4 Popular Networking Events for Hunting Enthusiasts

Feeling a little crummy because deer hunting season has come to a close? Are you downhearted by the sight of your precious deer hunting blind sitting empty in that vacant snow-covered field? Don’t let the burn of inactivity bring you down! Rather than letting the end of hunting season get to your head, you should instead find ways to silence your inner predatory spirit. While there are many ways to do this, such as excessive outdoor target practice with your favorite Remington or devouring whatever deer meat scraps that remain in your freezer, you might as well explore some popular networking events with all this spare time on your hands. Here are four renowned networking events for hunting enthusiasts to attend during the notorious off-season.

Great American Outdoor Show

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There’s nothing quite like kicking off the end of a successful hunting season with a massive gathering of like-minded individuals! The Great American Outdoor Show is a famous annual event that normally attracts more than 400 hunting and fishing outfitters from across the globe. At this show, you can enjoy amenities such as 1,100 exhibitors involved in pretty much everything outdoors, archery contests, American folk art, celebrity appearances, comfort food with a touch of game, interactive hunting activities and even a country music concert. Hosted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this event celebrates all these outdoor traditions over a span of nine days in the month of February, establishing Harrisburg as a true American mecca for hunters everywhere! In fact, there is still one day left to cover for this 2018 annual event, in case you’re already close enough to take a last-minute journey. If not, you can always see what all the buzz is about by reviewing the highlights on the event website, perhaps plan a trip for next year!

Western Virginia Sports Show

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It’s a known fact that certain locations are more suitable for skilled hunting parties, especially when dealing with desolate areas like the Appalachian Range. Its homebase of nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Western Virginia Sports Show is a terrific display of the diverse hunting that the area is known for. At this event, you can enjoy attractions like lectures from world-class hunters, live wildlife displays such as a grizzly bear show, contests involving a trout fishing tank and dozens of local and national exhibitions. This show takes place on the weekend of February 3rd in the cozy little town of Fisherville, Virginia.

Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo

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Some events are simply unavoidable for true hunting enthusiasts, occurring at just the right time and place. Hosted on the lukewarm date of May 2nd, at the esteemed Peoria Civic Center, the Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo is one of the year’s most anticipated events for amateur and professional hunters alike. Presented by both Field & Stream and Outdoor Life magazines, this event boasts exciting features like cutting-edge weapons sampling, seminars full of valuable sporting information, a trophy deer contest for hunters to truly test their mettle, hands-on activities like a chainsaw carving demonstration, as well as more than enough authentic finger food to feast on.

Dixie Deer Classic

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There is another world-famous hunting event that serves as a terrific example of what it means to truly take pride in one’s favorite weekend hobby: the Dixie Deer Classic event. As hunters from around the country gather on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, they can immerse themselves in archery contests, weapons handling seminars, trail camera video contests, a turkey calling battle and exhibitions from hundreds of well-known outdoor retailers and hunting professionals. Don’t miss this event on March 2nd this year, especially if you consider yourself a fan of the tradition of hunting. It is certainly no secret to every variety of hunter that the Dixie Deer Classic is one of the most elaborate shows of its kind.

Every hunter has his or her own way of enjoying the sport, adapting to strengths and weaknesses in order to take home the best game possible. With this in mind, why not attend some famous networking events in order to learn from other hunters? After all, it only makes sense to learn from the best…maybe show off your last twelve-point kill while you’re in the company of fellow sportsmen!

5 Best Ways to Customize Your Hunting Blind

No different than your average man cave, every hunting blind must come equipped with some extra goodies that will make each endeavor that much more enjoyable. It stands to reason that if you’re going to buy a full-fledged box blind for deer hunting, you might as well customize it to your advantage before putting that new beast to the test! Here are five ideas that will help you customize your hunting blind into the inconspicuous Bambi trap it’s meant to be!

Ascension Is Always Best…

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It goes without saying that any effective hunting blind should have just enough height to serve as the ideal vantage point. However, you should always be careful about how you choose to obtain that height. For example, you don’t want to purchase any ‘ole box blind with the assumption that you could simply attach it to any relatively strong tree in the woods – it’s not really that simple (and for enclosed hunting blinds, the whole tree thing really doesn’t work so well). First, you need to decide how much height you’ll need and how much weight your support structure can handle. Then, it’s a simple matter of choosing the style of your towers.

