I grew up in an era where box blinds were mainly built from scratch. Although there were a couple of companies manufacturing them, it was common to use any leftover lumber we had and buy the rest of what we needed to build them ourselves. I still consider it nostalgic to see old rotted blinds in distant fields.
Today, permanent hunting blinds, sometimes called “box blinds” or “shooting houses,” continue to be a fixture over much of the American landscape. They’re now made for both rifle and bow hunting and provide not only concealment, but protection from the elements.
Whether factory fabricated, or old and rustic, permanent blinds still have their place in the deer woods.
Permanent Hunting Blind Placement… Why, Where, And When
Perhaps the best trait of permanent blinds over other types of deer stands, is the inherent comfort that comes in handy during extremely cold weather or all-day sits during the rut.
It’s important to carefully consider blind placement at a basic level. There is much more to it than simply locating them over feeders (where legal) and food plots.
First of all, short of the rut, large mature bucks don’t always visit these areas during shooting hours. So, with each prospective spot, ask the simple question, “what reasons do deer have to visit this area.” Asking this question is all the more crucial for bow hunting, where good blind placement can reward you with a short, quality shot.
The off-season is a great time to place new hunting blinds or relocate old ones. But, where should you put them?Whether sitting on the ground or perched on a platform, below are a few considerations for good permanent and semi-permanent blind placement.
With a little scouting, these sections aren’t hard to find. However, you should note that sometimes the bedding and feeding area aren’t necessarily on the same property. Either way, once discovered, you can set a permanent stand in the path of the daily migration of a group, or groups of deer. These honey holes are valuable. Take time to find them. If it’s not evident during the season, make time for off-season scouting sessions in search of them.
Go to New Heights
Higher is better. When considering an area for blind placement, take a little time to look for the highest spot. Though not always noticeable at first, a spot that’s even 5-feet higher than its surroundings is desirable – especially for non-elevated blinds.
Why? Greater height means greater visibility!
Do you hunt on flat terrain? If so, still take time to assess the area. It’s uncanny how the slightest upward slopes are right under your nose. Unless the high spot has other undesirable traits, it’s a good initial alternative to consider.
Higher blind placement is better, because it gives you a greater field of vision over the terrain you’re hunting.
It’s no secret that whitetails prefer certain travel routes – often the path of least resistance. Any property frequented by deer will prove this. It’s really just a matter of finding these heavily traversed stretches. Here, a little time on the ground can yield valuable intel.
Check property lines, low creek crossings and the like. If you have deer, you can find their paths of choice.
As such, the more trails you can see from your stand, the better. If you place a stand in view of or close to an area where two or more trails converge, you’ve increased your chances for consistent deer sightings significantly.
These days, we hear a lot about funnels or “pinch points.” The term seems to be used quite loosely too. In its most basic sense, these are areas where deer movement is reduced to a smaller section or zone.
Examples are spots where two fields are separated by a narrow section of cover or a thin passage between a creek and woodlot. Permanent stands go well with good funnels because they continue to be dependable travel corridors into the future. Find such areas and you won’t be disappointed.
Cover Your Backside
It can be easy to feel invincible sitting inside a box. But, this is where many hunters, after doing a lot of things right, blow it.
Don’t get so comfortable that you fail to consider what that box looks like from a deer’s line of sight. I’m of course talking about the silhouetting effect, and it’s important to avoid it.
First, make sure that the back of the blind is dark and solid. For example, if there is a window behind you, cover it up. If the back wall is light in color, cover it with paint or cloth.
Box blinds are large and it’s pretty hard to make them vanish. However, in this hunter’s opinion, it’s always good to mask them as much as possible. So, be sure to place the blind against brush and timber, and if possible, just inside the edge of it.
With time, deer do get used to blinds, so, why not have them blend into your surroundings more naturally? This goes into the “why not stack the odds in your favor” category.
Inside Information | The View From Within An Elevated Blind
Other than avoiding being silhouetted, there are other considerations once your settled inside the blind.
If you’re inclined to leave any of the windows closed, practice the art of quietly opening and closing them. If rifle hunting, take time to practice the shots you may be inclined to take.
