Elevated deer stand ?

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bjordan

New User
billy
I'm new to the site and loving it so far. I just recently built my own 20X20 workshop and have been gathering idea's for workbenches from the site. Lots of great info on here. Anyways I'm wanting to build an elevated deer stand to hunt in when the weather is bad or when the wife or my six year old son want to go. I think a 5x5 is the size I want so two people can hunt it confortably but not too big either. I bought some rough cut 5''x5''x14' cedar posts for the legs and planning on putting them 2' in the ground. I have that figured out but am unsure of how to actually build the rest of it and was looking for ideas. It's a ways in the woods, I can drive to it but don't have a generator so no power. Would it be best to precut everything for the floor and build the floor on top of the poles? I thought I might could pre-build the walls and pull them up on the platform one at a time. I plan on using a old aluminum ladder mounted the the stand and sunk in the ground for entrance and exit. If you've built one before or just have any tips or pics please slet me know. All help is appreciated. Thanks, Billy
 
T

tmwassack

Greetings from Asheboro!
Billy,
I have been a certified Hunter Education instructor for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for the past 17 years. During this time I have instructed and certified more than 1500 students ranging in age from 8 to 80. A large emphasis of my class is placed on tree stand safety. During the 2007-2008 hunting season there were 8 fatalities in NC and 6 were directly related to falls from tree stands. Therefore, I would really discourage you from constructing a deer stand from lumber since their are other, safer alternatives available. For example, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops sell stand alone tripod stands and tandem ladder stands that would provide a safer alternative to a home made stand. While a factory made stand is safer than a home made one, they do deteriorate over time and are prone to failure from neglect, vandalism, and improper installation - so maintenance is critical.

Respectfully,
Tom Wassack
Asheboro, NC
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I built a high fort for my kids that sounds a lot like what you want to build. It is over ten years old and still very strong and safe. I'll take some pictures when I get home.

Any construction can be done shoddily or very safe and secure. I agree that you don't want to build something that would make hunting less than perfect, on the other hand only you know your capability and level of expertise. If you are sure you can build a safe and long lasting stand then you have to make that determination.

For my own use I would not pay for the commercial stands available on the market today as I am certain that anything I built would be stronger, safer and last longer.

8 x 8 cedar posts are much stronger than the thin tubing I have seen in some stands on the market.
 

bjordan

New User
billy
I built a high fort for my kids that sounds a lot like what you want to build. It is over ten years old and still very strong and safe. I'll take some pictures when I get home.

Any construction can be done shoddily or very safe and secure. I agree that you don't want to build something that would make hunting less than perfect, on the other hand only you know your capability and level of expertise. If you are sure you can build a safe and long lasting stand then you have to make that determination.

For my own use I would not pay for the commercial stands available on the market today as I am certain that anything I built would be stronger, safer and last longer.

8 x 8 cedar posts are much stronger than the thin tubing I have seen in some stands on the market.

Thanks, I would like to see the pics. I believe I can build a stand thats safer, and better built than anything I can buy for a reasonable price!
 

bjordan

New User
billy
Greetings from Asheboro!
Billy,
I have been a certified Hunter Education instructor for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for the past 17 years. During this time I have instructed and certified more than 1500 students ranging in age from 8 to 80. A large emphasis of my class is placed on tree stand safety. During the 2007-2008 hunting season there were 8 fatalities in NC and 6 were directly related to falls from tree stands. Therefore, I would really discourage you from constructing a deer stand from lumber since their are other, safer alternatives available. For example, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops sell stand alone tripod stands and tandem ladder stands that would provide a safer alternative to a home made stand. While a factory made stand is safer than a home made one, they do deteriorate over time and are prone to failure from neglect, vandalism, and improper installation - so maintenance is critical.

Respectfully,
Tom Wassack


Asheboro, NC

Thanks for your concern but i am confident in what I build and surely wouldn't build anything that could result in injury to me or more importantly my wife and son.

