When building your shooting house, there are several things to consider including size, construction, materials, and placement.
If you plan to hunt alone with a rifle or shotgun, the ideal size for a shooting house is 4×4′. This allows easy transport of the house and possible erection on site in a day by you and a friend. If you plan on hunting with two people, perhaps a child or spouse, you need to lean more towards a 4×6 or 6×6 sized house. One benefit of these larger houses is that it enables a single hunter more room to move if Bowhunting, and additional space for heaters or coolers, etc. A downside of these larger houses is they are heavy, often over 400-pounds, and require 3-4 people to set up safely. Most utility trailers will accommodate a 6-foot wide house at the maximum so keep that in mind.
Some hunters go for a palace or mansion in the woods that are much more elaborate, expensive, and need to be site-built.
The most common building material for Mississippi shooting houses is plywood or OSB (particleboard) because the sheets are easy to work with and durable for a few years if treated properly. The downside of this material is that its heavy and high grades can become expensive on larger houses. In addition, these wafer type press woods can often hold scents for a long time.
One easy alternative for lighter and cheaper walls is to use Coroplast corrugated plastic sheeting as a building material. Real estate signs are made from the same vinyl honeycomb board. It is lighter than plywood or particle board, its water proof, can be painted or camouflaged, comes in various colors, won’t rot, can be cut with a knife or clippers, can be folded, and is available in 4’x8′ sheets for about $10. Unlike wood products that needs to be treated extensively to last more than a single season, this stuff will be around long after we are all gone. Sometimes you have to buy this stuff in a ten-pack but that gives you extra for other projects and room for mistakes.
Rough plywood floors are pretty standard, but smart hunters insulate the walking surface with carpets, throw rugs, or egg crate foam to keep from having the stamping and moving around of boots spook your deer. Be sure to use a scent blocker on these fabrics as best you can to help avoid unwanted smells being picked up. Traditional glass windows are sometimes seen, but Plexiglas or no windows at all are often better as well as saving weight.
Construction and set up
There are numerous plans available online or you can make your own. The primary focus needs to be on choosing a design that you can be comfortable inside and allows you good maneuverability to sit and wait for hours with a rifle, shotgun, or bow. Once you have your design and materials, start with the basic framework, and then add your flooring, braces, and steps. Your next step in adding the studs and window frames then finally your walls, roofing and door. Be sure to wrap the sill of your window during the installation process in foam, rubber, or carpet, so that you have a quiet and safe rest for your rifle or shotgun if you prop it up there while in use. A final step is painting.
After you move your shooting house to the location, be sure it is stable and mounted on blocks or pads. Camouflage the building with foliage, netting, and additional paint as needed.
No matter what you build, odds are it’s nicer than leaning on a tree trunk.