Likewise, for bow hunting, identify the angles in the blind that will be difficult or impossible to shoot from. This means determining the proper height of the shooting opening(s). Additionally, physically practice the possible draw angles that may materialize in the moment.
Finally, place your chair in the optimal position for the most likely shot angle. Determine these obstacles first before you’re suddenly staring into the eyes of a target buck, or maybe even the buck of a lifetime. Most of us know all too well how fast this can happen.
Locating and harvesting mature whitetail bucks isn’t easy and can take time. But, permanent stands positioned in a variety of logical locations will eventually pay dividends.
Because permanent hunting blinds are typically heavy and bulky, there is plenty of incentive to make placement decisions count. Let’s face it, these structures are not fun to move. So, use your off-season scouting sessions as an opportunity to find some of the areas mentioned above.
Sheltered and comfortable, permanent hunting blinds strategically situated in optimal areas can be productive mainstays on private hunting grounds.
And remember, if hunted smart, they are great scouting venues. Remember that no matter how attractive a given spot is, don’t hunt it at all costs. Be resolute and play the wind. In fact, make it a goal to place them in areas where they can be hunted with different prevailing winds.
Finally, shooting houses provide the perfect venue to share a hunt with a friend or family member right by your side – even in rainy, snowy, or windy conditions. Setting them in these high-percentage areas means action. A win-win.
Bow hunting is a fun and adventurous way to hunt wild game. Many who have experienced success at it will tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.
Whether you are looking for information on bow hunting for beginners or even a seasoned veteran, we hope to provide you with helpful bow hunting tips to help you in your quest to become a better bow hunter.
Check out the FIVE archery video tips below to get valuable information on how you can be sure you have an arrow that’s “Just Pass’N Through!”
Bow Hunting Tips: #1 – Bow Maintenance | Avoid Freak Accidents Like This One…
When you see this freak archery accident, you’ll want to learn what you can do to help prevent the possibility of it ever happening to you.
Bow hunting is more than just flinging arrows. bow maintenance checks in the off-season, as well as before your hunt, are an extremely important part of being sure you are able to bow hunt safely and avoiding injury.
In the first of our bow hunting tips, we’ve got details on how to do preventative bow maintenance, so you can avoid unnecessary accidents like this one when shooting your bow…
A freak archery accident caught on film, and what you can do to help prevent it from happening to you. Stick with us for the N1 Outdoors N1 Minute.
Archery Accidents And How To Avoid Them
Today we take a look at some incredible slow motion footage submitted to us by Ty Eubanks, who experienced a broken bow cable during a recent film shoot.
While we’re certainly thankful Ty was not hurt, it does provide us an opportunity to go over some simple safety checks that can be done to help you have the best chance at safe shooting during practice, as well as during the hunt.
Now, I know some of you are shooting your bow year round, but some of you put it into storage during the off season and because the temperatures can change in those environments, it’s very important to check bowstrings cables as well as your limbs before shooting.
Bow maintenance checklist [Before You Shoot]
Be sure before every shoot that you check your strings and your cables for any signs of wear or fraying. Anything like that can be a potential for a broken string or cable during a hunt just like in the video we’ve shown.
Be sure you check your limbs very carefully. You want to be sure there’s no signs of splintering, bubbling, or cracking.
As we said, extreme temperatures and sometimes even storage can cause these things to weaken limbs. And, you don’t want to have one of those limbs be damaged or break during a shoot.
You also want to be sure all your screws and any bolts are tightened properly, so that you don’t have any of your accessories loose during a shoot.
It’s also a good idea to check your cams. Be sure you don’t have any nics or cuts that would affect your string in any way, whether it be to cause a fraying or a cutting of the string, or else damage to a cam, where your string may actually even come off the track.
There are also several other things you can check, such as rest alignment and cam rotation. You want to make sure that you get the proper arrow spine for your bow set up. Those things we recommend you take to your local bow shop and have them look for you and inspect that, so that you can have the best chance of a safe shoot.
