Choosing the Best Hunting Blinds for Kids
Chances are pretty good that you learned how to hunt from a family member as a kid. You likely have fond memories of getting your first deer or turkey with a parent at your side. On the other hand, you probably also have some memories where things didn’t go as planned. Let’s face it, hunting with kids is not always an easy or fun thing to do. But you’ll both find that the challenges fade away with time while the good memories stand out. Here are some tips on finding hunting blinds for kids, and why they can improve your time afield with young ones.
Youth Hunting Challenges
As mentioned, most kids aren’t usually natural-born hunters. They are loud, curious/talkative, fidgety/impatient, and have short attention spans. It requires a lot of teaching, hunting wisdom, and time afield to really practice the skills involved before they will get better at it. We need to constantly keep that in mind when we take kids hunting. If you lose your patience while youth hunting or it becomes more of a chore for them than a fun time with a parent/guardian, a kid can quickly lose interest. Given the time required for frequent bathroom breaks and their short attention spans, hunting with a kid is likely going to be much shorter than if you were solo hunting. As long as you go into it with the right expectations on your end, it can still be a great outcome and a fun time. Not to mention, it’s critical we get more kids out hunting with the decline of hunting participation rates.
Benefits of Hunting Blinds for Kids
Given those specific hunting challenges, there are many benefits to using hunting blinds for kids. For example, compared to tree stands, hunting blinds are much safer to use. When you don’t have to leave the ground or are fully contained within an elevated blind, it removes a lot of the risk involved in hunting with a child. They are also usually much more spacious, accommodating two or more people, hunting gear, and comfortable chairs (such as the Muddy® swivel ground seat) as well. Nobody likes to be cramped, but especially kids. Third, blinds can hide your movement, sound, and scent (to some extent), which are all positive things when taking kids out. Many children just can’t hold still for very long, and their fidgeting is obviously not a good match with deer or turkey hunting. Blinds conceal that movement and will also help to muffle the sound of their many questions (and your patient answers). Depending on what kind of hunting blind you are using, it can also contain your scent and stay warmer so you can hunt longer without spooking deer.
Different Hunting Blind Options
Choosing a hunting blind can be intimidating sometimes given the range of options out there, but if you really want to focus on hunting blinds for kids, you can use these challenges and specific benefits above to make the selection process simpler. Here are three primary types of deer hunting blinds to consider, and how each of them works for youth hunting.
A box blind, such as the Muddy Bull, can be placed on the ground or elevated on a tower/platform for increased visibility. Insulated box blinds protect you well from the wind and weather, allowing you and your child to stay warmer. If you hunt firearms seasons in northern states, cold and miserable weather is basically a guarantee, so it’s a great way to let your kid experience it while not being miserable themselves. They also usually have sealed windows to keep scent contained and muffle your sounds. With a silent swivel chair, kids can have a great and comfortable time hunting. That being said, box blinds are not very mobile and so it is best to position one of these in a spot you know will offer great hunting action once the weather cools down and you plan on needing hunting blinds for kids.
Most ground blinds are normally lightweight, pop-up designs that allow you to be mobile pending the deer action. Since kids can be impatient, this is a nice feature. If you can keep the blinds where they can see a fair amount of deer traffic, they will stay interested – even if it’s just does and fawns walking by, it’s a great way to teach them how to calm their nerves. If you want, some ground blinds can also be elevated onto a platform as well, but most are simply used at ground level. As far as ground blind tips, it always helps to brush your blind in and leave it out for a few days before you hunt it. This will help maximize your chances of connecting with an animal while your kid is with you. Considering what to wear in a ground blind, make sure you and your child match the inside of the blind, which is usually black or dark. That way, any movement a deer might see inside is hidden even further. Of course, the Muddy 5 Sider conceals your movement extremely well by using dropdown windows with camo patterns and shoot-through mesh.
A bale blind is a variation of a ground blind, specifically focusing on the shape, color, and texture of a common agricultural field feature: a round hay bale. In farm fields and meadows, deer are used to seeing bales scattered across fields, so they don’t even question it – particularly when there are other actual hay bales in the field. When considering hunting blinds for kids in farm country, especially after hay fields have been harvested, the Muddy Bale Blind is a great option. It conceals your movement and allows you to get close to the deer action. When sitting adjacent to a line of other bales, bale blinds can also allow you to sneak in and out of the blind when deer are out in the field.
As far as the best hunting blinds for kids, it all depends on your hunting preferences and your kid’s personality. If you know that your kid is particularly impatient or the weather forecast looks bad, an insulated and comfortable box blind is probably your best bet. But if you want to move closer to the action, the weather is nice, and your kid seems able to stay calm, a ground blind or bale blind can be perfect too. What’s most important, though, is that you take your kid – even if it’s only for an hour after school. If you keep it fun for them, it will make a lasting memory for both of you.
Getting Ready For Fall
It’s hot! With heat indexes soaring near triple digits in much of the country, that last thing on your mind might be the fall deer hunting seasons. Preparing for them shouldn’t be, however. Regardless of the heat and humidity, if you expect to have success this fall, then you’d better get busy checking off the boxes on this summertime to-do list.
Trail cameras are a big part of your summertime to-do list:
As each day finds the buck’s antlers adding more inches, setting up and placing trail cameras is important if you want to know what kinds of bucks you have running around. They will also let you know where they are – and are not – frequenting.
If you want to make your cameras a larger player in your summertime to-do list, be sure to place them strategically. Water sources are always good places to set up a camera or two. Beyond that, of course, look for well-used trails and set one up wherever you find one, especially if you find an area where more than one trail converge. This will increase the number of pics you get, as this is an indicator that deer are coming from all areas your hunting property to this spot, or that it is a focal point in different travel routes for deer for some reason.
If you are lucky enough to find a licking branch, this is an absolute must for a camera. And if you’re ahead on your summertime to-do list and already have all of your cameras set, pull one from somewhere else to place here.
If there has to be one thing to avoid on your summertime to-do list of setting out trail cameras, it would be to avoid putting them out in windy or weedy places. If you do, every time the wind blows the weeds in front of your camera, or a leaf in front of it, it will snap a photo of nothing, and those get boring really fast.
One more no-no about trail cameras when thinking about your summertime to-do list is to try to avoid putting them in areas that will cause you to be too invasive in order to check them. You don’t want to spook deer or allow them to pattern you before the season starts.
Scouting is a big part of any summertime to-do list:
Scouting doesn’t start as the season draws near; it should be a continuous process through the year. Scouting in the summer is as good as any. It allows you to identify travel routes and feeding areas that the deer are using when there is no hunting pressure, which can be invaluable for early season sits.
It also enables you to see how many, and what types of bucks, are hanging around. Often, they are in bachelor groups this time of year, making getting an eye on them easier.
