HUNTING

How to Build a Deer Blind: Effective Camouflage

Green deer-blind with green surroundings
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Whether you are an experienced hunter or trying out hunting for the first time this season, you may notice a plethora of hunters with pop-up deer blinds or their own stationary build deer blinds up. If you have found yourself wondering what exactly those are for, and how to make one of your own without breaking the bank, then we have the perfect solution for you.

In this article, we are going to give you step by step directions for a ground deer blind and walk you through the process of how to build a deer blind to be just as effective when hunting. We will also lay out the different options you can pursue when purchasing hunting blinds because each hunter and the prey they seek is going to require a different type.

Wanting to not only have your own deer blind but also to create it on a budget, luckily for you there are quite a few ways to have your own DIY deer blind, whether you are a skilled carpenter or not you too can have your own.

First off there are a few different types of blinds associated with deer hunting and as a deer hunter you, fortunately, have a few more options than other hunters:

  1. Portable blinds: Opening on the top they can be moved as your deer moves throughout the forest, or you can change your location with these lightweight blinds to hunt effectively
  2. Pop-up blinds: Quick and easy to carry, they are exactly what they sound like! While you trek to your favorite deer hunting spot the blind stays folded in your bag but can be popped up for use as you find your favorite spot.
  3. Tripod blinds: Stationary three-pronged blind that offers a full 360 view, perfect for open areas.
  4. Box blind: Essentially a wooden stationary box that has large windows on all four sides and is camouflaged.
  5. Elevated blind: any type of box blind that is built to be several feet above the ground or even into pre-existing trees.

Your blind should be built and chosen based on what type of hunting you are doing, where you plan on going, and even what weapon you are wishing to hunt with. Rifle hunters often prefer stationary blinds, and elevated blinds to hunt deer, while bowmen tend to use pop-up blinds to pursue their animals on foot.

Deer blind made from wood in the woods

The idea behind a deer blind is to be able to settle down in the forest to hunt for deer with little to no detection. New blinds on the market go a step beyond that and create certain comforts in the blinds for hunters that include padded seats, headrests, and waterproofing.

In this article, we will cover not only deer blind ideas but also how to make your homemade deer blind more comfortable and comparable to the kind that you would find in the store.

The details we are giving below is for a blind on a budget that even a beginner can build in order to not only save you money but give you a portable box blind that you can either leave for the season or take home with you at the end of a hunt.

ground-blind between trees

You may notice that we have not constructed an entrance to our blind, that is because you can simply enter through the bottom by lifting up. For more advanced carpenters or those who want a challenge, consider adding a door to this blind for additional comfort.

Deer Box Blind-Portable

As any experienced hunter will tell you, hunting is not a cheap sport to start out on, creating your own homemade deer blind will not only save you money for more equipment later on but will allow you to modify it based on your own personal preferences and needs.

The blind we are creating below can act both as a portable blind, moving with you to your favorite hunting spots, or can be added on to in order to create a more comfortable stationary blind. Customize it according to your preferences and the type of hunt you plan on being on!

What You Need: 

  • 2 x 4 beams
  • Sheet of Plywood
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Saw
  • Tape measurer
  • Staple Gun
  • Camouflage netting

Add-ons: What we are not describing here are the things that will keep you comfortable on a long hunt. Bring along a stool of some sort and plenty of cushion! You are going to be sitting still for hours on end waiting for your deer to leisurely walk over.

Consider buying different deer scents to cover up your own smell and the smell of the wood used to further confuse deer into thinking your blind is natural in this setting. And to add to the netting, make sure to look around for natural parts of the land to blend in the sharp edges of your blind. Brush, twigs, leaves, and dirt will all do the trick.

camo deer blind build

Step 1:

Using your saw and tape measurer, cut the 2×4 beams into 12 lengths each measuring 3 feet. Set them aside for the main structures of our deer blind. You will use this for the base, the roof, and your gun rest.

Useful Tip: Choose wood that fits into your budget, but also consider the scent that the deer will be picking up. Freshly cut wood will create a different scent to the forest around it so make sure to spray it with treatment that removes any lingering scents to really trick your deer.

Step 2:

Using four of your freshly cut lengths, build your base by creating a square and then use the hammer to nail them together. The goal here is to create stability to your blind so make sure to get them firmly together.

Need a larger size? If you are bringing your buddies or your kids hunting with you and this blind is meant for more than one, then up the measurements on all the wood and camouflage we mention. Just realize that it will be heavier to transport and might act better as a semi-permanent blind.

Step 3:

Using two 3 foot pieces of wood per corner create a 6-foot vertical at the base of each of your corners. Nail them in place and make sure that your edges are flush for additional stability.

Step 4:

Now that you have a tall shell of your deer blind, you need to consider your gun rest. Where this gets hammered into place is totally up to you and where your gun level preference is, grab the chair you plan on using while hunting and measure what height it feels most comfortable at.

Create a beam on that level at each corner of the base. It will look just like the square we constructed at the foundation For most people, the gun rest will be about 3 ½ feet off the foundation.

Step 5:

Now it is time to use the plywood set aside, this is going to be the roof of your deer blind. After you have made sure that all the beams are nailed firmly in place and flush, cut the plywood to the dimension of your deer blind, and then nail firmly on top.