Thanks again to Ty for submitting his video. We also want to say thanks to Centershot Specialties in Anderson, South Carolina for their input on this video. We hope you have a great week and remember… “where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there.” We’ll see you next time.
Pre-Shoot Checklist For Your Bow:
Check bow string and cables for any signs of wear or fraying
Check bow limbs for any signs of bubbling, splintering or cracking
Be sure all screws and nuts on your bow are tightened. (Replace any rusty ones.)
Be sure your bow cams are free from any type of nics or cuts that could wear out or break your bow string.
Check your cam rotation, ensuring that it is smooth and not warped.
Be sure your arrow rest is aligned properly
It’s always a good idea to let your local bow shop to inspect your bow as well.
Thank you Cole and Mike, and thank you for joining us for this edition of the N1 Outdoors N1 Minute. If you’d like to view other hunting and fishing tip videos, you can visit our website at N1outdoors.com and click on the videos section. The whole library is there. You can also pick up N1 Outdoors apparel and also, now, you can participate in hunting and fishing and outdoors forums on our website, N1outdoors.com
We hope you have a great week, and remember, where the moments happen… we’ll meet you there! We’ll see you next time.
Tip #3 – Aim Small Miss Small [Improve Your Accuracy]
In the third of our bow hunting tips videos, 3D archery tournament shooter, Cole Honstead, shows you a “small” tip that could help you BIG during hunting season! (hint: Aim small miss small!)
This small tip could help you big this coming turkey season. Stick with us for the in N1 Outdoors N1 Minute.
Today we go back out to Colorado to Cole Honstead with another tip help you become a better bow hunter.
I’m Cole Honstead with the N1 Outdoors archery tips. First tip of the New Year is something commonly heard in archery… “aim small, miss small.” And with turkey season right around the corner, we’re about to put that to use.
Thanks again to Cole Honstead with another great tip. If you’d like to see more of these tips, you can visit N1 Outdoors.com and click on the videos section. And while you’re there on our website, be sure to check out our brand new shirt designs, because we’ve got some things you’re really going to like. Also connect with us on social media; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We hope you have a great week and remember, “Where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there”. We’ll see you next time.
Tip #4 – Hunting Stances Can Make Or Break A Bow Hunt [So, Know Them All!]
In the below N1 Minute archery tips video, learn about various stances that can help you in all types of bow hunting scenarios.
(Archery Stances video transcript)
How to be ready for every bow hunting scenario. Stick with us for the N1 Outdoors N1 Minute.
For those of you who have bow hunted any amount of time, you know that some things can happen during a hunt that simple target practice can’t prepare you for. Today we go back out to Colorado to Cole Honstead, who has some archery tips to help you be best prepared when your moment of truth comes.
Archery Stances For Bow Hunting
I’m Cole Honstead with the N1 Outdoors archery tip. Today’s tip is practicing hunting stances. These can be used for everything from spot and stalk hunts in the West to using blinds and tree stands in the east.
For tree stand hunting, try your best to get to the elevated position. This is as simple as finding the hill and using the bed of a pick-up.
For spot and stalk hunts, try practicing using incline and decline slopes. When shooting from a blind, you’d better get used to sitting in a chair or kneeling position.
Practicing these stances throughout the off season will give you that confidence for a shot of a lifetime.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of the N1 Outdoors N1 Minute and thanks again to Cole Honstead for the archery tips. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and go by and visit N1outdoors.com. We hope you have a great week and remember “where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there”. We’ll see you next time.
Tip #5: Off-Season Bow Practice [You’ll Hunt Like You Practice]
In this N1 Minute, learn some bow hunting tips on how to to keep your archery skills polished and sharp during the off-season so that you can maintain proper archery form.
You know for us bow hunters, this is the time of year that we practice and practice for. But what about when the season’s over? How do you keep your skills sharp? Today we go out to Colorado to hear from 3D Tournament shooter Cole Honstead, with a simple tip to help you do just that.
I’m Cole Honstead with your 3D archery tips. Here’s a simple tip to keep those muscles active after hunting season and all it takes is a simple exercise band.
