The Sky is the Limit

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How many times have you wished for a better view across a clear cut, an agriculture field or down a powerline?

Ever wanted to get a little higher to try to get above a deer’s nose?

Have you ever wanted a taller stand because… well… just because?

Here is an example of a stand I made a few years ago and it has some very real advantages and a few disadvantages.

The advantages:

  • commanding view from the stand
  • able to accommodate two hunters, perfect for parent / child hunts
  • hunters are well hidden
  • roof for inclement weather
  • may help reduce the human scent in the immediate area
  • comfortable, which means you are able to hunt longer
  • very safe, when appropriately anchored
  • fairly low cost, when you consider what you get
  • as with all ladders or fixed stands, virtually noiseless entry and exit
  • very rewarding to build and then enjoy as a hunting station
  • other than the floor – no wood to rot (even if rotted clear though, you could not fall because of the bracing underneath the wood
  • great conversation piece!
     
    The disadvantages:
  • heavy and hard to move
  • may be hard to stand up
  • does require good fabrication skills 

I started this project on a whim – they replaced the fence at my office and the upper fence rails were 1.5” pipe that were 21’ long. I asked the crew if I could have 4 of them and they gave them to me.

I then drew up some plans and started building.

First, I built a 5’ x 4’ floor pan from 1.25” angle iron. I added diagonal bracing into the floor for strength using 1” angle. The actual floor is a section of ¾” plywood and is solid as a rock.

I then laid out two of the 21’ sections of pipe and spaced them 5’ at the top and 10’ at the bottom – and made X braces that joined the two pipes together in the center. I also added a horizontal brace at the bottom.

I replicated that again, using the other 2 pipes. On this set of “sides”, I added another leg, this one about 14” to the inner side of the existing leg – and added horizontal sections of steel every 15” to make the steps.

I now have the 2 basic “sides” of the tower legs, with a ladder on one set and the floor pan I made earlier.

I calculated my angles and bolted the floor plan to the first set of legs – with the legs laying on the ground and the floor at nearly a right angle to the legs. Can not be 90 degrees because you want the legs wider at the base than at the top – for obvious reasons.

I added short diagonal struts from the legs to the outer edge of the floor pan for rigidity.

I then put this assembly in its side – and aligned the other set of legs to the other side of the floor pan.

Now – you have to move the sets of legs in or out at the end that will contact the ground to gain your angles properly. You already know each side is spread to 10' – I spread the sides to 8’ wide and made horizontal braces at the bottom to secure these measurements.

The footprint is now 10’ wide x 8’ wide.

I made X braces now that spanned the gaps between the now joined “sides”.

You now have your basic tower and floor arrangement – although it is lying on its side right now.

I added 2 sets of X braces that now go diagonally in the center of the stand (once the stand is stood up, these braces are diagonal to the ground while all others are at a near right angle to the ground).

But – it is not stood up yet…

Using 5’ x 4’ as a pattern, I made a “house” out of electrical EMT. I bent sections to support the roof, which is a plastic fence panel (no rot!) and is secured to these sections. The house is reinforced diagonally and is very rigid once you bolt it to the outside of the original floor pan sections.

I built a small shelf inside the stand to place coffee, binoculars, etc on, for easy retrieval.

I covered the outside with cloth (black – should possibly have used camo) and painted the outer edges of the stand – at least for the most part. Some of it (the legs) are a rust colored brown and do not stand out anyway.

I bolted the house on the stand just to make sure it all aligned  - and them removed the house and the plywood floor to make it lighter – so I could get it on the trailer. I loaded it with no help – just slid it up on my 22’ equipment trailer and then hauled it to the club! (make sure you do not exceed height and width limits!).

My wife and I stood it up the first time using some supports, a block and tackle, a pine tree and a Rancher 350 4 wheeler. The biggest obstacle was getting the trailer back to where I wanted to put the stand – the legs were brushing against the tree limbs as we used the 2 rut road going in.

A year later, I moved it to another club and stood it up my myself using the front end loader on the tractor. I did bend the lower braces up a bit but was able to straighten them right back out.

It is anchored with 2 large metal stakes on either side of the stand, some wire rope and 2 large turnbuckles. The rear of the stand is also anchored to a tree that is behind the stand.

It is currently placed on a soybean field that is ringed with oak trees. It is currently mid October and scrapes are starting to pop up now and the acorns are falling pretty well.

You have a great view from the stand and I am just waiting for Mr. Antlers to come strolling by!

As always, when dealing with heights and human use, please do not attempt to build a stand like this if your design, fabrication and welding skills are not appropriate. No injury is worth ANY deer stand.

But – for those of you who can build, this is a semi-challenging project and this very rewarding! If I can help with drawings or additional photos, please let me know.

Never do I show this stand that someone does not remark – almost in awe – when they see it.