There is no need to go deep all the time on your summer scouting trips. A lot of the time, you can spot bachelor groups of bucks and does feeding in crop fields from the road. Or consider parking and walking a short distance to a fencerow, hill or other easy to get to spot where you can glass the area without tromping through the woods.
You’ll be surprised what a little scouting can do to improve your summertime to-do list, that even trail cameras can’t do for you. Putting boots on the ground allows you to see well-worn trails, old rubs, and scrapes, identify water sources you may not have known were there and observe deer in areas where your cameras aren’t. It also helps you pinpoint bedding areas, fence crossings and the like.
Treestand preparation and placement should be a part of your summertime to-do list:
A lot of people put it off until closer to the opener, but when going through your summertime to-do list, putting your treestands up and preparing them now should be on your list.
There are valid points to wanting to wait until closer to season to hang stands. Deer patterns can change between summer and fall, requiring you to move a stand or two after putting them up, but overall, where you place your stands now will still be the right decision come fall. For those always occurring instances where you notice deer using an area during the season where you don’t have one hung, keep an extra or two in the garage for just this reason, but you don’t want to wait until season approaches to hang them all.
If you have properly done your scouting and studied your trail cameras, you should already know where you need to hang them.
Sure, it may require torturous hikes through standing crop fields to hang them now versus later, but the extra work now will not only make you more prepared come fall, but it will also allow you to leave the area less disturbed as the season approaches.
Hanging stands, and all of the trimming, etc. that goes along with it takes a ton of time; time that really isn’t available as hunting season approaches when there are other things to do and get ready. Doing it now may be hot and sweaty work, but will be so worth it come fall.
Besides just hanging a stand and trimming shooting lanes, think a bit deeper. Add clearing brush, weed-eating or weed-killing entry and exit trails to your summertime to-do list also. Obviously, this isn’t necessary for stands on field edges and the like, but for those hung in the timber, think about getting rid of as much of the debris as you can along the trail in order to make those calm morning entries as quiet as possible.
Food plots should be on your summertime to-do list:
That’s right, depending on what you intend to plant, summertime is the time to plant food plots if you intend to have any.
A wide variety of crops can be planted this time of year, so along with all of the other things, there are to do, planting food plots are another item on a summertime to-do list.
Plants such as beets, oats, tubers, alfalfa, and greens like brassicas are all best when planted in the summer heat. They are heat and drought-resistant and come up in time to coincide with when you plan to be hunting over them.
Safety, the most important thing on your summertime to-do list:
With all of the important things to get done on the summertime to-do list, none are more important than safety. Remember that. Whether scouting, tending plots or hanging stands, practice safety first. Never ascend a tree without the proper safety gear, such as a Muddy lineman’s belt, and never check or sit in stands without a Muddy safety harness. Once stands are in place, secure a Safe-Line to the tree so that on your first hunt of the year, you will be tied in the moment your feet leave the ground.
There really is no off-season when it comes to serious deer hunting. In fact, if you do it right, there is a lot more work to be done now than once it’s time to be out hunting, so don’t let summer slip by without taking some time to create and knock out a summertime to-do list for a successful fall.
Throughout the duration of the summer months, there’s a lot of whitetail work that can be done. Everything from planting food plots to habitat management work to running trail cameras. Among the litany of items that need to be completed is planning your placement of treestands and blinds if you haven’t already. There are a few things to be thinking about though when deciding where to place these in the summer.
When Will You Be Hunting There?
When it comes to planning on where to place your treestand or ground blind, the first thing you need to think of is when will you actually be hunting out of that given location? Things look a lot different in July or August than they do in October. Deer movement will look equally different. If you are hunting a new property, you want to be looking at all of the factors. Just because there are good deer trails in the summer doesn’t necessarily mean deer will be frequenting the same area come fall.
When planning the placement of your treestands or blinds, try and think how deer will be using a given area based on when you’ll be hunting. For example, let’s think about a given property and say that you’ve got a couple of great clover food plots and deer are hammering them in the summer. If you know you’ll be hunting early in the fall, say in September, you will be better off hanging a stand on or near one of the food plots. And you can also be more liberal with how you trim out your stand because the foliage will still be on the trees come the time you’re hunting. On the other hand, if you know you can’t hunt that property until the rut, you may want to hang that stand either in between or on the downwind side of the food plots, anticipating bucks to be cruising while searching for does. Additionally, you’ll want to be more frugal with what you trim, because by then the foliage will be down, and if you cut out a lot, by the time November rolls around, you could stick out like a sore thumb.
What’s Your Access and Exit Plan?
When it comes to planning your treestand or blind placement during the summer, an often forgotten about aspect of it is your access and exit plan. They are arguably just as important as the physical location of your stand or blind. The summer months can be a great time to plan your access and exit, and if need be can be the time to clear trails, mow paths or anything else.
There’s nothing worse than having your stand in a prime location, getting it set in the summer, and then returning to hunt in the fall, only to realize you failed to establish an adequate way into the stand or a solid way out. A good example of this is to use another scenario to illustrate this point. Let’s say you find a great rut stand in a river bottom during the month of July. You hike in from the main access point, locate the great area, get the stand-up and leave. Then while thinking it over during the following months, you think of using the river as access. You figure you can boat all the way to where you can park on the shore, and then jump right into the stand with minimal intrusion. Sounds great right? You then return to the location during November to hunt with the boat, but halfway into the expedition, the river narrows and there’s logs and debris stretching the width of the river and its impassable without making a ruckus. This is where a lack of planning can hurt you tremendously.
To do it right, as soon as you think of the river being a viable option for access, you should take the boat in and do a “trial” run. Make sure you can get to where you need to be. Bring a chainsaw, handsaw, whatever you need to ensure that if you need to clear the way, you can do so. That way when you show up to hunt later in the fall, you know you’ll be good and won’t have to worry. You’ll be able to get in quiet and clean and can focus on the hunt itself.
What Wind Direction Will You Need?
This is also a very important part of planning your treestand and blind placements. As you think through everything to help yourself be as successful as possible, you need to be thinking about what kind of wind direction you’ll need to make a spot great. If you are hanging a stand that will be a primarily early season spot, be thinking about warmer days and southerly winds. Don’t hang just one early-season stand where you need to have a Northeast wind to hunt it. Odds are you won’t be able to hunt it that often, or you’ll just mess things up. The same can be said for a rut stand. Once you find the perfect area, think through the wind directions. Often times as it gets colder and fall progresses, you’ll have more Northerly winds, especially in the upper Midwest. If the area that you’ve selected as a primary rut spot is that good, you should consider hanging a couple of different stand or blind options, so you have more than one option with different wind directions.
