Saturday, January 10, 2009

Think About A Pit Blind For 2009

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Pit blinds are no place for a claustrophobic person. There isn’t much room in them to move around in, but when properly prepared and placed long before the season opens makes them an ideal set-up for deer hunters who like nice close shots.

I have one near home, and it belongs to my wife. When she hunts this location, the deer are close and it is in an area where deer are plentiful. It’s a favorite spot for deer during the early fall.

I’ve hunted from them a few times, and it’s OK but there is something too confining to suit me. It’s not that I’m clautrophobic, but I’d rather sit in a tree stand on an elevated or ground coop. Even an open tree stand is better than sitting in something a bit smaller than an open grave.

An open and uncovered pit blind will work, but playing the wind is crucial. There are many ways to make a mistake from an open pit blind, but putting a roof overhead and sides all around it helps cover any hunter movements made while drawing a bow. It also helps prevent human odor from becoming a problem.

My wife’s pit blind is located near some trees and a food plot, but the most important thing about her stand is it is located in a spot where deer feel comfortable during the late afternoon and early evening. She has sat there on many occasions and seem up severa; bucks and does in an evening.

The top that I place over these pit blinds doesn’t stick up very high above ground, and the door into the pit has a small shooting window. It is perfectly positioned for close-range shots and it offers the ultimate in concealment.

The best time to place a pit blind blind is just as soon as the frost goes out of the ground in the spring. Build the pit just wide enough to allow a hunter to come to full draw without bumping his elbows on the sides or back of the pit.

Most shots are taken while sitting down. Of course, if you want to shoot standing up, it’s necessary to dig a deeper pit. Hunters who are accustomed to shooting while sitting can spare themselves the problem of digging another two feet deeper.

Another important thing to remember is to build the top just tall enough to draw a bow without the top limb hitting the ceiling. Keep in mind to bank dirt up around the edges so rain water will roll off the top and drain away. The roof can be slightly slanted and covered with shingles to help shed rain and snow.

One year we had so much rain that a foot of water collected in the bottom of a pit blind. Tall rubber boots were a necessity in that spot. Ideally, the stand could be installed in the top of a hill where natural runoff will go down hill.

Of maximum importance is to properly position the pit so it will provide easy shots at deer. A pit blind is of little importance if a hunter doesn’t understand where the deer want to be. Pick a spot 15-20 yards from that location, and dig the pit at precisely the right location.

Try not to position the stand facing dead east or dead west to avoid the morning or evening sun. My wife’s pit blind faces almost due south but there is a low hill in front of her, and most of the deer come down that hill through the woods. Even the wariest deer that stands back in the shadows to look for danger, cannot see her even when she draws her bow.

I’ve never had any problems with animals getting into a pit blind but it’s always a smart move to check it out before climbing in for a hunt. A wood floor at the bottom can be covered with a piece of old carpeting to make it silent if a slight change of position is needed.

Pit blinds aren’t for everyone but for people who like close shots, they work magic if the hunter can sit still. Sometimes they can provide a shot at a few feet as deer move close while feeding on natural browse.

A pit blind is fine for most people, but they are not my favorite. But, for those people that like them, such buried blinds offer a perfect ground-level shot at a deer, and I’ve yet to hear of a hunter falling out of one. They are the ideal blind for people who are afraid of height.

Posted by Dave Richey on 01/10 at 04:59 PM
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