Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Building a blind for Up North

With today’s economy, building a nice permanent deer blind (or shack as we call them) can get a little pricy. But, as luck would have it, I was helping my cousin out at his building when they had 8 new roof top A/C units delivered, delivered on pallets. Now these are not A/C units you’d have by your house, these are units about 8’ long and 6’ wide…and the pallets are just as big. When I was asked to break the pallets apart for trash pickup light bulbs began to flash and I carefully disassembled them instead. Loaded them in my truck and brought them home, visions of deer shacks in my mind.

Deer shack time. I now had piles of 2x4’s, 2x6’s, 2x8’s and tons of 1x4 and 6s from 6 feet to 8 long (much to the dismay of my wife). Now that I had all the lumber, I needed to design the shack. One of the first considerations I had to plan on was how to pre-build a blind so as not to spend too much time disturbing our hunting area. Then I had to design the shape and how high it needed to be. I figured it needed to fit two hunters (daughter and me) and allow me to go to full draw on my bow, standing…so…about 7’ 6" in the front and 6’ 6” in the back.

With the pallet boards being 6’ long I figured they were already cut for me! So the blind is 6 x 6. I built the platform/floor out of the 2x6 and 2x8’s framed out in two 3’ x 6’ sections that would get bolted together once in the woods. I used the remaining 2x6’s for the flooring. This would be one heavy but very solid blind. I built it so that once the two sections were bolted together down the center, a center floor board would be finished in and two 2x8 frame boards would be bolted to the sides to complete the structural re-enforcement. Hey, I’m a big guy and I don’t want to fall through the middle….especially with my daughter there (she’d probably be ok and would just laugh at me…)

I built each wall in two parts, the primary (bottom) being 6 wide and about 3 tall, and the upper which size would depend on which wall it was on. With the frame being made of 2x4’s I used all the 1x6 and 4’s to make the exterior sheeting. To help prevent rain and snow from coming in, I ran all the boards across my table saw and put 45 degree angles on all the edges. I built the primary sheeting with the boards running horizontally and the 45 degree cuts let them lock up perfectly. I built 3 primary sections and temporarily attached them to the base. I then built each upper wall section, leaving the window areas open until we set the blind and decided the best shooting lanes. I ran the 1x4’s horizontally above the windows to provide a good drip edge for rain. With the 3 uppers built and attached to the primaries, I built a frame for the back that would include the door. The door would only be just wide enough to allow me to get through without making noise. The “back wall/door” section is the largest piece since it needed to have the door frame. I once again attached the 1” stock vertically for the lower portion and left the rest open until we set the stand. A couple of 2x4’s notched for roof support and a couple sheets of ply on top that would be covered in roofing paper and shingles later… and it’s done!. The daughter and I use some spray paint to make dark breakup lines on the blind and she paints the inside a bit in red " A Team" ... Up north it's pretty much me and my buddy against the kids and his dad. We're the B Team and they're the A Team. I think we're ahead in points but the A Team seems to have their own point system ... age, gender, age ...who knows. We're still ahead.

I mark all the boards for location and within 15 minutes the blind is in about 12 pieces and ready to haul up north. It’s late Sunday night so I clean up and head to bed.

The wife is happy all that lumber will soon be out of her driveway too…

The first thing next morning I get a call from my hunting buddy… He threw out his back Sunday.

Today, I’m ordering a Smart Air blind from Gorilla Blinds ( It’s tall enough for me to shoot my bow out of.

I'm holding off on lots of pictures for now. We're still going to haul the blind north, just not set it up until after the season is over. We've got a new 30 acres that is being timbered over the winter and it will open up new shooting lanes so we might change were we're going to place the blind anyways. When we set it up, I'll take pictures of all the pieces and the finished blind and post them... like I was going to do this week.

Still, the blind only cost me some time and a box of bolts/screws. I can't mans trash is another mans treasure!


Tim Ford said...

That is exactly how I got the lumber for my first permenate blind that I had up north. I haven't seen it in years now. I wonder if it is still standing.

Mindy said...

I would laugh at you Daddy. It's okay though.