I have a reoccurring nightmare where a giant buck steps into my food plot at 20 yards, stands broadside and patiently waits for me to send an arrow at him. At this point I draw back, settle in, and promptly send my arrow through the edge of my Redneck Blind window sill, after which I instantly wake up in a cold sweat.
Luckily, this hasn’t happened to me in real life – and that’s because I practice those very situations to ensure it never does.
Hunting from a fiberglass hunting blind, soft side box blind, or hay bale hunting blind is different than sitting in a tree stand, there’s no doubt about that. And while many of these differences will be in your favor as a hunter, there are also a few that have the potential to botch your hunt if you’re not prepared for them. That said, here are four aspects of the hunt that you may want to practice when switching from a tree stand to a box blind.
If you’re leaving the windows on your blind closed to limit the spread of your human odor, you need to be prepared to carefully and quietly open these windows when a shot opportunity does eventually present itself. This process isn’t something you should be trying for the first time when there is a buck 30 yards in front of you. That said, before prime-time on your first hunt in the blind, make sure you practice getting those windows open as slowly and quietly as you can, and learn what pieces and parts might be a risk to make noise. Figure this all out now so that when the hunt is on the line, you’ll know exactly what to do.
When hunting with a bow in a box blind, different than when in a tree, there might be certain angles in a blind that you won’t be able to shoot from, or there might be a certain height you’ll need to be at to ensure you can shoot over the edge of a window, or you might need to adjust your draw sequence or form to ensure that you can get drawn and comfortable within the confines of the blind. That said, each time you set up in your box blind with a bow, practice drawing back and ensure that you have enough room to draw and the proper height to keep your arrow above the window. Additionally, you should move your hunting chair or other equipment within the blind around until you have a comfortable set-up and plenty of room to maneuver your bow from window to window.
When hunting with a rifle from a box blind, you’ll still want to make sure you practice your shot sequence. Have a thought-through process for getting your gun off whatever rest its on and up to your shoulder without knocking against the walls or shelves of the blind. Practice getting your barrel out the window and ready for a shot as well. It might seem simple, but it’s always better to know exactly how the process will go before the moment of truth is before you.
Whether you’re hunting with a gun or bow, it’s likely that when you get ready for a shot, it will require you to reposition your body or chair in some way. This again requires practice. The last thing you want to have happen is to have a big buck come in from an area where you can’t turn to shoot towards, or in the chaos of the moment knock over something in your blind while you’re trying to reposition. Practice getting repositioned for different shots and position equipment in the blind to allow you the necessary room to move.
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