Does Your Box Blind Need a Tower Stand?
Hunting box blinds are incredibly versatile.. Many are ground blinds, some are constructed similarly to how a treehouse might be, and others are mounted on towers. All serve a purpose, and after hunting in all of them, I tend to prefer the tower style.
Elevated box blinds and stands can offer some advantages with that extra height, but it’s not always necessary for a successful hunt. Terrain, elevation differences, and how you like to shoot are factors in the decision. Hunters who are afraid of heights should consider their comfort as well.
Not all hunting box blinds need a tower stand; many box blinds give a great viewpoint on the ground. We’ll talk about how to decide if you need a tower stand for your blind after touching on some considerations.
What Are You Hunting?
Honestly, the kind of game you’re hunting can easily help you decide if you need a tower stand. Most waterfowl and upland fowl hunting by nature doesn’t demand an elevated point of view; it sort of defeats the purpose. When upland hunting, you’re often on the move, and with waterfowl, you’re wanting to be covered in wetland grasses and debris.
Elevating a box blind might not be the best for turkey hunting either, depending on the landscape. In my area, we have a lot of pines and brush that turkeys like to hide in and under, and an elevated position would be a little more difficult to shoot from in this case.
Now, if you’re hunting game with a rifle and expect longer shot distances or even bow hunting in certain areas, elevating your box blind on a tower stand could be your little secret. Elevating a blind for this purpose usually leads to a clearer view and sometimes a better shot angle.
For hunters chasing white-tailed deer, scent is an issue. Getting your scent higher and over the deer you are targeting could keep you from being detected.
Secondary to the game you’re hunting, the terrain you’re hunting is one of the most pertinent considerations when deciding if your blind needs a tower stand. Certain areas have some irregular elevation and topography with varying types of cover and brush.
Elevating your box blind can level the playing field in a way; it’s amazing what a few feet higher in the air will do for your field of view. This effect is the same for taking a shot from a higher elevation or a lower elevation.
For example, shooting from the bottom of a holler is difficult enough if you have game animals traveling down from the top. Elevating your blind allows you to make that shot a little more easily and gain a better entry point instead of feeling like you’re shooting uphill.
By the same token, if you’re hunting near the top of a hill, the topography can significantly limit your shot range if the hill face is steep. If there are any bends in the hillside some added height can get you high enough to see clearly over it and give you a clearer shot.
Pros and Cons of a Tower Stand
Even in flat terrain, an elevated blind gives you a more complete field of view, and often a better angle over low brush. It can even help reduce your scent since you’re well above nose level.
The typical eight or ten feet above the ground ends up masking some of your sound as well depending on the quality of the blind. A well-insulated or soundproofed blind can muffle audible voices or movements. The noise being elevated may help it blend in with other sounds.
Over time elevated blinds blend into the landscape for animals, similar to how ground blinds do. This still allows room for the animal to explore underneath in off seasons and interact with parts of the structure that are lower profile. Just because your blind is up off the ground doesn’t make it scarier or more intrusive in this case. Be careful not to spread human scent at the base of the blind and animals will become used to the stand being there.
Some cons and safety concerns to be aware of: with a blind mounted on a tower stand there is a fall risk and some wind risk. These towers are usually eight or more feet high off the ground and require a ladder to climb up to the top of the platform. Just like hunting from tree stands, there’s that inherent risk of injury from a fall when you’re off the ground.
Elevating your blind with a tower stand also poses a risk of it toppling from high winds or mudslides if that’s common in your area. Proper installation and anchoring are absolutely necessary to prevent injury. No one wants a stand to either crush them or take them down with it in a random gust.
How Do I Know If I Need a Tower Stand?
Ultimately, it’s up to you if you really want to elevate your box blind on a tower stand. I wouldn’t suggest it if you have a big fear of heights, however. Weigh the factors. Do you normally have high winds? Are you regularly unable to harvest an animal because your stand is too low?
Regardless, if you’re in an area that has an odd layout or topography, or even an area that’s incredibly flat, tower stands can help you have a better, more complete, and clearer view of things.
Greater concealment overall from a higher point of view is another consideration for elevating a box blind. Deer and larger game are more likely to ignore you at a higher position, and your scent carries differently than if you were on the ground. Instead of being in a direct line of sight, you will be further out of the normal animal’s surroundings.
Types of Tower Stands
As with anything, some tower stands can be built, and some can be bought. Many tower stands you find at supply stores are constructed of steel tubing for weight-bearing capability. Custom tower stands can be built with different materials if that better suits your fancy.
Some tower stands have smaller feet than others, some vary in height, and others are equipped with a platform that allows for a little wraparound “porch” area around your blind itself. Features have developed well over the past few years. It’s amazing to see what people can come up with regarding custom builds, too.
Tower stands built at home are usually made of wood. (If you know how to weld, you have a fantastic opportunity to build your own out of metal). These wood towers are fairly lightweight and easy to construct; just make sure you aren’t in too boggy of an area when you set it up for a season. I live in a particularly marshy area where even the high ground can rot wood easily. What’s even worse is if you leave it up year-round and carpenter bees find it.
As a general rule of thumb, I would recommend having wider feet or wider supports at the base of your stand on soft or wet ground for some added support. This is to prevent any unwanted sinking. Strong tethers are needed in high wind areas.
Double-check your fastening mechanisms, too, when you mount your blind onto your tower, especially if it has soft walls or is more like a pop-up blind. Watching the blind fly across the landscape would be pretty funny, but not for long.
Elevating a box blind is something bow hunters might want to consider for a change of pace. There are box blinds that have vertical panes just for bow hunters, and the height is just as high as it would be in the trees.
In this setup, however, the trees are a bit more optional. Bow hunters can hunt in areas previously considered too flat, too rocky, or overall, too exposed. Bow hunting from a box blind high up in the middle of nowhere is also a unique opportunity to have a 360-degree view, especially if you’re only used to hunting in a tree stand.
Overall, a hunting box blind doesn’t have to be elevated to have a successful hunt. However, if you’re looking for something to spice up your next season or just try something new, a tower stand is a great tool. It gives a unique advantage to hunts in odd or flat terrain for rifle or bow hunters alike.
Ensure you have the right stand features for your area’s footing and secure it well if you’re anticipating high winds. Keep safety the first priority with hunting, hunting projects, and anything high off the ground.
If you’re a bowhunter, I’d consider trying out a new elevated box blind setup for a season or two and see how you like it. You can access more areas, still stay concealed, and have a little more comfort than a tree stand.