Any respected and dedicated hunter knows that a hunting chair can really make the difference to the whole hunting experience. A good, portable, lightweight, scentless, comfortable, easy to pack/use hunting chair is going to give you speed and help you preserve your energy for hunting.
The market is full of options, but can you make a hunting chair from scratch?
The materials you need
Needless to say, it’s easier to buy a hunting chair. However, most of the hunting chairs out there come with tubular aluminum legs, but they’re not very quiet. Tubular aluminum legs are rather a noise and may startle the whitetail.
Here’s what you’re going to need for making a hunting chair for your whitetail hunting:
- 1 — 1″ (3/4″ finished) x 10″ straight-grain hardwood board 36″ long
- 4 pop-rivets with washers
- 2 — 1 1/4″ bolts 2″ long
- 9 — flat washers
- 33 — 1-1/4″ flathead woodscrews
- 8 — 1 1/2″ flathead woodscrews
- 2 — 3/4″ flathead woodscrews
- 2 — 1/4″ self-locking nuts
- 8 feet — 1″ wide black nylon belting. You may use wider webbing instead. You can find webbing that is 1-1/2” or even 2” on the internets
- 1 1/2 yards of soft camouflage fabric (for seat and packsack)
- 2 — 1″ D-rings
- 26″ — Black nylon cord (drawstring)
- Flat camouflage paints
- Fabric cement
What are the steps to take?
As you need to be meticulous about it, here’s what you need to do:
Cut five 36” long pieces and 1-1/2” wide from the 1×10” board. You should have the following lengths:
- 1 cross piece- 11-1/2”
- 2 cross pieces- 14-1/2”
- 3 cross pieces- 13”
- 4 legs- 20-1/2”
You also need to cut ¾”x 1-1/2” notches in one end of the 20-1/2” legs. Sand the rough edges a bit. You shouldn’t overdo it though as rough surfaces don’t reflect light as much as the smooth surfaces do.
Work precisely when drilling and counter skin holes for 1-1/4” screws. Continue with gluing and screwing cross-pieced to legs.
The wider set of legs should have 14-1/2” long upper, but lower cross-pieces. You need 13” lower cross-piece for the inner set of legs, and 11” for the upper cross-pieced.
Attach the 11” cross-piece with 1-1/2” screws.
You need to drill holes for the screws, attaching the upper-back pieces (they should be 13” long for both sets of legs). You shouldn’t use glue.
Insert the ¼” bolts in the ¼” drilled holes in the center of the legs. Insert also the washers and the self-locking nuts. Every bolt is going to have 3 washers (one on the inside, one between the legs and one on the outside). Remember to lubricate the bolts with Vaseline when you’re done with the stool.
Cut off the inner corners of the lower ends of the legs with a saw. The cross pieces should be off the ground. This is going to ensure stability when placing the stool on uneven ground.
The plane saw or sand down the inner edges of upper cross-pieces. This is going to provide comfort. Never skip this part. On the right legs, the notches should be on the bottom, whereas the left side should have them on the top. You may have notches on the top on both sides.
Use the camouflage paint for coating the chair a couple of times. olive and brown are the best options.
Fold a camouflage fabric (20”x18”) and join the overlapping 1” seam with fabric cement. It’s going to take 20 minutes or so for drying. Your seat should be 13”x18” in size.
You need to add fabric cement to the ends. You’re going to continue with screwing the fabric to place with 7 or 8 -1 ¼” screws. You don’t want the fabric to slip whenever weight is applied. You should wait a couple of days until actually sitting on the stool. It has to dry completely.
Get a 6ft length of 1″ nylon belt in the center, attaching it to your stool. Use 1-1/4 flat head wood screw and flat washer. It’s better to use a punch and not a drill for making a hole through the belting. (you want to avoid fraying).
Place the folded stool on your back and the straps over your shoulders. Put your hunting jacket when trying it on. You need to mark each strap where it meets the bottom of every leg of your stool. Cut every strap, melting the cut edges. Fold around an inch underneath, attaching the ends to the stool with ¾” screws and the flat washers.
You continue with cutting the camouflage fabric for the packsack. The largest piece is going to give you the front, the back, and sides (36″x19″). The smallest one (7″x12″) is going to be the smallest one. The remaining piece (12″x19″) is for the top flat. The corners should be rounded at one end.
Sew the fabric together and leave a wide hem with a bottom hole opening in front. Make it at the top of the bag so that you create a tube for the drawstring. Sew the top flap to the center of the back of the bag after hemming the edges. Do it 4” below the top edge.
Thread the nylon cord (26” long) through the top tube and use a cinch knot for tieing the ends. Use a match for burning the ends (you don’t want any fraying). You may also add a clip to the cord for keeping the bag really closed.
Use a silent double D-ring closure for securing the top flat to the front of the bag. Use folded 6” length of belting for attaching the D-rings. You need to cement and rivet them in place. The lower strap is going to be cemented and riveted to the 3” part of belting, right on the inside of the bag.
Attach the bad to the stool. You need to screw to place the 10-1/2” piece of wooden molding (1” widex1/4” thick). Use 4-1 ¼” screws inside the bag.
Go with some camouflage paint over the little details. Your portable hunting chair for whitetail hunting is ready to go after a couple of weeks of backyard weathering!