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My buddy left his ladder stand up last winter and the critters ate the padded seat and backrest. The straps were fine. I lift one of my hang ons and ladder stand up this fall. Took all the padding off so we shall see come May when I can get to them to see how they held up. My only worry is the 5’+ of snow that will pile up on them this winter.
 

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My ladder stand had the seat and top rail chewed up.
The straps were untouched.
 
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Been there done that on having varmints eat up seat cushions. I take mine down every trip before I head back to Texas, and I’m still using the original ones that came with the stands in 2004+/-.

If I know that I’ll be back up in a couple or three weeks, I will leave the camo skirts on the ladder stands, but if I don’t know when I’ll be back, I take them down too. For whatever reason, I’ve never had varmints bother my skirts, but I’ve had them get torn off by high wind.
 

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I have a hand rail around my buddy stand that I cover in foam pipe insulation to make it softer when I want to lay my head down and take a nap.
The koons rip it off pretty quick along with the pad for sitting on.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about squirrels chewing straps. There's a bumper crop of squirrels on the public spot I hunt and there are old stands that have been in there so long the straps are choking the trees to death, squirrels haven't touched them. I've taken a few of them down and when cutting the straps they pop as loud as a .22lr because the tree grew into the strap for so long. I'd bet 5-10 years for some of the stands. Would I hunt from them, hell no, but the squirrels didn't do anything to them.

Not to hijack, but I'm actually going to perform a public service in my spot and go in there after the 2 week deadline to get their SH** out of there and I'm pulling every single stand that I can. There's hang ons, climbers, and ladder stands the trees have grown into they've been there so long and it's just killing the trees. If they are there after the deadline with no name and info on them, as required by the regs, as far as I'm concerned it's trash and I'm pulling them out of there. Probably will take them all to the dump.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about squirrels chewing straps. There's a bumper crop of squirrels on the public spot I hunt and there are old stands that have been in there so long the straps are choking the trees to death, squirrels haven't touched them. I've taken a few of them down and when cutting the straps they pop as loud as a .22lr because the tree grew into the strap for so long. I'd bet 5-10 years for some of the stands. Would I hunt from them, hell no, but the squirrels didn't do anything to them.

Not to hijack, but I'm actually going to perform a public service in my spot and go in there after the 2 week deadline to get their SH** out of there and I'm pulling every single stand that I can. There's hang ons, climbers, and ladder stands the trees have grown into they've been there so long and it's just killing the trees. If they are there after the deadline with no name and info on them, as required by the regs, as far as I'm concerned, it's trash and I'm pulling them out of there. Probably will take them all to the dump.
Reminds me of Kaw Lake. When it floods, I like to kayak among the trees and hang droplines. Amazing how many old stands I come across. Many are really old with the tree bark growing over them.
 
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