Has anyone built a tree stand or tower for their 3D course? I am concerned about the safety and liablilty issue of a tree stand and a tower doesn't really simulate it properly. Wondering what you all have tried.
Years ago, before the liability fear/craze started, it was fairly common to see platforms built in trees along the course. Of course this was in the days of the infamous Baker stand, so home-built platforms were far safer ;-)
If terrain allows, better to set a few steep down-hill shots. I would be very leery of allowing shooters to climb any stand.
All that being said, a large, solid ladder stand, at modest height, might be okay IF all safety precautions are taken. (Rails etc.) I suspect the clubs insurer would have kittens if they knew!
One alternative is to set a simple hanging stand one foot off the ground. It doesn't simulate the height, just the foot placement, which can make shooters over-think. ;-)
Another alternative is to set a hunting chair behind a low mesh camo net or otherwise simulate a blind.
One I shot had a long downhill with a treestand on the top maybe 2" off the ground. So the platform and angle was right but falling danger near zero.
Instructions were that you had to shoot from the stand. It was setup for either left or right handed shooters.
I like Grantmac's solution if you have a big downhill shot to take advantage of. If you do not, and really want folks up in a tree, then why not put the shooters in a harness and setup a top belay? There are always insurance issues to look at, but it may skate by. The question is whether you can without having climbing certifications.
Bottlenecks come from 'walk-back' targets. I always try to have people walk away at 90-100 degrees away from the shooting lane to clear for the next shooters. Have to clear more trail and it takes more room, but smoother.
My club has a couple of towers constructed of warehouse racking set on concrete pilings. Nice and sturdy but we do not use them during 3d shoots open to the public. Elevated stands do tend to create a bottleneck on the course and then there are the liability concerns.