Pro –tip: Some hunters prefer extra coverage to their deer blinds and will purchase more plywood to not only construct a roof but to also build a wall underneath the gun rest. If this is what you would like to do as well, especially if you are hunting in cold or windy areas, simply buy additional larger sheets of plywood, cut them to size, and nail them to the corner beams as well. This will make your deer blind heavier and may mean that it becomes a stationary blind.

Step 6:

With the netting, you have purchased and the staple gun, go to each side of the roof on your blind and staple camouflage in place. It needs to drape the full length of your entire structure (even if you have used our pro tip).

Step 7:

Go to each side of the netting and cut an area at the height of the gun rest that is large enough for your weapon to poke through, but not so large that it exposes you. This way, when the opportunity presents itself you can take the shot.   

Useful Tip: If you notice that you are shooting predominately out of one side of your blind, consider bringing along black draping. On the sides that you are not using, hang the draping up along the inside. This way when the deer peers into your blind it sees mostly the black and not you in your camouflage. They are less likely to run away and instead will come closer to see your structure.  

So how can you be successful in this blind?

With ground blinds, there are a few mistakes that you can make right off the bat that will make your hunting more difficult. The first is quite simple, your blind simply has too many hard edges and sticks out clearly in the forest.

deer blind made from camouflage mesh in the forest

This is considered ‘brushing in’ and without doing so your blind can be spotted easily by your deer. Put as many dead branches, brush, leaves as possible to make your blind disappear into the background. Even consider purchasing branch clamps to further blend your blind in with the background to create a foresty look. 

You are in the blind, but for some reason, deer can sense you a mile off and are staying away from your blind and you. It could be because you forgot to go scent free in construction, deer can sense changes in their environment and using both sights and smell they will tactfully avoid you.

Much like clothing any fabrics used in the creation of a blind whether it is a pop-up or a stationary box will hold the smells of their surrounding. Make sure your blind is fully aired out, covered in the smells of the forest and even consider spraying it down with a scent killer spray if you notice a strong scent that others it from the forest.

Don’t jump straight into your blind and expect it to work brilliantly, especially if you have just constructed a permanent outdoor blind. Deer have walked the same forest a lot longer than we have, you can think about it as if a new piece of furniture was added to your living room.

Two men working on a deer blind

You’ve been in there a thousand times so you are bound to notice a new coffee table. Construct your blind then back off for a week, let the deer walk up to it, sniff it, grow accustomed to their new piece of furniture before you attempt to use it.

If you are in a rush to create the perfect blind and do not have time to wait, that is also fine. Find an open area and construct the blind there, this way a deer doesn’t stumble upon the blind and run scared, but circle around it in their own comfortable time before approaching close enough for you.

Like we mentioned earlier, you need to be comfortable in your blind and be willing to sit perfectly still for hours on end to catch deer. Whether your blind is stationary or pop-up you can not keep moving around and expect deer not to notice.

They have keen senses of smell, sight and hearing all to avoid an antsy hunter who keeps shifting their weight. Even well-concealed windows will reveal you to a deer. Pick a window you want to hunt out of and place black draping over the rest to conceal any necessary movement.

Bow Hunter inside deer blind

Even if you are in a blind you need to wear the appropriate clothing to blend in, it is a poor mistake for a hunter to assume that deer cannot figure out what you are up to. Deer, especially in areas that are heavily hunted, know what to look for and more importantly what to run from. Wear camouflage and commit to staying still.

Your deer blind, especially if it is on the stationary end like the one we described above, it should be comfortable. If you need a place to sit, don’t scrimp on having a soft stool to sit on, the first thirty minutes may be okay, but it’s all about the long game.

Finally, the worst mistake a hunter in a blind can make is that the blind you are using will fully conceal you. Relying too much on a blind and not practicing good hunting skills can cost you a successful trip.

Wearing the appropriate clothing, having the materials you need, and staying alert on a hunting trip is what will really get you your prize buck. Even if you are in a tree stand deer blind, or an elevated blind you need to stay quite and aware or deer are going to be circumnavigating you.

Before You Build

There are a few other things to take into consideration when building your very own deer blind at home. You need to make sure that you can stand and sit comfortably in your blind. If you are on the the taller end of the spectrum, then extend the roof up to give yourself more flexibility.

If you plan on being with other people, measure their heights as well. Even if it the deer blind is larger, with the appropriate blending and camouflage you can be comfortable and still hidden from sight. You don’t want to spend a long day hunting crouched in your blind not able to stretch and move when you really need to.

Set up next to a deer path this blind can offer you the optimal hunting adventure for either yourself or you and a few buddies. As always, make sure that you are nestling your blind into an area with plenty of brush or trees in order to create further natural camouflage.

Regardless of what kind of blind you intend on using, always try to have it out at the very least a week before you plan on using it for hunting. Customizing this simple design is relatively easy, and most experienced hunters will spend the better part of offseason doing just that.

Creating cushioned areas, gear storage boxes, and larger window frames can optimize your experience outdoors. Creating a blind depends not only on the animal you wish to hunt, but the weather conditions you plan on facing, the number of people you are with, and of course how comfortable you want to be in the great outdoors.

Getting Outside with Your Blind

While some hunters prefer good old fashion ground hunting, the blinds you can make or purchase today will create a more comfortable environment for a long term hunting trip, and you can even make them yourself right at home.

Enjoy the creation of these blinds with a loved one, or have your kids join the project for a real hands-on lesson about hunting in the woods! Have we missed the best way to construct a deer blind or your favorite add-on feature? Let us know in the comments below what best works for you in the great outdoors!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

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