I guess I should start with some history on the stand location. This CENTURY PLUS Family Farm was homesteaded in 1868, and is still in the Smith family several generations down the road. When I moved to the farm next door to it in 1984 the Grandmother of the present family owner lived their, her husband Bob "Hungry" Smith a retired school teacher had previously passed away, and I never got to meet him. The present owner is a retired Juvenile Officer. He has ended up with some health issues and he and his wife have moved to Tennessee to be closer to the kids and grandkids. The wife and I look after the farm for them in their absence. This farm has a wet weather creek running through and around hay fields on both sides of the County Road. This wet weather creek has woods on both sides of the stream bed ranging between 100 or so Feet to approximately One Hundred Yard wide. Basically it is a corridor 3/4 of a mile long for deer to travel and pretty much stay out of the hay fields getting to a wood lot. The location that we placed this stand in is the 100 yard wide location of the corridor. This section of the corridor approximately 200 yards long has an open area probably 60 feet wide on average in its center. We brush hogged this area.
The ladder stand is one that we have had specially modified for handgun hunting. It originally was a fairly common 17 foot Double Wide Ladder Stand sold at Wal-Mart several years ago with Double Ratchet Strap attachment points to secure it to the tree. We have replaced the front hoop on the stand with square tubing. The stand now has a 3/4" square tubing frame that is 15" outboard of the original tree stand rails. The tubing is welded in place and braced underneath. This is the third version of the stand rework with the front corners bobbed off at a 45 degree angle. To this frame work we have attached a 3/4" plywood top. The outboard dimensions of the plywood is 7 Feet wide X 4 Feet deep front to back. We have cut out a 3' Wide X 19" deep area where you are seated. (Keep in mind the plywood is 6" forward of the back of the stand. This gives you a 36" X 25" area open where you are seated) The plywood is spaced forward off the back of the stand approximately 6 Inches to give it more forward facing counter top. The end result is a sturdy plywood table top 2 feet wide on each side, and 29 Inches deep in front of you. We bobbed off a section on the front corners of the plywood approximately 1 foot back measured from the corners. All edges have been radiused and the stand top painted with Forrest Green Industrial Enamel paint. The top is attached to the frame work with 1/4" Carriage Bolts and Flat Straps.
This stand has a commercial version of Military Camo Netting attached extending all the way around the plywood top. The camo netting is held in place with several plastic spring clips. To keep the camo from flopping around in the wind we have weighted it with 1/2" Gray PVC Electric Conduit filled with sand and capped on each end. The front weight is approximately 5 feet long, and the sides are approximately 3 feet in length. The bottom edge of the camo is wrapped around the tubing weights and is held in place with additional plastic spring clips. NOTE: I paint the spring clips in a flat color camo paint so they do not stand out.
We have fabricated a drink holder using a 3" PVC Pipe Coupling with a glue in 3" Slotted Drain for the bottom. This drink holder is held in place with a couple Zip Ties ran through drilled holes in the coupling attached to a vertical member below the table top. An additional zip tie will loop around the attachment zip ties and a stand horizontal member to keep the drink holder from sliding down over time. This holds your water bottle out of sight, and out of the road so that it does not get dropped or knocked out of the stand. The drink holder has also been painted flat black.
For a front gun rest a couple CCA 4" X 4" blocks approximately 6" - 8" long will be provided with shorty shot sack sand bags to set on top of the blocks. I will normally paint the Wood Blocks as well as the Sand Bags so that they disappear on the stand top. The Sand Bag Fill varies depending on how much I feel like spending at the time. Poly Pellets weigh a lot less, versus Sand which is free. NOTE: a normal shot bag is 12" X 15" when un-sewed, my Shorty Shot Bags are 12" X 12" heavy canvas from Hobby Lobby sewn on the side and one end by my local upholstery shop then tied shut on the open end after filling. Hi-Quality Lawrence Shot Sacks have gotten scarce in my area. Most other shot sacks are worthless as Sand Bag Gun Rests.
Normally I have my brother to help set the stand frame work up in the tree. He was not available this go around. The wife and I placed the stand on the ground with the bottom of the ladder approximately 4 feet from the base of the tree. I next drove a couple 3/4" concrete form stakes to keep the stand from sliding towards the tree when we started up with it. I next attached a rope approximately 40 feet long to the stand at the location the top ratchet straps will later attach to the stand. This rope is positioned outboard of the tree. We next positioned the Polaris Ranger Side by Side approximately 30 feet behind the stand. We spooled out the Badlands Winch line and attached it to the rope. I then lifted the top of the stand as high over my head as I could, and my wife spooled in the winch line, and took up the slack. I then walked down the ladder lifting the stand higher, and the wife winched the slack out, until she could continue up with out my assistance lifting from underneath the stand. When the stand was in contact with the tree we positioned it by hand exactly as we wanted it for good contact at the attachment points. I then erected the folding Little Giant ladder behind the stand, and installed the ratchet straps to secure the stand to the tree. NOTE: You need to be extra careful raising the stand with the added weight of the tubing for the Bench Top. The stand ladder can be bent and ruined if you are not careful when using a 4-wheeler, tractor, etc. to help raise the stand.
