Concealment is key for a successful hunting trip, and a hunting blind not only disguises you visibly from prey but also works as a scent control mechanism, allowing you to line up your shot properly without being detected. However, there’s a wide selection of hunting blinds to choose from. While there are many exceptional models on the market, building your own blind allows you to customize the structure to suit your hunting style and needs. If you have ever wanted to build or customize your own hunting blind, follow these tips from our experts to construct an expert-level blind and boost your chances of hunting success.
Why Go DIY?
There are plenty of good reasons to build a DIY deer blind. Making your own hunting blind gives you complete freedom over the materials, dimensions and interior features so you can create a custom structure to suit your needs. For example, you may want windows of a specific size on one side to better adapt your blind to the local landscape and environment. Perhaps you need specific interior dimensions to suit your physical traits and personal preferences more? After all, the ideal hunting blind for a 5’6” rifle hunter may not work well for a 6’5” bowhunter. However, no matter your reasons for going DIY, building a suitable hunting blind requires organization and planning.
Planning Your Blind
Before you start buying and gathering materials to build your blind, give some thought about its intended purpose. How many hunters should it fit? Should it be on the ground or elevated? Do you have a good location scouted and, if so, can you build it on the spot or do you need to transport parts from your workshop?
If the blind is intended for a single person, the floor area of your blind should be 4’x4’ or 4’x5’. For two hunters, 5’x5’ or 5’x6’ will provide sufficient space. For three, plan at least 6’x6’. It’s up to you to decide whether your blind should be on the ground or elevated, as both have their pros and cons. A ground blind is easier to access but requires more prep work for brushing-in and camouflaging it from the deer. Elevated blinds offer a better vantage point and more visibility, but your support structure and access ladder must be sturdy enough to withstand the elements.
Tips and Tricks for Better Building
Square plans are understandably the easiest shape to build a DIY deer blind around; all you need is to build four walls around the floor, and then decide where to place the door and the windows.
However, if you have access to extra materials and are willing to spend a little more time building your blind, consider an octagonal floor plan with 4’ or 5’ walls and 2’ corners.
Octagonal blinds offer you more angles and a better field of view. You don’t have to sacrifice concealment for visibility; if you use the right window systems, such as the Shadow Hunter Window Kits, you’ll have access to silent windows that you can open and close whenever desired, without spooking the deer away.
If you’re building an elevated blind, give some thought to the structural support and the platform ladder you’ll use for access. Use sturdy structural lumber, such as pressure-treated plywood, for your support beams. Prioritize using 2’x4’s or 4’x4’s, depending on what you find more comfortable to work with and what is available. Cap your structure with sturdy Elevators, ensuring there are no weak links between the support beams and the blind’s flooring. Use Elevator brackets made of heavy-duty 10-12 gauge steel, paired with high-quality structural screws.
Shadow Hunter Compound Angle Elevators are ideal, offering a sturdy, waterproof and weather-resistant construction. Properly installed, these Elevators also prevent the blind from swaying even under strong winds. Just as you should cap your support beams with high-quality Elevators, the feet of your support beams should be securely anchored into the ground using a robust anchor system. For the best stability, install the Shadow Hunter Lock-N-Load anchor system on each of your platform’s legs. Pair each one with a piece of #5 rebar and tighten the retention bolts, and you won’t have to worry about your blind’s stability ever again.
Determining the right height and dimensions for a platform ladder can be challenging. The best way to eliminate the issue is to use a Shadow Hunter Adjustable Ladder Platform. This adjustable ladder system functions with any elevated blind featuring a 5- to 10-foot tall support structure. If you plan to build multiple DIY elevated blinds with different heights, you can use the same model on all of them, significantly cutting the predicted completion time.
Elevate Your Hunting Game with the Right Blind
At Shadow Hunter Blinds, we understand the needs of hunters and outdoors enthusiasts better than anyone else. Whether you are on the market for a ready-made, professional-grade hunting blind or looking for materials and accessories to build your own, Shadow Hunter Blinds has the right options for your needs.
Veteran hunters and industry professionals, such as Jeff Janis, Ted Nugent and Gregg Ritz, have used and recommended our products for years. Call us at (888) 446-4868 if you have any questions about our products or need assistance.