So many hunters put away their bows, after the fall, through winter, until turkey season. With, one of these exercise bands, you can practice your draw cycle throughout the winter and make that first draw in the spring a little easier.
Simply grasp one end of the band with your front hand and with your drawing hand, pull the band back to your anchor point. Repeat this ten to fifteen times and then switch hands. This will work both your back and shoulders. A few sets of this draw cycle exercise a day, and you’ll be ready to hit the mark on your next 3D shoot or Spring turkey hunt.
Thank you again to Cole for sharing that archery tip with the N1 Outdoors audience. If you’d like to check out our apparel, you can do that at N1outdoors.com.
We hope you have a great week and remember, “Where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there”. We’ll see you next time.
There are a lot of deer sounds and noises I like to hear in the woods. But, there’s one I usually don’t like to hear, especially when I’m walking to my hunting stand. More on that below…
This is the story of some deer sounds that led to a dandy South Carolina archery buck… It’s unforgettable moments like this one that spurred us on to start the N1 Outdoors brand…
In this article, you’ll hear the following deer vocalizations:
Deer blow (snort)
Estrous doe bleat
Tending buck grunt
Note: You can listen to the above deer sounds throughout the article as well as at the bottom of the page.
A New Deer Hunting Property
The 2010 deer season in South Carolina held some great memories for me. I had been granted permission to hunt some new property that was only 3 miles from my house!
The catch? It was bow only property. No guns allowed.
The South Carolina archery only season was already over and we were getting some consistent colder weather. But, the truth is, I really wasn’t disappointed to be hunting with my bow during gun season, because deer hunting just makes me want to say “Bowhunt Oh Yeah!” In fact, I hadn’t even hunted with my rifle since 2009.
Deer, sound the alarm!
It was a chilly, November 18 morning, and the rut was in full swing. I had seen a fair amount of rutting activity, but had not seen any bucks that got me very excited. But, when you love to bowhunt, it’s a great time to be in the woods.
I had parked my truck and was making the walk to my stand on the downwind side of where I would be hunting.
My stand location was in a head of hardwoods that contained several white oaks. I’ve always loved hunting locations that contain white oaks, especially in early fall, as the acorns are falling. But although the deer love them, by now, there weren’t any left for them to enjoy.
Nonetheless, it was a good location on the edge of a fairly large clear cut that the deer would typically transition through on their way to the other side of the property.
There was a gate opening that I needed to walk through to enter the woods where my stand location was.
The Deer “blow” or “snort” Sound
I had gotten about three steps through the gate, when the head of woods I was about to enter exploded with the sounds of deer blowing. It was still too dark to see, but it sounded like a small army of whitetail had just left the building. I stopped and listened, as the sounds of their escape got farther and farther away.
PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT A DEER BLOW / SNORT SOUNDS LIKE… LISTEN TO OTHER DEER SOUNDS FURTHER DOWN THE PAGE)
Well, there I was (and they knew it). I had that sick feeling that might have made one want to just go back to the truck. But, this was the rut, and I love to hunt whether the deer blow me up or not!
I found my tree and got in my stand and got settled. By now, it was first light but the sun was not yet up.
The whitetail doe grunt
After sitting for 10 minutes or so, I thought it might be a good idea to give my grunt call a soft doe grunt. My thinking was, “maybe if they hear this, they’ll think things have settled down and are safe again.”
So, I blew on my grunt call softly, making a “social grunt” noise.
Press play above to hear what a doe grunt sounds like… (more deer sounds further down the page!)
A fast appearance
It had probably been only 10 seconds after grunting, that I could see a deer appear about 100 yards away, on the field edge. Even at that distance, I could see his horns and I was interested!
No sooner than he appeared, he began running toward the head of woods I was in. He got to a well traveled path at the edge of the hardwoods and slowed down, turned, and began walking toward me.
By now my heart is racing pretty good, because I can see this deer is a shooter, and I have gone from heartbroken to hopeful in a matter of minutes.
This is where I have to say that the buck walking toward me had one of the better set of antlers I had seen in my area of South Carolina. In recent years, SCDNR bag limits had been high. Many believe that these high limits, coupled with poor deer management, had resulted in fewer mature bucks in South Carolina.
