Why a Prebuilt Waterfowl Blind Is Worth the Money
Everyone is on a budget these days, from the grocery store to the hunting aisle. When it comes to hunting waterfowl, a lot of us choose to spend some of that extra money on migratory bird tags or better ammunition. Although the item that will give you the most bang for your buck is a prebuilt blind.
A prebuilt waterfowl hunting blind may have seemed unnecessary to work into our hunting budgets in the past, but today’s market has changed a bit. Prebuilt blinds are an incredibly useful and convenient tool that could save you a lot of time and potentially money this next season.
Whether you’re looking at a ground, floating, or skid-style blind, there are options to purchase a ready-made one. These can vary from custom fabricated to some of the more generic designs and can leave plenty of room for personalization and creativity in a range of budgets.
Prebuilt hunting blinds are convenient, fairly easy to set up, and can save a lot of time for hunters that are so busy that building their own would practically take a season itself. Many are simple designs like A-frames and are made of lightweight materials.
These waterfowl hunting blinds are often designed to be easy to move, with lightweight materials. This allows hunters to change their location relatively easily if needed from year to year. I like a little variety in my life, so this helps tremendously–instead of building two different blinds, I can just take one with me.
Prebuilt blinds save a lot of money in materials, too, depending on the size you’re looking to use. I hunt with a few other people, so I don’t use a one-man-sized blind very often. Some blinds are folding frames you can set up against a hill bank, while others are ones with more rigid frames that can hold 4-5 people.
Building the same size blind for a group would most likely involve buying lumber, canvas draping, and other materials to allow for doors, steps, ventilation, or a hatch. Buying all that is the easiest part of that whole process; now, I have to find time to construct it, and this year has just been way too busy for me to set aside enough time to do that.
Prebuilt blinds are also very lightweight compared to the more permanent blinds with heavy materials. Now, if I were a welder, maybe I could get around this by making my own aluminum framed setup, but I’m not, and I appreciate the convenience of having it already done for me.
Nothing beats a fully custom-built blind with all the bells and whistles you could ever want, regardless of whether you build it yourself or if a company builds it to your specifications. I haven’t been able to have the means to do either of these just yet, whether it’s a lack of extra spending money or time, it can change from year to year.
I’ve come to appreciate the pre-built blinds on the market today as a way to save my time and still have a decent hunting experience.
Some blinds have panels with canvas and camouflage print; others have panels with ghillie material, and others are canvas with pockets to add your own flora camouflage from the environment. There are large and small blinds for various group sizes; some have hatches, and others have unique silhouettes.
Now, if I were hunting alone, I’d be a big fan of the layout blinds that are on the market. They’re incredibly convenient to tote with you and have some pretty comfortable insulation options, too. Some other individual blinds are upright and are often better in taller marsh-type environments.
Most blinds are going to be made out of durable canvas-type material and aluminum tubing. Some may have brush straps, picket lines, hatches, or zippers. Some have a classic A-frame style; others are just folding panels you prop up.
There are even some G-frame blinds out there that are pretty neat. They allow you to shoot sitting or standing up while still remaining concealed.
Prebuilt waterfowl blinds vary in overall cost; this can come down to materials, style, and extra features. The most expensive of the prebuilt blinds are often those that are custom ordered with all sorts of extra features. Although those can cost as many thousands of dollars. There are many budget-friendly options available, too, but you get what you pay for.
Many decent-sized blinds start out in the $2000 dollar range. Of course, the sky is the limit on the other end of that spectrum, but other reasonably sized 4-5 man blinds hover around the $2500 range. Expect to pay more for a more elaborate setup, but don’t be afraid to shop the sales either to save even more money.
One of the best and most cost effective blinds on the market is the Quack Shack.
It is a five foot by ten foot blind and offers everything you would ever need out of a duck blind. It is built out of extremely long-lasting materials, and even has wireframing to help hold brush up against it. Of course, it comes with a built-in bench, and notched gun stands. You can even get a door cut for your gun dog!
The convenience factor of having a lightweight pre-built blind is practically incomparable. Some companies actually have breakdown and setup time as a specific feature of their products, with even 5-hunter blinds boasting a 6-minute setup and breakdown time.
Pre-built blinds also save me time outside of the field. I don’t have to worry about setting up plans, coordinating days to buy lumber, planning out days for construction and framing, and organizing friends’ busy schedules to try and get everything done in time for the season. Life is a bit more fast-paced, and I’d rather slow down some other ways with family time or enjoy the other game seasons as the weekends come and go.
A Blind to Come Back to Year After Year
We have all hunted out of a thrown together blind that is made of a few limbs and whatever brush we can find nearby, and truth be told, they work well if you put your time into them. Although when you come back to that blind after a while or during the next season, it is going to be ruined. A box blind will withstand any weather you can throw at it, and it will look nearly exactly the same as when you left it when you come back next year.
Plus, box blinds are a lot easier to brush in than hunting out of a blind that is made of brush. They conceal your movement much better, and they are a whole lot more comfortable. You can also keep your gun dog inside and quit fooling around with dog blinds that never work quite right.
I have been hunting out of the same blind that my dad and I built for nearly 10 years now. We built a simple blind out of 4×4 posts, plywood, and a roof made of 2×4’s and leafy netting. Now it could use some touching up, but it has served us good thus far. While our blind is better than a blind made of brush, it hasn’t lasted nearly as long as a prebuilt Quack Shack would, and it isn’t nearly as big. Plus, it was a lot more work to make. Have you ever tried to dig a post hole in a duck swamp? It isn’t fun.
While there’s a lot of satisfaction and pride in making your own blind, prebuilt ones are absolutely worth the money. It allows for more movement between locations and can save so much time outside of hunting that would be otherwise spent on construction and shopping trips.
Prebuilt blinds today can often be set up in minutes and offer an element of conservation, too. Some hunting locations just don’t offer enough cover, or the cover it does offer is limited and insufficient. Not every hunting location has structures, hills, or even significant banks to hunt.
Instead of trimming, weaving, tying, and disrupting a location, hauling in a blind can preserve that landscape and result in others being able to hunt it in the future and potentially allow for the already sparse vegetation to grow, depending on the landscape.
The price tags of prebuilt blinds can vary depending on the size, design, and extra features. On the low end, you can look to spend a few hundred dollars, but shopping the sales isn’t anything to shy away from if you need to save a few more bucks.
Embrace the prefab lifestyle for a season. I find the conveniences and advantages of a prebuilt blind is well-worth the money spent, especially with a busy schedule that never seems to slow down.