Tested: Summit Bucksteps

While screw-in treesteps are relatively inexpensive and easy to pack, they can be difficult to install in oaks, maples and other hardwoods. In addition, screw-in steps are usually illegal to use on state-owned lands. The solution? Summit Bucksteps.

Confession time: I own enough screw-in treesteps to fill two 5-gallon pails, and each hunting season most of them are anchored to trees on private land in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. But there are times when I hunt public land, and when doing so I rely on Summit Bucksteps. (Yes, I own a few climbing treestands, but in the woods I hunt the trees have too many low branches or are too crooked for a climbing stand.)

Summit Bucksteps are sold in a four pack, and they attach to the tree individually. I’m 5 feet 10 inches tall, and by spacing the four Bucksteps at easy-to-reach intervals, I can access a hang-on treestand placed 16 feet in the air without any trouble. Each section attaches quickly and quietly with a single cam strap with reinforced webbing. Capacity is 260 pounds.

Sure, several companies make strap-on steps, but what really sets Bucksteps apart is each steel step is powder coated and big enough to get both boots on while climbing or hanging my treestand. And thanks to the traction strips on each step, it doesn’t matter if my boots are caked in mud or snow, or if I’m wearing bulky pac boots; I always have solid footing on a Buckstep.

As the photo at the top of this page shows, Bucksteps nest together for easy packing in and out of the woods. And while they aren’t as light as a half-dozen screw-in steps, a four pack of Bucksteps weighs only 12 pounds. On several occasions I’ve hiked a half-mile onto public land while carrying four Bucksteps and a lightweight hang-on stand; it’s a simple and deadly system.