When hunting season opens and you prepare to trek into the woods, it is imperative that you have a plan to enact once you select a hunting destination. Will you be moving about, stalking your game, or will you instead hole up and still hunt instead? If you plan to still hunt, you are going to need a good place to position yourself while you wait, and that is where a shooting house comes into play.
It is possible to spend your time still hunting in the field leaning against a tree or perched on the ground, but a shooting house can give you some protection from the elements while concealing your location. It is important to remember that while movement will spook a whitetail, you will be able to stretch and shift your weight unseen from inside a shooting house. This will allow you a little bit of extra comfort while you wait for a deer to come your way.
Photo: Hunting Net
When the time comes to build your shooting house, there are a few things to consider. There are a lot of shooting house options available and you can plan to buy it or build it, but keep your goals in mind. How many people will be inside? What type of weapon will you be using? Do you plan to bunk overnight or for several days in your house? It gets very cold in Missouri, so if you plan to stay overnight, you will need room for blankets, a cot, and possibly a small heat source. All of these questions and more should be answered as part of the planning process.
The first decision you need to make is in regards to size. Determine what and who will be using your shooting house and plan out space for each item and person to occupy. For a single hunter with a rifle or shotgun a 4x4 shooting house may be adequate. However, the more people and stuff you plan to put in there, the bigger it will need to be. Keep in mind, too, that you will have to get your shooting house to its planned location via skids or a trailer, so while it may sound good to go with something large, it might be too much work to haul a large, heavy shooting house in and out of the Missouri woods.
Photo: Hunting Deer Blind
Once you have a size in mind, it is time to plan materials and construction. Economically speaking, plywood is a good choice for building a shooting house due to its ability to be easily worked with and its longevity if treated. Corrugated plastic may work as well and due to the color availability it boasts, it may require less time and effort to camouflage it. Things such as particle board will not have the same longevity in a wet, snowy climate, so choose materials wisely. It is also necessary to select an adequate floor and plan to insulate it from the cold, such as with cardboard, carpet, or other types of rugs. Windows should be present, but of a Plexiglas variety so as to avoid breakage and the excess weight of glass.
As you determine the specifications you wish your shooting house to have, draw up some plans along the way. If you prefer, it is possible to find plans online as well. Online plans can also help you calculate weight before you buy so you are better informed as to where you might need to opt for something heavier or lighter based on your needs. The one thing you won't be able to get online is a feel for what it will be like actually spending time inside of a shooting house, so if you have friends with shooting houses, visit them and take notes.
Upon completion of your shooting house, be sure to stabilize it thoroughly before use. The last thing you need is to go on a sleigh ride down a hill in a wobbly shooting house, so take the necessary time to secure it properly. You will then need to place foliage on/around it to finish the job and conceal your shooting house as a natural part of the woodland environment. In the end, you will have a nice little corner of the woods to make your own as you wait for a whitetail to pay you a visit, which beats leaning up against a tree any day!
Do you have a shooting house? Are there any specifications you would care to share? Let us know in the comments!