I recently read an article that showed hunting blinds have over taken tree stand sales. Over the past few years I have started using them more often as well. Our small food plots are tough to hunt from a tree stand so we bought a few ground blinds and set them up. I have also used them for bow hunting turkey. They are easy to set up, easy to move, safe, can help cover your scent and you can place them nearly anywhere.
One thing I realized quickly is that without properly “brushing them in” and having them out for quite some time before the hunting season, the deer (especially big bucks) were cautious near them and often skirted the area. Not completely, but enough to make a difference when bow hunting. If I put the blinds out for prolonged periods of time to let game get used to them, many were damaged by the elements. So I thought of a way to save our blinds outside of hunting season and allow game to get used to a foreign object in the areas we wanted to use them. I made a “fake” hunting blind for cheap, left it out there all year round and took it down and replaced it with a real blind closer to hunting season.
How do you make it? First measure the front of your blind, then buy a roll of cheap camo fabric that is large enough to make the front of your blind. Buy some fiberglass rods used for tent repair (these are the type that have a cord running through them and you slide them together), some cheap “parachute rope” and a few tent stakes. Cut a piece of fabric that would be a similar size to the front of our blinds. Lay out the fiberglass rods diagonally down from one corner to the other (it was 3 rods, this obviously depends on the length of tent replacement rods you buy). Do the same thing diagonally down from the other corner and make an “x” with the rods on the fabric. I then just stapled the fabric around the ends of the rods and tied the rods together at the “x”. The final step was tying pieces of the parachute chord to the edges of the fabric so I could tie the “fake blind” to trees, or brush, in the selected spot to keep it from blowing away.
Does this sound like a confusing mess? Yes. Please view the photos I place a bit further down the page, it is a simple project. I believe it took me 15 minutes when I had what I needed. I ended up making three of these and the cost per each was around $20. That is a lot cheaper than having your blind sit out there for months before hunting season and getting it destroyed by the elements.
So what does this do? Why not just put a big piece of plywood out there and paint it? Well to answer what it does, it lets the game you are pursuing get used to something the size of your hunting blind being in that spot all year round. It’s as simple as that. Does it help? Yes. I placed a camera near one of these and for the first few weeks deer skirted it. After that, they fed next to it.
Why not use a big piece of plywood or other object? I didn’t want to drag that all over and wanted to be able to quickly take it down, fold it up and pack it away. Or, when I put up the real hunting blind I could move the “fake blind” to another spot I may want to set up a hunting blind during the hunting season. This weighs less than 5 lbs, you can fold it down tie it together and carry it anywhere.
- Roll of cheap camo fabric (measure the front of your blind first to see what height/width you would need)
- Fiberglass tent rods (you can find replacement rods online, I like the kind that have the elastic cord running through them)
- Rope (this is just to tie the fake blind off and secure it)
- Stakes (I used this to anchor it to the ground)
I believe many are misled by what they see on t.v. with hunting blinds, at least for deer hunting. Some are not brushed in very well and some were set up the day before the hunt. Well, that matters where I hunt and I am betting it does where the majority of people hunt. This works for us on our small property so I wanted to pass the idea along. Try it out, save your blinds in the off season, and hopefully it leads to more successful hunts.