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Q:
So I built a wooden ladder stand in the spring and after leaving it out and not checking up on it all summer I now realize that squirrels have been chewing away at the stand, it’s still very sturdy and safe. Any ideas as to what I should do to stop these pesky squirrels? (Besides for shoot off a couple when small game season opens up)

Question by scrawford8872. Uploaded on October 07, 2011

Answers (8)

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from country road wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Paint it with a copper napthenate solution such as Coppertox.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Paint it with good old-fashioned mineral oil from the drug store. An old horse packer gave me that tip for keeping mice from chewing up my saddles and other tack. I didn't take very good notes and instead wound up giving my first saddle a very generous coating of cod liver oil. What a dope! I don't know how it would have worked against the mice, but it sure brought in every bear for miles around! Needless to say I sold that saddle (it was a worthless plastic-tree Mexican piece of crap anyway - half a day sitting in that thing left me feeling like I went through a couple of polio epidemics).

The mineral oil really does work. Might suggest heating it up in the microwave though. The stuff will penetrate better if it's warmed up.

Mineral oil is also good for tack because it will wash out of jeans in the laundry as opposed to neetsfoot oil which stains.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

As far as I can tell, mineral oil had no odor. However, I couldn't swear to it. I would be leary of stuff with petroleum based oil. That might take a while before it is outgassed. I think to be on the safe side, since it is so close to hunting season, I'd just forego any treatment for this year and wait till early next summer and then do it.

You also might want to consider building a ladder from untreated western red cedar. They won't chew on that stuff. Perhaps cypress would be a good alternative if you live in the South. Termites won't bother it so I doubt squirrels would either. Good luck.

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from wp wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

There is a product called hot pepper wax that is sold at garden centers that might work. It comes in a spray bottle. There is another called liquid fence, but it can have a terrible sulfur odor. They are both intended to keep animals from eating flowers and shrubs, but I don't see why it wouldn't work on your stand too.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Although building tree stands is fun, and thought to be more affordable, ladder stands and hang-on stands will generally last longer, be safer, are "critter proof" (except for the seat cushions) and are mobile (meaning when the stand location "goes cold" you can easily move the stand to a different location). My recommendation is to drop $100 on a ladder stand at your local sporting goods store. You won't regret the decision.

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from thughes1133 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Go with what Bioguy01 stated - buy the metal ladder stands.
However, if you want to keep your wooden ladder stand beyond a season or 2, stain it with a product calls Sikkens. I wouldn't do it this close to hunting season, but after the season this product will preserve it and make it less palatable to the critters. You can also pick what color you wish to use, I like cedar. I would also recommend you use ceramic coated deck screws, not nails. Good luck.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

OH will mineral oil repel bears off of the wood too. We have problems in the spring when the males are marking their territory chewing up our permanent blinds. I haven't found anything to keep them off yet.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Sarge, I don't know about that. I had one bear raid my stash before I set up for the early elk season but I don't think any tack was left there. I only used it on my tack. Guess you could give it a try. They will chew up cedar I know and that stuff has gotta taste not so good. They'll chew up just about anything at that time of year. The only thing we had success with at Katmai National Park for keeping the grizzly chompers at bay was electrification. But you can't put a fence around everything every week of the year. Especially not up there.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Although building tree stands is fun, and thought to be more affordable, ladder stands and hang-on stands will generally last longer, be safer, are "critter proof" (except for the seat cushions) and are mobile (meaning when the stand location "goes cold" you can easily move the stand to a different location). My recommendation is to drop $100 on a ladder stand at your local sporting goods store. You won't regret the decision.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Paint it with a copper napthenate solution such as Coppertox.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Paint it with good old-fashioned mineral oil from the drug store. An old horse packer gave me that tip for keeping mice from chewing up my saddles and other tack. I didn't take very good notes and instead wound up giving my first saddle a very generous coating of cod liver oil. What a dope! I don't know how it would have worked against the mice, but it sure brought in every bear for miles around! Needless to say I sold that saddle (it was a worthless plastic-tree Mexican piece of crap anyway - half a day sitting in that thing left me feeling like I went through a couple of polio epidemics).

The mineral oil really does work. Might suggest heating it up in the microwave though. The stuff will penetrate better if it's warmed up.

Mineral oil is also good for tack because it will wash out of jeans in the laundry as opposed to neetsfoot oil which stains.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

As far as I can tell, mineral oil had no odor. However, I couldn't swear to it. I would be leary of stuff with petroleum based oil. That might take a while before it is outgassed. I think to be on the safe side, since it is so close to hunting season, I'd just forego any treatment for this year and wait till early next summer and then do it.

You also might want to consider building a ladder from untreated western red cedar. They won't chew on that stuff. Perhaps cypress would be a good alternative if you live in the South. Termites won't bother it so I doubt squirrels would either. Good luck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wp wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

There is a product called hot pepper wax that is sold at garden centers that might work. It comes in a spray bottle. There is another called liquid fence, but it can have a terrible sulfur odor. They are both intended to keep animals from eating flowers and shrubs, but I don't see why it wouldn't work on your stand too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thughes1133 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Go with what Bioguy01 stated - buy the metal ladder stands.
However, if you want to keep your wooden ladder stand beyond a season or 2, stain it with a product calls Sikkens. I wouldn't do it this close to hunting season, but after the season this product will preserve it and make it less palatable to the critters. You can also pick what color you wish to use, I like cedar. I would also recommend you use ceramic coated deck screws, not nails. Good luck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

OH will mineral oil repel bears off of the wood too. We have problems in the spring when the males are marking their territory chewing up our permanent blinds. I haven't found anything to keep them off yet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Sarge, I don't know about that. I had one bear raid my stash before I set up for the early elk season but I don't think any tack was left there. I only used it on my tack. Guess you could give it a try. They will chew up cedar I know and that stuff has gotta taste not so good. They'll chew up just about anything at that time of year. The only thing we had success with at Katmai National Park for keeping the grizzly chompers at bay was electrification. But you can't put a fence around everything every week of the year. Especially not up there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

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