Deciding on the Best Hard Sided Hunting Blinds
One of the primary benefits of a stationary deer hunting blind is that it helps prevent deer or other game from seeing your outline and helps conceal any movement. An enclosed blind can also help contain a hunter’s scent and keep it from traveling on the wind currents to the surrounding area. In addition, the controlled environment and comfort provided by a modern, hard sided hunting blinds can help hunters remain more alert no matter the weather.
A sturdy blind that can repel snow and rain while containing a hunter’s scent and movements would be called a reasonably good blind. However, if it’s also insulated, suppresses sounds, and does so in comfort and safety, well, that would be called a great stand. Now, suppose a blind had all that with a beautiful wood-trimmed interior and provided enough silent power for a flat-screen television, phone-charger, heater, a/c, refrigerator, or other amenities; what words would describe that type of stand?
This article will look into several aspects of modern hunting blinds and how technology has transformed fixed-position and portable hard-sided blinds into things of beauty, comfort, safety, and some of the best hunting blinds hunters can buy.
The Evolution of Hunting Blinds
If you grew up hunting deer in the 60s or 70s, you probably hunted out of or helped build a few wooden blinds. Many hunters made their blinds at ground level, but those stands could be perched several feet above the ground on posts if a tractor with a bucket was available. These wooden structures offered concealment and some protection from the elements.
They usually lasted several years but required annual maintenance. In addition to bugs, wasps, and snakes, various other critters often took up residence in the off-season, and the mess they left behind had to be dealt with and cleaned up before the first hunt. Few of those early blinds had windows, and if they did, they were crude and noisy.
Types of Blinds
Currently, several companies offer hard-sided blinds that may look like their wooden predecessors, but only at a distance. The variety of construction materials and assembly techniques used to build these state-of-the-art blinds seems limited only by one’s imagination. Fiberglass, plastic, wood, composites, and metal are the primary choices for most fixed position hard-sided blinds currently in production.
Some are attached to skids or have short legs, while other elevated hunting blinds have tower options that can elevate up to 25 feet or more. Although pit blinds are primarily for ducks and geese, one company (MB Ranch King) offers a sunken deer blind for guns or bows. This company also designs single and double axle trailer-mounted units in various sizes, and some are wheelchair accessible.
Fiberglass, Plastic, Wood, or Metal
After discussing the merits of different blind materials with numerous hunters, it’s clear that the initial cost often sways their purchase choice.Still, barring price, it seems that most prefer the stability of metal blinds. Their strength and durability allow them to withstand severe weather and high winds. In addition, their rigid structure enables them to be repositioned or moved to a different location without any issues.
Fiberglass and plastic blinds have their defenders, but they seem to come up short in durability and structural integrity when compared to blinds built with steel, like the one’s Mark Bogart, the owner of Ranch King Blinds, has designed.
MB Kings Ranch Blinds
I visited a local sporting goods store in Tuscaloosa with a large selection of blinds and feeders manufactured by several prominent companies. There were blinds made from metal, plastic, and fiberglass, and I examined them inside and out. However, the door to one metal blind was locked, so I contacted Mike Beck, the store owner.
“We keep this one locked because of the carpet,” said Beck. When he swung the door open, I could see why. The padded, camouflage carpet was simply a compliment to the 3/8″ stained and sealed yellow pine wood paneling covering the walls and ceiling. Mike said they carried several different models built by MB Ranch King, but this was one of their insulated versions. “It has two inches of foam insulation in the floor walls and ceiling, but as nice as this one is, they have another line of even more deluxe blinds called the “Accommodator.”
I contacted Kevin Kloda in Birmingham to find more about this company out of Joshua, Texas. Kevin is an MB Ranch King sales specialist for my area, and he discussed their entire line of products.
“In addition to an extensive line of metal blinds, we also offer a variety of patented solar-powered deer and fish feeders. Our deer feeders hold up to 600 pounds of corn and are hog and raccoon-proof. A big plus is that both our corn and protein models are easy to refill from the ground. In addition, we also offer several trailer-mounted hunting blinds and even have a ramped wheelchair-accessible model,” Kloda said.
Long Term Cost
There are several factors to consider when comparing the initial cost of a blind. Serious hunters realize they are part of a gear-intensive pursuit and have high expectations from their equipment. A hunter often develops a mental checklist before adding a piece of equipment to their hunting arsenal. So naturally, before spending their hard-earned money on a blind, they expect it to last and function properly for many seasons.
Ultimately, the initial cost of any hunting equipment is only part of the equation until a hunter can reasonably calculate its lifespan. Although a well-constructed blind can last beyond 15 years, some deluxe blinds, like the MB Ranch King, can last even longer, and this is where the actual costs are determined.
MB Ranch King Features and Models
The fit, finish, and seals are tight and durable, meaning you will never have to clean up after insects, rodents, wasps, or other pests.
Solid steel construction that can withstand severe weather and keep a hunter safe, cozy, and comfortable is the hallmark of their top-rated tower hunting blinds.
I had a conversation with Will Bruser about hunting blinds in general and why he prefers MB Ranch King blinds.
“I bought a farm in south Alabama several years ago, and the previous owner had a metal camouflaged blind in a remote field. I gripped the handrails on each side of the steps and climbed to a platform in front of the door. I glanced back down and marveled at how safe I felt while climbing. After unlocking the door, I was immediately impressed with what I saw. You could say I was shocked when the previous owner stated he had put it in that field 24 years ago. At that point, I was so impressed with the MB Ranch King brand that I purchased several more and eventually became a regional distributor for these blinds.”
“One hunt is all it takes” seems to be the consensus among owners of the blinds built by Mark Bogart and family out of Joshua, Texas. The company guarantees their camouflage paint for ten years, and even their Economy Models have carpet on the floor, walls, and ceiling.
Here is a list of some of the various models and features. In addition, delivery and setup are available:
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So, if you’re in the market for a new blind, first look at all the blinds on the market and then compare them to the MB Ranch King blinds. If you’re concerned about older relatives or friends climbing into an elevated stand, then check out safety, comfort, and quality, built into each all-metal Ranch King hard sided hunting blind. The zero-maintenance design and superior components are apparent in all the models of these rugged yet luxurious blinds. They also have several trailer-mounted blinds with an optional wheelchair ramp. They’re designed and built to last for decades, so go check one out at your local sporting goods store or give Kevin a call.
MB Ranch King Sales Specialist
2220 Finley Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35234