Try a late-season hay-bale blind
Two type of hay-bale blinds. Usually the hunter sets farther back in each one.
The deadliest, most unconventional and warmest hunting blind in the deer woods has escaped many hunters. At first guess, many firearm hunters or December bow or muzzleloaders might feel a heated on-the-ground or elevated stand is best.
Not me. For my money, a hay-bale blind blind beats everything else. It has so many advantages, and only one disadvantage. Hunters afflicted with hay fever shouldn't hunt from this type of blind.
The solid points in favor of them are many and all are valid. Here are some great reasons to use such a blind in lake November and December.
A hay-bale blind is warm as toast as long as the wind doesn’t blow in.
*Hay-bale blinds can be constructed from big round bales or the smaller and more manageable rectangular bales.
*A round bale blind is made by putting two round bales together at an angle to form a capital "V." Put a sheet of one-inch plywood over the top, and stack six or eight rectangular bales on top to provide a warm roof over your head.
*A rectangular blind requires quite a few rectangular bales. Pile as many bales up on the left and right sides, and behind you, and put a chair inside to sit on. Stack the bales at least two high in the front, and leave just enough room to shoot. Cover the top with plywood and more bales, and you are set. The disadvantage of this blind is if one or two bales get bumped, the blind will fall like a house of cards.
*Of the two, my favorite is made from round bales. Five minutes with a tractor to move the two round bales together, laying a sheet of plywood on top and several rectangular bales on top and in front to form a shooting window will complete the blind.
*Any hay blind placed before October in a key location will pay off when late-November and December rolls around. The deer will soon get used to it, and by the time the winter archery season rolls around, it will entice deer to your area.
Place hay-bale blinds close to a food source such as a corn field near a trail.
*Key spots for a hay-bale set is near the edge of a cornfield, in an open field where two or more trails converge, or back in the woods where a good trail carries a great deal of deer traffic.
*This blind is warm. Unless the shooting window faces directly into the wind, this is the warmest blind there is. Wet hay builds a certain amount of heat, and hunters can stay warm in the most bitter weather.
*Human odor isn't a problem with hay blinds. The heavier odor of hay serves to cover any human scent inside the blind.
*It would be difficult to consider a hay-bale blind as a bait site although deer occasionally mat eat some of it while the hunter is inside but that's not something one can count on happening.
*Of major importance to me, and to others who use such blinds, is they offer straight-out, horizontal shots at whitetails. There is none of the problems of shooting downward while sitting or standing in a cold tree stand or elevated coop, and deer often walk within six feet of a hay-bale blind. The shots can be impossibly easy to make unless the hunter suffers from buck fever.
These blinds produce heat and absorb most small noises.
*The hay absorbs almost any noise. I've coughed, sneezed, and done other noisy things in a hay-bale blind without having nearby deer hear me. Of course, any movement visible through the narrow shooting window might be spotted.
*Is it too late to build a hay-bale blind? It depends on deer numbers in your area, the available food supply, and how quickly the blind can be constructed. Deer often take three or four days, and sometimes as much as a week, to become accustomed to the blind. But hay bales often are found around field, and often are covered with plastic.
If I were a hunter with a new hay bale blind, I would not sit in it for a week. The one exception to that would be if a major winter storm was due to hit that evening. Every deer in the area will be on the prowl before dark, and I'd suggest being in the new stand no later than 2 p.m.
If snow falls before the deer move, so much the better. It will help cover any human scent, and it can produce the occasional big buck.
Hay-bale blinds are not difficult to make, and they provide everything a late-season bow hunter could ask for: no scent, being as warm as toast, and being in a blind while the deer travel close to it
It doesn't get much better than that.