Advanced Treestands 

By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

 I started Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands to combine my passion for bowhunting and the lessons learned from working in engineering and product management roles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control over the last 15 years.  It all started when my wife went with me to hang treestands ten years ago, and when I got done she said, “I never knew how dangerous it was for you to be hanging stands.”  The next day she went and ordered me a Hunter Safety System Harness, and I started working on developing a revolutionary system for hanging treestands. That’s how it all began. 

What do your customers say about your products?

Once our customers experience the simplicity of hanging our rock solid treestands, they love them.  We’ve heard things like, “I no longer dread hanging or taking down stands thanks to the “Take-Down” technology”,   “I’ve never felt safer in a lockon treestands”, and “ I’ll never use cheap hang on stands again, my family is counting on me to return at the end of the day.” 


What are your most popular products and who is your target audience?

Our Take-Down i2 and s2 are our most popular.  Now that we have bowhunters from all over the US using our products, they love the idea of purchasing additional stems instead of a complete treestand.  They set multiple stems across their property and then use the same seat and platform at each location.  This deters theft and also keeps your buddies from hunting your spot while you’re at work all week!


Our target customer is the hardcore bowhunter who wants the best gear on the market to help maximize their time in the field.  As fellow bowhunters, we understand that your entire season may come down to one opportunity and you need gear that performs.   Furthermore, our families are counting on us to return from the field. When safety in the field is the priority, we have more and more customers looking to Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands.  


What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love being able to take my professional background in mechanical engineering and project management and apply that to a company and product line that contributes to an industry I am passionate about.  Knowing that we have been blessed to take an idea from paper to the marketplace is truly a dream come true.  God has placed some amazing people in my life to keep this journey moving forward, and we are excited to see what the future holds for Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands. 

What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

I was blessed to be raised in a family who planned Thanksgiving dinner around when the guys would be in from hunting and a father who took me fishing every time he went to the lake.  Now that I too have children, it’s amazing to see them share in the same hunting heritage that I grew up experiencing.  My son just turned six in March so he’s been looking forward to the Arkansas youth season for spring turkey.  Even though he missed his first turkey, it was an experience that I will never forget.  It definitely ranks up there with one of the finest memories I’ve shared in the outdoors. 



Contact Info:

Facebook: Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands
Twitter: @advancedstands
Instagram: @advancedtakedowntreestands
YouTube: Advanced Treestands


Comments from Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits:

Ryan Wheelington, president and founder of Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands has been able to combine his professional knowledge / experience with his passion for hunting!  After reading over Ryan’s answers to the Spotlight questions, I couldn’t help but notice how closely this aligns with the motto here at Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits. “Share Your Passion, Pursue Your Dreams”  This is exactly what Ryan has been able to do with the Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands!  With two young children myself, I also admire Ryan’s desire to share his love for the outdoors with his children!


This is a segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at:  I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!

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By: Steve Wall

How did you start your outfitting business?

We started our outfitting business out of pure enjoyment for setting up other hunters on successful outings. By successful I do not mean just killing an animal. We pride ourselves in providing our hunters with the total experience from A to Z.

Where do you guide and for what species?

We guide for black bear in Wisconsin zones A,B,C and D. Our whitetail hunts are in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arkansas. Also, we offer hog hunting as a bonus with our Arkansas hunt package.

Snowbelt Hunting Shack

What is the availability / cost of a license?

Class A bear licenses are drawn on a preference point system. Deadline for applying annually is December 10. Whitetail in all 3 states we hunt offer tags purchased over the counter.

What are your success rates and what does the trip all include?

Our success rate on bear had been 100% for 4 years running until this past year. The weather during the opening week was horrible with high winds and rain and kept the wildlife movement to a minimum. In spite of the weather, our hunters did harvest some nice bears. Our whitetail hunts are very successful, with archery season being the most popular.


What type of gear / clothing do you recommend bringing?

