Ground Blinds are a Practical Solution When Introducing Youth Hunters to Hunting Heritage

By Nancy Jo Adams

Introducing youth to hunting is always rewarding for the mentors. Those first experiences in the woods are crucial in deep rooting the hunting heritage in a young novice hunter and can be the difference in developing a lifetime hunter or one having no interest at all. I know this to be fact because I dislike freshwater fishing to this day due to a bad experience. I have no interest in giving it a second chance. It is just human nature.

Taking into consideration age and level of maturity, you should plan a hunt suited for the individuality of that youth. If you have a 10-year old high energy youth, a spring turkey hunt is just not ideal. If you have a youth that is frightened by the dark, an afternoon hunt would be more suited. But most importantly, make sure that the youth hunter is fitted with properly fitted attire, boots, and gear suitable for the hunt. Think back on a time that you wore ill-fitting clothes or boots, causing you to be too hot or too cold, or wore blisters on your heels…it is not hard to remember, is it? This is what you want to avoid in mentoring a youth hunter. If the youth can help in any manner, such as putting out decoys, light calling, brushing in a blind, or any other small task that will make them feel vital to that hunt, get them involved, it sets a favorable impression in that youth.

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As any seasoned hunter knows, one of the most important concepts of hunting is concealment. The most viable solution is using a ground blind. A ground blind will not only allow concealment, but it also offers the freedom of portability, and diversity of placement. A ground blind will allow more movement within the blind which can give a youth hunter the advantage to line up for a shot and allows the mentor to school the youth; possibly walking them through the shot. When times of game movement are slow, the youth can preoccupy themselves with a drink, snack, video game, reading, anything that will make the hunt less monotonous. A blind such as the Barronett Blinds Big Ox Blind that has the floor room available for two chairs and comfortable elbow room is ideal for a youth hunter and mentor. If more room is needed for extra gear or a camera man with equipment, the Barronett Ox 5 offers massive interior floor space, plenty of elbow room, and 72” height. Another hunter-friendly feature offered in the Barronett Blinds OxHide series is the durable color-rich, low-sheen, waterproof material for the concealment and comfort of the hunters.

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Brushing in a blind is critical when hunting deer and is even more important if you are planning on erecting the blind and hunting out of it the same day. Some hunters say it is not possible to hunt out of a blind erected in a new spot and to hunt out of it that day, however, taking the time to brush in the blind can conceal the blind from game animals. When hunting turkey or hogs, it is not as critical. Many hunters like to set up a blind and brush it in well before to their first hunt for optimum results. Using clipped branches from bushes, palm fronds, pine limbs, artificial limbs, or any other type material works well. There are band strips or ties on most blinds that make brushing in the blind an easy task. As mentioned, allowing the youth to assist in brushing in the blind allows the youth to feel they are a part of the preparation of the hunt. This time will also allow the youth to get accustomed to the area they will be hunting.

A shooting stick is recommended for youth hunters when shooting from a blind in a sitting or standing position. A bi-pod or tripod with adjustable height works best. It is important to make sure that the youth can properly see out of the blind and has a comfortable, solid rest well before the critical moment of actually taking a shot. It may be necessary to adjust the blind windows lower than an adult hunter would normally have the windows. Barronett Blinds OxHide Blinds offer lower window options that are suitable for youth hunters shooting crossbows, rifles or shotguns; even when using a tripod or shooting stick. The Big Ox offers overlapping two-panel windows adjustable to any height and gap, while the Ox 5 offers a fully-adjustable, continuous three-sided window that opens from the center. If the blind is placed in an area that there exists a high risk of movement being detected within the blind or the blind is in close proximity where game animals may travel to the blind, it will be necessary to adjust the window to a minimal viewing width. You should make sure the youth can comfortably place the barrel or forelimbs of a crossbow through and outside of the window. Wearing black or dark camo and sitting further away from the window will also keep any movement concealed.

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When choosing a blind for two or more people, keep in mind that size really does matter. Just as size is important, so is the convenience of the blind to carry in, set up, break down, and haul out. All Barronett Blinds come with a convenient zippered case that incorporates backpack style carrying straps. The blind can be comfortably carried with the weight of the blind balanced in a comfortable backpack style. It will be necessary to bring stools or chairs for the blind. Barronett Blinds offer several blind chairs that conveniently fold up and can be conveniently carried. Some blind bags allow additional room to place a folding chair directly in the bag with the blind or has tie straps on the exterior to strap on a chair.

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Using a portable ground blind is the perfect solution when introducing youth hunters to the hunting heritage by giving the mentor the opportunity to place the blind in the best possible location for the highest shot opportunity on the game animal being pursued. Regardless if the hunt is successful or not, the time spent in the blind is priceless for the youth hunter and mentor. It will make that time the most enjoyable with good memories to last a lifetime, all the while instilling a passion for hunting.

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