The Sky is the Limit
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.
- 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!
- 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!