For ambush hunting many hunters like to sit in a hunting blind or on a high chair. Most of the precise shots are fired from these hunting structures as the hunter has a better view of what is happening than when staying on the ground and stalking the animal.
Location found – what’s next?
The most reasonable option before building a hunting blind would be to make sure that the animals have found the feeding places and use them regularly. The other option would be to place the hunting structure somewhere where the animals go regularly. I always choose the location taking into account the wind and of course safety.
It is better to choose a location that is a bit higher so that the overview would be better and that the hunting blind or high chair would be hidden, if possible.
What’s obvious, is that everything needs to be locked so that strangers could not enter the structure and damage your property. This way passer-bys do not disturb the animals and won’t get the chance to climb the structure as they might fall and hurt themselves. The last point goes mainly for children because whoever builds a hunting blind is also responsible that everything is safe and no one gets hurt.
What to use for building?
It is essential to think through if the location of the hunting blind will stay the same or is it likely that the location needs to be changed and the hunting stand will be moved for example to the other end of the hunting grounds. In that case the structure needs to be light in weight and must sustain moving.
Also it would be wise to build it for example on an old trailer so that one could attach it to the car for moving. It is never wise to use heavy materials to build hunting structures. By this I mean thick logs or beams, metal carcasses and other heavy details. People might think that the thicker the safer and that is certainly true but in the end one cannot transport or assemble the hunting stand alone when it is really heavy.
It would be sensible to use wood from the forest or thinner beams to make a proper frame for the stand. One would surely use conifer as hardwood tends to rot more quickly. I would personally recommend to cut dry spruce from the forest and use them with bark because it will protect the wood really well.
Actually it is wise to use weather-proof saturation agents on the wood. Those who dare not to use the agents as animals might detect the smell then believe me, when an animal is hungry it will come and eat by a smoking fire if it has to.
A screw or a nail?
There has been a lot of discussion on the topic what’s best for building a hunting blind. Should one use a screw or a nail?
Screws tend to break often and you should never use a screw when building a ladder for climbing the stand. For building the ladder and the carcass for the stand I would suggest using nails. The longer and thicker they are the stronger the whole construction will be and therefore it will be safer for you to stalk the animals in the stand.
I have climbed a ladder and fallen very miserably once just because someone had used screws, which corroded and broke, to build the ladder.
The biggest disadvantage when using a nail would be squeaking. When you step and move yourself then nails tend to make noise under our feet. I have found a solution for this by attaching a thin washer bolt at the end of the nail. Doing so I was able to walk while in the stand without nails making any noise and animals hearing me.
So, the rule of thumb is this – everything that stays below us will be built by using nails and everything that stays upwards will be built by using screws and nails.
How high should the blind be?
The more the hunters the more the opinions and there are no certain standards. The only thing that might disturb and worsen the result of the shoot while high up in the blind might be the wind. The wind is the biggest enemy in high hunting blind, therefore, the lower the stand the better.
Of course, everything depends on the landscape as well. I have usually built the blinds keeping in mind that 0,5 metres should be under ground and the roof will be at an altitude of 3 metres. The important thing is that no one would get hurt when walking at a 5 km radius as the bullet of a rifle can be dangerous even at this distance.
Most definitely one should clear up all the stones in front of the blind so that the bullet would not ricochet. Basically, the blind should be so high that when you shot an animal you have to lower the gun only a dozen or so cm and it is more comfortable for you to do your thing.
I have once sat in a stand that was really high and aimed the animal from up above. It was really uncomfortable when it appears to be windy it is unlikely to make a nice shot in the dark.
Partly opened or a closed hunting stand?
If one only stalks on the feed sites then it is reasonable to build a closed hunting blind as animals with their sensitive sense of smell might realise that we are waiting for them.
If a closed hunting blind has been chosen then there should definitely be windows on each side as animals may come from whichever direction. It is never wise to build only one place from which to look outside of the blind as there are many situations where the hunter has to be in a very uncomfortable position and might lose the hunting joy.
It is easier to have openings on three sides of the structure so that you could see everywhere. A hunting blind that is partly opened from the top is best for joint hunting when drovers drive animals onto the line.
The advantage of a partly opened blind is that you can react quickly when animals are running from the hunting dogs and therefore, the hunter must be very alert and act fast, then he can look on each side with just one turn.
The interior and amenities of the hunting blind
As the winters in Scandinavia tend to be rather cold then one should definitely insulate the blind. The best way to do this would be with the building wool. If you use EPS foam, the blind will make noise while swaying as the material is highly squeaking. Rather use wool between two walls and skins of different animals on the walls and on the floors so that it would be warm to sit.
When talking about sitting, you might have felt what happens to your buttocks when you stay in the same position for three hours. I have a medicine for that.
Lots of people have old car seats that you can use. If you want to stalk animals together – you and your friend – you can put the seats side by side in the stand and it feels like sitting in a movie theatre but it is comfortable and free of charge. What could be better than a comfortable hunting blind and a successful hunt.