sticks are cool but a pain to carry in the woods. plus they make alot of noise unless you some how coat them with something. for me the steps are to much work. you get all sweaty at it takes to much time to get setup. they are good if you hunt the same tree from time to time. you can reuse the holes.
I have to use either of the two as mentioned before until the thief vanishes or is caught. I think my plan is going to be to hang the stand and either screw in the steps the night before or install the climbing stick the night before and take everything down when I am done hunting that day.
I'm trying to make as little noise as possible so it looks like the screw in steps wins.
they do have screw in steps that the screw stays in the tree and the step comes off. you take the step with you. when you reuse that tree you just hang the step on the screw and your all set. real fast and quiet. i knew some guys who used them.
If you do deside to use climbing sticks, I suggest the Summit Swiftree Ladder.I've been using them for years.They have a loop over the step to keep your boot from slipping off. When it's raining or icy you will appreciate the loops. And Cabela's does sell them.
i got rob at targeteers to order a few of their products, i told him how good they are, we should be getting them soon if you cant find them anywhere else let me know, ill tell you when we get the shipment in.