As you plan where you want to place treestands and blinds during the summer, there are a lot of things you should be thinking about in order to obtain the highest level of success possible. These three that have been laid out will no doubt help you be successful. If you’re thinking about when you’ll be hunting a given location, how you’ll get in and out of the spot and the wind direction you’ll need, you’ll be well on your way to having a treestand or blind in a solid spot come fall.
Ground and Box Blind Hunting Videos to Learn From
If you’re a deer hunter, there’s a very good chance you’re addicted to hunting shows. It seems to just come with the territory and it allows you to live deer hunts throughout the year, even if it’s just vicariously through someone else’s hunting videos. But more importantly, it gives you a chance to learn something from those hunts that you can apply to your own situation. In these five box blind hunts, there’s a take-home message you can use to be more successful this season. Oh, and they’re just fun to watch too.
Here’s a quick roundup of some great box blind deer hunts that will get you fired up for this season. As you can see, they take place in different locations and different times of the year, which means you can use these tactics almost anywhere. Continue scrolling for the videos.
Texas Whitetail Hunt
For this hunt, Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors was in Texas looking for another great Texas buck. After getting pictures of a nice deer on trail cameras, he set up a Muddy® Bull blind in an opening. Shortly after sunrise, a big 8 pointer caught him off-guard. Deer blinds in Texas are a pretty common sight, so the buck didn’t seem to mind. Check out the video to see what happened.
On this #MuddyMoment segment follow along w/ Mark Drury as he arrows a big TX 8pt out of a #Muddy Bull box blind. Learn More: http://bit.ly/BestBlindsDrury Outdoors
Posted by Muddy Outdoors on Monday, August 27, 2018
Box Blind Hunts Lesson: make sure you cover your backdrop when you set it up the first time – any dark cloth would work fine for that purpose. Mark missed the first opportunity on this deer because of the fear of being silhouetted against the eastern skylight behind him. Had the buck not come back in, that could have been his only chance at killing it.
Iowa Shotgun Season
Cody Bonner from Muddy’s Trophy Pursuit was hunting in a Muddy® Bull blind as well, but not in Texas. He was hunting the Iowa shotgun season. Unfortunately, high winds were preventing them from hunting a few locations due to the risk of being winded. Fortunately, they were able to hunt in the elevated box blind with no problems.
Cody Bonner of Muddy's Trophy Pursuit found some success out of his #Muddy Bull box blind in IA during shotgun season. Check out his hunt now! www.gomuddy.com
Posted by Muddy Outdoors on Monday, January 29, 2018
Box Blind Hunts Lesson: Despite the high winds and a bobcat running across the field, the deer stuck around long enough for Cody to make an amazing shot with a shotgun to lay a giant whitetail down in the soybean field. That’s one of the benefits of hunting in the bull. It has sealed windows allowing your scent to stay inside the blind and hunt on marginal or even bad winds if you have to make a move on a buck.
Mark Drury was back at it and took his sister Linda Lurk out rifle hunting. Even with cameraman Wade and a neighbor unexpectedly stopping by, they could all fit comfortably inside the Muddy® Bull blind! A nice 10-point buck came out into the field, and something painful happened next.
Box Blind Hunts Lesson: Although Linda missed the first opportunity at this buck, they kept their eyes open down the food plot shooting lanes. Eventually, the buck popped back out for another shot. So the lesson is to never give up on a deer – keep looking and you might get a shot at redemption!
Late Season Minnesota
Nicole Reeve from Driven with Pat and Nicole was hunting the late season in Minnesota in some harvested corn strips. With the cold weather, snow, and a late season food source, you know mature bucks will stop by eventually. Here’s how this box blind hunt played out.
Nothing like those homegrown bucks! CHECK OUT THIS UNBELIEVABLE MN HUNT#TCArms #Hunter
Posted by Driven with Pat & Nicole on Monday, July 11, 2016
Box Blind Hunts Lesson: How did Nicole take this giant late season buck? The Muddy® blind concealed their movement and scent enough to keep several deer in very close proximity throughout the hunt, which was long enough for this mature buck to feel comfortable stepping out. It also kept them warm enough to stay that long. Enclosed deer blinds should always play a part in your late season food plot strategy.
Down to the Wire in Iowa
Jen Sieck with Trophy Pursuit was hunting a Muddy® bale blind during the late muzzleloader season in Iowa. With a food plot full of does, there was some pressure to getting a shot at a nice buck without being noticed.
Jen Sieck's 2016 season offered many great encounters, but things just never went her way. Finally, it all came together during IA's late muzzleloader season… #MuddyTV #TrophyPursuit
Posted by Muddy Outdoors on Monday, February 6, 2017
Box Blind Hunts Lesson: As you can see, a wise doe eventually got right downwind and smelled them. Luckily, the buck stuck around a while longer to check the scene, and Jen made a great last ditch shot. As much as you prepare, you never can fully fool a deer’s nose, so you need to be prepared to make any shot count.
The Right and Safe Way to Set Up a Box Blind
You couldn’t stand it any longer. All the dreaming of epic hunts on your property from the comfort and luxury of a tower blind was just too much to handle, so you finally bought a brand new box blind. The adventure is just beginning for you, as there are many benefits to hunting from a box blind (e.g., shelter from the weather, better scent control, can get away with more movement, etc.). But before you get to enjoy all those perks, do you know how to set up a box blind? If you’re hearing crickets chirping in your head, here’s what you need to know about how to set it all up and how to raise a blind. First, make sure you read your entire instruction manual that came with the blind, and follow all safety recommendations at all times.
Best Location for a Box Blind
Before you set up a box blind, you should decide where you are going to put your new tower. Box blind placement is so critical for several reasons. First, you presumably want to see deer and be able to hunt them from your blind, so putting it in the right location makes a difference. Second, though not particularly complicated, setting up a box blind does take much more effort than simply moving a climbing tree stand to another tree. That’s why you need to try to nail the spot the first time.
Setting it up near a food plot is almost always a good idea, provided you have a good access trail and can sneak in and out without being detected. Hunting over food sources is a proven way to see deer, but it’s especially useful when hunting mature bucks in the late season months. Sitting in an insulated box blind, you can easily wait out the late season cold weather until a reclusive (but hungry) buck finally steps out to feed on standing corn or beans.
Situate the blind on the downwind side of the food plot or field, with the shooting windows facing the direction you expect to see most deer. Always keep the ladder on the back side so you can sneak into and out of it. It helps to have some kind of cover to hide your approach too, whether that be a spruce windbreak, a messy field edge, or some tall grasses you planted for screening cover.
How to Set Up a Box Blind
You will definitely need to be able to transport your Muddy® box blind and the deer stand base to the field using a large trailer or tractor. The blind comes completely assembled so you don’t have to worry about how to set up a box blind itself. But you will need to assemble your tower kit, whether you choose the 5- or 10-foot option (depends on availability at most Muddy® blind dealers), before you can raise the blind. Depending on where you set your box blinds up, it may be easier to assemble the tower kit at home. At least you have all the necessary tools there and the mosquitoes, flies, and ticks shouldn’t be as bad as they would be in the field. In addition, finding dropped nuts and washers in your garage would be a lot easier than on a field edge!
