By Jeff Johnston
In my last treestand review I bitched about the fact that I am getting older, crabbier and basically that I’d rather have my toes hammered flat with a mallet than waste hours of spare time fumbling with directions and trying to match critical bolts with critical nuts. Once Hawk’s Helium stand was put together, it was great, but in the review I said I’d pay extra for any treestand that came assembled.
I wasn’t lying.
Recently I found Novix treestands, specifically its Helo Hunt Ready System that comes with a fully assembled hang-on-style tree stand, together with four fully assembled ladder sticks that fit in a quiver attached to the stand. That’s right, when this thing arrives in a box at your door, don’t bother lugging it into the garage. Just put it in your truck. The hardest part is opening the box. Hallelujah.
So who the heck is Novix?
Remember Lone Wolf tree stands? They made top-end stands that had innovative features and a distinctive lightweight platform that was machined from aluminum. The brand had made a name for itself when evidently it got sued. I’m not sure of the details, but from the ashes emerged very similar tree stands with a new name: Novix.
Why are they more expensive than most? Their stands are specifically engineered to be lightweight, innovative, are made 100-percent in the USA from USA materials, and, as I said, they come from the factory fully assembled. This costs the company time in assembling as well as higher shipping and warehousing costs.
Certainly there are times and places for box blinds and ladder stands—namely those stand locations that are easy to access. But for public land hunting or any time where you find a buck dwelling deep in the jungle and you need to move in and set up quickly to kill him, a nimble hang-on stand and some ladder sticks should be part of your kit. Trouble is, once you get in there and find his living room, you seldom find the perfect tree to hang it.
That’s why the Helo features leveling capabilities on two different axes, including the platform so you won’t be leaning too far forward or back; the seat adjusts left and right. The climbing sticks feature pivoting V-brackets that bite into the tree regardless of the angle, so things are less apt to get squirrely as you climb. At every opportunity Novix utilizes noise dampening grommets and bumpers so the stand won’t squeak and clank as you shift your weight. The entire stand itself weighs just nine pounds.
At first I wanted a Novix solely because it came fully assembled; but after factoring in all that this system comes with as well as the free shipping, it turns out that it’s not that much more expensive—if at all—than any decent-quality treestand and ladder steps if purchased separately. And who wants to shoot a buck on Thanksgiving day from a Chinese-made POS? Not me. God bless America. Hallelujah. Amen.