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Old 05-08-2017, 07:17 PM   #1
RickBarbee
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Default Sky Blind (Weekend Project)

Weekend project turned out real good.

The family hunting property is about to be overrun with cows, so I had to get the blind off the ground.
This is a Barronett Big Mike XT blind, mounted on a 12' tripod.

Built, mounted, and braced a 3/4" tubing frame to the tripod, that matches the footprint of the blind.
The blind was in pretty bad shape, and faded, but I sewed up the bad spots, sprayed the inside with a rubber sealer,
and then put a military camo netting over the outside.

Carpeted the platform, and turned the carpet up 10" on the inside all the way around.
It's very solid, and stable. Has already withstood some pretty high wind just setting here unanchored in the drive.
It'll be very solid once in place, and tied down.

I have a board that slides across the opening/entry way to keep me from stepping through it.

Rick
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:55 PM   #2
RickBarbee
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I've got another of these Big Mike XT blinds, and am going to build a platform for it. I'm just going to go up 6ft with it, and it will be a quad pod/leg design. No livestock on the property where it is, but getting them off the ground onto a platform keeps the rats from chewing them up, and makes them a lot more stable.

I'm never opposed to comfort, and these blinds are roomy inside. Add a buddy heater, and you can stay it the thing as long as you want.

I've never seen them as being that portable anyway, especially not the ones that actually give you some room in them. I have a ghillie suit for being portable. 8^)

Rick
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:13 PM   #3
CRM_95
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Good idea!!
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:33 PM   #4
steve morton
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Great job. I've got to get busy and convert my strongbuilt now. I like the extra room.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:54 PM   #5
Ronnie
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I love my Big Mike but that thing is BIG and catches a lot of wind. Mines been collapsed a couple of times sitting on the ground in a cedar brake by some of those west Texas t-storm winds. Rick I know you know what you're doing but please be careful. I know, it's none of my business .
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:22 PM   #6
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Good job, Rick! Just make sure that the camo netting is higher than any cows there can reach, or they will tear it to shreds!

Ask me how I know!

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Old 05-08-2017, 10:52 PM   #7
RickBarbee
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Thanks guys.

Ron, I started using doublebull blinds when they first came out. I learned the hard way, you don't set it & leave it without making sure it's all tied down. Never had one collapse since I started tying them down good. I appreciate your concern. Seriously. I built this thing with stability & safety in mind the whole time. The tripod, and all the add ons are solid. Once I get it set where I want it, both the tripod, and the blind will be tied down real good, so no worries.

Bisch, I know all to well. Sounds like You & I have had some of the same experiences with the cows. I've actually had the darn cows EAT one of my doublebull blinds. The lowest hanging part of this blind is still a little above 11 ft, so I think I'll be good to go.

Rick
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:20 AM   #8
76aggie
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I don't even want to talk about my experiences with pop up blinds and camo netting. Cows enjoyed eating mine so much I think I saw some walking around with traces of the netting still hanging out of their hind ends! I think I am going to hijack your basic idea and try to build a wall around one of my tripods with light plywood and camo netting but much higher than the cows can reach. Basically like four sides of plywood on 4X4 legs with a tripod up through the middle of it and no top on it.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:51 PM   #9
60 Deluxe
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My son in law modified a blind in a very similar fashion last fall. Now I have a tripod with carpet and netting hanging all over, around, and under it. Looks like crap and probably scares the deer now.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:52 PM   #10
60 Deluxe
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Not saying that yours looks like crap...but it will if you leave it up all year.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:17 AM   #11
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I dont know much much stability is a problem, but you may want to make some telescoping poles that you could set up on the corners for a just in case scenario.

I trust your judgement, just friendly recommendation.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:19 AM   #12
RickBarbee
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Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I've done this before.
The platform for the blind was actually saved over from the last time I did it.

The old blind I used last time had broken rods, and the canvas was rotten beyond repair.
It was also to short of a blind for me to shoot easily from, but it stayed in place quite well for the entire year I had it set out.

The blind you see now on the tripod is a blind I have been using for 3 years, and it has been set (on the ground) in place for that entire period of time.