After assembling your tower kit per the instruction manual, you basically have two options when installing a box blind. As for the best way to raise a box blind, it really depends on your own preferences, what equipment you have, and how many people who can help.
Option #1: Assembling in the Air
The first option to set up a box blind is to tackle the two pieces separately. Choose a level area and set your tower kit upright – two people should be able to lift this up into place. The base should then be leveled and staked down to provide a solid structure on which the blind will sit. If you don’t know how to level a deer blind, simply place a level on all the horizontal beams you can. Try excavating with a shovel beneath the legs to adjust the ground surface until everything looks completely plumb. Then pound the rebar stakes into the foot pegs of all four corners and the ladder as well. Find the very center of the base by tying some ropes from corner to corner – where the two ropes cross is where you should twist the auger stake into the ground until the loop hole rests on the ground surface. At that point, use wrenches to turn the turnbuckle loose while still keeping the two ends connected. Attach the bolt and clevis to the auger stake loop, and attach the wire to the loop-end of the turnbuckle. Use the clevis to tighten the excess wire and secure it. Finally, tighten the turnbuckle by turning it clockwise until the wires are taut. Now the structure should be very solid.
At this point, use a tractor to lift your Muddy® box blind up and place it on top of the base. Before doing so, make sure everybody is clear from the surrounding area, and ensure nobody is underneath it! Obviously, you should also make sure the door is located on the ladder side. Once the blind is resting on the base, attach them to each other and double check all the connections are secure. You will likely need to retighten the cable attached to the auger stake once the blind settles the tower a bit.
Option #2: Preassemble and Team Lift
The other option to set up a box blind is to attach the blind to the tower kit on the ground, and then team lift the whole thing up into position. As with option #1, make sure the spot you choose is a level area and in the right spot. Lay the tower kit and blind on their sides, and arrange the base of the tower to be exactly where you want to lift it up. Then, attach the blind to the base using the proper tools.
About 10 to 15 feet away and 45 degrees from the base (towards the blind), drive two of the rebar stakes into the ground. Attach support straps to them from the foot pegs touching the ground. This anchors the base to the ground, which will allow you and your team to safely lift the blind into position without the base kicking out from beneath you. Using your team and safe lifting practices (lifting with your legs, not your back), slowly raise the full blind and tower kit up until it settles into place. At this point, you should go through the same leveling and staking steps as listed in option #1 above (i.e., level the tower, drive the foot peg stakes into the ground, attach the auger stake to the cable, etc.).
For the full instructions for each of the options listed above, check out the video below.
Time to Go Hunting?
After you set up a box blind, you’ll probably feel like you can’t wait to get out on your first hunt. But don’t let the excitement get the best of you. Remember that you should always check the connections and ensure the tower is stable and safe to use before climbing into it. The ground may settle and the wind may shift it slightly, which can loosen the cables or foot peg stakes over time. Always keep safety in mind when using any elevated hunting platform.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Muddy® blinds for a while now, but weren’t sure how to raise a tower stand, we hope this explains it for you. Early season hunting isn’t that far away now, so it’s time to start thinking about how you can incorporate one of these blinds into your hunting strategy.
How to Use Box Blinds in Your Food Plot Strategy
Being a passionate deer hunter, springtime probably means you’re starting to think about which food plots you’re going to plant. But more importantly, you should also be thinking about how you will actually hunt those plots. Many people seem to jump right into things and start planting food plots just for the sake of having more food plots. Not nearly enough time is spent developing a food plot strategy that will help you when it really comes to killing deer in those areas. And when you stop to think about all the work that goes into a good food plot, why spend that time if it won’t help you? In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using box blinds as a part of your food plot strategy, including when you should use them, where you should use them, and the best food plot species to use.
Why Use Box Blinds?
Obviously sitting in an enclosed space with a roof is more comfortable than sitting out in the open exposed to the elements. That’s especially true in sub-zero temperatures common for northern hunting seasons or rainy weather throughout the south. Staying warm and dry will keep you in the field longer, which could increase your chance of killing a deer. But box blinds have many other advantages over almost any other option.
For example, their design alone is enough to provide an almost scent-proof container that can hold your scent and keep downwind deer from winding you. This opens up opportunities to hunt marginal winds in a pinch, but mostly provides an additional level of security when you’re hunting a mature and reclusive buck that you really don’t want to pressure. They also conceal your movements and accidental noises much more than any other option, which can make things a little easier when you’re hunting a specific deer for several days in a row. But one of the biggest advantages to using box blinds in food plots for deer is that you can move it almost anywhere. No trees? No problem. For example, if you notice deer not sticking around on field edges and heading right to the center of the field, you can place the blind out where the deer are. Mark Drury explains the benefits of thein the video below.
The Muddy Bull was years in the making. Learn the story now.
When to Use Box Blinds
So now you see how box blinds can fit into your overall food plot strategy, but when are the best times of year or situations to actually use them? As mentioned above, any time the forecast includes rainy or uncomfortable weather conditions during a hunt, sitting in a box blind is a much more reliable option. By bringing along a small portable heater, you can feel almost snug in a box blind even on the coldest days. Another advantageous time to use box blinds is when the wind is not quite in your favor, but you really feel the need to hunt a certain area. There’s still a little risk involved in this approach, but sitting in an enclosed blind dramatically reduces the chance of a deer winding you even if it’s directly downwind. Similarly, when the wind is gusting strongly or swirling, sitting in an open tree stand or even in a pop-up ground blind doesn’t work so well. But a hard-sidedwill stand up to the wind and keep your scent contained much better.
Best Locations for Box Blinds
As far as the best place to put a box blind, food sources are usually the number one choice. Remember that we are discussing your food plot strategy here, and soand food plot placement are critical pieces of the puzzle. Large agricultural fields or attractive food can draw in deer in from neighboring bedding areas.
Mark Drury Explains how sets up a new property with a food plot and box blind hunting strategy.
Food Plot Species
The best food plots to pair with box blinds for large-scale hunting are some that are the most attractive and dependable. These include:
- Standing corn (late season)
- Standing beans, with or without a fall mix seeded in (late season)
- Fall Mix with species like rye, wheat, and brassicas (late season
- Alfalfa/clovers (early season)
While this attraction is very predictable, the hunting scenarios are not always so clear-cut. In these situations, you may not always be able to hunt a field edge or have the reach to hit a deer in the center of the field (i.e., you are bow hunting instead of rifle hunting). That’s when box blinds can really shine. You can leave the woods behind and bring a box blind out into the center of the field where all the action is. This allows you to design the food plot with unlimited blind placement in mind. This gives you the freedom to turn a large ag field into a mosaic of food plots, cover, screens, and unlimited possibilities as to where you hunt the field.
