Behind the Scenes With Tree Stand Buddy

Tree Stand Buddy is a company focused on safety, ease of use and a commitment to helping deer hunters be more successful in the woods.

Behind the Scenes With Tree Stand Buddy
The Tree Stand Buddy allows deer hunters to buy a single, high-quality treestand and a few of the company’s brackets to easily create multiple stand sites.
The Tree Stand Buddy allows deer hunters to buy a single, high-quality treestand and a few of the company’s brackets to easily create multiple stand sites.

Not many of us can thank a thief for kickstarting a booming business. Tree Stand Buddy, however, is the exception to the rule. According to Tree Stand Buddy’s Director of Operations, Nick Sampson, heisting treestands was common practice on the small properties Dave Milazzo hunted in Long Island, New York.

Milazzo had taken one of his sons out hunting and had shot a deer. When he returned home, Milazzo’s other son asked dear old Dad to take him out. Milazzo agreed, but when they reached their stand, the duo found the stand had been stolen. Milazzo had only been gone a short time and a thief had already crept in.

Milazzo was sick of losing stands and wanted to make the process of hanging a treestand safer.

“That’s really what inspired David to invent the product and partner with Paul Petrino,” Sampson said. “In addition, Dave has a construction background. Since he is all about safety and knowing his kids would be hanging and sitting in stands, he wanted to create something that could be pulled up from the ground. Having both hands free to climb would ensure three-point contact and eliminate one from having to haul a bulky stand into the tree. Things just took off from there.”

AB: Tell us about the system. How does it work? What makes it so unique?

NS: Our Tree Stand Buddy Starter Kit provides the purchaser with a Stand Bracket and all the necessary hardware to attach the Stand Bracket. In addition, the kit comes with a Tree Bracket and our ratchet straps. Our ratchet straps have spring-loaded clips on them. These clips prevent the ratchet from falling off. Plus, the straps are double-sewn on the ends so they won’t pull through the strap when guys and gals are working with them in the tree. Nothing is more frustrating that pulling a strap through the ratchet or having the ratchet fall and tumble to the ground. Our system eliminates both of these annoyances. Each strap has a 500-pound-plus weight rating, making them super tough and durable. That’s our Starter Kit. We also sell extra tree brackets, and guys and gals can purchase as many of these as they like.

Good treestands are expensive. It’s hard for guys and gals to invest in a bunch of pricy stands. With the Tree Stand Buddy, hunters can buy a single quality stand as well as a few of our brackets and simply move that one stand from spot to spot. This allows hunters to set multiple brackets for different winds and hunt those winds effectively.

The footprint of the bracket is small, which makes it great for public-land hunting and the like. Someone looking to steal a stand on public dirt is likely to spot a stand, but it’s not likely they will spot the bracket.

Of course, safety is huge. The biggest deal with the Tree Stand Buddy is that hunters don’t have to go up a tree carrying their stand. The Tree Stand Buddy has two parts — the Stand Bracket, which bolts to the stand and the Tree Bracket that attaches to the tree via a pair of ratchet straps. Once the Stand Bracket and Tree Bracket are attached, simply run your rope through the v-shaped loop in the Tree Bracket. All that’s left to do now is pull the stand up from the ground and tie the rope off. Once up the tree, leave the rope attached to the stand, and slide the stand bracket into the tree bracket. Now attach the manufacturer straps that come with your stand and you’re all set. The system ensures the same setup each and every time, and eliminates creaking.

When you’re done hunting, or when you need to switch stands, simply step off the platform onto your ladder or steps, remove the manufacturer straps and slide the stand out of the tree bracket and lower it to the ground. It’s really a simple process.

Hunting partners, Paul Petrino (left) and Dave Milazzo (right) founded Tree Stand Buddy with the goal of making the process of hanging a treestand safer.
Hunting partners, Paul Petrino (left) and Dave Milazzo (right) founded Tree Stand Buddy with the goal of making the process of hanging a treestand safer.

AB: What type of bowhunters are going to appreciate this process?

NS: Mobile bowhunters are going to love this system. It allows guys and gals to hang multiple brackets on public or private dirt and carry only a single stand with them. Public land hunters can arrive at a spot with a single stand and just toss a few brackets in their pack. They don’t have to make multiple trips in and out of the woods, which leaves human scent and creates lots of unnecessary noise. Those big on safety are also going to appreciate this system, as are those that don’t want to hang set after set once the season has begun. I like to hang all of my brackets well before season. This way, once the season starts, all I have to do is jump from spot to spot.


