Are Box Blinds a Good Option for Young Hunters?
Young hunters’ first hunting experiences are critical. The first few experiences will determine if they continue to be interested in hunting, or never want to go again. Do it right, and you will create some of the best memories you and your mentee will ever have, do it wrong and you may lose the young hunter’s interest forever. The key to ensuring a good time for young hunters is making them comfortable.
Box blinds are the perfect option for young hunters. Box hunting blinds help hide movement and noise, and can even be heated to ensure that young hunters are comfortable. They can also be outfitted with gun holders, comfortable chairs, and a table to hold gear.
Box blinds are the king of the tree stand world and for good reasons. There really aren’t many downsides to them and there are many advantages over traditional tree stands. Young hunters love them. Throughout the rest of this article, we will discuss what exactly a box blind is, go into more detail about using a box blind with young hunters, and cover a few important tips for getting young hunters out in the field and ensuring they have a good time.
What Are Box Blinds?
Their name pretty well describes box blinds. They are essentially a box, sometimes prefabricated from durable plastics, metal, or homemade, and constructed from plywood or other materials. They are typically put on a raised wood or metal stand from 5 to 20 feet off the ground with a ladder or staircase. Another popular method is to leave them directly on the ground with a platform underneath for a floor.
These blinds range from fully open on top to fully enclosed. Some blinds even have glass windows that can be quietly opened and shut. The fully enclosed blinds can be easily heated with a small propane heater. I’ve even seen homemade hard sided hunting blinds that were heated with a small wood-burning stove.
The nice thing about box blinds is that they can be fully customized and set up as plush or barebones as the hunter likes. Additionally, they can be made handicap accessible. They are easily one of – if not THE nicest types of blinds to hunt out of.
There are a couple of downsides. First, if you are buying a pre-manufactured blind they are typically quite expensive when compared to other blind or stand options. Second, and this is also an advantage, they are big. This can make moving and setting them up more difficult, but they are typically used as permanent blinds and aren’t moved around very often, if at all. That said, if you are looking for a comfortable blind or stand option, you can’t go wrong with a box blind.
Are Box Blinds Easy for Kids to Hunt Out of?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! Box blinds are easy for kids to hunt out of. There are a couple of things that need to be considered before taking a kid hunting in a box blind though.
First, and this might sound obvious, you need to make sure young hunters will be able to see over the sides or out the windows. Because young hunters are shorter than adults, they may need a taller or adjustable chair so that they can see out of the blind. Some hard sided hunting blinds are constructed with large vertical windows that help combat this issue.
Secondly, you need to make sure that if you have a ladder on the blind it is safe for young hunters to climb. If it’s very tall it’s a good idea to have a sliding harness system that will catch a person if they fall, similar to what you would do while climbing a tree.
Lastly, young hunters, especially if they are not experienced, will likely move and make more sound than an experienced adult hunter. If you’re taking a young and inexperienced hunter, try to soundproof your blind as well as you can. If you have windows, it’s also a good idea to only open as few windows as possible or only open the windows directly in front of you so it’s pitch dark inside of the blind and deer won’t be able to see any extra movement.
Tips for Bringing Kids Hunting
Taking kids hunting can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be. With the right information, you and your young mentee will have a very enjoyable time. A few more things need to be considered when taking young hunters. Below we will cover a few of the most important lessons that I have learned while taking my own kids hunting.
Keep Them Warm
One of the biggest issues when taking kids outdoors is keeping them comfortable. If it’s cold out, then you need to take extra care. Make sure to dress them warm and bring more layers for them to put on when they get to the hunting spot. If you are hunting out of a box blind the easiest way to keep kids warm is to use a heater.
Buddy heaters are great for this. They can run off of 20lb or 1lb propane tanks and they have a carbon monoxide shutoff feature that can help save lives when running them in enclosed spaces. Even though they have this safety feature, it’s still a good idea to have a window or two cracked.
Buddy heaters can also be used to warm up food. On some models, you can use a piece of aluminum foil over the heat grate and put food on it. A nice warm snack or even meal can go a long way to helping young hunters stay out in the field longer.
Bring enough snacks, period. This cannot be overstated. Kids, especially young ones, like to eat a lot. It’s very important to keep young hunters comfortable in the field and one of the easiest ways to do this is by keeping them full. My personal favorite snacks to bring are meat sticks, summer sausage, trail mix, dry cereal, a wide variety of granola bars, and of course candy.
For the sake of the hunt, try not to bring anything that has loud packaging. It is also not uncommon to bring a cooler to your box blind, which could hold snacks and drinks.
I have mixed feelings about this one and to date, I haven’t actually brought anything to distract my kids while hunting. While hunting I want my kids to enjoy and immerse themselves in the outdoors. That said, if distracting them with a game or even a movie keeps them hunting longer, then maybe it’s worth it. I have friends with slightly older kids that use this technique to keep hunting longer.
Headphones can be used so that kids can play games and watch shows on a phone or tablet while hunting. I imagine that I may do the same thing at some point and at the very least it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you have to invest a lot of time getting to your hunting area and want to hunt for as long as possible.
You could also try playing games like I spy or even just talk about the biology of the animal you are hunting. My kids love that stuff and it seems to increase their interest in the outdoors.
Keep the Hunts Fun
Last but not least, and possibly the most important one. If you want to keep young hunters interested in hunting, make it fun. If you are taking a young hunter out make sure to make the hunt about them. Don’t get wrapped up in the hunt and make it too serious.
Fun hunts keep kids coming back and asking for more. My kids who, can’t even shoot, frequently ask to go hunting. I believe this is because I always try to keep the hunt fun and I try to focus on their experience. I also make sure I keep them as involved as possible.
You can do this by showing them all of the interesting things you see and teaching them about nature. It’s also a good idea to allow them to help whenever possible. You can do this by letting them help set decoys, carry stuff to the blind, let them set up the blind how they want, and do anything else that they can do, no matter how small. Kids like it when they are involved.
Box blinds are perfect for young hunters. They can be fully customized to fit every hunter’s needs and made as comfortable as you need. They also do a great job at covering movement, reducing noise, and even trapping scent.
Remember to put a little extra thought into a hunt when taking out a young hunter. If you do, you will surely have a good time. I know that some of my favorite hunts are when my kids are along and I know yours will be too. Good luck out there and thank you for introducing youngsters to the outdoors.Shop for PreFab & Kit Box Blinds Online – CLICK HERE