Food Plot Design and Shape
Food plot design and shapes can be taken advantage of such as:
- Hourglass or pinch point in the center. This shape works perfectly for bow hunting out of box blinds when the blind is placed on the downwind side of the pinch.
- Turkey foot shape with the box blind in the heel of the foot. This food plot design is ideal for gun and rifle hunters.
- V-shaped plots with the box blind in the center. This works well for both rifle and bow hunting out of box blinds. Another attraction point such as a waterhole for deer or can pull deer to the center of the plot.
When thinking about shape, and large-scale food plot design and shapes you need to remember the most critical aspect of hunting these areas. How will you access the blind? You should be able to sneak into and out of your blind location without alerting deer. Otherwise, it won’t be worth hunting. Try to locate your blind near a brushy windbreak or overgrown fence line so you can stealthily slip out of view as soon as you are on the ground. You can also, in the case of the large field food plot design, plant a food plot screen on your entry and exit route to the blind.
Could you use a box blind at the edge of small food plots in the woods? Theoretically, yes. But they probably wouldn’t be as productive. The goal of small (usually a specific buck) off-guard. Placing a box blind there would require you to clear a trail to it and raise a large blind into the air, which would really stand out. On the other hand, if your trail cameras reveal that big bucks always hit a certain clover plot in the woods during daylight hours before heading to larger destination fields, it might make sense to place a box blind near one of them. The key is making sure you can access it from a direction where you won’t spook the approaching deer. And you should always stay in the blind until you are reasonably sure all the bucks have moved off to the surrounding fields.or micro food plots are usually to catch deer
Don’t Forget to be Mobile
Box blind hunting is always thought to be from a fixed position, especially once the season starts. There are too many factors to be considered to move such large blinds or the pressure from moving the blinds might be more than you’re willing to put on your bucks. This train of thought is dangerous. Mark Drury used a “mobile box blind hunting strategy” to kill a 217 2/8” buck named “Danger”. This Muddy Moment from Drury Outdoors captures the hunting strategy behind the buck named “Danger”, it is a story behind the perfected use of the Muddy Bull Box Blind. When moving box blinds, always make sure the blind is secured to the platform and the platform is secured to the ground before hunting out of the box blind.
Bringing Your Food Plot Strategy to Life
Once you know why box blinds are useful and the best times and places to use them, you can start planting. In larger agricultural field settings, you may not be able to control or willing to change the planting of corn or beans. In this case, look at a map of the fields and identify a good location with lots of visibility around it that you can sneak into and out of.
When do deer start to use that food source? If it’s a corn or bean field, deer might not start heavily using it until the late season. If you can leave a standing section of corn or beans near your box blind, and overseed cover crops on the cut sections, you can pretty much guarantee you will see deer throughout the late hunting season. This would allow you to stay warm while hunting colder late season conditions, and you could hunt deer further out into the field than you could if you were restricted to the field edge.
If you’re planning on starting a food plot from scratch, the process is somewhat the same – you need to have a great entry and exit strategy. But first, identify a good spot for a new plot and choose what food plot seed you want to use. Perennial clover plots work well for the, while brassicas, turnips, radishes, and cereal grains are all proven deer magnets during most of the fall hunting season. Planting a v-shaped food plot or an hourglass food plot design can help increase your visibility from a blind in wooded areas. Placing your blind right at the end of these designs can provide several shooting lane food plots that can be a very productive part of your food plot strategy. Ultimately, though, the best food plot design for deer is one that will allow you to hunt the deer without them knowing it, and box blinds can help you do exactly that.
Pairing Food Plots with Box Blind Setups
As turkey season starts to wind down across the country and we put our box calls and decoys back in storage, many hunters enter the summer slump. It’s that weird time of year again where there are no more game animal hunting seasons and deer season seems like a long way off. But luckily, there’s a lot you can do right now to make a big difference this fall. Before you hit the dreaded slump, turn your attention to pairing a box blind setup with an attractive early season food source. It’s the perfect way to keep busy in the offseason and avoid the summer slump blues.
Benefits and Challenges with Hunting in Box Blinds
Box blinds have a lot going for them when it comes to effective deer hunting. They’re comfortable and spacious, which makes it a whole lot easier to spend on all-day sits waiting for the right deer to walk by. Challenging and unpredictable fall weather can keep us out of the woods when we just use a climber or hang-on stand, but you don’t have to worry about that when you’ve got a high-quality box blind. They also keep your scent contained and hide your profile and movements from wary game animals. This is a huge advantage when hunting with a partner, cameraman, or even with kids. But maybe even more importantly, it provides a good space for you to draw your bow without getting busted when there are lots of observant eyes around. In some locations (i.e., edge of a clover or bean field), there could be dozens of deer all watching for danger, which would make stealthily drawing your bow pretty tricky.
That being said, there are a few potential disadvantages if you don’t plan ahead fully. For example, if a hit-list buck starts avoiding a hunting location completely, there’s really no stealthy or easy way to move an entire box blind around. If you have a climbing tree stand, you could easily sneak away to a different tree and/or location without making much noise at all. But you can’t exactly sneak a tractor around your property without wary bucks at least noticing. Granted, if it’s a farmed property anyway, they’re probably used to the sights and sounds of tractors, and may not view it as a threat. But this is why planting the right food plot in the right location and using the right box blind setup makes such a difference.
The Perfect Box Blind Setup for Different Food Plots
As we mentioned, box blind placement is going to be critical to your success this season, especially if you plan on bow hunting more than rifle hunting. For ethical bow shots, you need to be a heck of a lot closer to them than with a rifle. This means you can’t just deploy a box blind anywhere – you need to really think about how deer move through the area first. To counter their lack of mobility, you should try to position them strategically for different parts of the hunting season. To make them even more effective and sweeten the pot, if you will, you should consider pairing them with a food plot or agricultural food source as well. These areas will usually be the best place to put a box blind. Let’s look at some examples.
Annual Agricultural Fields
Whether you hunt over corn or soybeans in a given year, there’s no denying that big ag fields can really pull deer from far and wide. Whitetails in farm country will usually pattern their feeding schedule around one of these fields. It serves as a destination food source, and deer will usually spend most of the night feeding in and resting near them. How can you take advantage of that fact? Place a box blind on the field edge!
Wait, wait, it’s not always that easy. If you’re bow hunting in a box blind, you can’t put the blind up just anywhere along the edge. Deer tend to take a few common trails into these fields, and then slowly disperse into the center where there is more food available (due to better conditions and less browsing). While you could make a shot into the center of the field with a rifle, you’re headed for disappointment if you have a bow in hand and bucks out of reach. In this case, you really need to find a spot to funnel and congregate the deer movement so you can make a shot.
