Advice sought on bow hides

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by Karoo Wild, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Karoo Wild

    Karoo Wild AH Senior Member

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    I was hoping someone could advise me on bow-hide placement. I'm busy equipping my property for bow-hunters by building hides at various waterholes. The only possible positioning at one of the main waterholes for a hide is directly upwind from the water. If I make the blind more or less airtight with two way glass for viewing panels, ceilings, buried 60cm in the ground etc would the buck still pick up scent from wind flowing directly past the hide to the waterhole? Thanks
     
  2. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Dear Victor,

    I know what you are describing is difficult for anyone else to picture unless it can be seen in person, but why is the "ONLY" possible location for a hide directly upwind? What type of obstacles or topography is keeping you from utilizing the entire 360 degree circumference around the water source?

    I am sure you will get lots of useful advice from other bowhunters/outfitters here on their set-ups....From my own bowhunting expereince and input that I have offered to other African outfitters, I can assure you that the prevalent wind directions must be respected regardless of how "scent-proof" you think the hide will be. First off, there is no such thing as a completely sealed, scent-proof hide. Any hide will allow for some scent to escape. And even if you constructed a very tightly sealed hide, you still have to worry about the scent that will be left from walking in and out of the hide. Scent left on the ground and brush from the hunters' footwear and clothing is just as damaging as if the hunters were sitting outside the blind itself.

    The most specialized bowhunting outfitters try to create a set-up that has two hide/blind locations to account for the most prevalent winds. You can have your hunters utilize the best blind location for the wind on any given day. You also have to consider the natural trail entrances that the animals use coming in and out of the water. If you construct a hide that blocks an established game trail, it may take an entire season for the game to regularly use that particular water source from a new angle. If you absolutely must build the hide in an upwind location, I would suggest that you use an elevated hide rather than a dugout hide. Elevation will greatly help to keep most of the hunters' scent off ground level. Having your hunters use a very strict scent contol preparation such as spraying down with scent killer will also help. Burning buffalo manure upwind can also be an effective cover scent....However, my best advice if at all possible, would be to find a way to locate the hide as downwind as possible. Even if that hide is the last water source on the property, and animals are dying of thirst, you will find that when they do come in they will be very nervous and brief in their visits. Or, they may simply avoid the water source in the daylight and visit it at night only. The worst environment you can create for your bow hunters is to have the animals come in nervously and tentative. Animals need to be calm and comfortable if the hide is going to be a lucrative location for seasons to come...
     
  3. Karoo Wild

    Karoo Wild AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Two of the sides drop down considerably in elevation making it difficult to get a shot at an animal drinking at the water and the third side is very exposed which kinda puts me off. I'd like to blend them into the bush a bit to give it a natural feel. I like your idea of an elevated blind though. Will 2m elevation be sufficient to hide scent without posing too much of a challenging shot to a beginner bow-hunter? All the other blinds are in wind perfect positions and nicely blended in. This is the most popular water for kudu though and them being quite careful when approaching water, I want to get it right. Is 16 meters / 20 yards from hide to water the correct distance? On advice of another bow-hunter I've made perspex viewing and shooting windows with a one way tint. Obviously they get opened when the shot is take. In your opinion is it necessary to use some sort of camo gauze on the outside for camoflage once the shot is taken? Apologies for the basic questions, I'm not a bow-hunter myself (as yet) and still have a lot to learn. I appreciate the help.
     
  4. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Victor,

    If you are going to spend the time and money to do it right, you really need to position an elevated hide at least 4m off the ground at the floor level to be effective. The higher the better really... The shot angle at 4-5m is really not much of a compensation even for a beginning bowhunter. Most American bowhunters are used to hunting from elevated stands 20-30ft. high.(10m).

    Also, I would personally recommend against using any kind of tint on shooting windows that has any kind of reflectivity. I also don't prefer the use of glass or plexiglass for windows. Some hides get away with it, but anything reflective can spook animals. Another thing I do not like about windows that open and close is that they will make noise and require excess movement......I prefer that all the openings be designed to have an adjustable cloth camo material (burlap) that will slide up and down the lenght of the opening. The best system I have seen is to run two lengths of bailing wire down the vertical edges of the openings. The camo cloth material is woven onto this wire so it can be adjusted up or down in both height and opening size to accommodate any size shooter.... Kind of like curtain on a curtain rod if you can imagine what I am describing.

