Deer Stand or The Ground

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by Jmg198, Nov 14, 2007.

Do you prefer to hunt deer from a stand or the ground?

  1. I prefer deer hunting from a stand.

  2. I prefer deer hunting from the ground.

  1. qajaq

    qajaq New Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Even on your own land you want to check a wooden tree stand before you climb into it. When I taught bow hunter safety in CT we used to warn the participants about two stands that had been sabotaged by either idiots or antis. Which is another good reason for a safety harness.

    And I used to use a stand but now I prefer the ground.
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Yeah, Catfish, treated is the way to go, but not only to make it last longer in the elements, but various critters like to eat or at least chew on non-treated wood....I found that out the hard way when I built my sons "portable" (but in reality too heavy to keep pulling in and out so I ended up leaving it out the whole time.....)stand from regular studs I had laying around. In only two years in the woods the lower legs looked like beavers had been chewing on them, almost all the way through.

    My "modification" was simply to get a treated stud, cut it in half, then bolt it to the ladder sides, which not only raised it from 8 to 10 feet, but stopped the ground critters from gnawing on it....;) Although squirrels would chew on various elevated parts too....

    That stand lasted me over 12 years, and I killed MOST of my deer from it, and my son got his one and only buck from it too....(Location!:p) but each year I always inspected it carefully, and always had my cordless drill, screws, nails, and replacement rungs and braces and floor boards to shore it up.

    My biggest problem actually was floor boards, those would rot out the quickest, and I tried everything from treated boards to plywood, and every year it was a problem...until I modified it again, and simply made a frame, and simply put in new 2 foot section of 2X10 to stand on every other year to be safe.

    I will seriously consider making my floor out of steel grating on my next homemade stand I make out of wood...if only to easier get all the walnut and hedgeapple husks and corn cobs out of it from the squirrels using it as an elevated picnic area....;):)which is PART of the reason the floor rotted so easily....;)

    My only suggestion would be to consider using treated 2x4s nailed or screwed back to back to make your posts, instead of solid 4x4s or 4x6s...they will be structurally stronger, will "give" a little better than a solid post in the breezes since the grain will be "offset," plus the structural integrity of the post will not be dependent upon one "flaw," such as a knot or internal crack, either there when you buy it, or due to temperature and humidity fluctuations....about the only BETTER posts you could use would be telephone poles if you could get them....

    But Gajaq is right, MOST treestand injuries caused by stand failures are from homemade check it thoroughly before you climb it EVERY time...although I suspect many are from the "hilljack" ones with scrap 2x4s spiked to a tree trunk as steps, with a 2x8 laid precariously across two limbs as a platform (I have seen MANY scary ones, and am now pretty ashamed to admit I actually hunted out of a couple, that I did NOT build... when I was younger and more stupid....:cool:) But then again my buddy built a really tall one that was sturdy, and had nice rails, that you could fall asleep in and not fall out....

    When you build one, it is much better to "over-engineer" it than "under.....";)
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2007

  3. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho
    You can trust me on the fact that when I build it I will "over build it." You have seen the pictures of stands that look like a small house on stilts. Well that is what I am thinking of building. We have a WWll vet here that is a Medal of Honor recipient and loves to hunt but does not have the ability to hunt the way he used to due to health reasons. I was thinking that if I built it like a small house with steps up to the stand he could walk up and do some game watching with me. May not shoot anything but he would enjoy the watching anyway. Who knows he may decide to harvest one. Then when Deer season is over I can use the stand to call coyotes. Would not hurt my feelings to draw the coyote population down a lot. We need the coyotes as they are very good at keeping the vermin population down but here and now we have way to many. They are very hard on our fawn population. I am looking at making it 6X6 so as to have room enough for two people and my camera. I am going to make a set of steps up to the platform and maybe if Mr. Baker needs the heat we will install a portable propane heater for him to use. I have a couple of those for the greenhouse already. Hopefully I can get some good photos of my critters that stay here most of the time.
  4. troutwest66

