Every year, just as summer begins winding down, and hunters begin preparing their hunting locations, one of the most overlooked tools for preseason maintenance is the telescoping pole saw. Just as it has innumerable uses around the home, it is an invaluable asset when setting up all types of deer stands—from ladders, to climbers, to hang-ons—as well as clearing shooting lanes and just generally policing deer camp ahead of opening weekend. Here are a few things to consider when looking to extend your reach.
Most pole saws telescope anywhere from 12 to 15 feet. The longer you extend them, the less leverage you have, so pay attention to the construction material as well as the locking mechanism to make sure you are getting a tool sufficient for your needs. Cross-section geometry also affects stiffness, with square or oval handles being a bit more rigid than perfectly round handles.
Some pole saws have an integrated pruner for clipping branches an inch or so in diameter. Anything larger than that, and you are better off sawing. But the branch pruner is great for doing the more delicate work of clearing shooting lanes of arrow-deflecting sprouts and twigs that flex under the saw blade and are difficult to saw.
Why limit all that newfound range to sawing and pruning? Some telescoping models offer a multitude of accessories for turning your pole saw into a pole mop, a pole brush, a bulb changer, or a random whacker-knocker for those hard-to-reach high places around camp and home.