Today’s hunting is all about stealth and mobility. Moving into and out of your hunting area, especially during the rut, quickly and quietly can mean the difference between a mature animal and tag soup. Hawk has quickly become well known in the hunting industry for innovative products, and the Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks continue that tradition for 2019.
HAWK Helium Climbing Sticks
Quite possibly the lightest, most portable climbing sticks on the market! The Helium sticks offer aircraft-grade aluminum construction with weight-saving cutouts making each 30-inch section a scant 2.9 pounds. Dual sided Traction-grabbing steps offer unmatched stability on both sides when ascending or descending.
Retail: Single $59.99 or 3-Pack $139.99
- Stick Length: Single- 30″, Three Stacked- 36″
- Distance Between Steps: 13.5″
- Single Step Width: 4.125″
- Stick Width- Closed: 4.375″, Open- 10″
- Stick Depth- Single: 5″, Three Stacked- 7.5″
- Weight: Single- Under 3 Lbs, Three- Under 10 Lbs
4 Keys Make Hawk Helium the Best Hunting Climbing Sticks
Hawk Heliums are Easy to Stack and Carry
Carrying sticks to your tree can be a hassle when packing the sticks together. Hawk thought outside the box by adding a suction cup system to each stick for stackability. Two plungers located on the back of the stick insert cleanly into the rubberized cups on the front of a second, stacking them firmly together. The design takes a little effort to separate, but this ensures they will not separate during the hike to your stand site. The system alleviates the need for additional bungees or tie straps. The suction cup design is also nearly silent when taking the sticks apart or putting them together.
Hawk includes six extra plunger buttons in case of breakage. The plunger buttons are durable, and I have not had any issues so far on three scouting missions and half a dozen camera setups. It is nice to know that Hawk includes them, as the plunger is likely the weakest link.
Fast, Quiet, and Light Tree Attachment System
The second improvement is how the steps are secured to the tree. The previous version used a pull strap with an insertion clip. The clip design could be cumbersome in the dark as well as somewhat noisy. The new method utilizes a versa button and pull strap with two end loops. Fitting the end loops over the versa button is much quicker and quieter. With the second loop secured on the versa button, a tug on the cam buckle is all you need to fasten the stick tightly to the tree.
The Benefit of Double Steps
Third, the Helium Stick has three step levels with two fold-out steps at each location on the support post. Single offset steps, reduce weight, but when hanging or climbing into a stand, I feel much more secure with the double steps found on Helium sticks. This helps in two ways; when you attach the stand, you feel more confident as you maneuver and attach the strap with two feet at the same level. The second benefit comes when you exit the treestand, especially in low light; you don’t have to worry about which side of the support post the first step is on.
The Perfect Offset of the Brackets
Lastly, I like the offset from the tree created by the gripping teeth on the brackets. Smaller brackets found on many competitor sticks allow for tight stacking but are terrible when you place your foot on the step. I like to get the ball of my foot on the step, and if the bracket is small, you may only get the first quarter of your boot on the step before the toe of your boot hits the tree. In wet and slippery conditions, this could result in your foot slipping. I know from experience this is a quick way to getting a fat lip! With the Helium design, the ball of your foot is comfortably on the support of each step. The tooth design bites into the tree as you secure the strap and pull down. Your first step onto the stick tightens things further and alleviates any side-to-side movement.
How to Use HAWK Helium Sticks with an Aider
I have the advantage of primarily hunting private land, including our family farm where I usually place stands for the season. However, when the rut begins to heat up, I like to be very mobile as conditions can change frequently. I usually take three sticks with me, but four are not uncommon, so the stackability with the suction cups is an important feature. I also include an “aider” on the first step, which usually gives me two additional feet of clearance from the ground. If you are not familiar with an aider, it’s commonly a one-inch circular strap that is hung from the bottom of the first step, giving you an additional step.
With a three-step stick, I place the first stick chest high with the aider hanging below. The second and third steps are hung from loops on my harness. If a fourth step is added, it is coupled with another using the suction cup feature. I like to have my stand on my back as well, so I don’t make multiple trips to the ground. I have my bow tied off on a self-retracting hoist so as I climb I can feed out line.
Using a Climbing Stick for Hanging Trail Cameras
I also like a two Helium stick combination to hang my scouting cameras. This gets them up off the ground and angled down at the perfect height around 10 to 12 feet. It also gets the cameras out of the range of wandering eyes and sticky fingers of trespassers. The end loops of a strap positioned between the two suction cups and plungers make for a convenient carrying strap. The lightweight of two Helium sticks and straps makes for a perfect combination.
Hawk Helium Climbing Stick Highlights
I have several types of climbing sticks, and when comparing them I like the Helium sticks the best for several reasons:
- Double Step Configuration- Much easier when placing additional sticks or your stand as your feet are both on the same level.
- Aluminum construction- They will wear much better than traditional steel steps. With steel tubular steps I have to spray every year with a rust preventative paint on weld joints and end caps.
- Suction Cup System- Makes for quick work when fastening steps together. It is one of those ideas that makes you scratch your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
- Versa Button Design- Much smoother and quieter system when compared to buckle straps. My only real complaint is the occasional noise from the buckle hitting the stand. Cutting an old bicycle inner tube and fitting over the bucket will eliminate much of the sound.
HAWK Helium Climbing Sticks Summary
In conclusion, with many years of whitetail hunting, I have seen my share of products hit the market. Some have come and gone, but with Hawk’s introduction of the improved Helium Climbing Sticks, I look forward to this season’s new adventures and many more.
David Conrad is an outdoor enthusiast with over 35 years of outdoor and hunting experience. He has a passion for bowhunting that he enjoys to share with family and friends. To him bowhuniting is a 365 day adventure.
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