AB: What current treestand models will work with the Tree Stand Buddy System?

NS: That’s the great thing about the Tree Stand Buddy — it will work with just about every stand on the market. The system will work with any single-post stand as well as any double-post stand that has a width of eight inches or less. It’s not often you find a product that can serve such a unique purpose and be so versatile at the same time.


AB: Tell us about the all-new Ladder Stand Buddy.

NS: This is a product that was long overdue in our industry. Lots of hunters prefer ladder stands because of the comfort and room they provide. Many ladder stands allow a pair of hunters to hunt together, which his great for mentoring and the like. The big problem is setting these stands up. They can be a real pain and downright scary to put in a tree. Until the Ladder Stand Buddy, there was really no way to lock-in a ladder stand from the ground.

The Ladder Stand Buddy was originally Skyline Safety Systems. Peter Brown invented the product, and when he saw an article with my name in it about Tree Stand Buddy, he reached out. I’ve known Peter for a long time. He had invented a product that he felt we needed to run with and we agreed. It was the perfect partner for Tree Stand Buddy, and shortly before ATA 2019 we bought the patent and rebranded the unit as Ladder Stand Buddy. We are really excited about this product and look forward to seeing it serve the needs of hunters.

The Ladder Stand Buddy bracket mounts to the back bar of any ladder stand. The system comes with all the necessary hardware and installation is super easy. Four bolts are all that is required for the mounting process. The system includes a Tree Bracket that mounts toward the bottom of the tree via a ratchet strap. The Tree Bracket has a slit in the top that accepts a ratchet strap and the Stand Bracket has a silver hook that accepts the other end of the ratchet strap. This allows the user, once the stand is leaning against the tree, to simply use the ratchet system to tighten the bracket arms around the tree. The pivot arms are ventilated and ribbed out of aluminum. This keeps weight down while adding strength. The entire mounting process is done from the ground.

Another cool thing with the Ladder Stand Buddy is that users can set the bracket below the seat of the stand or on top of the seat of the stand. If this is the only ladder stand you’re going to be setting up, mount it below the seat of the stand. You mount it to the bottom, lock the stand in, attach the manufacturer’s straps and you’re good. If you would like to use the Ladder Stand Buddy to set up or take down other stands, mount it on top of the seat. This lets you access the bolts more easily, and once you attach the manufacturer’s straps, you can simply remove the Ladder Stand Buddy and use it to set up or take down other ladder stands. Plus, when the Ladder Stand Buddy is mounted on top of the stand, the teeth of your ladder stand are what actually engage the tree, rather than the teeth of the Ladder Stand Buddy. This means there is no pressure on the Ladder Stand Buddy unit when you remove it for use elsewhere.

The system is made of high-strength lightweight aluminum and tips the scales at just 4.85 pounds. The Ladder Stand Buddy is weight-rated to 300 pounds. All the components are anodized, and it’s just a great system that locks-in a ladder stand by gripping with the teeth and squeezing with the side cables. It stops the stand from pulling away from the tree and from twisting. The stand not only pinches the tree, but it surrounds and hugs it. The arms open around the tree and then suck the stand to the tree, and again, this is all done while standing flat-footed on the ground. It’s an innovative system that just works.

The partners are really excited about the new Ladder Stand Buddy and look forward to seeing it serve the needs of deer hunters.
The partners are really excited about the new Ladder Stand Buddy and look forward to seeing it serve the needs of deer hunters.

AB: Do you have any dealer incentive programs?

NS: Our focus is on the independent dealer. We police MAP strongly. Anything that is sold online has to have shipping added to it. We offer really good margins and eliminate competition with big box stores. In a day of internet and box-store craze, our focus remains fixed on the independent retailers.

Another awesome thing is that independent dealers don’t have to carry treestands to carry Tree Stand Buddy products. We are an accessory company just like a broadhead company, rest company or sight company. I think a lot of times people overlook that. They see us as a company that makes treestands. We make accessory items for treestands. We really focus on dealer protection and ensure they don’t have to fight against the big box stores.


AB: Where do you go from here? What does the future look like?

NS: Our big focus over the next 12 to 18 months is going to be centered on Ladder Stand Buddy. We will be bringing out some accessory items to compliment the Ladder Stand buddy. From there, we have some big things in the works when it comes to safety and ease of use. As people see how simple and effective the Tree Stand Buddy and Ladder Stand Buddy systems are, we will continue to gain traction in the marketplace and be around for a long time. We are super excited about what the future holds.

For more information on Tree Stand Buddy products, visit


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