STAND TOP INSTALLATION:
Getting the plywood top up on the stand frame is an adventure. We just happened to have an over head limb handy. I tossed the rope over the limb, and secured one end of the rope to the Stand Top which was leaned up against the tree. The other end was again attached to the winch line. I would pull the rope up, and the wife would winch the slack out. We did this until I had the top at an elevation I could maneuver it on to the stand frame. I then secured the top with 1/4" Carriage Bolts and Flat Straps. The straps have two holes for the bolts, one on each side of the square tubing to hold the top in place securely and to also keep the noise to a minimum. If things are not tight, you will have noise.
The tree next to the one the wife selected for her stand location has the remains of an old wooden stand still in it. That stand has not been in any condition for use in a very long time. The wife is really looking forward to hunting this stand in November. Now if she will wait on a nice buck and not shoot one of the first 50 does that come by.
I hope that you enjoyed the journey.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Viper225,
got one of those deer freeways 400 yards out the back door. my property stops about 75 yards short. I can entice them out every so often.
Sounds like you are going to have plenty of stand locations to choose from, hope you all have a great and safe season!
Sorry I missed seeing you at the F-Class match!
I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in so doing, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity.
General Robert E. Lee
Bobcat I have been dragging my feet a little on the Tower Stand. The Loggers moved off my ridge into the valley my stand over looks. They are now logging the West Ridge, and after that they will work on an even bigger Ridge to the East. They will not even be started good by Deer Season.
I took down the ladder stand across the road from the house Tuesday. It was one of the original First Generation Stands with a much smaller top. I will replace it this weekend with one of the Third Generation stands as described above. This one will probably get Burlap Camo, and not the $100 Commercial Military Style Camo. I am really tempted to put up the Tower Stand in that location, and build another one later for the Ridge North of the House. It is not too late to do that. I have another place I can put up the ladder stand Northwest of the House. I will have to think this over between now and Saturday. If I put the Tower Stand up at that location I will need to buy some longer 4x4 leg posts. I have already bought the 6 feet Leg Posts for the Ridge Top location.
LADDER STAND #2)
This stand is located on the Southwest corner of our property, and overlooks about a 3 acre meadow on our side of the fence. Forty years ago the 40 acre hay field just over the fence to the South was planted in Alfalfa. Now days it is mainly Fescue. Hunting was very good when that field was mostly Alfalfa. Over the years we have had a permanent Tree House Stand built between two trees, and Ladder Stands in multiple trees at this location. Back when the kids were home we always let the youngest boy and the wife hunt the Tree House, as it was our best deer hunting spot. My First 35 Bullberry Contender Deer was taken from the Tree House, and my First 7.62x54R Encore Deer was taken from the present Ladder Stand location. Over the last 35 years a lot of deer have been put in the freezer from this location.
THE PLAN FOR TODAY:
It is Saturday, and it has been raining for hours. When it stops raining my plan is to put up the SECOND Ladder Stand across from the house in the location described above.
Last Tuesday I took down the First Generation Ladder Stand from this location. The First Generation Stand only had an 18" counter top on each side and a 15" counter top to the front. It worked OK, but a bigger top is better for getting solid, and not knocking things off the top of the stand when repositioning things. In its place I will install a Third Generation Ladder Stand which has 24" of counter top to the sides and 29 inches of counter top to the front with the plywood top positioned 6" forward of the back of the framework on the stand. The Third Generation stand Counter Top has the front corners bobbed off at a 45 degree angle 12 inches inside of the corners. This change was for multiple reasons. ONE reason was it was hard to get the camo netting around the corners without leaning out way further than I was comfortable with. Reason TWO was it blocked a lot of view from the stand depending on where the stand was installed. Reason Three was placing the top on the stand. The square corners outboard that far made it harder to get the top on the stand when putting the top on as a separate step after erecting the stand.
ERECTING THE STAND:
I am going to try something different erecting this ladder stand. I am going to try and make life much easier by erecting this ladder stand with the top attached to the frame work. I hauled the stand top to the tree in the back of the RAM 2500 pickup. No reason to use the Polaris Ranger when I can drive the truck to the tree. I positioned the stand with the bottom of the ladder approximately Four Feet from the bottom of the tree. I then drove Two 3/4" Concrete Form Stakes to hold the bottom of the ladder in place to keep the stand from sliding towards the tree when erecting it. I placed the Little Giant Folding Ladder in place on the back side of the tree to install the ratchet straps as soon as we get the stand in place.
