Air drawn from the blind is fanned up this 33-foot PVC pipe, then releases well above sensitive whitetail noses.
“I got tired of being busted by the wind and or freezing every morning,” says Bob Barton, of Vernal, Utah.
For anyone who hunts whitetail, it’s a common complaint. But Barton took matters into his own hands. “I went down to my [Texas] deer lease and set up a new blind,” he says.
The 6x6x6-foot blind, which sits on 10-foot poles off the ground, is made mostly of 3/8-inch plywood, preserved with porch paint. Shelves and carpeting provide convenience and comfort inside. The entrance is a trap door.
Barton gets an excellent vantage through the blind’s four hinged 12-inch-wide, 16-inch-high main windows that pop open, plus several smaller glued-in windows. “This is sufficient to allow 360-degree shooting,” he says. “I use a string and tape to tap the window open when at full draw. The windows need to be positioned low to allow downward angle shots.” The blind is roomy enough for Barton to sit on an old office chair, roll into position, and shoot comfortably.
Perhaps most ingenious are Barton’s scent control measures. “The blind is totally sealed with an air inlet, and the exhaust that goes up a 2-inch PVC pipe to 33 feet—you can see the base on top of the blind. I figure that gives me the scent control of being 33 feet up with the comfort of a box blind. The air is pushed up the pipe by a quiet battery-operated fan.”
“I took a small battery-operated camping fan, and built it into a wooden box. The fan blows into a funnel connected to the pipe. The box captures the air preventing it from escaping and being recirculated. I also like to use a cover scent, located right at the opening of the box to mask the scent going up the pipe. The air inlet for the blind is a simple 1-inch hole in the wall with a plastic baffle that lets air in, but not out.
The total height of the 2-inch PVD pipe is 33 feet. How high someone builds the pipe is determined by his creativity. A large tree can be helpful in securing the pipe. You have to allow for branches sway in strong winds.”
What does it take to build one of these blinds? “I had some scrap lumber, but still put about $200 dollars into materials. My guess is about $300 from scratch,” Barton says. “I used canned spray foam to seal all air leaks. I spent roughly 20 hours on the construction.”
A small battery-operated camping fan built into this wood box blows air out of the blind and up a PVC pipe, keeping human scent from building up inside the blind. A cover scent at the opening of the box masks scents going up the pipe.
The earlier a bowhunter can get this kind of blind up, the better. Barton erected this blind in March. “That should give even the most wary buck ample time to adjust to its presence. The hogs came into it the first night!”
Barton says that one of the best features of this blind is, by not getting busted, you are not educating deer. “We all know a big buck will not put up with much without leaving. I set up this blind so I can ride my mountain bike right up to the base, a quiet approach and no scent trail to and from the blind.”
Drawbacks? You may have to open windows on warmer days—Barton recommends placing the blind in a shady area—and the fact that this 350-pound blind is not easily portable. However, the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks.
“I thought something like this would be a hit in the frozen North,” he says, though he recommends that anyone in snow country add a pitch to the roof. “I have another one, and every morning last fall, does and fawns would stand 10 yards away with the wind going right at them. They never busted.”
Barton says that his blind will be a long-term hunting tool. “A very wise bowhunting magazine editor once told me, the secret to whitetail hunting is getting in and out of your stand without being busted. I can hunt this blind day after day, without wearing out my welcome. I even set up some strong cover scent, next to the fan, to cover whatever blows out the top of the pipe. Now, I truly am invisible in the woods. Watch out!”