December 13, 2017
Take a page out of the rifle hunters book and wait on a whitetail in comfort.
I spend most of my fall hunting public land while sitting on tiny, lightweight portable treestands. Being mobile and chasing deer on Uncle Sam's ground is a recipe for discomfort. Unfortunately, there really aren't too many other viable options. You can sit on the ground and try your luck that way, but for an awful lot of situations, aerial hunting is the only way to go.
A couple months of this and I'm not ashamed to admit that I jump at the chance to bowhunt out of box blinds. And these days, the cushier the better. I suffer enough as a bowhunter and when I get the chance to be comfortable, I'm going to take it.
There is, I'll admit, a weird disconnect when sitting in a mini-house waiting on a deer. You're not exposed to the elements, and even the blinds with the best windows only provide a portion of the view you're afforded from a treestand. What they lack in viewing, they make up for in allowing you to move. You can sip from a Thermos of coffee and not get busted (probably), or you can stretch your legs out and not worry about the extra movement.
The best box blinds are designed insanely well, and carry the price tag to prove it. They can, of course, be absolutely worth the expense, provided you've got the right setup.
The Best Spots
If you're interested in a box blind, take a long hard look at your hunting ground. These beasts are a commitment to put up and move, so you'll want to choose wisely the first time around.
Most hunters put them on a food plot or reliable ag field. That's a good start, especially if you position your blind to work with prevailing fall winds. This setup-over-a-big-food-source is also more of a rifle strategy, where the chosen weapon allows for any deer that enters the field to get plunked.
Bowhunters need to think differently.
While food is good, the exact spot deer travel to the food is better. If there is a finger of woods or a specific ridge that bucks like to travel to reach the food source, setting up within bow range of that is a great idea. If there is water nearby, that's even better.
I'm to the point in my bowhunting career where I'll take water over anything else in a lot of hunting scenarios. Water is reliable, every day, and all members of the deer herd need it. If H2O is in limited supply, you can have consistent action from the season's opener until the closing bell.
Lastly, when considering where to set up your box blind, you'll have to factor in how you'll get there and get out. A lot of hunters like to set them up in the wide open to achieve the greatest field of view. The better bet, especially for bowhunters, is to nest them next to some cover that allows you to slip in for a morning sit, or creep out after an evening hunt.
When it comes to box blinds, it's impossible to beat the offerings from Redneck Blinds. They produce several that are perfect for bowhunters, with the Buck Palace 6x6 Platinum 360 Blind as the Rolls Royce of their lineup.
These things, when paired with an elevated stand, are truly enjoyable to hunt out of. They are built with tempered-glass windows, acoustical foam walls for sound control and insulation, and a marine carpeted floor. To ensure you can shoot any bow from them easily, they are built with vertical windows on each corner. One of the coolest things about these blinds is that you can hunt with another person — or a couple of youngsters - and still have plenty of room to maneuver, which is not the case with most blinds. If you've got the Benjamins, the Buck Palace 6x6 is worth every penny.
Southern Outdoor Technologies offers a great blind for bowhunters as well with The Bow Condo.
This blind comes fully assembled and measures six feet in diameter and seven feet in height, which means there is plenty of room to draw any sized bow. These blinds are designed exceptionally well, and are built so that they won't rust, rot, or accidentally make any kind of deer-spooking noise when you least expect it.
Lastly, a great option if your cash-strapped but still in the market for a semi-permanent fixture in your favorite spot is the Blade 'N' Bullet Blind from Cabela's.
This blind is anchored by a powder-coated steel frame that can withstand the worst of Mother Nature's wrath, while the blind consists of a UV-resistant DuraHide shell that can be removed at the end of the season. The whole thing only weighs 90 pounds, making it the most portable option of the three.