View Full Version : Tree Stands
I just built a tree stand this weekend.
What style do you like, how high, etc?
This is new property of mine, and there are no previous tree stands. I decided to go with two 12 inch diameter trees that are about 3 foot apart from each other (maybe they share the same roots). Up about 11 feet, I put 2 supports nailed to both trees, then put a few 15 inch long boards across those supports. That's the basic stand. I figure I'll sit there (like sitting on a horse) and lean back against one of the trees. Also have a foot rest below the stand so my feet don't just dangle. I can also stand up, but I like to sit and be comfy.
The range of motion with a bow is somewhat limited if I'm sitting, because I can only shoot left side. I can stand up, turn 180 degrees and sit back down to shoot the other side (which would be my new left side).
For pistol (.44mag), I have a lot more opportunities.
Sure, if I was to stay standing up I could shoot either side with a bow. But, being realistic, I'll be sitting and half asleep. That's how I hunt. The deer will be upon me, and will either be on my shooting side or not.
Now that sounds like a great place for a nap!
When I hunt from a tree, I use a climber. Usually I just find a good spot at the base of a tree to sit. (A lot less dangerous when I fall asleep.)
Originally posted by Hucklebarry
When I hunt from a tree, I use a climber
What's a "climber"?
(Someone who climbs up into the tree and shoots the deer for you? :) )
i used to mess around with building stands, and i built some pretty sweet ones, but i figured out that by going to www.huntersview.com i can get a pretty large ladder stand, that is essentially designed for 2 people, or for 1 person to be extremely comfortable and have plenty of room to maneuver, plus you dont have to mess with building a ladder or screw in tree steps. and its 150 plus the money for the extension. not bad at all i have 3 of them.
I just looked at that site. The 15 foot Cougar looks like something I could use.
I also buit a highchair stand that is 8 foot high. It has 4 legs and is theoretically self-standing, but I have it leaned against a tree at the moment.
I might build a 2 legged version that is 10 or 12 feet high and has to be leaned against a tree (basically a ladder stand, but made out of wood).
Guess I'm just having fun trying different ideas. This is my first full hunting season at my new house on 20 acres, so I'm trying to enjoy it. This is the whole point of life, isn't it? Just sitting out in the woods.
I've been hunting from tree stands for over 20 years. Both home-made and commercially built ones.
Ithaca, do your self a BIG favor, and do not trust that stand you just built. Nailing boards across two trees is not a very stable platform for very long. It may seem solid now, but it will not be for very long. The wind will cause those two trees to flex (no matter how big the trunks are) and your nails will work loose. You won't know it until you hit the ground... hard. The leading cause of hunting related injuries is falls from tree stands. A better way to affix boards to twin tree trunks, is to use four 1/2" threaded rods, and "clamp" the boards to the trees. A threaded rod through both boards (one rod on either side of each trunk, as close to the trunk as you can get them), will let the stand flex with the wind, and it will not slide down the trunks, as they normally get thicker, and closer together) as they near the ground. You can also use the nails if you like... but do not depend on just nails... or even lag bolts or screws. In only one tree, they may last a long time, but when you, in effect, connect those trees together with boards, you're asking for trouble.
Better yet, is to buy a commercially made ladder stand. You have the flexibility to move it around as conditions warrant. I own three ladder stands, a Trailhawk Osprey, and two of the Cabelas' "basic ladder stands". The Cabelas stands are $59.99 ea if you buy two, or $65.00 ea. The exact same stand can be had from Walmart for $65.00 (under the brand name of "Field & Stream"). These are easy to assemble and erect, 16' high, very sturdy, and moving to a new location if there's nothing "happening" where you're at, is only a matter of minutes. I've learned through experience that staying in one location too long, while bow hunting, is a losing proposition. No matter how good you are about scent and noise control, sooner or later (mostly sooner), the bigger bucks will figure out where you are at. The only way to fool them is to move around every few days. 9 out of 10 times, a big buck is taken the very first time you use a particular stand sight. They are not yet aware of your new presence. Permanent stands are OK for gun season, where you can make 100-200 yard shots... but during bow season, after a few days in one spot, you'll likely not have any big bucks come close enough for a shot. If you're in their territory several days in a row, and in the same exact spot, they'll know about it, and steer clear.
BTW... no matter what you use, be sure to attach yourself to the tree via a safety harness.
rfb45colt, thanks for the suggestions.
Clamping the boards is a good idea. Perhaps the same effect could be had by putting bolts just below the boards so that if they slide down, they will rest on those bolts. The boards are connected to each other via the seat.
I thought about how the separate movement of the trees would weaken the stand, but I built it anyway :)
I never use a safety harness in a stand, probably never will. Oh well, never wore a helmut when riding bikes as a kid, either.
I know about moving to different stands so the deer don't get used to you, that's why I plan on building more stands. I'm trying different ideas.
Ladder stands may be the way to go. Either store bought or home built.
What I mean by a "climber" is a climbing tree stand. No ladder involved.
This one isn't the one I have, but you get the idea.
It's funny how people from different parts of the country do things completely differently. When I used the term "climber" I assumed that everyone knew what I meant, because that's what nine out of ten hunters around here use.
Lots of guys use climbers here too. The most popular are the ones made by API. Personally I don't like them much. With a climber, you need a fairly decent sized tree trunk... with no interfering branches. You can only climb to the lowest branch. Most trees in my area are conifer types or oaks. The conifers have too many branches (except some of the larger white pines) and the oaks that are big enough for a climber have little cover around you until you get up to about 30' or so. Around here, the biggest deer tend to hang out in the conifers for more concealment, except when they feed on acorns, if there are any.... and the big guys do that after dark mostly, anyway. I set up my ladders in the heavy cover adjoining oak stands with acorns... and have been pretty successful catching some big bucks hanging on the edges of the oaks, waiting for darkness to feed on the acorns out in the openness of the oak tree stands.
I switched from a Warren & Sweat climber to ladder stands, about 8 years ago. I can put a ladder stand in a cedar or balsam tree, and be totally concealed in any movements that are necessary to shoot a bow or a handgun. The only advantage the climbers have over my ladders, is they are lighter and easier to carry. That's why I bought three ladders... and I leave them in the national forest, chained and locked to the base of a tree, in three differant locations. Whichever I choose to use, it's already there, and goes up in minutes. The three ladders I have, cost about the same as one good aluminum-built climber.
Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not disparaging anyone who uses a climber. If the conditions here were differant, I'd be using one too. To each their own. :)
So, I was in a gun shop and stumble across a ladder stand. Ask how much, and it was only $80. Gorrila (can't spell) 12 ft.
Sets up real easy. I've a lot of straight, tall, hardwoods and pines. I picked a nice location along a stone fence between the hardwoods and the pine, 20 yards East from a deer superhighway (winds usually out of NW).
Wife wasn't happy about the purchase, but I pointed out that last 2 stands I made were homemade of scrap wood so didn't cost anythign. Now I'll see which stand falls apart first (homemade or store made).
Also came with a harness. I don't know if I'd rather fall to my death or dangle and slam my face into the tree. The straight fall would probably be a lot less painful :)
I know some guys like to be 25 feet in the air. Personally, I prefer ground hunting the best. I can hear more, feel more in tune, and can doze off without concern. Dozing is a great hunting method. It reduces your movemen to zero, while also dropping your heart rate and scent. Things get real quiet and you begin to blend in. Then something comes along and, if you are like me, you wake up.
But, from the stand you get increased vision and the deer are less aware.
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