By Mia Anstine, The Shooting Channel
We continually look for ways to outsmart the game we are hunting. Over the years hunters have developed many methods to attain success. One way to outsmart the intelligent creatures we pursue is to use a blind for concealment.
Hunting blinds aid in hiding our movements. A hunter can swing a gun or draw a bow without being detected by the keen eyes of a turkey or deer. They are ideal for crews filming hunts. Some are large enough to fit the hunter, guide and camera man inside. They can also be an asset when we are taking our children along with us on the hunt. A blind will help screen the movements of a fidgety child.
Types of hunting blinds:
- • Natural Blinds
- • Blind Netting
- • Portable Canvas Blinds
- • Box Blinds (Elevated or Ground)
- • Realistic Looking Blinds
Our ancestors used bushes, brush and trees to conceal themselves. To this day, we continue to use these natural blinds in masking ourselves from our prey. It doesn’t take much to trim some branches to make room for an archer to draw his bow. We can take tree limbs or move brush forming a lean-to blind without much effort. It also takes only moments to crawl behind a huge cowboy cactus to await a pronghorn that is coming across the plains.
The spot and stalk hunter can quickly throw out camouflage netting to aid in concealment. The netting is available in numerous camo patterns and is easily attached to trees, brush or cactus. Netting is easily rolled up and adds little to no weight to a hunters pack. It is the most light-weight packable blind of them all.
Portable blinds are valuable when setting up along game trails.
The use of blinds has advanced significantly over the years. We have ground blinds that can be popped up in a matter of seconds. Modern ground blinds make little to no noise as they take shape, forming a residence for the day. Portable blinds are available with vents, windows and shoot-through screens in them. The camouflage patterns are designed to blend perfectly with the surroundings.
Ground blinds can come in handy when there are no trees around to sufficiently hold a tree-stand. A hunter can use a portable ground blind in order to move from one field to another. They can also use a stationary ground or elevated box blind. Box blinds generally are not moved as easy to move.
A box blind is similar to a room that is set out in the hunting area. Some box blinds are home made, but they can also be purchased pre-manufactured. Premade box blinds may be constructed of synthetic, aluminum and wood or plywood materials. They can either be placed on the ground or elevated on stilts. An elevated box blind gives the shooter the benefit of a larger range of view as well as a downward trajectory of shots fired.
There are numerous advantages to using a ground blind or box blind. Ground and box blinds can aid in keeping a hunter’s scent in. Ground blinds can aid in protecting the hunter from the wind and box blinds may be insulated which will add warmth on a frigid winter morning. Blinds will protect you from rain, snow, sleet and hail. A box blind may withstand the elements for durations longer than canvas blinds.
Nature blinds are great for hunting and for “To Kill a Mockingbird” plays!
Some blinds are designed with a realistic look to them. They may be made in the shape of hay bales, tree trunks or logs. They are made of various materials including burlap, wire, polyurethane and carpet. These blinds can turn the tables and fool even the savviest animals.
Realistic blinds vary in size and thus the number of hunters or camera crew that will fit inside. Some are insulated and have carpet. Most have stationary shooting windows so they will have to be situated with prime shooting lanes in mind. Many of these blinds weigh in excess of a few hundred pounds. A hunter will need a means, ATV, tractor or other device, to haul the natural blind out to a hunting site. Once the larger natural blinds are situated, the hunter won’t have to worry about animals knocking down, tipping it over or roll it easily.
As with all hunting methods, when you choose a blind, you need to practice. Take the time to shoot from the blind before the hunt. Practice drawing your bow or moving you gun. Swing from one window to another so you are familiar with varying window heights or sizes. You might need to practice shooting standing, kneeling or sitting.
Ultimately hunters use blinds to conceal or camouflage themselves. The blind that is chosen will vary depending on the layout of the land, hunting scenario and budget. The blinds mentioned above range in price from relatively nothing to thousands of dollars. No matter the method you choose as your hunting concealment, always remember to be safe, make ethical harvests and have fun.