One example would be a converging trail system. Deer will usually take several trails from different bedding areas, but they might converge on a field corner, for example, as the main entry point. Inside and outside corners of fields are great pinch points for bow hunting whitetails. Placing a Muddy® Bull box blind in one of these corners near a trail system puts you within bow range of deer movement for an easier shot opportunity without spooking deer when you leave for the night. Additionally, placing your blind just within the woods may give you a better chance at a daylight shot, since reclusive bucks may hang out on the field edge until just before dark. If they stage up in front of your box blind, you may just get a shot off before the light completely fades.
Another example might be putting a water hole along the field edge to concentrate deer activity for a close shot. As we mentioned, field fringes are usually less productive and get picked over faster than the field centers. As a result, deer tend to cruise right past these areas. But digging a shallow water hole along the fringe can be just enough of a draw, especially in hot early season conditions, to make deer pause more than long enough for a good shot.
Perennial Food Plots
Another popular option for all-season hunting opportunities would be a clover or alfalfa field. Perennial spring food plots are green and lush through most of the year and help deer and turkeys get a head start each spring by being some of the first green forage available. But these plots can also be one of the best spots for deer hunting blinds as deer start to feel the pressure of the early season bow hunting crowd. Bucks will naturally want to avoid large open fields as they get more cautious, and these hidden food plots can be the best spot to catch them still wandering around during the day.
Large alfalfa hayfields can be hunted and approached much like the agricultural scenario above. However, you can also very effectively use the Muddy® Bale Blind if you routinely hay these fields. This allows you to hunt further out into the field with a bow than you would be able to with a typical box blind setup. Just make sure there’s some kind of natural draw or fence line nearby that you can use to sneak in and out without spooking deer.
Many clover food plots tend to be smaller in size, located in the timber, or consist of narrow travel lanes instead of large plots. These areas can be hunted a little easier than open fields because there is generally more cover surrounding them to sneak into and out of the box blind setup. Perennial clover plots usually respond best by planting seeds in the fall, along with a cereal grain nurse crop. This will give you a hunting opportunity this fall, but the real magic happens in the following few years. By next fall, your clover plot will likely be lush and full provided you do some maintenance on it throughout the summer. Hunting in a box blind above one of these fields can be magical on some properties.
Using These Box Blind Hunting Tips
As you consider the options above for a stellar early season deer hunt, you should always keep access and practicality at the front of your mind. If a certain box blind setup might be difficult to sneak into without disturbing deer, it’s probably not a good spot to sit. But if you can easily slip in and out without a deer noticing you, you have a chance at a successful bow hunt. And when you’re using the box blind hunting strategies above and pairing them with a good food plot, you have a really good chance.
Challenges and Solutions for Late Season Turkey Hunting
Hopefully, you’ve already put a nice tom down and on the table this spring. However, it doesn’t always work out the way you want. Calendars fill up, the weather might not cooperate, and the birds might be even less accommodating. But there’s still time to pull it off this year if you haven’t yet. Turkey hunting, like most types of hunting, can either be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience you can have or the most frustrating and confusing thing in the world. When you talk about late season turkey hunting, it tends to be an extreme case of both somehow. On one hand, the birds are seasoned survivors, so they know most of the tricks up your sleeve and will continue to avoid you despite your best efforts. And yet, when you do manage to kill a late season gobbler, you definitely feel like you’ve earned it and can wear it as a badge of honor. Spring turkey hunting is funny that way.
Each state has slightly different turkey seasons, so we’ll avoid diving into that too deeply. For the sake of this article, we’ll define late season as the last week or so of your state’s turkey season. It is crunch time and you need to make your time afield count. You may have only been able to hunt a small portion of the entire season, but the turkeys have been exposed to hunting pressure throughout the whole time slot. If you hunt turkeys on public land, especially, they have seen a thing or two. They know what’s going on at this point, which definitely complicates your life. Let’s look at a quick comparison of early season turkeys versus late season turkeys.
|Early Season Turkeys||Late Season Turkeys|
|Usually eager to respond to hen calls, and gobble back enthusiastically||Often made call-shy by this point, they may silently slip through the woods|
Often come running into decoys confidently
in small groups to fight for hens
|May hang up out of range when they see a decoy to make it come to them|
Cautious, but less discerning about
|Very suspicious animals that will study their environment pretty closely before moving in|
If you’ve noticed this pattern before when you’ve gone late season turkey hunting, don’t worry. There’s still hope for you. Let’s look through some turkey biology and explain exactly what turkeys do each day.
Wild Turkey Biology
In the early spring, hens will start to get ready to breed just after most males are primed for it and seeking them. This major peak in breeding activity is a great time to hunt since toms and hens are actively communicating and looking for each other.
However, after a few weeks of this, the bred hens slowly start to nest and the gobblers just can’t seem to find enough willing ones around anymore. They’ve also spent the last few weeks fighting each other for breeding rights and may be hesitant to approach other toms with hens (decoys, that is). But just as whitetails tend to have a second rut as more does come into estrous, there is another peak in turkey breeding activity shortly after the initial breeding phase. Toms will definitely be on the lookout for the last few receptive hens. That’s your ace in the hole for late season turkey hunting. With that, let’s dive into some spring turkey hunting tips you can use yet this season.
Late Season Turkey Hunting Tactics
When it comes to specific techniques, it really comes down to maximum concealment in the best places, the right kind of calling and using smart decoy tactics. Now we’ll break these out in more detail below.
Location and Absolute Concealment
One of the best tips for hunting late season turkeys is setting up in the right locations and then completely disappearing where you are. Setting up along travel routes and food sources is the best option to surprise a tom. After flying down from roost trees, toms will make their way to feeding areas. You can confirm that birds are using a given area with some light and fast scouting the day before or by using trail cameras to scout for you. The Muddy® Pro-Cam 10 or Pro-Cam 12 trail cameras both deliver amazing image quality with plenty of great setting. If you can stealthily sneak into a strip of trees between mature pines/oaks and a clover or alfalfa field, you should be able to surprise some turkeys in the timber. If not, green clover fields are magnets to turkeys in the spring, especially for late season turkey hunting. You’ll often find a turkey roost or two surrounding and in close proximity to green fields like these. Check out the video below, where two hunters tagged two gobblers on day one of their turkey camp in a clover field just like this.
By this point in the season, most gobblers have been harassed by all kinds of hunters and are pretty cautious. They generally won’t come running into fields and decoys as confidently as they did in the early season. They will hang back and make sure the way is safe before proceeding. Because of that, you need to make absolutely sure you can hide from their keen eyesight – that’s always been a turkey hunting 101 lesson. Muddy® blinds are the way to go in this regard. Sure, you could still tuck into some heavy vegetation with some head-to-toe camouflage clothing. But this really limits your movement and can ruin your hunt when a silent gobbler sneaks up behind you and sees you reach for your turkey call.
