Steps To Build A Tree Stand For Hunting
Tree stands serve outdoorsmen in various capacities. For hunters, a tree stand is a crucial tool to gain an advantage over game like deer, bear, moose, elk and many other species. A hunter needs to scope out an area that will provide an ideal viewpoint on any game that walks or flies by.
Setting up in that area hours before dawn provides optimal results. A tree stand provides a height advantage, can be prepared far in advance for setting up in early hours, and goes relatively undetected by wildlife.
Picking a Location
One of the first key steps on how to build a tree stand is knowing what kind of site will be the ideal location. Ideally, tree stands should be built on private property. This way, they can be permanent stands that you come back to over the seasons. For the purpose of hunting, you will want to find a fairly large tree with both sufficient girth as well as a sufficient view.
You should be familiar with the layout of the land and be able to identify deer trails, rubs, or places where other game flock to feed. Picking a tree near these trails or clearings will optimize your chance of finding game on hunting days.
Be sure this tree is also healthy – no sign of decay or disease. If and when you climb the tree, you should also consider wearing a safety harness and to not be holding any sharp objects in case of a fall or slip while climbing.
Materials for Building
There is the option to buy pre-fabricated stands, but perhaps one of the easiest ways to optimize a space is to build your own. Anchor a stand to a tree in three basic ways: by posts, bolts, or suspension.
Although bolts can damage a tree, they can directly support the platform for a small stand. Several 2x6s around a crotch in the tree can form adequate support beams that support the platform with the use of several galvanized rafter ties. Bracing the platform with a couple of angled 2x4s is also wise.
The rest of the materials depend on your tree stand design, including the kind of access and if the stand will be open-air or be mostly sheltered. In addition, paint or attached foliage can further disguise the stand.
Assembling the Stand
How to build a tree stand that will be safe largely depends on the precautions taken to build the platform. Next, creating a safe and secure access – such as a ladder – is key. Some hunters choose to simply nail pieces of wood to provide footing up a trunk; this is fine, as long as you are confident the nails will support your weight and stand up to the elements and time.
Finally, consider making light frames and covering them with plywood if you want to make a simple upper design. Where you place openings for visibility will need to be strategic for sighting game.
Have fun building, and always be safe!