Are Luxury Hunting Blinds Worth It?
The closer it gets to hunting season, the more it looks like almost every product associated with the outdoors has a higher price tag. The check-out counter at most any local sporting goods store is where the new reality hits. From clothing and ammunition to luxury hunting blinds and new 4X4s, everything seems to cost more – if you can find it. Some of these higher-end accessories might even cause some hunters to pause before they write that check.
This supply/price issue seems to be especially true for items that depend on the import of parts or materials. Although products domestically manufactured have been in short supply, it looks like there may be a bit of relief in sight. With the season nearly here, that’s good news for hunters, but those price increases are taking a little longer for some of us to digest.
That’s why it’s a good idea to do a little research when it comes to buying that custom gun, new tractor, or even a high end hunting blind. That way, when it comes time to choose, you’ll be in a better position to compare the numerous offerings in the market.
Luxury Hunting Blinds
So, with this in mind, let’s look at the short evolution from wood to more modern materials and what’s involved in producing a high-quality deer blind.
Not too long ago, wood was the go-to solution for the average hunter. So when they needed to build a shooting house, they gathered up a truckload of 2×6’s, 2×4’s, some plywood, a little paint, and a few posts. But, unfortunately, they would usually fall into disrepair within a few seasons.
Granted, a good carpenter can do wonders with wood, but no matter how well-built those wooden structures were, they needed annual maintenance and serious pest control. Also, if you ever needed to move one of these wooden creations, it usually ended up being a lot of work. When wood was cheap, it was an economical option.
Fast forward, and plastic, fiberglass, and metal now dominate the materials currently used in the manufacture of the majority of premium hard-sided blinds. Ultimately, each material has its list of pros and cons, but how a manufacturer designs and assembles them is just as important as the exterior.
Characteristics of a Luxury Deer Blind
Comfort – The layout, quality components, and elbow room all work together to create an atmosphere of relaxed enjoyment while waiting on that trophy buck.
Safety– Ground-level blinds offer the ultimate answer to a safe entry and exit. However, an elevated blind can be very secure with well-designed access.
Strength– A time-tested structure that uses quality materials secured to a sturdy framework creates a product with integrity and durability, even in weather extremes.
Longevity– This is the result of premium materials, excellent design, and precise construction. It can be estimated but is best determined by closely examining a product that’s endured the wind and rain for an extended period.
Do Your Homework
Researching the companies that design and make these products might help you decide which one offers the best buy – in the long run. But the 64 dollar question is, are they worth it? Before you answer it, you might want to look into the customer service, reputation, and track record of a company and its products.
I overheard a discussion a while back about expensive deer blinds and which blind material was best and why. The conversation took the natural route of price, material, comfort, and longevity.
Finally, a seasoned veteran spoke up and said, “Wait till a cold, windy, rainy day and head to your nearest blind dealer. Sit in all the different ones there. If you ain’t dry and comfortable, the price don’t matter!”
MB Ranch King
So, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at one of these companies and learn a little about how they make their blinds. It’s a company located in Texas that’s been producing premium hard-sided blinds for nearly two decades.
Early on, Mark Bogart, the owner of MB Ranch King, realized that he wanted to create a blind that required little to no maintenance, looked good, and was rugged enough to endure windy conditions, extremes in temperature, and able to be picked up and relocated.
In addition, he wanted a blind that would last for many years and allow him to offer 100% customer satisfaction.
“My family hunts in Texas and has for the last four generations, we have used deer hunting blinds for over 60 years,” Bogart said. “We have built a lot of blinds through the years and experimented with a lot of designs. We learned that they would usually require work each year before we could use them again for the season. By the time we added up all the materials and the time we put in, the cost each year was very high. We needed a solution that would last, so we developed MB Ranch King Blinds.”
MB Ranch King offers insulated and non-insulated blinds as small as 4×5 feet and up to 14×14 feet, but will also customize an order to a client’s specifications. In addition, they also offer a lineup of some of the best elevated hunting blinds up to 25 feet.
Roll Cage Design
I recently talked to Mark’s son Corbin about how MB Ranch King builds their high end deer blinds.
“They start off looking like a roll-cage made out of steel,” he said. “The base or floor is also steel and provides a rigid, stable platform. Then, we attach the interior and exterior components to that steel frame to form a rock-solid structure.”
He said this lamination withstood the sun and rain much better than paint and allowed them to guarantee the camouflaged exterior for ten years. In addition, he said their precision design enables them to thoroughly seal every opening and provide an air-tight product that assures no pests can invade the blind in the off-season.
The Ultimate Test
Before speaking with Corbin, I had examined several of their blinds on display at a local sporting goods store. Everything from the exterior camouflage and carpeting to the near-silent sliding windows was impressive.
I also spoke to numerous landowners and hunters that testified to their comfort and longevity. Even the Economy line of blinds has two inches of insulation in the ceiling and a fully carpeted interior to deaden any sounds, but I had never hunted from one, or so I thought.
I recently reviewed a few pictures taken during my grandson Daniel’s hunt from January of 2020. He was invited to hunt deer at Rock Mountain Farms near McCalla, Alabama, and I was allowed to tag along.
As I scrolled through the photos on my phone, one image showed us standing on a stairway leading up to the shooting blind we hunted in. Those steps seemed familiar, so I then looked at several more photos from our trip and suddenly realized those steps looked like the ones made by Ranch King.
So I got in touch with one of our hosts for that hunt, Matt Mullinax, and he verified that the blind we hunted from was indeed one made by MB Ranch King. In addition, he said they had ordered it with windows for both gun and bow use.
I remember being impressed by those sturdy hand-rails on either side of the textured steps. That stairway ended at a platform with guardrails where we stood and unlocked the metal door. Matt said the blind we used that day was one of their 6×6 foot Economy models mounted on a 12 foot tower.
There was also plenty of room for Daniel’s tripod gun rest and our guide Sparky as he recorded our hunt. It had composite shelving below each window, and the windows were whisper-quiet as I slowly raised and locked them into position.
Try Before You Buy
I spoke to Kevin Kloda a while back about the various Ranch King blinds and where I could go to see a few examples. Kevin is an MB Ranch King sales specialist for my area, and he directed me to a local dealer in Tuscaloosa. Kevin then told me I needed to talk to Will Bruser and hear his story.
Will told me that he purchased a farm with an older metal blind on a field in the back of the property. He was impressed with the quality and was amazed at how many years the blind had been in that field. After reaching out to Mark Bogart, the owner of Ranch King, he purchased several more and eventually became the regional distributor for MB Ranch King blinds.
Bruser Farms is the place to visit if you want to see the complete line of MB Ranch King blinds and feeders. It’s located in Lowndes County and is also the home of Big Rig Lodge. They offer year-round fishing, and you can see the entire line of Ranch King products or book a weekend of fun and relaxation – or the hunt of a lifetime.
Final Thoughts On High End Deer Hunting Blinds
MB Ranch King is a family-owned and operated business located in Joshua, Texas. The company’s success has allowed them to expand their line of products to include solar-powered deer and fish feeders, and more recently, an impressive line of cabins.
So, back to the 64 dollar question, are luxury hunting blinds worth it? The smile on my grandson’s face as he posed with his 20 point buck is all the answer I need!
MB Ranch King Sales Specialist/Big Red Lodge
2220 Finley Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35234
Ranch King Blinds
Joshua, Texas 76058 205-243-9837
Rock Mountain Farms
2461 Lakeside Drive