The only difference now is:
(1) I have the camo netting sewn to the blind instead of just draped over, and wrapped around it.
(2) I have it mounted onto the tripod.

It'll hold up just fine. The key to the whole thing is how well you secure it once you get it where you want it.

Rick
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:44 PM   #13
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Got it set, and all anchored down.
Went ahead, and filled the feeder, and left it going for hogs.

I have a 180 degree shooting range from north to east to south, with 4 windows I can easily shoot from.

Can't shoot behind me to the west at all, but I can see the west, and south tree lines from the corners of the grain field right up to the blind.

Of course I can see the north and east tree lines also, but they are 350 yards away.

The center of the feeder at the ground is 16 yards exactly from the window of the blind. .

It's solid as a rock, and I have every confidence it is going to hold up real well.

Should be a great spot.

Rick
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:35 PM   #14
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Looks great!


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Old 05-13-2017, 09:48 PM   #15
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Looks good. I'd park the truck somewhere else though.

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Old 05-14-2017, 04:35 AM   #16
caughtandhobble
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Looks great Rick!!!

Good luck with those hogs. Is turkey season still on up there?

When I hunted South Texas I placed tripod in a Mesquite and wrapped it with shrimp net. Once wrapped good I put moss from home all in the net. My stands were named by fellow hunters "Mossy Mesquite".
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:13 AM   #17
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Looks good, and hope to see some pics this fall from it as well.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:43 AM   #18
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Thanks guys.

I have the tripod anchored to those big trees on all four sides, and also anchored straight down to the tree underneath it. I also have very long steel stakes driven into the ground through the footings of the legs.

The sides of the blind are pulled out, and tied to the tripod anchor ropes.

The top is tied up to a limb way up in the tree above it. Used a bow fishing arrow to get the line up & over.

The corners, and sides of the bottom of the blind are pulled down, and tied to the platform.

The bottom insides of the blind are tied down to the carpet in eight places (which is tied down to the platform). The carpet tie downs serve as a way to keep the 10" inner carpet lip held upright with the added benefit of extra tie downs for the blind.

Rick
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:47 AM   #19
DRT
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In for the LDPs..

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Old 05-14-2017, 09:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRT View Post
In for the LDPs..

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Hope to get some on some hogs maybe soon.

I'm gonna give it a couple of weeks to settle down before hunting it.
That'll give me enough time to get my air conditioner for it finished up.

Rick
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:02 AM   #21
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We laugh but they work.

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Old 05-14-2017, 03:35 PM   #22
spidermonkey
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Looks prime Rick I never thought I would like huntin out of a setup like that, but that's what my buddy had on his lease in Rotan where I got to go on my cull hunt back in December. That 6pt that i shot never knew I was there! And neither did the tons of other deer that I didn't shoot at, or the flock of 30+ turkeys. I still would rather be in a tree stand/or tripod, but, if I had to hunt in a "closed in" blind, this is definately the way to go! Oh, and I built the platforms he put his on. And yes, he put carpet on the expanded metal too. Good Huntin, and God Bless, Rusty
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:48 PM   #23
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All you need now Rick, is a stove and coffee pot!
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:11 PM   #24
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Looking at that pic facing the feeder makes me wish it were October.

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Old 05-14-2017, 06:28 PM   #25
RickBarbee
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I wonder if deer & hogs like the smell of coffee?

Rick
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
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I wonder if deer & hogs like the smell of coffee?

Rick
Cover scent. Just leave old grounds out there all the time. They'll get use to it.

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Old 05-14-2017, 07:14 PM   #27
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Awesome build, I'm going to have to borrow this. Thanks for posting!!

I just so happen to have 3 tripods and three blinds.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgame View Post
Awesome build, I'm going to have to borrow this. Thanks for posting!!

I just so happen to have 3 tripods and three blinds.
Thanks.

One suggestion:
Build the platform about 4" bigger than the footprint of the blind.
I built mine the same size as the blind footprint, and it would have made it much easier to mount the blind to it if it had been a bit bigger.

Rick
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:46 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBarbee View Post
Thanks.

One suggestion:
Build the platform about 4" bigger than the footprint of the blind.
I built mine the same size as the blind footprint, and it would have made it much easier to mount the blind to it if it had been a bit bigger.

