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!