on the minds of many hunters soon. Some of us were fortunate enough to get some Christmas money from Uncle Dave or Grandma Ruth and are contemplating what kind of hunting gear to spend it on. If you fall into this category, consider something to make you more comfortable when sitting in a blind or under a tree waiting for a gobbler.
Innovation has made this a great time to be a hunter. We see a steady stream of products geared toward making hunting more enjoyable come to market each year. Among these are lightweight takedown hunting/shooting chairs. Gone are the days of sitting in a blind for hours seated atop an inverted 5-gallon pail, as are the days of sitting on wet ground feeling your legs go to sleep as you wait for a tom turkey to answer your calls. Products such as the portable G100 Shooting Chair from Millennium Treestands offer comfortable, back-saving seating options.
Not all portable seats are the same, and there are features you’ll want to look for when choosing a seat for your hunting blind. Swivel stools are often the cheapest option but you get what you pay for. Problems I’ve encountered with swivel stools include inadequate seat size and padding, swivel bearings that squeak following exposure to moisture or cold, fixed height that always seems to be too low, and a lack of back support.
The swivel option is key. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard about hunters tipping fixed seats over when turning to face game approaching from the flank or behind. A swivel-equipped seat lets the user pivot to face game approaching from any angle with minimal amounts of game-spooking movement. The ability to turn silently in a swivel seat is paramount, which is why engineers at Millennium Treestands went the extra mile with the G100 and G200 seats to ensure quiet operation.
Ability to adjust the position of a chair’s feet and height are also important. Nature rarely serves up hunting ground that’s perfectly flat and level. It doesn’t take too many degrees of leaning one way or another while clad in heavy hunting clothes and holding a gun or bow to find oneself involuntarily seated on the ground when everything tips. Chairs with independently adjustable legs, such as those on Millennial Treestands’ G100 and G200 Shooting Chairs, keep the seating platform level. This also enhances comfort because your back will let you know sitting for long periods while canted at an angle is not conducive to an ache-free hunting experience. And because hunters come in all sizes, ability to adjust the horizontal seat up and down to accommodate various leg lengths, as do the G100 and G200, is also important.
America’s hunting population is aging. With aging come the aches and pains of getting older, and medical studies reveal tens of millions of Americans have, or will develop, chronic back pain. That’s why back support on a hunting chair is important. It can mean the difference between an enjoyable hunting experience and popping pain relievers like Skittles at the end of a long hunting day. The presence of a good backrest on a hunting chair can also extend the amount of time people afflicted with back problems are able to sit comfortably in a blind. Millennium Treestands’ G100 and G200 seats have backrests outfitted with ComfortMAX seat fabric, a rugged yet breathable material that offers support while preventing overheating. What’s more, the backrests flip down – a great feature if game approaches from behind you because you can get it down and out of the way for a shot fast.
Of course if comfort were the sole factor in choosing a hunting chair, we’d all have plush recliners in our blinds. But lightweight portability and packability are essential for good hunting seats. That will typically mean aluminum or alloy frame construction and durable material for the fabric. Look for weather-resistant coating on the metal components or you’ll be scraping rust off the chair after only one season. And the whole setup should pack down and deploy easily for transport. Try to find a seat that weighs less than 20 pounds and has come kind of carry strap or harness so you don’t dread toting it to the blind. Millennium’s G100 (8.5 lbs.) and G200 (17 lbs.) cover all these bases.
Finally, get yourself a seat with some versatility. If you find one with all the desirable features outlined above, you’ll find yourself taking it to picnics, fishing spots, campsites and tailgate parties. Outdoor activities should be fun and not need to be followed by chiropractic appointments. Get a good chair and please be seated.