All I knew was, the age and size of the deer walking toward me was not commonplace in my area.
I had my bow in my hand, but didn’t feel I was going to be able to stand up without messing something up. My archery stance on this deer was going to be… sitting down. I sat and watched him inch closer.
Prior to getting in the tree stand, I had put some estrous scent on a tree limb about 20 yards away. He walked right past it. But, the worst part was that in about 3 more steps, I knew he would be downwind of me, and be gone!
Come on daylight!
I couldn’t believe I was about to watch the biggest South Carolina buck I had encountered leave my life. But, unfortunately, it was all but over.
Just as I thought this hunt was coming to an end (for the second time in minutes), he stopped, turned around, and walked back to the tree limb where I had put the estrous scent.
I knew this was my chance. So, I quietly went to full draw. I thought, “ok, aim small, miss small.” But, there was just one, really big, problem. I looked through my peep and saw, well nothing. It was still too dark in that head of woods to clearly see the buck.
If this buck would stay for a few minutes, there would be enough light through the trees to see his vitals clearly. But, I knew with chasing does on his mind, he probably wasn’t staying much longer. And, I knew that in that particular location, the wind had a tendency to swirl from time to time.
The prayer, the draw, the release
I can’t remember everything that was racing through my mind at that point, but I know I probably prayed a few fast words. It’s amazing how fast I can get to a prayerful state of mind when a big buck is nearby (amazing and shameful!)
As I was still at full draw, I moved my eye outside of my peep, so that I could see the buck through my site pins. Then, I slowly looked back through the peep and could see the target… barely.
I released my arrow and he gave the ‘ole donkey kick. He bolted down the draw and out of sight. I sat for two hours, wondering how this whole story was going to end.
The wait and the search
So far that morning, I had heard deer blow and deer run… now, all I wanted to hear was, “wow, that’s a nice buck there in the back of your truck!”
During those two hours, I scanned the ground endlessly, hoping to see a bloody arrow. I saw nothing. Of course, then the doubts set in… “did I make a good shot? How far did he go? Will I ever find him?” It was agonizing.
Finally, I decided to get down and go look. I walked out 20 yards to where I had shot him and I saw my arrow lying on the ground, the arrow shaft and my broadhead half-covered by the forest floor. My arrow had been Just Pass’N Through!
I picked it up and immediately got some encouragement… bright pink, frothy blood on my fletches. Things were looking up!
I followed along the faint blood trail. It wasn’t significant, but it was enough to keep me moving to the next spots of blood.
After 150 yards or so, I reached a small creek that ran through the property. I was till intently focused on the ground near my feet, checking for any small clue I could find. The blood trail had stopped.
I looked up and about 30 yards away, in the creek, was the buck. I held both hands high and thanked the Lord for answering my desperate (yet somewhat shallow) prayer.
The shot turned out to be a double-lung pass through. (We love pass throughs so much, we even made a shirt about them!)
I was by myself with no one to help me drag this deer out. I could either drag him about 200 yards uphill, or try to drag him through the muddy, swampy mess of a creek. So, I chose option 2.
I was able to use the shallow creek as assistance and slide the buck through the area for the long 300 yard trek back to the truck.
A short drive and a few pictures later, I had officially sealed the deal on one of my most memorable N1 Moments.
Deer sounds: The key to this N1 Moment
Looking back, I’m glad for the deer noises I heard that day… the deer blowing, the deer running, and finally, the deer sliding through the creek bed on it’s way to my freezer and my wall.
Listen below for more doe and buck noises
Buck Grunt Sound
(PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT A BUCK GRUNT SOUNDS LIKE)
Doe Bleat Sound
(PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT A DOE BLEAT SOUNDS LIKE)
Estrous Doe Bleat Sound
(PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT AN ESTRUS DOE BLEAT SOUNDS LIKE)
Buck Tending Grunt Sound
(PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT A TENDING BUCK GRUNT SOUNDS LIKE)
Buck Bawl Sound
(PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO HEAR WHAT A BUCK BAWL SOUNDS LIKE)