Rick
Will do, I will also need to raise my blinds since they are to short as is.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:25 AM   #30
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be careful; I did one like that once and if I put all my weight on one side of the floor it would get overbalanced and tip over, had to put 4x4s on the edges to the ground to keep it from happening.
it's a great looking blind.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:06 AM   #31
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be careful; I did one like that once and if I put all my weight on one side of the floor it would get overbalanced and tip over, had to put 4x4s on the edges to the ground to keep it from happening.
it's a great looking blind.
Will do (be careful that is).

This thing is tied down like a drilling rig, so I'm not worried about it tipping over. That said, I will seldom be standing inside of it, and even when I do stand, the outer edge of the added platform puts me right against the walls, so I don't do that.

My only area of concern is the gap at the entry point. I could conceivably step through that when the carpet is folder over covering it. To prevent that from happening I have the entry at the back of the blind, AND I have a board that slips across it under the carpet. Once in the blind, I slide the board across the entry before closing up the carpet folds.

I did figure out, that I can comfortably lay down, and take a nap. I can't stretch out, but I can get into a simi curled & comfortable position. With the addition of my Buddy Heater, and my ice chest air conditioner, I should be able to stay real comfy in this thing.

Rick
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:26 AM   #32
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With the coffee scenario in mind, I may swap out the Buddy Heater for just a good old single burner propane cook stove, BUT then I'll need to add a fire extinguisher. LOL, this thing is getting more top heavy by the minute.

Rick

Last edited by RickBarbee; 05-15-2017 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #33
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Awesome set up and 350 yards is doable for YOU Rick!
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:34 AM   #34
RickBarbee
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Awesome set up and 350 yards is doable for YOU Rick!
With the 30.06.

With that thought in mind, I have considered the fact, that the field could possibly be an awesome coyote killing grounds.

Rick
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:14 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgame View Post
Will do, I will also need to raise my blinds since they are to short as is.
Just make sure your window are low enough for you to shoot the down angle, and you'll love it.

Rick
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:25 AM   #36
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Rick,

Can I assume you mounted the metal base to the tripod, then leaned it up and then once up, you attached the Tent to the base?

Also how are you keeping the sides/hubs from collapsing in.
Usually you have to tie the sides down with some string.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:02 AM   #37
RickBarbee
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Rick,

Can I assume you mounted the metal base to the tripod, then leaned it up and then once up, you attached the Tent to the base?

Also how are you keeping the sides/hubs from collapsing in.
Usually you have to tie the sides down with some string.
Yep. The base is bolted, and braced to the tripod. I set that up, and then hauled the tent up onto it, and tied it down.

The hardest part of the setup is getting the tent onto the tripod.

The sides of the tent are pulled out, and tied down to the lines that anchor the tripod on all four sides.

Rick
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:16 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBarbee View Post
Yep. The base is bolted, and braced to the tripod. I set that up, and then hauled the tent up onto it, and tied it down.

The hardest part of the setup is getting the tent onto the tripod.

The sides of the tent are pulled out, and tied down to the lines that anchor the tripod on all four sides.

Rick
Thanks for the answers.

I might adapt your design a little to add a more support to the tent blind itself.

I'm thinking 4 metal rods about 8" tall welded to the middle of each side that I can slide a piece of 1/2" pvc over and bend to connect to the opposite side.

I hate sneaking into a collapsed tent blind.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgame View Post
Thanks for the answers.

I might adapt your design a little to add a more support to the tent blind itself.

I'm thinking 4 metal rods about 8" tall welded to the middle of each side that I can slide a piece of 1/2" pvc over and bend to connect to the opposite side.

I hate sneaking into a collapsed tent blind.
I started to put fiberglass rods on mine for the sides to tie down to, but the anchor ropes worked out perfectly to tie down to, so I'm glad I didn't.

Rick
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #40
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I know I said I was gonna wait a couple of weeks to go hunt the spot, but I may just have to go this coming weekend.

I'm pretty excited about the prospects, plus I need to put a camera there anyway.

Rick
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:48 PM   #41
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New feeders seem to attract attention.

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