The Only 3 Knots a Hunter Needs to Know

The worth of a securely tied knot is undervalued in these modern times of zip ties and superglue. I know this is blasphemy, but duct tape can't always hold everything together. And it doesn't have to. There are many tried-and-true knots that can make life easier on the hunt, in the woods, and around camp.

Prusik

Illustrations by: Pete Sucheski

Every treestand hunter should know this knot. It allows you to create a loop with a second rope that can be slid up and down the main rope.

To tie: Form a loop by knotting the ends of a piece of rope or cord. Pass the knot of this loop around the main rope three times, staying inside the loop. Make the turns neat and cinch the knot tight.

Best for: Treestands. The Prusik is used as an ascender, but it can be a descender to get you down safely from a treestand. This knot must be tied exactly right to work.

Sheet Bend

The sheet bend is the ultimate knot for joining together ropes, lines, and straps of different diameters. It's more reliable and stronger than a square knot.

To tie: Fold a "hook" in the thicker rope, strap, webbing, or line. Run the thinner rope through the loop from behind, and then wrap it around the entire folded line. Finish off by tucking the smaller rope under itself.
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Best for:** Tying a long rope out of a bunch of smaller scraps.

Bowline

For a sturdy fixed loop at the end of a rope, the bowline is a favorite. It's simple and quick to tie with rope of almost any dimension.
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To tie:** Make a small loop and lay it on top of the standing end of your rope. Run the end of the rope up through the loop and wrap it around the standing end. Insert the rope end back through the small loop and pull the standing end to tighten.

Best for: Dragging or hoisting game. It becomes a serviceable snare by passing the free end of the rope through the loop.