Thanks, Billy
 
T

tmwassack

8 x 8 cedar posts are much stronger than the thin tubing I have seen in some stands on the market.

No offense intended, but your quote above is either opinion or conjecture; however, every stand on the market today must meet rigorous industry standards and testing by outside engineering firms and testing laboratories - does your 8 X 8 cedar post or the OP's 5 X 5 cedar posts, meet these same or any standards for strength?

Here's a link to the Tree Stand Manufacturers Association website - http://www.tmastands.com/standards.php.

Regardless of opionions about elevated hunting platforms - the one critical element is to always wear a fall arrest device whenever hunting (including ascending and descending).

Respectfully,
Tom Wassack
Asheboro, NC
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
Billy, welcome to NCWoodworker (from a fellow Chatham County-ite! Your project sounds intrigueing.

I think that if I were in your shoes, I would pre-build the entire stand at home, and then number the pieces for dismantling and transport. You could design the key structural member connections to use galvanized through bolts instead of nails, for ease of dismantling and assembly.

Re the foundation depth, 36" would be better than 24" for uplift reasons. You will have a fairly significant amount of windloading up there and you need to think in terms of how to help the posts resist pulling out of the ground when high winds hit the sides of the structure. Consider drilling the bottom of your posts and sinking some rebar through them, and then pouring a concrete collar around the bottom of them (think of an upside down "T".

Something to consider may be to build a metal frame to concrete into the ground for your foundation, and then to "hinge" the legs of the stand to the frame and pull it up and over into place with a couple of vehicles. Many large windmills have been installed this way, and it would minimize the amount of time spent in the air during construction. In this instance, you may be able to pre-build your stand and transport it on it's side complete to the site via a trailer.

Be sure to design a good overhang on the roof so that rain does not drip inside the windows or down on your rifle.

5 x 5 posts will probably work just fine, depending upon your height above grade and also how they are cross braced. Mike's suggestion re the 8 x 8 posts would be incredibly strong. No matter what, I'd suggest that you design in horizontal and diagonal members in-between your legs, on a span similar to the distance between the legs. You don't need to x brace the legs, a Z brace should be sufficient.

What height are you planning to build the stand to?

Scott
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Here's the pic I promised.

This is built with 4x4 treated posts and 2x6 floor joists and the two top runners. All else is 2x4 I think... I always try to build with wide overhangs like Scott mentioned, they really extend the life of a building. I used through bolts with fender washers and nuts to attach the floor joists.

This is about ten years old now and just as strong as the day I built it. A couple years ago a 6 inch poplar limb fell on it and only dented the tin roof a little. I checked and none of the rafters were even cracked.

This is only about 6 feet to the floor so the 4x4 is plenty strong and I ran the posts all the way to the top. I think you mentioned building the floor on top of the posts? I always try to get a solid structure all the way to the roof. You may have to get longer posts but I think it would be worth the extra material. Be sure to put up some strong rails for safety and a pulley set in the top beam would let you pull a rope to raise a sling with your pack and gear.

IMG_0074.jpg
 

bjordan

New User
billy
Thanks for all the info everyone. I think i will bury the legs 3' in the ground. That would give me a floor height of roughly 11'. The stand is going to be in the woods where it's pretty thick so I wouldn't think wind would be as much of a factor as it would be if it were on a field edge. I like the idea of prebuilding it and using through bolts. Would carriage bolts work? The post's measure right at 6'' x 6''. The guy I bought them from said they would plane down to a pretty 5''x5'' post. I really don't want to concrete anything in the ground as I just lease the land this stand is going on and may would have to remove it someday. Thats another reason I like the idea of using bolts. I have planned to do at least 12'' overhang all the way around it. Just a sloped roof with rubber roofing membrane stretched across the top and stapled to the underside of it. The rubber roof will be alot quieter than tin, so when it's raining you can hear somthing besides the tin. A pulley is also another good Idea I'm going to incorporate into it somhow. That will be very nice for pulling up my gun and gear safely. Keep the ideas and tips coming, I really appreciate all of it.