It is growing up nicely with weeds and climbing vines right now and will soon have its own “camo” built around it!

My friends all call this the “Cell Phone Tower” simply because of the height – so maybe the sky is the limit!!!

PS - sorry.. the pic is not so great... I can provide others if anyone needs or wants them!

Comments

arrowflipper's picture

what a stand

My goodness, what a stand!!  That is one incredible stand.  If I built one that big, I'd probably just leave it in one spot.  I can only imagine the view from up there.  Where I hunt, if was sitting in a stand like that, I would be able to see a mile in every direction.  The only drawback I can see is trying to move it.

Where I hunt out here in the West, we try to build ground blinds.  We don't have any trees to sit in.  My buddy drug an old pickup way out in the back part of his section and we sit either in it or in the back.  The back his sideboards up about two feet off the bed and it provides great protection from being seen.  Doesn't do much for the rain though.  I have shot deer out of it as they walked by, right out in the open.

We also drag some logs together, put sagebrush around them and sit inside.  If we can find an elevated spot, this provides a good shelter from the view of deer and a good place to make a stand.

I'd love to sit in a stand like yours someday.  I can only imagine the view from up there.  Just give me a cup of coffee, a comfortable seat and I'd sit there all day.  Thanks for sharing.

hunter25's picture

Amazing, that is one heck of

Amazing, that is one heck of a blind. I hunted out of an elevated blind for the first time this year in Texas and was very impressed with how well I could see from it. I twas not as tall or as sturdy as yours is but the idea was the same. The only difference in the ones I hunted out of is that the owner had covered the front side going up so you could climb up or leave the blind unseen by any animals that were in the foodplot that you were unaware of.

A whole new twist on hunting for me that's for sure. Thanks for sharing you tip and plans for this blind.

groovy mike's picture

no pipe dream!

Wow that is an impressive stand! I am not a fan of heights so I would hesitate to climb into it but it sure would give a nice view.  Thanks for sharing the details and the photo.

Mike

CVC's picture

That is a really nice stand

That is a really nice stand reminiscant of those that you see in texas where everything is bigger.  How does it work for bow hunting?  Is there enough room to manuver the bow to make a shot?  The roof would be great for those wet days.  The more comfortable I am the longer I can stay in the field.   Good work.

jim boyd's picture

CVC, It would not work at all

CVC,

It would not work at all for bowhunting, the roof and fairly tall sides would preclude a bow shot other than a cross bow.

I have had this stand in two locations and both were on food sources - the first a 1/2 acre bean patch in some pines and more recently overlooking a 50+ acre bean field.

I have to move it again this winter and have not quite decided where to put it, but it will again be a rifle shooting location.

The new lease has a lot of ag and also offers good food plot locations - I will likely try to position to take advantage of perhaps a view of both, if that is possible... I have to get on the property and then work to envision where that can be accomplished.

I have not met the farmer that tenant farms the place yet, I will work to do that early in the spring so I can ask him what crops will be in each field and that may play into my decision on placement, also.

At a minimum, I will try to put it where 200 + yard shots are possible simply due to the fact that you can see so far from it.

I will get a new photo album of the farm going in early spring as I do my post winter scouting and start putting in the plots and placing stands.

CVC's picture

it looks like a super

it looks like a super comfortable blind to rifle hunt out of.  Sit back and relax with a great view of everything.  How long does it take you to make something like that?  What does the material cost if you don't mind me asking?

jim boyd's picture

Don't mind at all... I

Don't mind at all... I probably had about 20 hours and maybe $300 in materials - but the 21' legs were free so that helped a lot.

Stand like this run about $800 to $1000 down here and are not constructed any better than this one.  

Biggest issue (other than planning the build in your head and having it come out as a viable stand) was building it at home and then transporting it.... and moving it is still the same challenge.

This is a great stand for parent / child or mentor / new hunter because that is a lot of room and the height typically allows you to see further, have some time to make a carefully controlled shot, etc...

That project was a little ambitious - later tower stand builds I capped at 15' floor height vs that one at 21'.

ManOfTheFall's picture

That is very nice. I would

That is very nice. I would like to have one of those. I'm just not sure where I would put it yet. Thanks for the tip and picture.

Critter done's picture

Now thats a stand

With that being so tall I can see how you could see for miles. Great Tip

jaybe's picture

Wow!

I agree - now, that's a stand!

If you put it in the right place, you could probably run electricity to it!  ):>)

Even without it, you can still watch the football game with a battery-powered set.

I guess if I were going to make one this size, I'd want to be sure that it was in a spot where I could - and would want to - leave it.

It would be a shame to damage such a nice project by taking it up and down and moving it several times.

No matter how high a stand is, getting up off the ground will (almost) always improve your ability to see game.

It also gives you the advantage of keeping your scent above the animals - which is a big deal in itself.

Thanks a lot for this report.

I think the picture is great to show the location of the blind.