The evolution of Texas deer hunting blinds
A few days ago, I was at a South Texas feed store that also sells deer blinds and feeders. Something caught my eye — three blinds. One was painted in UT burnt orange, another was Texas A&M maroon and the other was hot pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. I mentioned something in regards to the traditional camouflage green stands to the salesman. The guy laughed and said they had actually sold quite a few of the odd colored blinds. It seems that deer no longer care what color the blind or feeder is as long as it’s still slinging tasty nuggets of corn.
The days of actually making a box blind for deer hunting are far from over. That’s especially true here in South and Southeast Texas. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to build a blind. It’s actually akin to a giant doghouse.
The wackiest looking homegrown deer blind I’ve ever come across was in Arkansas. It was an old and rickety box blind that was sitting on top of a rusted out hay bailer. In a lot of outback areas of East Texas, and apparently Arkansas, a lot of cars, trucks and farm machinery rot where they stop. There are a lot of opportunistic deer hunters that will set up and hunt out of just about anything that deer have become accustomed to seeing. That can be anything from an outhouse to a junked car.
The most comfortable blind I’ve ever hunted from was in South Texas. It was one of those tower blinds and was as high as a two-story house. On a comfort scale of one to 10, it was definitely at the top. Just because it’s deer season doesn’t mean it’s going to be cold. That’s why this particular blind was equipped with an air conditioner. And just in case it got too cold, there was a heater. And if all else failed, you could actually open a window or two.
If you’re hunting in the senderos of South Texas, it’s pretty important to be able to see a long way. That’s where a portable blind on a trailer is in demand. Once on location, those blinds can be hydraulically jacked up. Some of them resemble work-over oil field rigs. Come to think of it, I’ve actually seen hunters use the height of a work-over rig for a blind.
The do-it-yourself plywood box blinds are still big-time popular in East Texas. They are cheap and easy to build and transport. Some are sitting on the ground; others are elevated. The thing about a box blind is that they are not easily stolen, unlike tree stands and portable tripods that come up missing when you least expect it.
There are plenty of hunters that prefer to use the pre-fab blinds. Some are built really well, are rock solid and well insulated to muffle the sound of voices, bumps from guns and squeaky chairs. Many of the blinds you’ll see these days are made of plastic. You get what you pay for. Some of the discount-type blinds are really wobbly and noisy, and not too much fun to hunt from.
Regardless of what type of deer blind you hunt from, it’s always nice to know that it’s not going to blow over. Anchoring a blind is important. Sitting in a wobbling blind is definitely not in the best interest of your accuracy. It’s always kind of frustrating to walk up to your blind and see that it’s been blown down.
It goes without saying that a big and solid blind makes a deer hunt pretty comfortable. And one that’s overlooking a couple of corn feeders that are maintained year round will definitely work like a magnet for deer. In that situation, it’s not the challenge of the hunt, but staying awake.