How To Build A Ladder Stand For Deer Hunting

Though readily available for purchase, learning how to build a ladder stand for deer hunting can save a great deal of money and allow the ladder stand to be customized for the deer hunting area. Ladder stands allow deer hunters to be elevated above the ground, gaining better visibility of the surrounding deer as well as staying out of sight from the deer as well. Building a deer hunting ladder stand takes a bit of simple carpentry skills, a few hours and good planning.

To build a ladder stand for deer hunting, you will need:

  • Large tree, at least two feet in diameter
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Four 12-foot two-by-four treated lumber boards 
  • 30 three-inch wood screws
  • Drill with screwdriver bits and sockets
  • One three-foot square treated plywood sheet
  • Twelve two-inch wood screws
  • Two corner brackets
  • Four six-inch bolts
  • Paint

Process to build a ladder stand for deer hunting:

  1. Plan the ladder stand. Before creating the ladder stand, it's important to find a good place in which it will be used. Within the area you wish to deer hunt, find a large, stable tree to attach the ladder stand. Keep in mind that the ladder stand will be about twelve feet in height, so find a tree that will accommodate that size. Trim lower branches from the tree to allow room for the ladder stand. Reserve the trimmed branches to use as camouflage for the ladder stand.
  2. Cut the lumber for the ladder. Use the measuring tape and pen or pencil to mark one two-by-four lumber board into six two-foot sections. These pieces will act as it steps for the ladder. 
  3.  Lay out the ladder. Working in a large space, place two two-by-four boards parallel on the ground or large surface. Make sure the four-inch sides are facing one another, with the boards laying on the two-inch sides.  Starting at one end, measure and mark the boards in eighteen-inch increments to signify where the steps will be placed. At each mark, place one of the two-foot boards between the two parallel boards, again with the two-inch side towards the ground.  
  4. Assemble the ladder.  Screw the pieces together using four three-inch wood screws on each ladder step, two on each side. Use the drill to drive the screws from the outside of the ladder inwards to attach the steps.
  5. Plan out the landing.  As you'll need somewhere to sit atop the ladder stand, creating a landing is an important step to building a ladder stand for deer hunting. Typically a three-foot square landing is sufficient.  
  6. Cut and assemble the lumber for the landing. Cut the last two-by-four board into four equal three-foot sections. Arrange them into a square and attach each corner using two three-inch wood screws. Place the three-foot square sheet of plywood over the square and attach using eight equally spaced two-inch wood screws.
  7. Connect the ladder to the landing. Using two corner brackets, attach the landing to the top of the ladder forming a 90-degree angle. Place the corner brackets between the ladder and landing. Connect the corner brackets to both the ladder and landing, using four two-inch wood screws.
  8. Attach the ladder stand to the tree. Put the ladder stand into place leaning up against the tree you chose previously. Attach the ladder stand to the tree using the four six-inch bolts, drilling them through the landing frame into the tree using the drill and sockets.  
  9. Inspect the completed ladder stand.  Before attempting to climb the deer hunting ladder stand, thoroughly inspect the final product for safety. Make sure it is safe enough to support your weight and sufficiently attached to the tree before attempting to use it. 
  10. Camouflage the ladder stand. Use the paint and reserved tree branches to camouflage the ladder stand so it fits in with the rest of the area. Deer will notice the addition of the ladder stand so making it blend in with the surroundings as best as possible will lead to best results.
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