Tips on how to build a Deer Stand that’s Family Friendly
Hunting is an activity that is easy to pass down to future generations. Most hunters learn the ropes from the older members of their families. Time shared in the woods often times will be the most cherished memories from childhood. One way to share the outdoor experience is to build a family friendly deer stand so that even young children can be included on deer hunts.
Special considerations must be kept in mind when preparing to bring the youngsters along for the hunt. Children can have a tough time sitting still for extended periods of time. They need to go to the bathroom much more often than adults, they tend to drop items at frequent rate, and their attention span is quite short at times. Some added modifications to an existing deer stand or a new stand can help counteract some of these issues and ensure a successful hunt for the whole family.
Size and Location
1. Size – The size will vary depending on how many people are being planned for. For an adult and two children an 8’x4’ stand is more than adequate for everyone to have room to move around and not feel cramped. This size lends itself well to the available construction materials such as studs and plywood.
2. Concealment – A good stand is always located to look natural and blend in with the environment. If you hunt where there are lots of trees and brush, consider not putting windows in the back side of the stand and placing the stand with the back against the trees with plenty of brush on each side. This will help break up the larger stand’s outline and make it look like it is just part of a large tree system.
3. Location– If you are planning to allow the kids to shoot, the stand should be placed closer to the potential target site whether that is a trail or a feeder. Adults can typically make a shot with deer rifle up to 200 yards away with relative ease. Younger children will need to be about 100 yards away in order to ensure success.
1. Smaller – Deer really keen in on movement. When the windows are smaller there is less chance that deer will see the movement that is happening inside the stand.
2. Multi-Level– Consider building one set of windows for the adults and another set for the kids. The kids’ windows can be smaller and spaced further apart. This will also help reduce the amount of movement spotted from outside the stand.
1. Bench Seating – One of the easiest and most effective ways to provide seating in the stand is to build a bench along the back wall using 2×4’s. This is an economic way to provide a lot of seating that will always be in the stand. Stadium seat cushions can be added for some extra comfort.
2. Avoid Office Chairs – A lot of stands intended for adults utilize office chairs or lawn chairs for seating options. This is great for those stands but don’t work as well for a family stand. The chairs take up a lot of space and can become quite noisy if a kid is bouncing around in it during a long hunt.
1. Carpet – Carpeting the bottom of the stand will help dampen noises from dropped objects and shuffling feet.
2. Bathroom – Consider a possible bathroom area near the stand that can be concealed from view from surrounding area. Discuss this location with the kids prior to entering the stand.
3. Heating – Add a small propane heater to the stand to help keep the kids comfortable during cold morning hunts.
Sharing the outdoors with children can be very rewarding. The best experiences typically occur when there is success in finding the quarry that is sought. If you enjoy deer hunting and would like to bring the kids along, consider using some of these tips to construct a family friendly deer stand and ensure an enjoyable hunt for everyone.