Instead, set up you blind in a spot with high turkey traffic. If the turkeys in your hunting area are really suspicious birds, take some time to brush your blind in a little using natural vegetation from immediately around the blind. This small act can do wonders for making your blind completely disappear, even in a wide open field. Be sure to wear black clothing and maybe even black face paint when you hunt inside a blackout interior blind. No gobbler will see what’s coming for him. This approach is pretty much mandatory for turkey hunting with a bow due to the extra movement involved in raising and drawing it.
Late Season Turkey Calling
Spring turkey calling is a tricky thing because it changes so much from the beginning of the season to late season turkey hunting. As we mentioned, early season turkeys are pretty likely to come running into a series of hen yelps without too much prompting. But late season turkeys are a different breed and the conditions are very different. The hens have mostly been bred and the activity is dropping off fast. Consequently, there are fewer hens calling and those that are vocal are timider. So you have a few options:
- You could completely rely on stealth and make no calls at all. This is a great option for areas with lots of turkey traffic and for surprising pressured turkeys. It feels like more of a deer hunt since it’s a complete ambush.
- You could also try to keep your calling limited to a few soft hen yelps and cuts, followed by long pauses of at least a half an hour (unless you hear a turkey respond). If you hear a hen call to you, try to mimic her tone and cadence in response. If you hear a gobble, call back and try to read the excitement level. He may be excited and still come running over, or he may shut up and silently sneak closer. It’s a case by case basis.
- If you get a gobbler that hangs up out of range and sight, but keeps gobbling back to your hen yelps, you may want to get mobile. Assuming you have some good camouflage clothing, silently sneak away from the gobbler, making a few calls along the way. Then set up for a shot, stop calling, and just listen. Sometimes, this simulated hen leaving him will make a gobbler change his mind and come running in hot pursuit of his lost opportunity.
- Finally, if you notice gobblers starting to travel together in bachelor groups in the extreme late season, it might be time to give up the hen calls altogether. Toms may just be looking for other toms to hang out with for the summer and could respond better to a gobbler yelp than a hen yelp. Try letting out three slower, lower, and raspier yelps to simulate a tom instead of the faster, higher, and clean yelps of a hen.
To Decoy or Not to Decoy?
Whether or not you should use turkey decoys during your late-season turkey hunting is a tricky question. In some cases, even the best turkey decoys you’ve got just aren’t good enough. Taking the complete surprise approach by not using any decoys may be the right thing to do. Particularly for cautious birds, this is a smart move. Some toms might see a jake decoy and decide they don’t want to chance an encounter that could get them in another fight with their busted up bodies. Some toms might also see a hen decoy and decide they’ve seen enough hens that turn out to be less than real. In that case, they might hang up out of range and wait for the hen to come to them instead – it’s just a safer option for them.
But using decoys can still be effective for late season turkey hunting, on one condition: you may want to avoid using a jake decoy. It’s just a little too risky in the late season. Usually, the best approach for late season turkey hunting decoys is to just use a single hen about 15 to 20 yards from your ground blind. If a lonely gobbler stumbles on it, he’s bound to come check it out.
For this year’s late season turkey hunting, consider your typical approach and how you could use the late spring turkey hunting tips above to put a gobbler on the ground.
Box Blind Placement & Strategies
As hunters, we are always trying to elevate our game and surround ourselves with the tools and equipment that will increase our chances of success while in the field. When it comes to the post season, time allows us an opportunity to reevaluate the past deer season and make adjustments. These adjustments come in the form of new food plots, habitat improvements, new trail camera strategies, and changing the positions of your tree stands, ground blinds, and box blinds. While every single adjustment is a single piece to the bigger puzzle of a successful deer season, where the rubber meets the road so to speak is the exact placement and strategy behind where you are hunting.
We have come a long way from way from the days of when a deer stand consisted of 2 x 4’s and railroad spikes and a ground blind consisted of a bucket with a few limbs scattered around. Those methods were effective and still are in the right situations no doubt, however, with the modern technology leading the way, today’s hunting blinds surpass anything that sportsmen of even ten years ago could have imagined. Today, there is a long list of hunting blinds available for purchase, however, over the last three years, box blinds have continued to grow in popularity among all hunters. Why might you ask? The answer is simple, box blinds become a backbone for private land hunters by offering stable, consistent, and comfortable hunting.
Why Choose a Box Blind?
Having choices is generally a good thing, so with so many hunting blinds to choose from, why should you choose a box blind?
It is All About the Two C’s
Everyone knows that there are many factors that go into being successful in the field. Patience, persistence, hard work, and dedication are often the four building blocks that lay the foundation for a great hunt. However, when you get down to brass tacks to lay a solid foundation you need to address the two C’s, comfort and concealment. The fact is, if you are protected from the elements and are able to stay comfortable even in the harshest of conditions, you can extend your hours in the field. Having the ability to stay in the field, no matter the conditions provides you with a huge advantage. As we all know, when the weather gets rough, typically the hunting gets exciting.
Concealment is the name of the game. Hunting from a box blind offers the hunter with an unmatched level of concealment as compared to a tree stand or even a pop up blind. With space and storage to spare, box blinds allow the hunter the freedom to move undetected by game. As a hunter, when you are confident in your concealment, then you have one less thing to worry about and you can concentrate on making that perfect shot.
A solid box blind creates a reliable hunting position, no matter the weather or time of year a box blind in the right setting is always a position that produces opportunities. Without box blinds, uncomfortable hunting conditions such as below freezing temperatures, high winds, or rain will keep hunters inside. The box blind is the opportunity that you should have available on your hunting property.
A Worthy Investment
Hunting is a very gear intensive activity, and as result, sportsmen have come to have high expectation of their hunting equipment. If you spend your hard earned money on a piece of equipment you want that piece of equipment to last and function for many seasons. You expect it to withstand the elements, and you ultimately expect it to have a positive impact on your overall hunting experience. Without question, a well-constructed box blind will check all of those boxes and much more. The typical lifespan of a well-constructed box blind can be well over 15 years. A deluxe box blind that is feature driven that far exceeds what most box blinds entail can last even longer. What should you look for in a box blind? Check below to see a score sheet to judge a box blinds features before the buy.
Box Blinds, Food Sources, and Placement Strategies
One of the best attributes of a box blind is that they can literally be deployed in just about any setting or location. From wide open range land to heavily wooded ridges, it doesn’t matter, you can use them anywhere. Although box blinds are very adaptable to a wide range of conditions and situations, exactly where you choose to place your blind can often make all the difference. There are certainly locations and settings that are more conducive for box blind hunting than others, and understanding how best to use your box blind is certainly an important piece of the puzzle.