    troutwest66 Member

    Apr 9, 2005
    Post Falls, Idaho
    I prefer to still hunt and play the wind to sneak up on something be it deer or elk. For me it's more satisfying but if I had a stand or knew some good locations I would probably sit at sunrise and walk the middle of the day and come back in the evening perhaps. Problem is my feet get so dang cold if I sit too long and I have to get moving. In Idaho it's hard finding good treestand trees. We don't have the hardwoods like in the midwest, east and south. The pines here are full of branches and tougher to clear out. I've thought long and hard about getting a portable pop up ground blind. That would probably be the best compromise. I could put a small heater in there, have my coffee and stay comfortable.
  5. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    I would love to see the pictures of your overbuilt hunting house, when completed, Catfish83861. I hunted from a ladder stand this season. My uncle had put it up earlier during the end of the summer. It is about 15-20ft off the ground. My uncle wants to add another section to the stand, but I am not sure why. I am assuming so that it would be more difficult for the deer to spot him. I liked the fact that I could see off into the distance much farther than if I were sitting on the ground. However, I agree with Polishshooter by saying that location is the key. I dind't see anything but squirrels and two Piliated Woodpeckers the entire time I was there.
  6. Texman

    Texman New Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Well back when I was running hunts for a company, we made stands in the shop and hauled them out to the ranch.. They were on steel legs, with marine grade plywood floors and plywood walls. There were plexi slider windows in each wall that allowed the shooter to quietly open and put barrel through for a shot.

    personally, I preferred a good stable tree stand over the man made stands, early morning and late evening to watch from, then would get down and track on foot.

    over the years about 50/50 kill rate from both methods. I guess I preferred the ground stalking method

    Don't remember how many stupid hunters shot out the Plexiglases windows because they forgot to open them before they fired.

    both have advantages, and some people are not able to do the stalking required in the woods because of physical issues,, so, both have their uses.

    As far as open tree stands and rain or snow,, I used a good heavy poncho, not the plastics ones, the ones made in Mexico of goat hair,, yea, little heavy when wet,, but still provided warmth even when wet, and stopped the wind.
  7. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    I voted for Ground only because this is a Firearms forum. When I hunt with a rifle I always hunt from the ground.

    However, when I bowhunt I am usually in a tree stand.

  8. I hunt from a stand because I find it to be more exciting because I (think) see more deer. I get to see the deer I spent my hard earned money on bait and a camera and the likes!!Also the stands we build are more like small elevated if I kill, good........if not I had a great time in the solitude of the woods!!For that I hunt a tree stand!

  9. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho
    Hey Bill, Which cameras do you prefer? I am going to put some out this summer and fall. Thanks catfish

  10. I don't remember the name but I will check and get back to you. What I do remember is that there are some cameras that run around 3-400$ and this one is 139$!!

    The reason for not having the name of the camera is not lazyness but my camera is 600+ miles away on the Gaspe coast!!So as soon as I know I'll let you know!!

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  11. Plundering Bill

    Plundering Bill New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    I think often it just depends on the area you are hunting. Where I am, I am in a stand in the woods...lots of tall oak trees dropping acorns and the extra visability range helps. However, when I am watching tree lines across the fields, I am just sitty behind hay bails.

    For me, my first goal is to be a meat hunter. I have a large family (4 sons - used to be that was a small family) and they eat like termites. Heck, not just eat...they graze! Anyway, we take 6-10 deer and 2 - 4 turkeys per year for meat value. I do not hunt for racks, so to say. I adore a good buck, but my primary goal is to fill the freezer first. Couple that with a large garden with 30 different veggies and I do quite well!.

    Where I am in VA, the tag allows 3 bucks and 3 does, limit 2 per day. You can get additional doe stamps at 2 each, as many as you are willing to pay for. I have never needed them since both my older sons have their own tags. By the way, there are a lot of deer and turkey here in VA.
  12. teacherboy

    teacherboy New Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    For bow hunting I hunt out of a tree stand. Gun hunting I start in a ground blind for the first hour then go out still hunting.
  13. senn.15

    senn.15 New Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Attica, Ohio
    I sit in a stand most of the time. I like being able to see more of my surroundings. My stand is at the edge of a woods and grassy area so the height helps me see into the grass.
  14. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I hunt during the bow season as well as firearms and stand hunt 100% during bow season and 80% during firearms.
  15. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Batesville, Arkansas
    I love both, but since having my second back surgery I can no longer draw a compound bow any way except standing I have started to hunt only from a stand. On the ground takes alot more skill, and you learn to get up close and personal. Somehow I just don't think indians hunted from tree stands. LOL
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