[1] Place a simple ladder stand against your chosen tree. Adjust the stand so that the most likely shooting opportunities will be between the kid’s 10 and 12 o’clock positions (12 and 2 o’clock for a left-hander).

[2] Once the stand is secure, use a rope to haul up a strap-on stand. Secure it about 1 foot above the ladder’s platform at 2 o’clock (10 o’clock if you’re with a left-handed shooter). This gives the mentor the same “over the shoulder” view sought by TV videographers. He’ll be able to whisper instructions into the shooter’s ear without either person having to turn his head or shift his gaze.


Any 12- to 15-foot ladder stand will do, but using one with a shooting rail will help a kid take careful aim and lessen any fear of falling. Be sure that the rungs of the ladder are not too far apart for pint-size legs.