Never again experience a ladder tree stand sinking into the ground. There are numerous brands of ladder tree stands for deer hunting. Many of them are constructed of hollow square tubing with no cap on the bottom section to prevent legs from sinking into the ground.
If the ladder stand is erected and put into use, the legs will progressively sink deeper into the ground with each use. When this occurs, it becomes necessary to re-secure it to the tree since the sinking has caused the seat to develop a slant that is very uncomfortable.
There are a number of ways to prevent the legs from sinking into the ground. One approach is to sink both legs into the ground to the depth of the first ladder rung which will provide adequate support to prevent further sinking. This can be difficult due to tree roots or rocks. However, if this approach is successful, you have lost some height of the ladder stand. Another disadvantage, the legs will tend to rust off while in the moist soil, creating a safety hazard.
A simple effective way to prevent the tree stand legs from sinking into the ground is by installing a support base by inserting a flattened length of metal pipe into each leg. This is accomplished as follows:
Cut two 6 inch lengths of 3/4 inch galvanized EMT metal conduit, one for each leg.
Use a hammer or vice to completely flatten five inches of each piece of pipe.
Place the flattened section of pipe in the vice. Using a rigid screw driver or other metal tool, bend the pipe to a 90 degree bend.
Insert the short round end of the metal pipe into the hollow square legs of the ladder tree stand. The flattened section of metal pipe provides a support base for each leg of the ladder.
In the event the round end of the pipe does not fit into the legs of the tree stand, it can be squared up with a few taps of a hammer for an easy fit.
An alternative method to preventing your ladder stand from sinking into the ground. This is accomplished by bolting a 3/4″ EMT metal conduit to each leg of the stand approximately one inch above the ground. This will require drilling of holes in each leg of the ladder stand and each end of the metal conduit. This will allow for well anchored legs and will not allow sinking beyond the pipe.
Each of the above techniques requires approximately the same amount of time and effort. Either technique can be used with confidence while deer hunting from your favorite ladder tree stand. The only sinking feeling you will get is after shooting your deer and realizing you missed.