How to Build the Best Possible Shack in the Woods

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Part of the challenge of deer and other game hunting is concealing your natural scents, sounds, and movements from the animals themselves. Deer have especially keen senses and can discover you based off of the smallest mistake on your part. To try to lessen the impact of your natural signals, many hunters and hunt clubs like to learn how build a shack in the woods.

Shooting shacks will do a lot to conceal many of the natural signals you give off to your prey, and that can go a long way towards helping you finally shoot that 12-pointer you’ve always wanted! It’s simple enough to create a shack in the woods, and even if you have limited building skills you should be able to do it by yourself.

Types of Shooting Shacks

There are a large variety of shacks that can be built, depending on what you need. You can make a raised shack on a platform, a small shack that sits directly at ground level, a portable shack that can be removed at any time, and buildings of all different sizes. Your needs may be different depending on your hunting situation. Private land owners have the easiest decision, but if you hunt on public property you may need to look for a different solution than those with private hunting grounds.

Tips for Sturdy Outdoor Building

Whether you have any building experience or not, here are a few tips to help you build the best outdoor shooting shack you can:

  • Use pressure-treated lumber for all the supporting beams of a raised platform as well as for the framing.
  • Use strong outdoor preservatives to keep the wood protected from the elements.
  • Building with screws to facilitate easy setup and takedown of the structure when necessary.
  • Water-proofing materials help to keep the shack useful year-round

Permanence of the Shack

Your particular situation is what really matters for a shooting shack. You may need something that you can put up for a short hunting trip and remove to take with you to your next spot or to store until next year. Some hunting clubs require members to build a permanent shack in a specific patch of land, which can also be accomplished fairly easily with the right plans.

Keep in mind that portability is great when you need to move around, but it can make the shack less effective. If a structure sits in the woods for a few weeks, the wildlife around the area will get used to it and will not be bothered by coming close to it anymore. However, new structures and unfamiliar buildings can deter deer and other game, as they will not be used to seeing it around their neck of the woods and might fear it.

Tools and Skills Needed

For the most part, the only tools you need are simple building tools that most people will have already in their workshop or toolbox. A sturdy hammer, a decent wood saw, a drill, and a screwdriver can get most simple shacks built, although the job will be easier with more advanced equipment. Measuring tapes, levels, power saws, and impact drivers will make the job quicker, but don’t worry if you don’t have these tools available to you.

You will not need any real woodworking skills to learn how to build a shack in the woods, unless you are looking at a more complex design. However, most of the simple shacks can be built by beginners and will be perfectly sturdy for hunting in the woods.

Plans for How to Build a Shack in the Woods

Coming up with a design for a shooting shack on your own is a bit difficult if you don’t have the creativity or skill of a professional woodworker or builder. But, that doesn’t have to stop you because there are many different plans available for free online from people like you who managed to build a shooting shack for themselves or their hunting clubs.

One of the simplest shack designs for beginners is this design:Simple Shooting Shack

Simple Shooting Shack

The shacks listed here range from simple to complex, so you can make a choice based on what you can actually hope to accomplish. A few of these plans are for simple deer stands, which may or may not be what you really need:

Plans for Shooting Shacks and Deer Stands

Here is a complex plan for a sturdy, permanent raised platform stand:

Raised Platform Stand


Having a good shooting shack can help you score the best game possible by shielding you from the elements and also keeping you better concealed from your target animals. Choose the plans that are right for you and get started learning how to build a shack in the woods, no matter what you skill is like in woodworking or building.