Stage Your Blind for A Successful Season
When we think of the upcoming hunting season, thoughts that often come to mind most likely include; sighting in our bow or gun, hanging tree stands or setting ground blinds, trail camera locations, getting food plots in shape, clearing shooting lanes, and an assortment of other preparations. One often overlooked item that’s worth being included on your season prep list is getting your blind ready. Your hunting blind should also receive some attention both inside and out if you expect it to perform flawlessly and aid in your hunting success. A little forward planning and preparation will make the hunting experience and your season a more enjoyable one.
If you’re lucky enough to have hunting land where you can leave blinds up year-round, they most likely could use a good cleaning. Depending upon your terrain 5 minutes with a simple spray bottle of water and some shop rags or an old towel can go a long way to remove dirt, pollen, storm debris, etc. thus ensuring you’re in good shape when opening day comes. It is also a good idea to clear away any cobwebs or insect nests before your first hunt. You’ll be thanking yourself, especially when climbing or entering the blind in the dark that first morning.
One thing to do is grab a bottle of windshield cleaner or wipes to clean the inside and outside of your blind windows. Any non-streaking, waterproof window or glass cleaner should work, but those cleaners that are meant for automotive glass have proven to work very well. Do this a few weeks in advance of your first hunt to avoid spooking deer and you should be good to go for the entire year.
Hardware Maintenance and Stocking
Other obvious maintenance should be performed on your blind as well. Make sure there are no structural issues after being exposed to the lengthy off-season weather conditions. If you have a chair, make sure it’s functioning effectively and quietly. Hit it with a shot of your favorite grease or lubrication, and while you’re at it give a shot to any hinges or rotating surfaces that might squeak like on windows and doors. Check all these locations for proper functions and bring a small set of tools to make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
Stocking your blinds with added essentials in advance is also a great idea. Things to consider include an extra roll of toilet paper or field wipes, a dry pair of socks or gloves, a bottle of your favorite scent elimination spray, even extra ammunition. Other ideas might include a good book, a spare power bank to charge your cell phone, a couple of extra propane cylinders, a small cooler, or an extra chair if you plan on hunting with a partner this season. Many blinds have shelves already incorporated into the blind to make for easy access and storage of such items. The space is there so by planning you can take advantage of the extra convenience.
Another step worth considering as you’re staging your blinds for a successful season would be to get out to check and clear your shooting lanes. Nothing worse than losing an opportunity on a trophy due to a deflected arrow or bullet on an obstacle you could have easily removed ahead of time. Consider placing some markers to help quickly identify shooting distances. If you’re bowhunting, find a few trees to flag at 20, 30, and 40 yards in various directions. You’d be surprised how effective this little step can be at helping you quickly get on the right sight pin to stop and drop quickly moving buck. Range the blind from your anticipated shot location and give yourself a 1-yard cushion for your shooting position inside the blind.
Next Year and Proper Maintenance is Important, Too
Blind prep and maintenance shouldn’t only be reserved for pre-season activities. One of the smartest things you can do for yourself and the longevity of your blinds would be post-season/off-season maintenance. Getting the blind ready to withstand a long off-season and to withstand the unpredictable weather can make it much easier on you when that next season rolls around. Remove unnecessary items that might be negatively impacted by heat, humidity or other moisture (ammo, heaters, tools, paper items, clothing, etc.) Make sure doors and windows are completely closed and locked into position and remember to hit them with another quick blast of lubrication. If the blind is elevated always check your lumber, brackets, screws steps & stairs, etc. for wear and tear, rust, or other safety hazards. Always fix them immediately if anything of concern should develop.
We hope these tips help you this coming season and, in the years, to follow. Give us your feedback, helpful hints or other ideas of hunting blind preparation tips. We also love to see photos of Shadow Hunter Blinds in the field.