    As far as distance, your estimation of 14-18m to the center of the water source is spot on...If an animal will commit to come in at 20m, it will also commit to 15m.....You always want to keep the shots as easy as posssible for your hunters. Challenging shots result in poor shots that require lots of tracking and lost animals... Also consider placing some sort of natural material as a diversion for the animals as they enter to drink. Placing a permanent log or brush pile at the back of the water source will force the animals to come in broadside more often than not...

    I you think of more questions, keep them coming...Happy to help....
     
  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Alot of people here are going to the permanant blinds with windows. When the windows are up wind direction is not a factor. Even a pop up blind reduces the amount of scent that escapes dramatically (unless you open every window).

    Elevating the blind is a great choice as the thermals tend to take the scent up and away from sun up to sun down.

    A really neat blind set up I have seen that works incredibly well for concealing scent and reducing the chance of detection is by converting a large plastic tank into a blind and burying it right up to the window. An access hatch is located above ground at the back and the whole thing has dirt/grass over it. great idea that works incredibly well.
     
  6. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    I love bowhunting blinds and have hunted in a fair number of different configurations.

    I am not a big fan of raised blinds. I like being on or below the level of the animals. Another thing to consider is make the blind tall enough to allow traditional archers with longbows and recurves to shoot out of it. In addition, keep in mind the shooting window height. I have hunted one blind several times that is perfect height for the PH who designed it (six foot plus tall), but for my shorter frame it can be challenging to shoot out of. Build your blind for a wide array of people. Think tall, short, compound, traditional and crossbow.

    The window covering is a debate for the ages. I like both the glass covering on a few windows but he primary shooting window should be a cloth that is easily moved aside or; as said above, cloth on wires that are easily moveable are very nice. Also consider putting in a specific window down low for the video camera to record the hunts. It is a really nice option.

    Put the blind in an area that gets at least some shade or do your best to darken both the inside and view through the windows. This will let you get away with a little more movement but also COOL down the blind. It can get pretty hot sitting in a blind if the weather is warm and you are directly in the sun.

    Next, make the blind very comfortable. I have hunted in blinds that actually have beds for rest during the day. Your hunter and PH are going to spend a LOT of time in the blind so make it comfy.

    Scent free, big enough, good windows/shooting ports, camera port and relaxing for the hunters.
     
  7. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    If the best spot for the blind is exposed the why not bring the cover to the blind?. Pile wood around and over the blind to make it look like a big wood pile. Build it downwind!!!!!

    In my experience height is a poor choice for suppressing scent. Evening thermals cause scent to drift to the ground as well as over-cast days. Build it downwind!

    No window cover is required if it is dark inside the blind. Hunters should wear dark shirts to enhance the ninja affect.
    No need to apologize for asking question. We all learn that way.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Here are a few selections of Bow Blinds that I found.

    One issue of having a bunker blind in snake country. Make sure no one has moved in while you were away!!
    Nice reason to have glass of some sort in the windows to keep vagrants out.
    Elephant outside or Mamba inside, what do you do???

    If you have photo safaris coming through the area as well.
    Blinds that fit into the landscape are more attractive than

    I have been in an elevated blind that they could not keep the Owls from nesting in because they could not close it up tight enough. Do, you want to sit in Owl k*k all day??
    Find some way to keep the critters out.

    Bunkers reduce shooting / viewing options, but control temperature better.
    Rock/ dirt covering from surrounding area really disappear.

    Some of those ground blinds looks like hot boxes used for torture. I can only imagine being in that all day in the sun.
    The size is incredibly small on some of them to.
    You don't need a condo but you better have some room to move quietly and comfortably.

    As one of those tall people, Please make sure there is enough room for all the vertical challenges.

    If you decide to make an elevated blind, please do not make it out of inexpensive steel framing. Swinging in the wind does not create confidence. It is also really noisy to climb into.

    You will note on many of the blinds there is a filming port with a cover.



    Bunker that an Elephant can walk over.
    [​IMG]

    Another Bunker with some brush cover
    [​IMG]

    Ground blind with brush piled against it.
    [​IMG]

    Small condo unit in Joburg.
    [​IMG]

    Elevated blind with some camo cloth on it.
    [​IMG]

    Wooden ground blind
    [​IMG]

    Bunker with brush cover and brush in the shooting window. Deflections?
    [​IMG]

    Ground blind
    [​IMG]

    Concrete ground blind
    [​IMG]

    Short elevated blind on a hill.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Karoo Wild

    Karoo Wild AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys. Really helpful to get lots of information before the hard work begins. I'll post pics of them as I finish them.
     

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