March 16, 2004
Whether you’re a shotgun-toting turkey hunter setting up on the fly or a bowhunter set up in a high-sign area, a ground blind is an excellent way to conceal your movements. It also can add to your comfort by providing room to stretch, call and prepare for a shot in comfort.
“Blinds can be a big help whenever you need to conceal movement or are hunting with a partner,” said Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF national coordinator Kirk Thomas. “They’re especially good when you don’t know which direction the birds will come from.”
A number of blinds are available at sporting goods stores or through mail-order outlets that range from a short, two-foot wide piece of camo cloth staked into the ground around the hunter to complete tent-like blinds that offer shelter from the rain and sun. These larger blinds typically have easy-open shooting windows on each side and are commonly used by hunters that are disabled or using a bow.
For more industrious, budget-conscious hunters, a blind made from natural materials can be easily built and in some instances may prove even more effective. While using downed trees and logs to build low walls is a good start, probably the easiest way to build a blind is to break out a pair of ratchet cutters (like the ones available through NWTF’s Turkey Shoppe at www.nwtf.org) and trim a number of leafy limbs from the surrounding brush and trees. Stake the limbs in a manner that offers adequate room to move around inside if necessary, but does not stand out from the surrounding terrain. Get inside the blind and trim away limbs that obstruct your shooting lanes. It is important to remember not to conceal yourself so well that you can’t see what’s going on around you, particularly the approach of another hunter!
If building permanent, natural blinds, try to construct them prior to the season, but only after you have determined likely travel routes or entry points along the field. No sense building a blind in a poor location. If you know where gobblers are apt to roost and strut during the day, or if you have seen hens feeding in a particular part of a field where gobblers are bound to show up later, put your blind in these areas.
The NWTF is a great resource for turkey hunting tips and other wild turkey information. Visit the NWTF’s Web site for information or call 800-THE-NWTF to become a NWTF member and receive one of their great magazines filled with turkey hunting tips and stories.