Hunting, for us, is a way of spending quality time with friends and family and preserving our heritage.
A Deer Stand, Converted to Make it Silent and Comfortable
Is your tree stand seat rotten, wet, or half-eaten by squirrels? We've come up with a low-cost, lightweight, comfortable seat that works on most climbers.
No more lugging a heavy stand on your back, and no more loud bangs if you accidentally bump your stand.
No more taking it out of the woods every day to keep it dry, no more squirrels chewing your cushion, no more noisy material making a racket every time you shift your position, and no more spending $30-$85 for a seat replacement.
And no more facing one direction in your stand; you can change this stand so you can face the tree or away.
How We Started Replacing the Seats on our Tree Stands With Netting
There was a corner of a field where we kept seeing a ton of deer, and the only stands left at camp were some old lock-ons with no seats left. Because the cushions on our tree stands were often wet or half-destroyed by squirrels, we had the idea of making a seat out of netting, until we could order more cushions. Dewey had an old tennis net he got from a condo he worked at. We tried cutting the netting to fit the stand. We wrapped it around the stand and used some cable ties to hold it together. Much to our surprise, the net was more comfortable and much quieter than the old seat, and that stand became an instant success.
After sitting in that stand, I decided that since the seat in my own climber was shot, I'd try replacing that seat with netting as well. Again I was pleasantly surprised when using the improved seat; my stand was lighter in weight, easier to carry, and quieter to sit in. Also, I found that when I took the netting that was looped around the rails and tied it to itself, it would slide on the rails. This allowed me to convert a stand that had to face away from the tree to one that could face the tree if I wanted it to.
Since then, we don't even put the new cushions on when we buy a new stand. We just go ahead and fit the stands with netting.
What You'll Need
What you'll need to repace your deer stand seat:
- 24" x 36" 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" #36 nylon netting (rated at 380 lbs). I found this online for just 50 cents a square foot.
- 20 8" (20.32 cm) cable ties for outdoor use (rated at 75 lbs)
- A pair of cutters to cut the nylon netting and cable ties
Replacing Your Tree Stand Seat
Following the pictures below, start by tying the first side of your stand, making a tight loop around the rail and tying the nylon to itself. Use 5-6 ties per side, tying the first side completely.
Before cutting your netting, lets adjust the seat for comfort. With your stand attached to a tree put a couple temporary cable ties on, sit in your stand, and decide if you want to sit higher or lower.
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Once you've found your spot for the seat, go ahead and tie off that side same as the first. Then cut the netting so that it's a nice clean look.
Extra Tip: How to Make Your Deer Climber Quiet
Most stands are made of hollow metal which lets out a ringing noise if you hit it by accident. So I fill the holes in the stand with foam to muffle that noise. Also, the foam adds almost no weight to the stand.
Start by taking off any cushions or extra stuff you don't need. Then take a can of spray foam like you use around the windows or doors of your house. Fill any hole in the stand's metal frame that doesn't effect the function of the stand. If you accidentally fill the wrong holes, don't worry, a little acetone poured into those holes will dissolve any unwanted foam. Filling these holes will help muffle any noise if you hit the metal with something by accident.
Putting on the Finishing Touches
Once I've converted the seats on my tree stands, and added some foam inside them, I add some extra camo paint. The stand in the picture above doesn't have much on it because I wanted to match the woods I'll be hunting in.
Also you'll notice that the side rails and shooting rails have no cushions or foam pads. That is because I like using electrical rubber tape: it's less noisy, it doesn't get wet, and the squirrels don't eat it. When I took the pics I was out of tape, but it's just regular electrical rubber splicing tape. Now you're ready for hunting trophy bucks in the back woods.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
joe schmo on August 20, 2015:
maybe I should go to dicks sporting goods and buy a tennis net huh
Sam the man on October 06, 2013:
I just found out you fellas are geniuses. Thanks for the info, i have been pulling my hair out. Looking for a replacement seat
tphipps on October 27, 2012:
I am very impressed with your info on the replacement seat for a climbing stand. It was a great idea. The seat material and straps in my stand were weathered and rotted. I had been looking for ideas to replace it for some time now. I didn't want to spend much money but thought I was going to have no other option but to buy from a manufacturer.
I read your article and picked up some high quality netting from a batting cage. I followed your directions step by step and it worked just as you said it did for you. I used as many cable ties as I could to keep it secure and keep the netting tight, because I figured after time the netting would loosen up some.
I am very glad I found your article. I put about $6.00 in the whold project. I also got enough net that I doubled the netting across for extra stability and comfort. Thanks again!