How to Build a Better Permanent Deer Stand Base

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I have hunted many years in the Southeast areas of Ohio.  Much of that hunting was done from deer stands - mobile (mass manufactured produced steel) stands as well as the old fashioned home-made stands.  Dad has about 15+ stands on his property.  At least half are home made deer stands.  My tip here is to easily provide to you a very sturdy and long lasting wooden deer stand base.

I have seen deer stand bases made from several different products - i.e. shipping crates, several 2X4's lined side by side, etc.... 

The best deer stand base by far that I have hunted on is using the following materials:

  • 1 - 4X8 weather treated 1/2" thick plywood
  • 1 - treated/wolmanized 2X4 with a length of at least 10' or 12' long (supporting boards)
  • Galvanized screws (1" for sides/front/back of platform and at least 3" long for middle on supporting boards)  Screws are used to hold the wood materials together as they created a tighter and longer lasting hold.

Simply take the 4X8 sheet of plywood and cut it in half on the long side so you end up with two 4X4 sheets of plywood.  Place one sheet on top of the other and screw together to create a one 1" thick 4X4 (screw all four corners plus up each side and also straight line on front top portion of the wood). Do not screw together bottom/back portion of stand base yet.  All screws should be from top of board towards bottom.

Then take your 10' (or 12') treated lumber and cut in half.  Place it flat side down on the underside of the 4X4 so that the center of the wood is on the 18" mark inside of each side.  Even the end of this cut 2X4 so that it is even with the back of the platform and sticks out the bottom front of the platform.  Screw these from above (stand side) into the platform using the 3" galvanized screws (use at least 4 screws per supporting board).

On the back of the platform in between the two supporting boards cut out a small curve within the 4X4 using a jig saw or other tool to allow the back of the platform to rest correctly on the curvature of a tree.  Using the 1" screws then connect the back side of the platform around this cut curvature.

The supporting boards will stick out from underneath the platform by 1' or 2' based on the size of stud purchased.  You can connect your ladder preference to these for a completed deer stand.

Add some astro-turf or other outdoor mat to the floor of the deer stand platform to eliminate noise while standing or sitting.

Recommendation - use 2 - 2X4 wolmanized studs to connect each side of your ladder to the tree (in addition to any straps).  I use a U-Bolt and drill a hole in the wood to connect the ladder to the stud and then bolt the other stud sides together on the other side of the tree. (You can screw or nail into the tree directly only if this is acceptable within your state's regulations). 

There you have it - a deer stand platform that will last many years.

Comments

I made a a deer stand

I made a a deer stand platform that is exactly just like this and it really last many years. You better make this one too.

hunter25's picture

Good information here and if

Good information here and if I ever get somewhere that needs some of these I will put it to use. Here in Colorado I never hunt from a blind at all and where I have started going in Texas they have many movable but ancient box blinds set up overlooking fields and canyons in between. It would be great to have some property back in Michigan or Wisconsin where I'm from though to have some of these put up.

groovy mike's picture

Gravity is not my friend!

Retired2hunt (by the way I love the user name J )

I don’t normally use elevated stands of any kind.  Gravity is not my friend!  But this sounds pretty secure to stand on once you have it anchored to the tree.  It would surely provide a very sturdy and long lasting wooden deer stand base.  I think I would have to see pictures to figure out how to properly attach it to the tree with enough stability to make me feel comfortable.  I would surely be putting a dozen three inch screws into the trunk and limbs and would still be afraid the darned thing would tip me out!

At least the half sheet of plywood at 4X4 sand one 1" thick wouldn’t give way underneath me!  Thanks for the tip!

Retired2hunt's picture

  I have a brother who is

 

I have a brother who is 6'4" and 325 pounds and these things hold his big a$$ up there so If you are not bigger than that you are good to go.  You can always use thicker plywood to increase the total thickness or add more bracing underneath it for sturdyness of the flooring - or both.  Dad used to have a drawing.  I will see if he still has it and if so post it.  Just thinking about it cross bracing in the opposiet direction would allow you to put a railing on the sides of this.  As for the user name - it just came to me because as soon as I retired my hunting time increased tremendously.  I didn't know it at the time but hunting became one of the primary reasons.  I am definitely thankful!

 

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Sounds like a pretty heavy

Sounds like a pretty heavy duty stand. We use ladder stands back at my Dad's place in Vermont, so when we are due to replace them, I may have to give this a shot.  what would you say total assembly time is on this thing, assuming you have all the materials readily available?

Retired2hunt's picture

 Vermonster - Really the

 

Vermonster - Really the assembly time is nothing for the base - maybe 15 to 20 minutes as long as you have all of the materials all set and that is including cutting of the 4X8 sheet of plywood.  Dad also uses lumber for the ladder portion.  Now that takes a bit more time but he has been doing it a while so he has it down to an assembly line - especially when he has me and/or my brothers around.  For the ladder Dad uses two 2X4X16 pieces and then uses regular wolmanized construction 2X4's and rips them down into 24" pieces that he nails inside of the two 16' making a wooden ladder (24" pieces are nailed with the 2" part facing upwards for more weight bearing ability) that is then attached to the pieces of lumber from below the stand base.  But even doing that we can normally get a total stand done in less than an hour.   Lastly we support the ladder to the tree using two more 2x4x8's that are secured to the ladder about half way up (8ft) by U-bolts and secured onto the tree by wratchet straps and nailing the two boards together behind the tree.  Last time I was there with Dad and my wife we made two of them in about 90 minutes.  So for about $55 - $65 of materials you can have yourself a good stand.

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very cool.  I might have to

Very cool.  I might have to give it a try one of these times we throw up a new stand.

SGM's picture

I have not and do not plan to

I have not and do not plan to use a tree stand but what you have here sounds pretty solid and will not cost you an arm and a leg. I will pass this on to a few guys I know back east who use tree stands and see if it will work for them. 

numbnutz's picture

Sounds like a great tip.

Sounds like a great tip. Seems like it would be very durable and sturdy. I wish I had my own land to build my own stands. All I have right now is a hang on stand that I can move around if needed. Instead of getting some ladder stick I just bout some screw in steps which can also be taken out fast and easy for relocation. Thanks for sharing your tip with the rest of us.

jaybe's picture

This does sound like a very

This does sound like a very sturdy platform to stand on, but I'm wondering about how to fasten the rear of it (with the curved notch) to the tree so it will support the weight of a hunter. I have made several ladder-type stands that had smaller platforms - usually less than 2x2. We cannot put any screws, nails, etc. into trees on public land where I hunt, so to connect the rear of the platform to the tree I used a chain with a turnbuckle so I could tighten it around the back of the tree. The chain was fastened to one side of the stand with a sturdy eye bolt, and the turnbuckle connected to another eyebolt (on the opposite side) with a strong S hook. I carried a small crescent wrench in my fanny pack to really tighten the turnbuckle tightly.

 Thanks for the good tip.

 

Retired2hunt's picture

  Great idea on the chain and

 

Great idea on the chain and the eyebolt with S hook.  We normally will take another piece of 2X4 lumber and rip it in half - nail it to the bottom of the stand base so that the two pieces spread the width of the tree then nail another piece of wood to connect them behind the tree.  To add to the strength we use wratchet straps to then ensure it is held tight against the tree and not going anywhere.