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A hunting blind (US), hide or machan is a cover device for hunters or gamekeepers, designed to reduce the chance of detection. There are different types of blinds for different situations, such as deer blinds and duck blinds. Some are exceedingly simple, while others are complex. The legality of various kinds of blinds may vary according to season, state and location.
Types of blinds
Blinds may be stable or mobile. An early blind used by hunters was a cocking-cloth, a piece of canvas stretched on a frame like a kite that would permit hunters to approach pheasants and to shoot them through a hole in the cloth.
Duck blinds in the grain fields in south central Oregon and north central California can be as simple as a hunter walking two or three miles out into a grain field, stopping at a dike, a raised area, two feet (60 cm) or so high, 10 or 12 feet (3.0-3.6 m) wide and usually a half mile or so long on a side. The hunter simply sits down on the top and pushes dirt away with both feet, front and back. In two to three minutes a shallow depression is created. Then additional stubble from cut grain can be placed around the edges, enough to provide cover when the hunter lies down when birds are spotted, sitting up when they come in range. The blind can be deepened to allow sitting upright, if desired, by using a digging tool. In other areas duck blinds can be quite elaborate. More substantial structures are common in the midwestern United States, and their purpose often extends beyond concealment to include protection from the elements, particularly from rain and cold. In some areas, blinds can approach small cabins in their size and amenities. A sinkbox is another elaborate form of duck blind, designed for partial submersion in a body of water; sinkboxes are illegal to use in the United States. Also for hunting waterfowl in fields, hunters will use a layout blind. A layout blind is a low profile blind that a person can lay down in and stubble in to hide from waterfowl.
Deer blinds may not be legal in all areas, so hunters are obligated to check hunting laws before constructing them. Alternatives include simply sitting still at the base of a tree. It may be illegal is adding to a natural condition to improve upon it and conceal a hunter's presence, or actually constructing something with sides and a roof. In some states, hunting from a camouflaged blind may be prohibited during rifle/shotgun season. In such cases, a hunter is required to add orange patch on blind such that the orange is visible from all angles.
Other simple blinds include climbing a tree, usually with special climbing equipment and with some kind of seat, or with a burlap enclosed frame. In India, a hunting platform on a tree during shikar is known as machan.
- The Sportsman's Dictionary; Or, The Gentleman's Companion for Town and Country: Containing ... Instructions for ... Hunting ... Fishing ... Cocking ... With the Various Methods to be Observed in Breeding ... of Horses ... Also, the Management of ... Ducks ... Singing-birds, Etc. ... G.G. & J. Robinson. 1800. p. 110. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
-  Archived September 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine