View Full Version : How do you set up a ladder stand?

March 26, 2008, 07:48 PM
I'm going to start deer hunting again next season and I've decided I'd like to hunt from a ladder stand. I will be hunting alone, and therefore setting up my stand alone. How do you set one of these things up? Is it doable alone?

March 26, 2008, 08:28 PM
are you trying to make your own or are you going to buy a packaged one?

my dad made 2 out of wood a few years ago.they are still together chained to trees in his yard. no p/u truck to get them to the woods :mad:.

March 26, 2008, 08:32 PM
I will be buying one.

March 26, 2008, 09:13 PM
It really helps to have 2 people but it is doable alone. If you put it at a good
angle to the tree (platform not flat) you can then tie a rope from the
ladder rung to the tree (for saftey). You can then climp up and put the
belt around the tree lose, and then climb down and wiggle it up until the
platform is flat then climb up and tighten the ratchet strap.
I only hunt from ladders now I feel much safer in them and they are easier
to put up than hangons. I really do not trust climbers and there I few trees
where I live to use them.

March 26, 2008, 10:37 PM
Dave, I've been bow and pistol hunting for deer from tree stands for about 16 years. For first time users, find a one that is the attached ladder to a platform. Practice setting it up in your back yard on various trees to find out how the stand works on different diameters, lean of the tree and working with limbs. What ever you do..get a good harness to wear while in the tree stand. As we age we just do not bounce as good from a 8 to 15 foot fall like when we were 18. Also...practice how you are going to lift your rifle/bow up the tree, never loaded by the way. Here most people use a rope that hangs from the tree stand, they have a camo gun case with a handle that they can haul the rifle up with then tie it to the tree.
You may want to consider that gear you are going to take up with you, water/snacks, book to read, extra gear and how you are going to attach it to your area. ( I have a small pack that I tie to the tree in such a way I can get it with minimal movement) again...practice how your set up in the back yard to see if it may work in the field.
Last....be sure to let someone know where you are going to be. Now and then we have someone lost in the woods or injured if there tree stand fails, fall out or what ever, it pays to have someone know where to look if you do not make it home for dinner.
Yes..I set my stand up alone all of the time, just know what trees work and have a system I have devloped within my skills.

March 26, 2008, 11:05 PM
Most stands come with a safety video.
The biggest problem is with descending from these stands. I double tripple what Dave 45 said, tell some one where/When, and then there is that neat new "Spot Messenger"

This is what can happen when you have no backup. And this was a ladder stand. There is a video of this man telling his story from the hospital. Just click on it.

March 27, 2008, 07:24 AM
Tie two ropes that are the length of the ladder to each side of the foot platform. Raise the ladder to the tree. Take one rope, run it behind the tree and back to the opposite ladder rail and tie off at about eye level. Then do the same with the other rope. The two ropes should "X" behind the tree and should be pulled as tight as possible. Then attach stabilizer bar from ladder to tree and you are ready to climb up and attach strap or chain around tree.
Good luck and be careful!

March 28, 2008, 06:46 AM
I have only been hunting deer for about 10 years. Started on the ground, then climbers(im to clumbsy) then ladder stands and platforms built in trees(4'x6') I use the ladders where the woods are thin. I put mine up by myself. EVERYONE of the above post are good information. But just like shooting, go out back and practice until you have a system. I am 45, I do not bounce like I use to:eek:. So be paitent and careful. I do like the ladder stand with rails, it will give you a good gun rest and somthing to lean on if you decide to take a nap. Admit it guys, that is have the reason for hunting deer:p

March 29, 2008, 11:57 AM
I'd stick to climbers for simplicity and portability. WEAR YOUR SAFETY HARNESS whether you choose a ladder or climber. SAFETY FIRST. After that, everything else comes as a bonus.

July 27, 2011, 01:04 PM
I have always found it easier to have 2 guys setting up a 2-man ladder stand.

I prefer to use climbing sticks or lineman spikes/strap to prepare the tree, by ascending the tree and cutting away any branches, limbs, obstacles PRIOR to erecting the stand.

Here's my assembly checklist:

* Select suitable tree - 9-12" minimum diameter (depends on the tree stand manufacturer recommendations & your common sense).
* Ascend tree & prepare for stand, place a pully & rope onto a suitable branch for lifting the stand
* Level ground with shovel/pick for ladder legs (optional adjustable length ladder extensions and a pair of 6"x6" to 10"x10" steel plate feet will make it more stable)
* Assemble the stand on the ground, connect your rope (the one that's on the block & tackle in the tree). I have a permanent block & tackle rig for my Jeep winch that I use for this - carabiners make clipping it together easier.
* Hoist the trees stand upright with the rope/block & tackle, tie off the hoist rope as added safety.
* Tie off any ladder retention straps & support bars.
* Climb ladder & tie off any platform to tree straps
* Assemble any blind/shade enclosure and accessories (bags, hanging hooks, bars, etc.)
* I use the block & tackle to hoist up our gear (use a large duffel bag) (if hunting for just a few day, I'll leave the block & tackle in place for the tear down).
* Hoist your UNLOADED gun into the stand (I raise our guns in a gun rug to prevent banging them up)
* Aim straight and true.

I find 2 man stands a little too crowded for 2 grown adults, but they are perfect for someone wanting more room for themselves or are hunting with a Jr. hunter/spouse.

The cost difference between most of the stands are determined by the foot plate area, the back, railing, etc. I prefer one with a full foot area, solid back rest, and complete railing. It makes Jr. hunters feel more secure and prevents a lot of dropped gear.

Pre-assemble paracords with plastic carabiners (they don't make noise on the metal stand) to attach your gear to the side railings (binoculars, lunch pail, pee bottle, cup holder, thermos, etc.) to prevent dropped gear. Cut the cords to length & tie a permanent loop in each end, slip loop one end on the rail & clip the other to your gear. Plastic carabiners are commonly found as key chains at your local hardware/thrift store.

I have installed a single vertical rifle rack/mount/holder on each side of my stand (G-Lox Model #06533). The base holder is mounted to the platform and keeps the rifle in place & ready for use. The upper bracket is mounted to the side railing. A small bungie cord on the top bracket is quieter that the factory metal clip.


* When hunting with Jr. Hunters, stretch bungie cords around the sides & back about 6-8" above the foot platform to keep gear from accidentally being kicked off the platform. Another great argument for a using a blind/enclosure around your stand.
* To prolong the life of your stand & to silence metal to metal contact, consider spraying it with a quality rubberized automotive undercoating. At a minimum spray the foot platform. I like it on the ladder too as it improves my grip & traction when it's wet!

My favorite 2-man ladder stands are (7/2011):

* River's Edge Double Action Extreme 15' Ladder Stand #RE613 ($150 on EBay incls. S&H)
* Guide Gear 17.5' Double 2-Man Ladder Tree Stand (Sportsman's Guide #GID-177435 - $140 + S&H)

Both are well-built & sturdy stands, have large foot platforms that extend under the bench (store more gear), have solid padded backs, and have flip up shooting rails for archers. Jr. hunters like using the railing as a gun rest. The railings are also great support for a blind enclosure.

2-man ladder stands are tough for a single hunter to set up, but with practice it can be done safely. They provide a large comfortable platform to hunt from for hours! I've even been known to catch a cat nap in them.


July 27, 2011, 02:44 PM
Truck winch, snatch block and a climber, assemble stand components on the ground and hoist it up. Com-A-Long works too, its just slower.

July 27, 2011, 06:42 PM
I hate climbing up and sitting on those wobbly, little platforms. Even with a harness it scares the -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- out of me and then when the wind blows and the tree sways I can not imagine how you would hold on a deer. Here is my new stand and it's on the top of a hill in an oak woods.

Or get one of these...


July 27, 2011, 06:50 PM
Just a reminder of what can happen when you mess up:


Be Careful, use commercially manufactured stands in good repair, and use a harness!

July 27, 2011, 09:33 PM
Can't stress enough about using a good safety harness.

There are cheap ones that will leave you dangling by your waist which the sudden stop tends to be hard on,if not break your back.

The kind I prefer, slips on like a vest and your lifeline hooks in the upper back.

I get a reminder of how valuable a good safety harness is every year at spring turkey season. I let a young man(now 23yrs. old) turkey hunt on my property thats bound to an electric wheelchair, crippled from the waist down from a fall out of a tree stand when he was about 13-14.

He's very limited as to where he can go but usually kills a turkey every year which puts a smile on his face.:D

July 29, 2011, 03:59 PM
I didn't have time to read all the other posts but I just learned this trick this past weekend.

Put your ladder stand up against the tree.

get it all set and adjust the stabilizer bar that goes from the ladder to the tree.

Put the hook of a ratchet strap on one of the ladder cross bars and run the strap around the tree and hook the other end onto the ladder. (you want to put it on a step that is about 6 feet off the ground.

Tighten the ratchet strap up good and snug which will pull the stabilizer bar to the tree.

Check to make sure the stand doesn't move much

Now climb up and attach the top ratchet strap.

My friend and I did it this weekend (he showed me the trick) and we are both pretty big guys. Never felt so safe climbing the ladder to attach the top straps.

August 5, 2011, 11:24 PM
Just a reminder. Never, never, never pull a loaded gun up to your stand. Always, always only load it after you pull it up. I hunt from ladder stands with regular gun, muzzleloader, and crossbow. I don't load my .30-06 until I have it safely in the stand. I load the powder and bullet in my muzzleloader on the ground but don't put a primer on it till after I pull it up. I cock my crossbow on the ground but don't load a bolt (arrow) in till after pulling it up.

I used to go to church with a fellow who was pulling his loaded rifle up to his stand. It went off and shot him in the hand. At that he was fortunate, it could have been his head.

August 6, 2011, 12:30 AM
I like to find three trees growing together and I lean the ladder stand between two of the trees and against the third. This puts the platform in the middle of the group. Then a little below chest height (when in the treestand) I tie a rope to the back tree, stretch it tight to the 2nd tree and wrap it around twice, stretch it to the third and wrap it twice, then stretch it back to the first and tie it off. The result is a nice shooting rail and a little added security. And if you really want to go nuts you can zip tie some burlap to the rope and make a skirt that will help hide your movements.

August 7, 2011, 05:33 PM
I set my leaner up by myself eery season. Here it is short and sweet. Go to the store and buy a leaner stand. Assemble it, stand it up and lean it against your tree of choice. Put a ratchet strap towards the top and one a little lower then half way down and you're all set. If you don't want to climb the stand with a bow or riffle, take a long enough string and tie it to the top of your stand and on the bottom some of the string put a clip and clip your choice of weapon to the string and pull it up. Load it and you're ready to roll.