If you haven’t looked into a bale blind, this is the perfect time to start.
Bale blinds are really easy to make, cheap to build, comfortable, and provide excellent hunting cover.
A bale blind is perfect for deer or turkey hunting, but can be used for a wide variety of hunts such as predator hunts, duck and goose, and many more. Because the bale blind looks like a normal hay bale, it does not attract any unwanted attention by animals or by humans. This is a blind that you don’t have to worry about getting stolen if you leave it out in the woods or field .
I will run you through the basics of building a hay bale blind, but many of the measurements and actual building decisions will be options, and the final decision is up to you. The more time, money, and effort you put into your blind, the happier you will be with it come hunting season.
Basic outline of Materials
- Wire fencing for structure
- Wood for frame (2”x4”)
- Tarp or plastic sheet for waterproofing
- Zip-ties, screws, stapes, etc . . . for connecting
- Straw or erosion control rolls for cover
- Plywood for each end – Optional
- PVC pipe to hold windows open – Optional
Step 1 – Plan
The bale blind may seem like something you can just throw together, but you will be much happier with the results if you take some time to think about your blind before you start buying materials and building. Here are a few things to think about as you plan your bale blind:
- How will you use your blind – If you plan to hunt solo with a gun, it will not need to be as big as if you want to hunt double or if you are planning to use your blind for archery hunting.
- Weather – If your climate is one that has a lot of hard rain and wind, you will probably want to put a little more effort into the structure of your blind. This may mean making sure you have plywood walls on both sides, as well as framing all of the windows.
- Material size – The wire welded fencing that I suggest using usually comes in standard sizes of four and five feet. Keeping this in mind when planning can save you a lot of headache when you are assembling.
Step 2 – Phase I Construction
I think this blind works best if constructed in two phases. Initial construction is usually easiest at home or where most of your tools are and then Phase II can happen in the field where you plan to install your blind. With that being said here is what you should do during Phase I:
- Build The Base – Your base should be rectangular (size of your choice) and solid. This is where most of the structures strength will come from so reinforce the corners and make sure everything is firmly attached.
- Attach Wire – I recommend using welded wire. The thicker the gauge the stronger your blind will be. If you get a thick gauge wire you can usually just attach it to the base and then loop it over and attach the other side to get the longer sides and the top of your structure. The length you will need will vary depending on how large you want your bale to be but I recommend somewhere around 15’ to 20’ for a good height/width ratio.
- Attach Ends – Again, this step is going to depend on your plans. If you opt to put plywood ends on your blind this is where you will do that. If not you will attach more welded wire to the ends. How you attach is also up to you. I recommend tack welding if you are using wire and have the ability but if not; zip ties will do the job. If you choose to use wood for the ends you can also weld the end with wire to make your blind even more stable.
- Reinforce Structure – This step is optional but after you have attached all sides you can build a wood frame inside your base to meet the wire. This will ensure that the frame stays square and stable for a long time.
- Cut Door & Windows – Cut a door on one side. Depending on your sides you can cut an actual door out of plywood or just cut an opening in your wire that you will cover with straw later. Either way, reinforce your cuts with some 2x4s on the inside so that you retain stability.
- Windows are the same way, just make some cuts in the wire to form an opening large enough for you to take a shot out of and reinforce. The number of windows is up to you but I would do one per side to give you 360⁰ of range.
- Transport – That’s all for Phase I. Time to load up the blind and take it to its final destination for Phase II of the assembly.
Phase II – Assembly
Once you have the frame of the blind in the woods or field of your choice it is time to assemble. Choosing to wait until you get in the field to assemble the blind means no torn waterproofing and no loss of straw, so your materials go further. So now Phase II:
- Waterproofing – Now that you have the blind in the field you will want to cover it with your tarp or plastic. This will ensure that you and the inside of your blind stay dry all season. One layer should be good but go for two if you want to be sure. Just attach it to the outside of your wire frame. Be sure to cut outlines for windows and doors but make sure they are covered.
- Straw – This is the most obvious step in completing your blind. Cover the outside of the waterproofing in straw. This can be done in different ways. The easiest is to buy the rolls of straw erosion material. Simply unroll them all around the wire frame making sure the entire blind is covered.
- The second way is a little tougher but can be cheaper. Get some spray or roll-on glue and coat your waterproofing and then cover it in loose straw. You will have to use a lot to make sure you don’t miss any spots but this method can be just as effective.
- Final Touches – Make sure that all the windows open and close silently, you can use PVC pipe (painted to match the straw) to prop open the windows. Make sure the inside is comfortable and then make it as homey as you like.
- Add carpet to keep your feet quiet, small table or shelves to store calls, cup holders, whatever you like, the possibilities are endless.
- You can even take it to the extreme and put in some insulation to help keep you warm for those dead-of-winter hunts.
So now all that’s left is to start planning your hay bale blind for this season’s hunt. It’s not too late to get it built and out in the field.