Pop up blinds have made deer hunting more accessible for every hunter over the past few years but most hunters don’t have a clue as to the correct way to set one up.
Be forewarned, they are extremely challenging to use for bowhunters, especially if you just take one out of the box and set it up. Wary whitetails don’t like boxy things at close range and that’s what you get when you just stick one out in the open.
Some hunters do just that and that’s ok. Not everyone is after a smart, old buck with a nice set of bones on his head so young bucks and does can occasionally be taken.
But, if you want to set up a blind and have the local residents-including monster bucks- not even know you are in their neighborhood then there are a few tactics that make a pop up blind work.
Instead of just popping your blind up in the middle of the hay meadow and calling it good I suggest that you take a look and find the corner that the deer are using the most and place your blind on the fence row as close as you feel comfortable with the shot. Then once you are set up take your machete and trim some of the most prolific vegetation and stack it around the blind. This will add a 3 dimensional effect and the scent of the freshly cut foliage will add to the cover scents. I like to not just stack it around but on top as well. It makes your blind look like a natural part of the landscape.
Shaine Nixon of World Slam Outfitters prepares a portable pop-up blind for hunting the mesquite country near Throckmorton.
When picking a blind be sure to get one that fits your needs. If you are purely a bowhunter you will want a blind that has enough room for you and all your gear and allows plenty of room for you to draw. If you only gun hunt then a smaller blind is great. Now that being said when you are looking for a blind you must take into account if you are going to take your children, spouse or hunting buddy in the blind with you. There is nothing worse than getting to your blind with Jr. or Mrs. to find that with two people in the blind you can’t even zip the door much less draw a bow or aim a rifle.
In the end it may boil down to economics and to that I say search far and wide. I have found some of the biggest and best blinds at bargain prices but on the flip side of that coin I have found that some of the bargain blinds have served me very well. Just do your homework before you buy and then be creative on stand placement and adding some extra touches. Those few extra limbs and strands of grass you add just may be the difference between seeing the backside of a wall hanger or the broad side of him.
Best of luck this year and get out there and hunt.