Dennis Anderson: The deer stand of their dreams

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2011 - 1:21 AM

Some hunters insist on discomfort. Chuck and Dave Kannegaard rejected it in a big way.


he first two stories of a “deer stand’’ that Dave Kannegaard (shown) and his son, Chuck, built are enclosed. The third is open and is used more often for bow hunting.

Photo: Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Builders build. Which might be as good an explanation as any for the three-story Dream Deer Stand that Chuck Kannegaard and his dad, Dave, constructed recently on Chuck's property just north of the Twin Cities.

"My dad and I have been building deer stands all my life,'' Chuck said. "Over the years, we've built stands on property owned by friends who let us hunt their land. Then, eventually, the land was sold or handed down, and we had to find new places to hunt.

"Six months ago, I finally bought a place of my own, a home with 17 acres. So my dad and I thought we'd build another stand, and make this one nice.''

Chuck, 40, grew up in St. Paul and learned to hunt there.

"It was very strange,'' he said. "I learned by hunting squirrels in a neighborhood park. Squirrels and rabbits. It was illegal, I suppose. But I was a kid, and that's how it was.

"Now, anything I can hunt in Minnesota, I hunt.''

The owner of a roofing and construction business, Chuck often brings his dad along to jobs "to get him out of his apartment.''

But when the deer stand idea came along, Dave instead commuted to Chuck's exurban home and 17 acres to put in a day's hammer-swinging.

"I kind of made things up on this deer stand as I went along,'' Dave, 65, said the other day. "As you can see, I had to wrap the steps leading to the second story and the steps leading to the third story around a tree. We didn't want to cut the tree down.''

Name the deer-stand type, and Chuck and Dave have stood in it at one time or another.

Portables? "Yes.''

Ladder stands? "Those, too.''

"Years ago, we used 4x4s sunk in the ground to hold up the first bigger, free-standing stands we built,'' Chuck said. "But over time, they'd tip over.

"Then we started to angle the 4x4s into the ground, and supporting them with wires. That worked pretty well.

"But this big one is anchored with 6x6s. We didn't have to angle them. There's no way it'll blow over.''

Sitting on cement blocks, the Kannegaards' Dream Stand rises 7 feet, then another 7 feet, with both levels enclosed. Its outside dimensions are 8x8 feet, and three windows adorn each floor, allowing the father-and-son duo to seal themselves off from the elements -- or not.

"The windows open easily for shooting,'' Chuck said.

Tongue-and-groove pine covers the stand's interior walls, and cushy office-style swivel chairs on each floor allow the hunters to see in nearly all directions.

Unlike the first two floors, the stand's top floor is open to the weather, with a railing high enough to prevent falls but low enough to allow an archer to draw back a bow.

"The top floor is for bow hunting,'' Dave said.

And, yes, the stand is wired.

How else to plug in electric heaters?

• • •

Being comfortable while hunting is a notion some who are attracted to the sport find uncomfortable.

As with great painters or other artists, suffering is often considered a prerequisite for success in the field. The late-season waterfowler who squints through driving snow, for instance, anticipating a fresh flight of November birds, relishes -- at least in retrospect -- the prospect of taking home a limit under such harsh conditions.

Similarly, the modern deer hunter who pursues his quarry with a musket in December in well-below-zero temperatures seems somehow more satisfied when success comes than does the hunter who by happenstance fells a trophy buck within the first few minutes of the season.

I found these comments online the other day:

I'm not sure, but it only seems fitting that there is some level of discomfort (wet socks, cold, rain, etc.) while hunting...pretty sure its good luck.

And ...

Good luck or just a reminder of why most people don't do it...either way, a little damp discomfort is a good sign that you're still breathing.

Fair enough ...

Except that few hunters as the years pass reject in favor of a tent the rejuvenating benefits of a warm shack in which to put up their feet at midday, or sleep at night

Fewer still refuse an offer during a frigid hunt of a hot meal, preferring instead a cold sandwich pulled from a snow-wet pack.

And yet:

The driving force behind construction of the Kannegaards' Dream Stand wasn't comfort for comfort's sake.

Instead, it was Chuck's desire to continue hunting with his dad as long as possible.

"I suspect I'll hunt from this land the rest of my life,'' Chuck said. "Now, as my father gets older, he'll still be able to hunt with me. This will be a real comfortable place for him.

"As I said, Dad and I have been building deer stands a long time.

"Now, I finally have a place of my own where we could build something nice.''

Dennis Anderson

  • related content

  • A sign in the stand announces its primary ownership. The stand is set on 17 exurban acres north of the Twin Cities.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


New England 14 3rd Qtr 8:00
Seattle 17
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question