Friday, September 18, 2015

Redneck Skybox

There's no end to what hunters will do in order to put the odds in our favor. Scents, concealment, calls, trail cams, scouting, months of planning and most of all, comfort while in the field.

With the deer seasons so short and the weather being unstable we dress for it. Then there are times when no outer garments will keep the elements away from spoiling a rare day off in the outdoors.

Tuesday my day off allowed me time to head down to the farm and check on my baited trail cams. As is normal for this time of year Bambi and her mom showed up to nosh on my well placed hulled corn bait.

Compared to previous years there was not a lot of evidence that our property has been a stopping point for the local venison population. Physical signs so far have been minimal compared to past years.

Due to the previous three years of bad weather in November the bro and I discussed erecting rain proof, snow proof and heated permanent towers in order to provide more comfort during our time in the field. Because of my early archery success last year my plans this season is to hit it hard with the crossbow in October to rely less on the November firearm season. I will be relying on my conventional exposed tree stands. He decided otherwise.

Late this summer he constructed what appears to be a Stalag 13 style goon tower without the barbed wire and spotlights.

A softer and more P.C. term would be Redneck Skybox. These are becoming more common for hunters who are blessed enough to have the rare access of private property and I see them more frequently off in the distance while traveling rural county roads.

To begin with he purchased four specially designed for the purpose welded steel brackets that allow the builder whatever height he wished using 4x4 support timbers. The angle of the brackets make it stable no matter what height the hunter chooses. It is up to the creativity of the individual builder to specify the size and materials. While at the farm Tuesday I examined his Skybox to see for myself what a nice job he did.

The platform itself sits eight feet off the ground. The custom camouflage pattern he chose favors a late season environment where all the leaves fall, the crops are harvested and the background sky turns a dull gray. Interesting choice of colors and pattern, clever and not what most skybox builders use in my observations. It is placed at what should be a productive Bambi zone. His camera has shown a good amount of activity on this section of the property. His camera is shown in the above image on the right overlooking the alfalfa.

He plans on adding a swivel seat creating a 360 view of the surroundings. Sitting inside is quite impressive. The walls provide total concealment from body movement, an advantage over the ladder style tree stands I have been using. It may help contain human scent to a degree. The windows provide ample room to rest a crossbow or long gun for an accurate shot. The enclosure combined with a small propane space heater should should provide cozy comfort on cold, windy November days. Having a roof as a shelter from the rain is a huge plus.

The only negative to the skybox is it is not easily portable. Once it is there it is there. Considering the landscape it is in as good of a place as any and installed in an area that gets known Bambi traffic. 

I like this Redneck Skybox concept. Maybe next year another will be constructed on the south end of the property for me if it works out well. When he can't make it out on a random cold day at the farm and yours truly is on site I will surely savor the new skybox comfort for myself. And maybe even bag some fine freezer meat while shooting from it. 

Would I tell him if I did?


Terry from Crown Point said...

The roof will be upgraded. A spare piece of ply wood and the help of Uncle Harold were at hand that day, so I took advantage.

Carl from Chicago said...

That is some fantastic work. I hope it keeps you warm and dry and leads to some great venison meals!

Dan from Madison said...

Agree this is fantastic. I will want to examine it myself soon (asking permission first as I dont know how that scent thing works fully) and will likely want one on my property. Be careful of the propane heater that the products of combustion are vented properly. That will produce some scent but again i dont know if deer can smell that. You may be safer with a battery and electric heater but like I said I know zero so maybe not.

Dan from Madison said...

You should name it Stalag 14 and the next one 15 and so on.