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Mar 25th, 2012
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Energized tower blind under transmission lines #7616052 09/25/19 05:48 PM
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On my buddy's property, we built a new tower blind. Its a 8'x8', 10' tall. We used brackets on 4x4 posts, metal screws and lag bolts to attach all pieces. We used tin on top of a plywood roof for water defense.

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As we got higher and higher with the build, we noticed the metal ladder we were using to get up and down was shocking us. Th first few times we didn't mention it to each other as it was just an annoyance. But as the build continued and as we had to go up and down more and more, we starting talking about the risk of some serious static shock. The base of the blind is about 10 to 15 yards from the transmission lines bisecting the property if they were dropped on the ground. They are of course 50 or so feet in the air. But the taller we get this thing, the closer we get. With the amount of voltage and current flow that's going through these lines, I imagine a significant electromagnetic field is being generated. When we lean the metal ladder up against the wood tower blind, we are grounding it. As we get on the ladder from up in the blind, we are being grounded from the EMF to the ground through the ladder thereby getting a small shock. We experimented putting a 2x6 flat on the ground under the ladder for insulation. It worked in the afternoon, but did not in the morning. My guess is the dew on the ground and the wood was cutting though the insulation. Once that burned off, it would have been fine again.

SO, the question to the group is, should we stop? Should we halt our project right before season and risk not finishing it in time for Nov 2 so we can drag the whole thing farther away from the lines? Is there more risk when its foggy outside or better yet raining? Is it possible that someone get seriously injured by static shock? OR, could we just build a wooden ladder/steps and forget the whole thing?

Thanks all!


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616060 09/25/19 05:55 PM
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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616062 09/25/19 05:57 PM
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I managed a ranch that already had a 15' to the base 6'x8'x7' box blind on top of it. It was a 2" angle tower, with a metal staircase and the blind frame was metal square tubing and a metal roof. It was sitting right under a regional transmission line so you could shoot north and south on the ROW. The whole blind was sitting on and mounted to a concrete slab. I worried about hunting out of it but it had been in place for 8 yrs when I got there. I hunted out of it for 5 years while I was there. Never had any issues in rain or fog or on a normal day.
You might put some concrete stepping blocks under the ladder to see if it helps. Maybe add a ground wire to the blind???? I would visit with transmission company and get their feedback.



Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: stxranchman] #7616095 09/25/19 06:36 PM
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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616096 09/25/19 06:38 PM
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I always thought the power line easement had to be left open for power company access in case of repairs? I know of several instances where tractors and equipment had to be moved to keep from getting a fine.

Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: bronco71] #7616106 09/25/19 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bronco71
I always thought the power line easement had to be left open for power company access in case of repairs? I know of several instances where tractors and equipment had to be moved to keep from getting a fine.

There's a gate they have to get through on both ends of the property and one in the middle so any of their equipment is going to be at least that small. The field is 3.5 acres not including the rest of the easement. I don't think an 8x8 blind is taking up too much space. And it's not directly below it.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616173 09/25/19 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ChaseNTheHunt
Originally Posted by bronco71
I always thought the power line easement had to be left open for power company access in case of repairs? I know of several instances where tractors and equipment had to be moved to keep from getting a fine.

There's a gate they have to get through on both ends of the property and one in the middle so any of their equipment is going to be at least that small. The field is 3.5 acres not including the rest of the easement. I don't think an 8x8 blind is taking up too much space. And it's not directly below it.

Yes, but regardless of how small the structure, I believe that they require the entire right-of-way to be clear of all structures. I could be wrong, but I would check into it.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616196 09/25/19 08:01 PM
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wood stairs would be my vote.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616208 09/25/19 08:10 PM
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Your ladder is not in contact with earth. Does it have fiberglass ends on it?


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: Cast] #7616217 09/25/19 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cast
Your ladder is not in contact with earth. Does it have fiberglass ends on it?

Metal feet


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616220 09/25/19 08:28 PM
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Summers in high school and college I used to work a ranch not far from Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The ranch was bisected by a HVTL carrying power off the plant. Under the transmission line we had an electric fence. It was my job to weedeat this electric fence several times during the summer. Turns out the EMF would energize the fence when the fence charger was turned off. Nothing like getting zapped in by a supposed 'dead' fence.


On the 'bright' side, you might be able to have the blind lighted for free if you put some fluorescent bulbs out there. Heck, put a bunch of fluo bulbs around the feeder and wait for night time piggies to show up!

Last edited by HuntnFly67; 09/25/19 08:29 PM.
Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: HuntnFly67] #7616224 09/25/19 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HuntnFly67
Summers in high school and college I used to work a ranch not far from Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant. The ranch was bisected by a HVTL carrying power off the plant. Under the transmission line we had an electric fence. It was my job to weedeat this electric fence several times during the summer. Turns out the EMF would energize the fence when the fence charger was turned off. Nothing like getting zapped in by a supposed 'dead' fence.


On the 'bright' side, you might be able to have the blind lighted for free if you put some fluorescent bulbs out there. Heck, put a bunch of fluo bulbs around the feeder and wait for night time piggies to show up!

Yah, I read that somewhere. You can hold a florscent bulb under the transmission wire and the EMF will cause it to flouress(sp?). Pretty cool. But how do you turn it off??


