Often, as hunters, we spend our days working hard to make a living for our families. Throughout the day, it is common for our minds to drift away to moments spent outdoors instead of focusing on the work at hand. As hunting season nears, typically, those thoughts consume even more of our day. Contemplations on creating food plots, hanging tree stands, game camera placement, and where we will be sitting on the opening morning are plentiful.
I recently experienced one of those drifting mind moments while at work. I found myself envisioning how I could hunt a specific area on my hunting property. There was a large amount of deer activity in a location that did not have any large trees suitable for a tree stand, and I could not place a ground blind due to the landowner's cattle that could easily travel through and possibly damage the blind.
While at work, I walk by a large stack of used wooden pallets several times a day. While passing by the pallets, I had an idea how I could use the pallets to construct a homemade ground blind in the location mentioned above. It is almost a daily occurrence that someone will drive by and see the pallets, stop, and ask for a few to use in projects they have viewed on popular do-it-yourself websites. Knowing how often they are sought after, I searched the web for ideas for building hunting blinds from old wooden pallets. To my surprise, I wasn’t the only one who had thought of constructing a homemade blind. The pallets can render many advantages for the hunter looking to make something themselves to increase their chances of getting close to a big buck this fall.
One of the reasons for the recent popularity of the many wooden pallet projects found on the web is the low cost of getting started. Wooden pallets are relatively available from many businesses that receive large amounts of freight or products. They usually give the pallets away at low or no cost if you ask nicely.
I use factory-made ground blinds each year while turkey and deer hunting. I love them; they are practical and have benefits that trump other methods in certain hunting situations. However, they can be pricey, costing hunters over a hundred dollars for a decent-made blind. The recent blind I constructed in the area where I could not use a pop-up style blind or tree stand cost $6.00 and completely solved my how-to-hunt dilemma. For a few more bucks you can use camo fabric or age the wood with paint or stain, but you’ll want to do so with plenty of time to let the odor work itself out.
As a kid, I remember spending hours with my father in his shop building tree stands for himself, friends, and family. Yes, factory-made tree stands looked better than our stands, and they may have even cost less, yet the feeling of pride we had while making them was priceless. The same goes when using pallets to make a blind; the satisfaction from constructing something out of nothing is gratifying.
I love spending time with my family in the outdoors. When building our ground blind, my wife and son joined in, all doing our part to make it an enjoyable project. My four-and-a-half-year-old son felt like he was involved and could feel the satisfaction of making something with his own hands that would bring us enjoyment while outdoors.
Solid Structure/ More Concealment
Because of the cattle that roam in the same areas I hunt, I searched for ideas for a durable blind, knowing I did not have the room to bring in a factory-made blind or a larger homemade blind. After seeing the pallets and researching the idea of using them as a ground blind, I knew it would provide a solid structure yet take less room and time to set up.
A pallet is often used to haul freight or product from factories or warehouses to the retailer. The pallet is typically made of wooden pieces that allow room for a forklift's forks or loader to move between for easy transportation quickly. The 4 inches or so of the room often found between a pallet is ideal for brushing in a ground blind. The allowed space can hold limbs and brush in place during bad weather and unruly livestock.
A solid structure is excellent for concealment, yet when building a blind from pallets, the hunter can bring along a few screws and a cordless drill to attach each pallet together, forming a three to four-sided blind that can be transformed into a solid and secure ground blind.
The wooden pallet structure also provides more concealment from wildlife. The solid boards provide a wall between the hunter and the approaching wildlife. A solid wood structure and the added brush that can be placed throughout the pallets provide excellent concealment. Another advantage of a more solid wall is the protection it can give from the cold wind while hunting. Even the slightest windbreak can give extra warmth on those cold morning hunts when chasing after a big buck.