How To Hunt Deer from a Box Blind: Tips and Tactics for Success
Hunting whitetail or mule deer from an elevated box blind is one of the great joys that a hunter can experience. Not only does the elevated position give the hunter a bird’s-eye view of the land and make it easier to spot and track game, but it also can make the hunt more enjoyable by keeping the hunter warm and out of the elements. This is one reason why hunting from a box blind is ideal for young hunters.
Once you have decided to hunt from a box blind, the next step is to think about where the blind will be placed. For this you should do some scouting, if possible, to determine an area where there are deer and other game present and where the blind can be concealed, if possible. It is also important to ensure that there are adequate shooting lanes and areas where you can see clearly to take a clean shot. On some tracts of land, this may be easier said than done, however, by being resourceful and thoughtful in placement, you can improve your odds of taking down a deer and filling your freezer.
After you have a good location, there are a few things that you can do to ensure a successful hunt. Continue reading to learn our deer hunting tips and tactics!
Choose the Right Blind
There are many different types of box blinds available, and the one that you choose will depend on several factors such as the terrain, hunting conditions, and weather. You want a blind that is easy to conceal and will protect you from the elements.
The first consideration when selecting a blind is concealment. You want a blind that is easy to conceal and will blend in with the natural surroundings. This is particularly important when hunting deer, as they have excellent eyesight and can spot anything that looks out of place. Once you have a permanent location decided, you may opt to decorate your blind with tree limbs or camouflage netting to maximize concealment.
The second consideration is comfort. Hunting from a blind requires a lot of patience and waiting, so you want a blind that is comfortable to sit in for extended periods. Choose a blind with enough space to allow you to move around and stretch your legs. It’s also a good idea to choose a blind with a chair or stool that provides adequate support for your back. You also should take your party size into account, if you are hunting solo you may need less space than if you are hunting with a few buddies.
For extremely cold areas you also want to ensure that your blind has some insulation and will stay warm. The more comfortable you are while hunting the longer you will want to stay out. Think about space for chairs, maybe a cooler, and a table for gear as well. The box blind is designed for these types of comforts.
Conceal Your Scent
Deer have a highly developed sense of smell, and any scent that seems out of place can alert them to danger and cause them to flee.
Therefore, it’s essential to use scent-elimination products and strategies to avoid detection.
One of the best ways to eliminate your scent is by wearing scent-eliminating clothing. These specialized garments are designed to trap and neutralize odors, making it more difficult for deer to detect your presence. Additionally, hunters can use scent-blocking sprays and wipes to further reduce their scent profile.
Another strategy for minimizing scent is to pay close attention to wind direction. Position your blind, when possible, downwind from where you expect deer to approach. This will help to ensure that your scent is carried away from the deer, rather than towards them. Although this can be more challenging given the more permanent nature of an elevated box blind, you can still scout weather patterns and do the best that you can set yourself up for success.
In addition to using scent-blocking products and staying downwind, hunters also may want to limit the number of times that they enter and leave the blind or open the windows. By its nature, a box blind does a good job of concealing scent, any time a part of the blind is opened, your scent escapes and the deer may pick up on it. By paying close attention to scent elimination strategies, hunters can significantly increase their chances of a successful deer hunt while hunting from a blind.
Decoys can be a great way to attract deer to your location. When choosing a decoy, select one that is realistic and made of high-quality materials. A good decoy should be able to withstand the weather and be easy to set up and take down. It’s also important to place the decoy in an area where deer are likely to see it, such as in a field or near a water source.
It’s also a good idea to use scent attractants, when legal, in conjunction with your decoy. These attractants can help to lure deer to your location, making it more likely that they will approach your decoy. This is especially true during times when the deer are highly motivated by mating, like in the rut. Using decoys can be an effective way to increase your chances of a successful deer hunt while hunting from a blind.
Know Your Shooting Lanes
Shooting lanes are the areas where you have a clear and unobstructed view of your intended target. By identifying and preparing your shooting lanes ahead of time, you can increase your chances of a successful shot when the moment finally arrives.
To identify your shooting lanes, take some time to scout your hunting area before setting up your blind. Look for areas where deer will likely travel, such as along game trails or near feeding areas. Once you have identified these areas, clear any obstructions, such as branches or brush, that may block your view.
It’s also important to understand the trajectory of your weapon and be aware of the effective range. Knowing the effective range of your weapon will help you to determine the best location for your blind and shooting lanes.
By identifying and preparing your shooting lanes ahead of time, you can ensure that you have a clear shot when the opportunity presents itself. This can help to increase your chances of a successful hunt while hunting from a box blind.
Deer have excellent hearing, and any noise you make can alert them to your presence. Move slowly and quietly and avoid sudden movements. In a box blind this task is much easier than when in a pop-up blind on the ground. This is because many box blinds have insulation and are fully enclosed with hard materials, making it difficult for small noises to escape. While you might get away with making more noise in a box blind, you still should be as quiet as possible.
One strategy for staying quiet is to wear clothing that doesn’t make noise when you move. Avoid wearing anything with noisy fabrics, such as nylon or polyester. Instead, opt for clothing made of quiet materials like wool or cotton. It’s also important to move slowly and deliberately when you’re in the blind. Avoid sudden movements or jerky motions, which can make noise and spook nearby deer. When you do need to move, do so slowly and smoothly.
Be mindful of any equipment you’re using that may make noise. For example, if you’re using a rangefinder or binoculars, be sure to handle them quietly. However, in a box-blind, the biggest potential noise makers are the windows. You need to make sure that your windows can open as quietly as possible, it is a good idea to test them before the hunt to get a feel for how each one operates.
Hunting from a box blind requires patience. You may need to sit for long periods without seeing any deer, but it’s essential to stay focused and alert. It’s important to understand that deer are unpredictable animals and may not always appear when you expect them to. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared to wait for extended periods, sometimes even hours, before you see any action.
While hunting purists may opt to simply observe nature and enjoy the moment, not everyone is this patient. One strategy for increasing your patience while hunting from a blind is to bring along some form of entertainment or distraction. This could include a book, a crossword puzzle, or even a handheld gaming device. Having something to occupy your time can help to pass the time and keep you from becoming bored or restless.
Although finding a distraction can be a good way to kill downtime, you also must remain alert and attentive while waiting in a blind. Keep your eyes and ears open for any signs of deer activity, such as rustling in the brush or the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Being alert and attentive will help you to be ready when the moment finally arrives.
Practice Safe Firearm Handling
As with any other time you are hunting, always handle firearms safely and responsibly, and ensure you know how to use your weapon properly before going hunting. Hunting with firearms can be dangerous if not done properly, so it’s essential to always follow proper safety protocols.
When hunting from a blind, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and know what’s behind your intended target. Make sure there is a clear and safe backstop before taking a shot. A box blind does help this because it is elevated and creates a natural downward angle for your shot. Within the blind, it can sometimes get crowded. Each hunter must know where their hunting lane is and that all weapons are unloaded and safe before descending from the box.
Hunting from a box blind is a great way to improve your odds of getting a deer and is an overall fun way to hunt. While there is no surefire way to guarantee success, there are a few tips and strategies that can improve your success rate including:
- Choosing the right blind
- Concealing your scent
- Using decoys
- Knowing your shooting lanes
- Staying quiet
- Being patient
- Staying safe
By finding a good hunting location and following the tips above you will have better odds of getting a deer and you will also have a great time on your hunt.