Billy
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
If you don't concrete, keep in mind that it is a barrier as well as an anchor. If you just bury the legs, there will be slight movement from the small amount of wind it gets, even in the trees, and from you clamoring around. Not enough to be a stability concern, but it will separate from the dirt, no matter how hard you pack it, just enough to draw water in. So prep the legs accordingly.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
I think you mentioned building the floor on top of the posts? I always try to get a solid structure all the way to the roof. You may have to get longer posts but I think it would be worth the extra material.

+1. Mike, that's a nice looking fort!

Billy, I like your ideas (hadn't thought about the rubber roofing - what a great idea!)

Something else to consider is to install platform railing on the INSIDE of the posts, rather than the outside. That way if someome stumbles and falls against the railing you are not solely dependant upon the fastener to keep it in place.

Carriage bolts should work just fine. BTW - re hardware, the absolute best prices that I've found locally are at Agri-supply in Garner. As I recall they sell HDG bolts for $1.98 a lb. I think that this works out to be less than half of what the BORG's sell them for.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Have you considered a ground blind for deer/turkey hunting? I've got an Ameristep Doghouse blind that measures a very comfortable 68" x 68" x 68" and includes their total scent containment/movement features. It is dry and windproof even on those really nasty cold, windy, and sleet filled days when the deer are moving. Easily accommodates two hunters and is wheel chair accessible. Only about $140 at Cabelas.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...type=product&cmCat=Related_IPL_417454&id=0014

This is suitable only for shotgun hunting (00 buck or slugs); no rifles allowed for safety reasons. :eusa_naug

I've been fortunate to kill several deer at 40 yards or less; I've also missed a couple at <5 yards 'cause I choked on the shot. Woulda been further ahead to just whack 'em with the barrel. The point here is that they were that close, just browsing, and had no idea that I was there. No alarm whatsoever! :roll:
 

Tom Dunn

New User
Tom Dunn
I've built several "leaning ladder" stands in which the rear of the platform was fastened to a suitable tree. Wonderfully stable, easy to access, easy to build, and can usually be transported to the site by simply dragging it "Indian sled" style. The tree also aids in concealment to a large degree.
Making one large enough, stable enough for two might be a problem. The lack of a roof might be one as well, but not for me. I don't hunt in the rain.
 

bjordan

New User
billy
I do have a ground blind I use occasionally, but I wanted somthing permanent in this location. I have a deer feeder thats been set up for about six months now and has alot of deer coming to it. I wanted somthing permanent that's big enough for two that I can take my wife and son hunting with me to where thay can see some deer and be confortable. Thanks alot for all the suggestions. I'm gonna be starting this project in about two weeks so keep the suggestions coming because nothing is set in stone just yet. Billy
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
No offense Tom but, that is the kind of stand that I have seen people fall out of, and i would consider to be more dangerous. There were two of those on my property when I moved there and I tore them down.

Of course, I haven't seen yours and it may be very different from the ones around here.

I usually just walk up to my favorite spot, sit down with my back against a tree and wait no more than twenty minutes. If I don't see one in that time I'm in the wrong place and try the other spot.
 

Tom Dunn

New User
Tom Dunn
No offense Tom

None taken.
No pics but essentially it's just a plywood platform with a notch cut in the back edge. It's this notch that is against the tree, and it's where the stand is fastened with either chain or rope. The underside of the plywood has two 2x6's, on edge, with the deck screwed to them. These are where the ladder attaches, either 2x4 or 2x6. The legs a splayed out to increase stability, and the anchor tree, properly selected, makes one pretty stable tripod. I take them down after the season to help them last.
All tree stands are dangerous. I fell from a old one while descending one evening when the top ladder rung gave way. Luckily the bow was already on the ground. I busted thru every one of the remaining rungs on the way down, breaking them with the back of my legs.
Theres something to be said for that "on the ground, back against a tree" approach.:wink_smil
 
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