You can always purchase towers to go with your box blind (making sure the weight support is on par with your blind), then customize them to your desired style. If you want a permanent structure, for example, stake your towers into the ground for better support – then perhaps you can camouflage those towers, along with your blind, to match the natural surroundings. On the other hand, if you wish to have a more mobile structure on the off-chance you may want to choose a different vantage point later, you can always add wheels to the base of your towers and tow the entire structure to the new location with ease. No matter how you plan to use the hunting blind, the height you choose and how you obtain that height will likely determine your success in each and every hunt! Think all these factors out before you decide to just wing it! For ideas on where/how to purchase towers that you can always customize later, refer to a credible supplier like Hughes Products.

Camouflage Please!

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Another factor you’ll want to at least consider before finalizing your deer stand setup is that notorious camouflage! While this effect is not always absolutely necessary, no hunter will deny that it can certainly fool these jittery creatures into walking just a little closer – enough so to either make or break your ultimate shot. With this in mind, don’t just choose the camo style that best suits your personality – instead, find a style that best suits the environment with which you choose to hunt. Get a good grasp on the natural colors that surround your intended vantage point, then plan to implement these hues into your camouflage scheme. If you live in the desert, for example, use Operation Desert Storm military designs as your inspiration.

However, once you’ve found the ideal color scheme for your camouflage design, don’t plan to paint the camouflage on your own. Instead, go with a vendor that has the ability to print the camouflage design for you. Not only will this make setup much easier, as your box blind will already be fully camouflaged the moment it is shipped, but it will also ensure better results, making it far less likely that you’ll have to repaint too soon due to weathering. If you take this approach, every facet of your hunt will be so concealed that even the oldest, wisest buck in the herd will likely overlook your presence!

Tint Those Windows!

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Speaking of concealment, there is another step you can take to make your targets even less aware of your presence: tint those windows! Some hunters may choose to take a minimalist approach in this situation and either build or purchase a hunting blind with as few windows as possible for the sake of concealing themselves from their targets. The one big disadvantage to this logic is obvious: you will lose the advantage of visibility, rendering your stand less useful than its counterparts. For this reason, the more windows, the better. Since concealment is always also a legitimate concern, find some middle ground by installing tinted windows in your window fixtures.

You can purchase tinted glass at all sorts of venues, but, if you find the right hunting blind supplier, you can simply request the addition of these windows. This will provide better accessibility to your vantage points, giving you the opportunity to open and close the windows as needed without making too much noise (because of the smooth mechanics of professionally-made box blinds and their window fixtures)…But when they are indeed closed, you will have no need for concern, because the deer you seek will have almost no chance of seeing what sort of surprise waits within that box blind!

Carpet Makes Sense In More Ways Than One

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There is another component of every deer hunting blind that is critical for keeping deer oblivious to your presence, one that hunters often don’t take into consideration: carpet flooring. You might be thinking, “Why in the world would I care about decorating when it comes to my portable hunting lodge?” Rather than considering carpeting for decorative purposes, you should instead consider the sporting aspect. What if, for example, you’ve got a large buck in your scope, but the creature has wandered out of your vantage point, forcing you to stand up and adjust your rifle to a different angle? Without a functional carpet in this situation, the motion of standing might just make enough noise to scare off your prize.

In addition, if you install a smooth layer of carpet over the entire floor of your box blind, you’ll gain a level of comfort that will make it much easier to sit and/or stand in the same spot for hours on end. And let’s face it, this level of comfort will keep your head in the game, increasing your odds of a successful score on each hunt.

Accessibility Matters

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When setting your deer hunting stand up for success with extra accessories, you also want to take accessibility into serious consideration. For this reason, consider purchasing a full door blind, as well as a blind with enough dimension to fit the amount of people you hunt with, as this will make it much easier for you and your hunting party to move in and out of your hunting space. You want to add components that will make your box blind a more permanent fixture to your hunting needs. Having a full door can accomplish this by maintaining that accessibility, even as you age. Otherwise, you might find yourself having more and more physical problems every time you enter your hunting blind. After all, no one wants to have to crawl or perform acrobatics just to enjoy a favorite weekend hobby!

Another aspect of accessibility to consider is your weapons…Since a weapon is the most precious tool in a hunter’s arsenal, it only makes sense to customize your hunting blind to not only suit your needs, but also the needs of all your tools. With this in mind, make sure your hunting blind has plenty of lumber because this will present the opportunity to install your own add-ons. With lumber installed on the ceiling of your blind, you can easily use that lumber to support a hook or a rack – which, in turn, can support a bow or gun. With a setup like this, you can easily hang your best weapons in such a way so that, when you notice a potential target, all you have to do is grab and point!

