We met a couple of young hunters recently that showed off some pictures of a really nice elevated hunting blind their great-grandfather had built on the family property back in the 1920s. The blind was well-built, but nearly 100 years of rain, snow, and sun had taken a toll. The young hunters were looking to replace the blind, but weren't really sure what the best option would be.
What really impressed us was that the young men wanted to replace it with something modern and durable so that their great-grandkids would be able to hunt the property in another hundred years.
They were not just thinking about the here and now, but actually planning for the future to ensure that this great pastime will continue to thrive. It was a great opportunity to chat with them about the ways a hunting blind can enhance the hunt.
Benefits of Using Hunting Blinds
One of the things that we talked about was the importance of having a comfortable hunting blind. Being able to relax in comfort while on the hunt is great, but the blind needs to be large enough and configured in such a way that it is functional, too.
Elevated deer blinds provide big improvements in terms of visibility. Hunters can see deer from a distance, while the deer are less likely to spot the hunters. If you think about it, it makes sense. There are no predators that deer worry about attacking from the air, so the animals don't tend to notice a stand as easily as a ground blind or a hunter in the woods. Properly built, a hunting blind also offers excellent lines of sight.
One of the senses a deer possesses that gives him an advantage over predators is his sense of smell. Deer can catch a whiff of you from a long way off and they know to avoid people. Even the best concealment won't always prevent deer from smelling you, but an elevated hunting blind gives hunters a big advantage. The enclosure helps to contain the smell and because it is elevated, the scent wafts further, giving deer confidence that even if they smell you, you aren't hanging around.
Hunting blinds also provide extra safety and security. They offer a way to stay out of the rain so your gear isn't wet and you run less of a risk of getting sick. There is also less risk of falling when getting in and out of the hunting blind. While it is fun to trudge around in the snow sometimes, a blind makes it so that all you'll need to do is get to the location and back again. No risk of stepping in a hidden hole and twisting an ankle.
Types of Elevated Hunting Blinds
Deer blinds come in all shapes and sizes. From portable seats that strap to a tree up to mini-cabins on posts, the type of hunting blind will depend on the type of hunting being done.
For example, a portable tree stand is most useful when you can't have a permanent stand, like when hunting public land. A pop-up ground blind is ideal for temporary locations, such as catching deer along the edges of a cornfield or setting up for ducks over a marsh.
Our favorite type of blinds are permanent elevated structures with windows and plenty of space for comfort. Of course, this type of structure is only useful on private land.
Selecting the Right Hunting Blind
The biggest factors that determine which type of hunting stand is best is the type of game and the terrain. Heavily-wooded areas might provide opportunities for permanent elevated stands, but a dense canopy will inevitably reduce sight lines. In some cases, a pop-up ground blind works better in the woods.
On open plains, elevated hunting blinds tend to stick out like a sore thumb and might give away your location to cautious deer or turkey. Hunters might find that an elevated hunting blind over a field or a marsh might just work perfectly for dove and duck hunting, though.
We've already mentioned this, but it's worth one more pass – placing a permanent stand on public land is typically illegal and is generally a bad idea anyway. First, you don't know who might end up using your blind. Second, you might show up at your favorite spot only to find that someone has removed your blind or destroyed it. Portable tree stands and pop-up blinds are the best choice for public hunting.
In many instances, a permanent stand makes a great option on rocky, uneven ground because the poles can be adjusted to accommodate for the differences. One of the designs we like is simply an elevated platform. When in use, the hunter erects a pop-up on the platform, but the rest of the time, it is simply a flat stand. This is a great design for deer, turkey, and duck hunting in less-than-ideal terrain.
The size of the hunting blind determines how much gear you will bring and the number of people you will hunt with. Most elevated blinds are best for two people and their accessories. Pop-ups can be as large or small as needed. Tree stands are usually solitary blinds, but there are some designs large enough for two.
Hunting Blind Features You Want and Need
Our favorite hunting blind designs are from 360HuntingBlinds.com. We've got a full breakdown of their products right here if you want to know more. These are durable, well-thought-out designs that incorporate useful accessories and offer cool features like silent-opening windows. Windows further help with concealment and make hunting more comfortable by keeping out drafts, rain, and snow.
Of course, the price is on the high side, but that's what you get when buying the best.
Regardless of the type of hunting blind, always put a premium on comfort and construction quality over price. Cheap hunting blinds aren't always bad, but they may not hold up to use and won't make your hunt as enjoyable as a blind that features the accessories you want and need.
The Perfect Set-Up
Using hunting blinds offers a unique hunting experience and they are a great way to help get the young hunters in your family into the sport. A good blind offers enough room for gear, and space for a chair and an ice chest. A good blind also lets the young ones move around a little more and makes it easy for those of us that need to stand up and stretch our legs now and then to do so without giving away the hunting spot.
Choosing the right hunting blinds is about much more than the price, it is about providing the optimal hunting conditions to take advantage of the season while it lasts.
We can't wait to see what our new friends come up with to replace Great-granddad's old stand. From the sounds of things, these guys know exactly what they are doing and have a great plan to ensure hunting remains fun and enjoyable for generations to come.