A tree stand was referred to as a deer stand back in the days as it was constructed for deer hunting purposes only. A tree stand is a structure that helps hunters in spotting the game from a considerable height. And what this does is improve the accuracy of your shot. So why wouldn’t you want to learn how to build a tree stand?
It’s not important for you to use tree stands to hunt deer only. You can also build one for other types of game. Spotting your target from a great distance and height goes a long way in capturing all kinds of prey.
So it’s better that you learn how to get the job done yourself instead of hiring someone, which might put a hole in your wallet.
A step by step guide
What you see below is a step by step guide to building the basic tree stand with a ladder. This structure is considered to be the simplest yet most popular tree stand for all kinds of purposes. The only factor that you need to keep in mind while performing the procedure is safety.
What you will need:
- 2 wood beams (2-inch thickness, 4-inch width, and 20 ft long)
- Additional 2 x 4 inches wood beams
- Plywood measuring 55 x 46 inches
- Building the ladder
Lay down both the wood beams next to each other. You need to make sure that the wood beams have a width of 4 inches and thickness of 2 inches. Place them in such a way that the 2-inch thickness is facing upward.
Now it’s time to cut out the rungs for the ladder. Cut at least 14 pieces measuring 2 feet from the additional wood beams.
Place these rungs between the two original wood beams in such a way that each rung is at least 18-20 inches vertically apart. You can fasten the rungs with the help of screws and a screwdriver.
- Building the seat
This is an important step when learning how to build a tree stand. Setting up the platform or seat is a procedure that should carry out keeping in mind two essential factors. These are safety and comfort.
Look for two sturdy parallel branches. These you’ll find in large trees. Cut 2 pieces of 2.5 ft in length from the 2 x 4-inch additional wood beams. Nail these to the branch, at the top. You can do this using a hammer. And remember to fasten them in a perpendicular manner.
Now it’s time to nail the plywood over the wood boards installed earlier. The standard size of the plywood piece is 55 x 46 inches, but this can vary. It all depends on how big or small the hunter is.
For better seat support, it’s important to nail two additional 2 x 4-inch beams under the platform. The beams should be nailed diagonally to the tree trunk at the lower point. This provides enough support to keep the plywood platform high and steady.
- Connecting the seat to the ladder
The final step is to nail two other additional pieces of 2.5 ft in length from the other wood beams. Nail these to the ladder, at the top and perpendicular to its rungs. You can screw the pieces under the platform to add the perfect finishing touch to the structure.
Here’s another way:
There are three different types of stands. And do you know why? It’s because every tree stand serves a different purpose. These are suitable for specific areas and hunting styles. So you need to decide based on your preferences and hunting skills.
The primary or most common type of tree stand, discussed above, comes with a ladder. Let’s find out more about it and the other two models.
- The ladder stand
You know how to build a tree stand with a ladder now, don’t you? This is the one that has a ladder and seat. You should be aware that such tree stands are not portable, obviously. Since the seat and ladder are immovable, you can’t transfer the structure from one place to another.
- The lock on stand
This version is comparatively safer and lighter than the other two. Think of a small-sized tree house built with screws. The screws are attached to the tree, which makes the stand difficult to remove. So this is yet another non-portable option.
- The climber stand
This is considered to be the most suitable choice for bowhunters. You can attach them to trees with the help of ratchet straps. The process is easy to perform even if you’re a beginner.
The best part about climber stands is that you can detach them and use it in another spot or take them home after your hunting expedition. These are the best and only portable options available in the industry.
How to choose the correct hunting location?
Knowing how to build a tree stand is important, isn’t it? But what we, as hunters, fail to understand is that finding the right location for hunting is equally crucial.
Areas where you spot deer frequently are hard to locate. But here’s a useful tip. Try to identify deer tracks, scrapes, or rubs. These are signs that lead you to crowded deer locations.
It is highly likely that you might find a deer in that particular place daily. This is how they move around, isn’t it? Another sign to look out for is fresh water pond or water shortage. The chances of spotting a buck in such vicinity are pretty high. It’s around these areas that they tend to shack up.
Picking the proper tree for your tree stand
Learning how to build a tree stand is not enough. You need to know how to pick the right tree for the job. So let’s find out, shall we?
- The tree that you select should have tall, straight stems without too many branches. Otherwise, ascending the tree becomes slightly difficult. And this might lead to removing the branches. Such a practice does not abide by the law if the property is not private and prohibits chopping down trees.
- The most suitable trees for stands are those that are perpendicularly downwind. They should not be in the traveling direction of the animal. This helps in keeping you away from your target’s sight and attention.
- Bow hunters typically select a tree located as far as at least 15-20 yards away from the hunting area.
- It doesn’t matter what your size is; the tree should offer sufficient width. The goal is to avoid the possibility of being spotted by the animal. So pick a tree that will do an excellent job at hiding the silhouette of your entire body.
- The sitting area of every tree stand is above 25 feet, right? Please remember this when learning how to build a tree stand. So in such situations, the tree should be able to provide sufficient coverage. This comes in the form of abundant leaves.
Trees that offer such coverage are maple, cedars, and oak. They are considered to be the best when it comes to providing camouflage during this part of your hunting expedition.
[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXpVsooXCvM]
Hunting deer requires you to make use of efficient yet easy strategies. And a high tree stand is one of them. If you’re an avid hunter, building an elevated stand in your favorite spot that you know you’ll use for hunting all your life is an excellent idea. Plus, a well-constructed tree stand adds more convenience and comfort to the whole experience.
On the other hand, setting up a portable tree stand is a time-consuming activity. And you don’t have to go through the trouble of doing that every time you want to hunt. On top of that, removing them and carrying them back to the house is also another form of inconvenience. This is why you need something that’s easy to use and will be able to stand the test of time.
We hope that the step by step guide was elaborate enough for you to follow. There’s no need to stick to the exact measurements; you can always use different specifications too. It all depends on your size, hunting style, and personal preferences. The goal is to be able to get on the stand without any difficulty and stay there without being spotted by the animal.
If there’s anything that you would like to add, then please let us know. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below.
We hope to see you again soon. Stay safe!
About the author:
Tony Lohman is not just a writer who talks about outdoor gear and ways to use or build it. He is an enthusiastic adventurer himself. So everything that you read here has been a part of his personal journey – OutdoorHole.com. His articles contain useful tips and information about outdoor activities and suitable equipment. Surviving in the wild is a part of every journey, so Tony Lohman talks about the different ways of doing so in the most practical manner.