Bear season is usually quite warm so light clothing is recommended. The weather along Lake Superior where we hunt can change fast so we tell our hunters to pack their long underwear and rain gear as well. Early September in the north means mosquitoes, so a bug head net is a must! Most of our hunters book in October thru mid November for whitetail archery hunts. We always tell the guys to watch the weather channel closely leading up to their arrival and be prepared for a mixed bag of weather. Lake Superior is very close to where we hunt and the big lake affects the area weather tremendously.

What do your clients say about you?

Our return rate of hunters that have booked with us the previous year is extremely high and that in itself tells you how we run our operation and how much fun our guys had with us.

What do you enjoy most about outfitting?

I absolutely love the scouting and setting up stands, etc. We are extremely diligent about making sure we put in the maximum amount of time and effort into set up to allow our clients a stress free enjoyable hunt. This makes for some awesome stories at our log cabin bar every evening after the hunt.

Snowbelt Crew

What is your favorite hunting / fishing memory?

Just about every one of my favorite hunting memories does not include me killing an animal. Sitting with my daughter when she killed her first deer is #1. Also, there has been many great memories that involve friends, family, a campfire or the warm wood stove in the cabin after a long cold days hunt and the camaraderie associated with that.

Contact Info:

Facebook: Snowbelt Custom Outfitters



Steve Bear

My dad and I have personally hunted with Snowbelt Custom Outfitters and we can’t wait to go back!!

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By Steve Wall

What size antlers does a whitetail deer need to be considered a trophy?  This is a topic that is highly debatable and can even become a controversy in some cases.  I have had the opportunity to hunt private land that is managed for large whitetail bucks, but I have also hunted highly pressured public land.  I have killed what I would consider trophy bucks on both properties.  I am a supporter of the philosophy of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA).  Which is:

 ” a practice that unites landowners, hunters, and managers in a common goal of producing biologically and socially balanced deer herds within existing environmental, social, and legal constraints. This approach typically involves the protection of most or all yearling bucks combined with an appropriate harvest of female deer to maintain a healthy population in balance with existing habitat conditions and hunter desires. This level of deer management involves the production of quality deer (bucks, does, and fawns), quality habitat, quality hunting experiences, and, most importantly, quality hunters. “

If the QDMA philosophy could be carried out by everyone, I believe we would all be more satisfied as hunters.  However, as we all know this just is not going to happen.  There are to many varying opinions by hunters and landowners as to how many, and what size deer should be shot every year.  With lands that are managed for “Trophy Bucks”, there are usually antler size restrictions set forth by a land manager or a group of people that manage the land collectively.  There are also landowners who feel more deer is better and will not shoot any does.  On the other hand, there are some hunters who will shoot absolutely any deer that they see.  Continue reading “What is a trophy?”


sos gear

By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

There are really three answers to this:

  • Corey wanted a bracelet
  • We needed to carry more paracord in our hunting packs
  • I wanted a product/accessory that fit me and wasn’t light pink.
I started SOS with $20 and the idea that I could make a better product than the ones I had seen. I’m not saying that there are not amazing products out there, but when I started, anything I could find was all with the not made in America paracord.  The ends were just cut and burned, making it look like there was room for improvement.  My husband, Corey, wanted a bracelet and I had been reluctant to want to spend $10 on one, because if he got one, then I  was sure the kids would want one too.  So I decided to buy some paracord and a few buckles and made a few bracelets for family members for that first $20.  Corey’s uncle was badly injured when falling 40′ out of a tree, while in the process of trimming limbs (not while hunting). Without going into detail, this was a major wake up call for me about being out in the woods and if something should happen.  I wanted a rifle or bow sling, etc., that could be used for many purposes should an emergency happen.  Im a small female, the majority of products that are out there for women are light pink.  I was so sick of seeing that and wanted to be able to make a custom size and color product.

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Continue reading “Company Spotlight: SOS Gear”