I purchased a healthy swivel pully and a screw together chain coupling that will fit through the pully mounting hole. I attached the pulley about Three Feet above the stand (It should have been a little higher), securing it to the tree with a ratchet strap ran through the chain repair link. I picked up 50 feet of new rope to use raising the stand into place using the compact tractor to raise the stand. We attached the rope to the bucket of the tractor and raised the bucket all the way up, then my wife backed up the tractor while my brother and I raised the stand by hand until the tractor took over bringing the stand up. I picked up some new guide ropes to use pulling it up by hand from behind the tree. We did not really use the guide ropes except to hold the stand in place until I got the ratchet straps attached. With the added weight of the added tubing to secure the top as well as the weight of the top we had to be careful not to damage the legs when erecting the stand.
As I have been slowly replacing my ladder stands with tower stands, I have only purchased One of the $100 Commercial Military Style Camo Nets so far. We used the Military Style camo netting on the first stand above. Stand #2 will get Burlap Camo around the top. First to help with getting spotted in the stand I put together a Tee made from 1/2" PVC Conduit. The top members extended out 30 Inches in both directions, the vertical member was approximately 36" in length. I installed caps on all three ends to keep wasps out. This Tee was secured to the tree with Two of the Replaced Ratchet Straps. No need for brand new ratchet straps in this application. The top of the Tee was approximately two feet above the counter top. The old tee that I replaced was made from CCA 1x4 lumber. Next I installed the first piece of Burlap Camo centered on the back of the tree. I secured the camo to the PVC with plastic Squeeze Clips. Next I installed the second piece of Burlap Camo around the plywood counter top on the stand. I started this on one side and worked it around. NOTE: The corners that were removed on the Gen Three stand gained me 10 Inches of camo netting on each side. After all the Camo was in place I started adding the Weights. The back camo got a 36" weight on each side of the tree. The Front of the stand had a 48" weight added, and the sides each got a 36" weight. The weights were held to the bottom of the camo with additional squeeze clips. NOTE: the weights are constructed from 1/2" Grey PVC conduit filled with sand, and caped with PVC plumbing caps. I was able to connect the front and back camo netting with a few additional squeeze clips. Last but not least I installed a Hook behind the upper ratchet strap holding the Tee. This hook gives me a place to hang gear out of the way.
I have a few more things to do, but they will be last minute items like installing the seat cushion that I have had made by the upholstery shop lady who makes my cases. I will also get new blocks delivered to set my Shot Sack Sand Bags on. I am sure that I will get all of my gear including the Contender or Encore I plan to hunt with in the stand for a dry run to make sure I do not need more elevation on a block. I also need to get my water bottle holder made from a 3" PVC coupling with a 3" slotted drain installed as a bottom mounted to the stand framework with Zip Ties. I got the zip ties to the stand the other day, but left the drink holder at the house.
Bob RThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Viper225,
Hey bob check this out, I got one of these several years ago and it works very well, it does "usually" take 2 people, one to crank and the other to steady the stand.
That looked interesting. I presume that you add a post to the parts provided.
I put up a 4X6 Muddy Tower Stand on the Lease I look after. It was not the easiest task to assemble or erect. I would not trade the last Tower Stand I constructed for it, and I had about 1/3 the cash in the one I built. The guy who bought it is impressed with it, so that is all that matters I guess.
"I presume that you add a post to the parts provided." I'm not sure what that means I guess.
It looks like the Hoist hooks to something not provided. No mention of how it works, or what else you might need to add to the kit. They should have added more information on exactly how the kit works.
You lay the stand down with the bottom near the tree where it will be when you stand it up, one end of the hoist attaches to the tree at about waist height, the other end near the top of the stand, as you crank it it stands the stand up.
I envisioned it pulling from more of an elevated position.
Looks like it works pretty well.
Yes it works pretty well.
where was this post before I hung a 15' double ladder stand by myself. of course I had a plan that made sense to me (should of got a second opinion) Strapped climbing tree steps on the backside of the tree, put on my tree climbing harness, anchored the feet of the stand and pull it up by a rope. in theory it worked, 4 hours later. And the whole time i kept checking to make sure no one was watching.
"The World Spins Forward"
I believe the double wide stands were to be set up by at least two people, and three makes it easier yet when just using man power. Some times us SR Citizens have to get more creative.
Hoisting it up with extra metal bracing and 2/3 of a sheet of 3/4" plywood mounted to it adds a whole extra level of difficulty getting it up without breaking anything. We used the tractor on stand #2, but I believe we could have pulled it up with the pulley and rope using the side by side.
I have installed the water bottle holders on both stands. Shot sack sand bag rests are in place in plastic ammo cans. All that needs added is the seat cushion in both stands. I need to remember how I hung the seat cushions under the counter top to keep rain off them when not in use.
I am just starting to see tree rubs this last week. I have only found ONE Lone ground scrape. I believe they are a little late chasing skirts this year. It just turned back cold this morning. That should wake things up in the woods.
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