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With ideas like this in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t make the best out of your hunting blind. If you use creativity to your advantage, customizing your blind in these ways will likely give you a professional edge over every other hunter on the block. Then, it’s only a matter of time before your pals start offering to rent your box blind every other weekend!

 

4 Best Places to Assemble Your Box Blind

 

When a deer hunter has the right supplies and plenty of ammunition, nothing will stand in the way of that prize-winning kill! However, it’s not uncommon for hunters to hesitate a little when it comes to setting up for that kill. Perhaps you’ve just bought the perfect box blind, and you’ve got everything else you could possibly need for a successful hunt, but now you’re bogged down by the same question that can sometimes haunt even the most seasoned hunters – Where should I assemble my box blind?

Positioning your box blind is a critical part of the hunting process, as this will determine the end game and give you the ultimate shot at that beautiful buck! Here are four places to consider setting up your deer stand if your options put you at a loss.

Classic Tree Line Setup

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If there’s one potential position that is a classic textbook setup for any deer hunter, it’s definitely the old tree line routine. If all else fails, it almost always makes sense: there’s usually plenty of open space ahead, enough woods and natural clutter behind you to mask your vantage point, as well as no possible interference to your shot, aside from perhaps a little wind. If you go this route, take full advantage of the brush along the tree line, use any timber you see to assist in camouflaging your towers and/or box blind without hindering your shot. It would also be helpful here to deck out your blind beforehand with a customized camouflage exterior.

Embedded Approach

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There’s one approach to fully utilize when your box blind is perfectly camouflaged: embedding your deer stand deep in the woods. Some hunters prefer this as the more direct approach. While it is true that immersing yourself in the trees can indeed pay off, you want to pay extra attention to your vantage point before taking all the extra time to assemble your entire stand. Look at what is above and imagine what it will be like to take the shot from fifteen or twenty feet high, make sure there will be no limbs or even little branches that could impede your ability to tag that prize-winning buck!

With a clear shot from above and your camouflage doing its job, there is one more primary factor to consider before calling your woodland setup finished: Keep your vantage points open. While even a simple two-sided window blind could still do wonders with the tree line setup, with the embedded woodlands approach, you’ll want to make sure you invest in a four-way box blind, or, better yet, something even more creative – such as the Hughes Products Intimidator Blind. This blind has a polygonal perimeter that allows you to take full advantage of the windows, which provide almost a 360-degree vantage point, thanks to the entire unit’s unique shape. Hunting with elevated box blinds like these will ensure that you can shoot a deer from almost any angle when you’re positioned within a dense wooded area.

Yes…Take the High Ground!

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There is certainly more than one way to take full advantage of an elevated box blind with custom-built towers, and it’s never a bad idea to amplify your elevation even further. You can do this by studying the lay of the land, whether you’re in a patch of woods or out in the open, and determine where the high ground is. If you can set your deer stand up on the highest ground available, you’ll definitely improve visibility and reduce obstacles when taking the shot. If you take this approach, exaggerate your height as much as possible and choose the highest towers available that can still support your box blind’s weight. Since stability of the towers can be more questionable on a slope or even at the peak of a hill, stake those towers down and make your deer stand a more permanent fixture to the land. After all, when is it ever a bad idea to establish permanence when your elevation reigns supreme?

The Pathway Approach

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Once you’ve exhausted all options with terrain and tree density, you should next focus on setting up your deer hunting stand in accordance with a pathway you’ll suspect these timid creatures to gather upon. Because you know your targets are timid, you also know that there is power in numbers. If you happen to miss the first shot, you’ll have a better chance to recover your hunt and make off with something notable if your targets are in abundance and out in the open. That said, try to think like a deer for a change before making the final decision on where to position and assemble your box blind. Consider placing your blind adjacent to an actual pathway or trail if you’re in a heavily wooded area. Also pay close attention to certain factors such as feeding grounds or bodies of water. If you know the pathway you’re considering leads to a clean body of water or a cornfield, for example, you can almost be certain that any deer in the area will trot along this trail, and most likely in numbers, to enjoy the fresh water or sweet taste of corn. That means you have likely just pinpointed the best possible place for maximizing your hunt, especially if your spot along such a trail also has the advantage of high ground and no nearby trees to obscure your view.

Simply put, if you always keep your land and surroundings in the back of your mind, you can almost never go wrong! Assemble your ideal deer hunting stand with a setup that would make even the most professional huntsmen proud…but envious!