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National Hunting Blind Set-Up Day

If that’s not an official holiday, it oughta’ be!

An Ameri-Step pop up hunting blind, set up near the base of my “Outpost” tree stand. I set up ground blinds near most of my tree stands. They give me an all-weather option at each of my hunting spots for fall hunting season.

Well! This is it! Saturday is October 1st. The time of year every hunter has been waiting for. In New York State, October ushers in the opening of bow season, fall turkey and duck hunting, as well as most small game seasons.

As every seasoned hunter well knows, proper hunting blind set-up is not really accomplished in a day. It’s a year-round commitment of planning, preparation, dedication, attention to detail, hard work and passion.

I spend my entire summer planning and preparing for my fall hunt.

Hand sculpting new ponds

“Pitchfork Pond”
Completely hand dug.
Took me three summers to finish.
One man & a shovel.
A two-summer dig.

“Horseshoe Pond”
I finished this with one week of straight digging.

Planting clover

In past seasons I’ve purchased bare clover seed & inoculated it myself. I usually buy 50 pounds of red clover & fifty of white. Red clover is cheaper, but deer seem to prefer white. This year I bought a 100-pound bag of pre-coated white clover seed. More expensive, but a lot easier, and the results were amazing!

Strategically planting wildlife friendly trees

I plant a wide variety
Oak, maple, hickory, black walnut, berry bushes, conifer cover
But my favorite is crabapples
Everybody loves crabapples!

Putting in wildlife food plots.

From clover (everybody loves clover too!)

to crabapples,

I try to provide a variety of wildlife food sources.

Hickory & black walnuts, I’m even trying to grow chestnuts & hazelnuts!

Wild Grapes, black currants, bush cranberries

This year I added soybeans to the mix!

All to provide varied wildlife friendly food sources for the years, like this year, when the acorn crop won’t be quite so abundant.

I plant different wildlife crop mixes every year.
This year I tried adding soybeans.

I bought a 50-pound bag from the National Deer Association.
Mowed & raked down close,
Then hand sewed & rolled the seeds in with a roller.

Doing some planning with my son RJ, then strategically deploying our array of game cameras.

A game changer!
They send real time images to my son’s smart phone

All done to support and enhance our carefully chosen ground blind hunting locations

“Tri Ponds” Ground blind
We name all our trails, ponds, stands & blinds.
Makes communication & coordination much easier.

All of my ground blinds are in carefully pre- selected & prepared spots.

For Tri-Ponds I hauled in 20 wheelbarrow loads of crushed stone for elevation & drainage,

topped with ten bags of mulch for camouflage & stealth.

I start by putting down an old rubber bottomed door mat as flooring.
Traffic in and out of a blind can quickly create ruts.
Hunting chairs in a blind slowly sink in the mud.
Nothing I hate more when hunting than sitting in muck & ending up with wet, muddy equipment & feet!

All to support a properly oriented hunting blind set up on pre-prepared shooting lanes overlooking my array of ponds, clover & food plots.

“Tri Ponds”

What they see:

What I see:


What they see:

What I see:

In addition to my two all-weather ground blinds,

I also set up two “old school” ground blinds using brush.

“Middle” Ground Blind

What they see:

What I see:

“Oak 2”

Old School Ground Blind

What they see:

What I see:

In addition to my two all-weather ground blind and two old school ground blind options, I have 8 tree stands and an elevated all-weather hut. All carefully hand crafted and installed. I built the tree stands with inclined ladders, so that I can safely climb in and out of them as my legs get older.

“Oak 2”

Tree Stand

What they see:

What I see:

“Oak 1 Tree Stand/Hut”

What they see:

What I see:

So, there you have it. Four Ground blinds, eight hand crafted tree stands, and one elevated hut. Thirteen hunting blind options, all supported by carefully planned and created trails, ponds & food plots. A lifetime of effort!

Each blind offers its own unique hunt. I choose each hunt’s spot based on a variety of factors; wind, weather, sun, time of day, what the game cameras have showed us, my moods & hunches, and the prey I am after.

All in the hopes that at some point during the season’s legal shooting hours, someone like this guy shows up!

I think all that time, planning and effort deserves its own holiday! Don’t you?


Until Our trails Cross Again:

Good Luck this Hunting Season!

Be safe out there!