It’s a proven fact that as we grow older, parts of our body slow down and deteriorate. I also believe that as we grow older some parts speed up, even becoming overactive; for me, it’s my bladder, but for my wife, it’s her mind. I know you’ve heard me extol the virtues of a hunting blind, and as we sit there in silence listening for an answering turkey gobble or awaiting a deer to step from the shadows, Joyce’s designing mind whirs a mile-a-minute, and our imaginations run wild to create or redesign the darnedest things. For instance, when we used to hunt in western Kansas, we’d have to distinguish between Whitetail and Mule Deer, often at a moments notice, so one year we mentally designed flash cards that would Velcro onto the inside wall of the blind, showing both species side-by-side in various poses. We have designed folding camp chairs with swivel seats that raise and lower and clothing with insulation that would shrink or swell according to the temperature.
Our main deer hunting haunt here at home has a dry stream bed running through it, and the deer come from different directions and travel on different sides of the stream bed. A few years before we built our raised permanent blind, after moving several times in attempts to out-maneuver the deer, we sat in our snug little pop-up blind and designed a portable hunting blind that would be built on an old pickup bed trailer. The ends would be round and the entire rig painted to resemble a big round hay bale with drop-down shooting windows on all sides. It would give us a portable rig that could simply be backed into the brush and weeds somewhere and moved around as crops and deer patterns change over the years. We’ve since built that blind, minus the round bale thing and it works well. Also, a few companies now offer commercially build hay bale blinds that look and work pretty much like we had ours planned.
Perhaps the most fun we have involves imagining what nearby deer would be thinking or saying amongst themselves as we sit there like a spider on its web attempting to ambush them. Once, a mule deer doe nonchalantly grazed within mere feet of our blind. We had whitetail either sex tags and could not harvest her, so as we watched, we fabricated a story about her presence. We pictured her and her “deer” friends drawing tumbleweeds to see which one of them would become the decoy. Ole’ Mable lost and had to wander around in front of us while the rest slunk away unnoticed.
Another time as a woodpecker drummed away on a tree somewhere behind us. We pictured two deer, Harvey and Bessie, hiding in the nearby tree row. “I told you that bird was a good investment,” Harvey said. “That Morse code is the cat’s meow!” Hunting blinds have zippers on the windows and doors which seem to sound like freight trains on calm evenings. We imagined Bessie suddenly stopping Harvey in his tracks and saying “I just heard a zipper; they’re here again!” We were hunting near an abandoned farmstead, so we parked our pickup out of sight amidst the old buildings. We imagined Harvey crawling up onto the pickup hood, lying on his side with his tongue hanging out and saying “Look, Bessie, they got me.” “That’s not funny; you come down from there this instant!” Bessie ordered. “No wait,” Harvey replied, “I think I see why deer like it up here. It’s nice and warm!”
Jeff Foxworthy would probably say “If your hunting blind has more amenities than your house, you just might be a redneck.” I like to look at a hunting blind as a redneck think-tank. I believe all presidential cabinet meetings, United Nations Assemblies and World Summits should be held in huge hunting blinds from here on out. Who knows what diseases could be cured, what discoveries made and what mortal enemies might shake hands again. Who knows, it might even spur Congress into working together for a change! Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]