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616227 09/25/19 08:34 PM
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Smash it?

Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616876 09/26/19 02:57 PM
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I think I would minimally switch to a non-metallic roof and wear a tinfoil hat while in the blind.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616889 09/26/19 03:17 PM
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Our first deer lease we had a 4x4 plastic "The Blynd" stand set up in a double transmission line easement. In low light you could see blue sparks every once in a while form at the tips of the exposed screw tips that held the window track on. You could hear a constant buzz from the power lines. It made good cover noise. Never seemed to bother the deer.

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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: redchevy] #7616911 09/26/19 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Our first deer lease we had a 4x4 plastic "The Blynd" stand set up in a double transmission line easement. In low light you could see blue sparks every once in a while form at the tips of the exposed screw tips that held the window track on. You could hear a constant buzz from the power lines. It made good cover noise. Never seemed to bother the deer.

We were out there at night once. No blue sparks luckily. Yah, the deer don't care at all. If anything, they are attracted to the ROW because of the edge it provides.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616953 09/26/19 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ChaseNTheHunt
Originally Posted by redchevy
Our first deer lease we had a 4x4 plastic "The Blynd" stand set up in a double transmission line easement. In low light you could see blue sparks every once in a while form at the tips of the exposed screw tips that held the window track on. You could hear a constant buzz from the power lines. It made good cover noise. Never seemed to bother the deer.

We were out there at night once. No blue sparks luckily. Yah, the deer don't care at all. If anything, they are attracted to the ROW because of the edge it provides.


The one we hunted on was wide and the owner planted it with oats.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7616988 09/26/19 05:04 PM
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Most of my hunting is on a power line ROW. When we bought the place, there was a 10 foot blind in the edge of the woods. Then one day the power company cut the woods back by 15 feet, putting the blind in the open. Didn’t hurt my hunting, and they never said anything about the blind being there. Years later I replaced that blind with a 10 foot fiberglass blind on a metal structure, and I put it right where the old blind was. It’s been 15 years or so, and nobody has said a thing about the blind and where it is.

The power lines are way up in the air. On certain days (high humidity?) the humming is very noticeable, but there has never been any instance of electric current being noticeable in any way.

If I was getting shocked, that would concern me.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7617188 09/26/19 08:55 PM
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Can't build a permanent structure on a ROW, anything that can be moved upon request is fine.

I'd build a wood (ship's) ladder, ground the roof, and call it good.

Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7617248 09/26/19 10:11 PM
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"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that equipment be kept at least 10 feet away from power lines with voltages up to 50kV. For lines with voltages higher than 50kV, the required distance is even greater (see below). When uncertain of a power line’s voltage, stay 20 feet away for voltages up to 350 kV and 50 feet away for voltages greater than 350kV. Cranes and derricks are required to take additional steps before beginning work (see OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1926.1400 effective Nov. 8, 2010). Call FPL at 1-800-375-4375 or your local electric utility to identify the voltage of power lines before you begin working. If you witness a violation of this rule, stay away from the equipment and warn the operator to move away from the power line."

FPL Power Line Voltages OSHA Minimum Approach Distance* (OSHA 1926.1408 Table A)
0 to 50kV 10 feet
Over 50kV to 200kV 15 feet
Over 200kV to 350kV 20 feet
Over 350kV to 500kV 25 feet
Over 500kV to 750kV 35 feet

Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7617281 09/26/19 10:52 PM
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If I were you, I would move the blind at least from underneath this line section. Should for some reason your blind become energized in anyway
you will never know it! and I promise you it will not end well for those occupants in the blind or near it!
Hope no one around your hunting party has a pacemaker, extreme high currents of power is not good around heart patients!.....


Hunt safe, and remember your memories! I still have mine after 50+ years later!


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7617365 09/27/19 12:43 AM
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I can't give any advice on what you should or shouldn't do since I'm not a Professional Engineer in Power Transmission and Distribution, but I found this read to be pretty interesting.

https://electrical-engineering-port...urrents-in-transmission-towers-and-poles

Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: Perforce Outdoors] #7617375 09/27/19 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Perforce Outdoors
I can't give any advice on what you should or shouldn't do since I'm not a Professional Engineer in Power Transmission and Distribution, but I found this read to be pretty interesting.

https://electrical-engineering-port...urrents-in-transmission-towers-and-poles


Thanks for the link. Good info.


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Re: Energized tower blind under transmission lines [Re: ChaseNTheHunt] #7622071 10/02/19 08:43 PM
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You should talk to whomever maintains the right of way. They have guidelines to follow to help everyone involved in the easement get along. Usually, you can do whatever you want as long as you're not under the wires. And they are glad to let you do all the maintenance work. It's all written down somewhere. I gave my local co-op an extremely hard time making them stick to the rules. For some reason, low-level employees think the easement means they own it. They don't. They just get to do certain things. Overstepping those bounds leaves them having to do other things, like rebuild my fence and install new gates.

A fella I know who worked on those lines got real excited about any structure under them. Apparently they'll arc off in weird ways you wouldn't expect. I've never actually seen it myself though. I do know he saw a small tree leaning a little once and made a phone call. I was back there a couple of days later and said tree was gone.

And, yeah, they'll induce a field strong enough to power things.

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