Bowhunting blinds/hides/treestands


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Jul 9, 2009
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I would like a few tips on how to make my bowhunting blinds really succesful.
Pictures would be appreciated

Hi Dox.
You can make a blind from any material that suits you - depending budget.
Many places have 5-star blind while others have shade-net blinds. It really does not matter what it is made from as long as a few rules are followed.

- It must be down wind.
Determine the prevailing wind direction during hunting season and build your blind down wind or at an angle to the wind.

- 20y to furthest point of water/food.
To have a blind that is close enough to where the animals drink is a good thing to keep wounding to a minimum. It will also help the trad guys that rarely hunt further than 20y.

- Large enough.
There are few things more frustrating than trying to draw in a blind that is to small. I HATE a pop-up because I can not draw and shoot comfortably in one. Think again of the trad guys. Any blind where a trad hunter is comfortable in will be great for any compound shooter. Height, length and width. Think of the size for having 2 - 3 people in the blind with cameras etc.

- Enough hooks to hang bows etc. Comfortable chairs that does not make a noise when you move in them. Some sort of place to put a camera, binos, book etc down on so that it does not lie in the sand.

There are many different types and looks to a blind. That does not matter for success. I have a few here by me that is made from normal zink that is painted green. They cost nothing to build and they work.
Thanks Fritz I really appreciate that!!!!
Dox, there's more than one way to do this....the question is: Do you want to cart them around personally ( like hunting deer in the US season), leave them in place permanently (like we do on game properties in Africa a lot), accommodate more than one person ( a PH or wife and hunter? ) There are so many ways to skin this cat!
Give me some more info and we can share on how we do it!
Fritz is 100% correct. It's sums things up very well...

What I usually look at as well is the direction from where most of the animals come in to the water/salt-lick or wherever you build your blind. Most of the plains game species we bow hunt from blinds has a fixed pattern from where they usually come to the water. You can roughly determine where you don't want your scent to go... Looking at tracks will be a good indication.... Then planning you can plan ways of avoiding wind, the sun etc. which may cause a hazard for a successful hunt.

Good luck, Happy hunting.....
Nothing to add after Fritz's post. He hit the nail on the head and drove it completely in!
One thing to consider is altering animal position so as to provide a broadside shot. You can pile brush or rocks on the opposite side of the waterhole/food so the animal cannot face the hide when drinking or eating.
Stretch makes an excellent point, otherwise a large number of animals will learn to water facing the blind.

Other things to consider are making the inside of the blind dark (painting everything flat black can be helpful), and making the floor (if there is one) out of something quiet. If there is no floor, the dirt will get very powdery over time, which is very hard on photo equipment and probably not that healthy to breathe. If you put in a floor, wooden floors will often start to creak over time, especially as nails work loose. A solid base (perhaps concrete if it is in the budget), with carpet or other soft material over it is very helpful. A small, off to the side, window where a camera could film without getting in the way of the shooter can be nice as well.

From your blind / stand base, place range markers out to your furthest comfortable distance all around.. People tend to shoot high from elevated blinds.
My responses to your questions assume that you are speaking about permanently built hides, rather than some more portable type situation, and also assumes that you are also speaking of hides in Africa in particular, rather than somewhere like the United States (which seems unlikely since we call them "blinds" rather than "hides" in the U.S.). You haven't mentioned, but perhaps these hides are to be built for use by foreign hunters in a commercial operation?

With those assumptions in mind, I'd like to offer an additional opinion. I've seen many videos of bowhunting from hides in Africa, often with large iron racks holding hay (I think you might call it lucern?), or other above-ground water tanks or feeders.

From an American perspective, depending in which part of the U.S. one lives, the general opinion on baiting while hunting can be quite controversial. People in the Western U.S. are usually much less tolerant of it than those in the East. Non-hunters (American), however, are nearly always opposed to baiting of any type and often view it as an unfair advantage and unsportsman like.

I enjoy taking video from hides while bowhunting in Africa. I really don't like when there are obvious feeders or man-made water catchments in the video. Part of the mystique and allure of Africa for Americans is that the universal expectation is that it is "the wild untamed continent". When showing videos of hunts in Africa that show fences (it is also VERY controversial to hunt behind high fences in America), feeders or other man-made water catchments etc., the romantic nature of an African hunt is shattered for those viewing the video. I deliberately choose to hunt hides that have more natural water sources and settings, even if they are not thought to be the most productive hides, for those reasons. It is important for me to create video that looks like the hunt took place in a very natural wild setting, even if it is a high-fenced South African game farm.

Therefore, if you are constructing hides to be used in the future by foreign hunters, especially Americans, please keep those things in mind. Man-made feeding dishes, water sources, etc. should be constructed so that they are below ground when viewed from the hide. This would go a long way toward making videos look like the "wild Africa" that American's envision and long to visit, rather than alienating many U.S. hunters and non-hunters such as some videos I've seen have done. Just my opinion and suggestion.

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