Box Blinds & Food Sources
Without question, one of the most popular locations to set a box blind is within close proximity of a food source. These may be large Ag fields or small food plot locations. The pull and reliability of food goes hand in hand with box blinds. The pair creates an excellent location for hunting for a variety of reasons.
By in large, Ag fields and food plots have several facets in common. Both attract a wide array of wildlife throughout the course of the year, however, both Ag fields and food plots come with their own set of challenges when it comes to planning how to hunt these areas. The smaller the area, the easier it is to utilize a wider range of deer stands or ground blinds, however, as these areas grow in size and shape it can become challenging to find a suitable stand location.
Large food plots and Ag fields are harder to hunt for a couple of key reasons. The first is simply the lack of stand locations. Unless there is a draw or other scattered trees throughout the field (which is highly unlikely) you will likely be restricted to hunting the field edges. In some cases, hunting the field edges can be very effective, especially if you are packing some firepower. Things change significantly once you put down the rifle or slug gun and pick up your archery equipment as your effective range is cut dramatically, as it can only take a few seconds for your hit list buck to go from in range to out of range.
The second and albeit most common scenario is simply that the game you are after is utilizing the center of the field, and there just isn’t a good opportunity to hunt an “edge set”. In larger fields, wildlife like white-tailed deer and wild turkeys will often utilize the center of these large food plots and Ag fields for a number of reasons. For starters, they can see for a great distance, so they tend to feel safer knowing that they can see danger coming, and have time to escape. Secondly, the center of the field often has more waste grain than the edges. Field edges are typically less productive and thereby can sometimes have less food available. The same holds true in a food plot scenario, as forage quality typically increases the closer you get to the center of the plot.
If you find yourself in this situation, there is a good chance that you are going back to the drawing board in an effort to figure out a way to effectively get to where you need to be in the field, and hopefully, fill a tag. Clearly, a deer stand is not the answer. A tripod stand does have its advantages and can be effective in these situations however they are typically more effective when used in close proximity to cover as the structure and cover helps break up the outline and silhouette of the hunter.
Pop-up blinds can work in these settings. They have proven to be effective time and time again for harvesting game in the open country; however, they do come with a certain set of challenges. In open landscapes with high winds, using a pop-up blind can be difficult. Though they are built tough, it can be hard for them to hold up to a high level of sustained wind and as a result, high winds can often restrict your ability to hunt and when your numbers of days available to hunt are limited you need to make every day count. Probably most important, however, is visibility. Most pop-up blinds are utilized directly on the ground, and as a result, a little topography or roll in the landscape can make it difficult to see and harvest game.
Box blinds are the absolute perfect solution for hunting in these types of locations. Box blinds, when used in these types of locations offer you an elevated vantage point which minimizes the impact that any topography may have, and will help you to keep a keen eye on the animals in the field. Having an elevated shooting position always affords a hunter a much easier shot window with both archery equipment as well as a firearm. As has already been mentioned, the level of comfort and concealment you get when hunting from a box blind is unmatched. Having the ability to move without being seen is often a critical part of being successful in the field, and no other hunting blind or stand gives the level of concealment that a box blind can provide. Probably most important, however, is just how durable these hunting blinds are. A box blind can handle a wide range of weather conditions, and allow you to stay in the field hunting rather than forcing you to call it a day.
Box Blind Placement Tips
Having the ability to monitor every inch of the food plot or Ag field allows the hunter to spot any wildlife that happens to slip into the plot or field, regardless of the topography or cover. With visibility being so important, placing your box blind in an area that will increase your ability to see as much of the area as possible is important. Although this tip may seem obvious, the fact is there are better places to place your box blind than others and sometimes we as a hunter have pre-conceived notions as to where we will place our hunting blinds and do not do a good enough job reading the area. When this happens, we end up placing the blind in a suboptimal location, which inevitably costs us an opportunity.
Look for the High Spot
Before you set your box blind, take a good hard look at the area you are planning to hunt. At first glance, it might all look the same however if you pay it a second or even a third glance there may be slight rolls or high points in the field that could offer an increased vantage point. Remember the more height you have, the greater your visibility can be. It is important to remember that the highest point in an area is typically the area that receives the most wind, so be sure to anchor your blind accordingly.
Path Most Traveled
Scouting is always the name of the game, and putting your trail cameras to good use can really pay off when it comes to setting up your pop up blind. Having an understanding as to how wildlife enters and exit the field, and where the primary trail locations are can be excellent information to have in your back pocket as you begun to set up your box blind. You want to be close to these areas if you can, however, always keep visibility in mind, and try not to sacrifice your visibility if you can help it. Be aware of bedding and roosting areas as well, and you would want to minimize any disturbance to these areas.
Although it is important to understand where wildlife enters and exit the food plot or Ag field you are hunting, it can be even more important to understand where they tend to spend the majority of their time while in the field. Generally, these are better locations to establish your box blind set then along a major trail or travel area.
Entry and Exit
Without a doubt, developing your entry and exit strategy before you set your box blind can be one of the biggest steps in the whole process. Developing your entry and exit strategy requires you to take an over-arching, comprehensive look at the entire set up and determines where the best blind location is, based upon all the factors available to you (visibility, wildlife use, scouting info, etc.).
Hunting in open areas like food plots or Ag fields can be a challenge, mainly because of ability for wildlife to see you coming and going. Anytime you can take this advantage away from the game you are after it’s a plus. Often, you can utilize topographical features like drainage ways, draws and even rolls in the field to help you make your entry and exit a little easier and a little more concealed. If the opportunities to utilize natural features are not there, there are other options such as leaving standing grain or planting vegetative screens. You might be surprised just how much cover can be afforded to a hunter by leaving just a couple rows of corn. Likewise, planting a vegetative screen such as Sorghum-Sudan grass or tall native grasses like Big Bluestem can really do wonders to hide a hunter’s movement to and from the blind.
Always give strong consideration to prevailing wind directions and what the optimal wind conditions may be for your box blind set. Although your scent will be greatly minimized once you are in the blind, you still need to be able to get to and from the blind without spooking any wildlife life in the area, and if you are planning to use your box blind for species like white-tailed deer or pronghorn then the wind direction will should play a big part in your decision-making process.
Box blinds, like the hunters who use them continue to evolve and become more efficient and effective each and every year. A box blind can be a sound investment for any hunter who is looking to raise their game to another level and appreciates staying concealed and comfortable each and every time they hit the field.
New 2017 Muddy Box Blind
New for 2017, Muddy introduces the Gunner box blind. The Gunner box blind is the younger brother of the Muddy Bull box blind. From the same genetic pool, the Gunner features all of the bells and whistles of its older brother, the Muddy Bull, just in a smaller package. This offers hunters the same superior quality they have come to expect from the Muddy Bull Blind, now in a smaller and more budget friendly blind! Check it out below!