By 04/15/2017 Read More →

Ground Blind Buying Guide and Tips

ground blind buyingFor a very long time, tree stands have been the gold standard for hunting everything except birds. For turkeys, tree stands are almost worthless but ground blinds are the king. Deer hunters started using their blinds in places devoid of trees and now a revolution in hunting is taking place.

So now more then ever is a good time to go Ground Blind Buying. Ground blinds are getting better and better but their function stays the same. They conceal you from your quarry by making, in essence, a camouflage tent.

Not all ground blinds are created equal. You need to make some decisions and know what you’re doing if you’re going to be successful pounding the ground.

Compromises You have to Make

The three biggest compromises that you have to make when looking for a ground blind are durability, mobility, and cost.

A huge ground blind can be done for cheap, but it’ll likely be very heavy and made from cheap materials that are bulky and short-lived.

Just like an ultra-durable ground blind can be made that is very expensive but still somewhat portable. The hardest thing to nail down is what you’re willing to pay for and the ground blind’s purpose.

Ground blinds are somewhat specialized in the sense that one good for deer hunting is likely going to be bad for turkey hunting, so plan accordingly.

Types of Ground Blind Buying

Open Blind

This can be as little as some camouflage cloth strung up over plastic stakes.
Some new blind technologies include blinds that are camouflaged umbrellas with a cutout to shoot over, and others use a reflective coating over plastic that reflects the ground directly in front of the blind.

Pros

  • It is lightweight and portable.
  • An excellent choice for light and fast hunting.
  • Affordable

Cons

  • It is a temporary solution.
  • Doesn’t hold up to weather well and offers the least concealment.
  • Quality is cheap.

Ideal For

  • Turkey or dove hunting
  • Its lifespan is dependent on how you treat and pack it away, but it is deadly if used correctly as part of a system and not a one size fits all solution.

Pop-Up Blind

This is the next step up in ground blind quality and design. It’s much like huge camouflage tents mixed with a pop-up clothes hamper.
Pros

  • Combines maximum concealment with the utmost speed and mobility.

Cons

  • Many aren’t designed to be used outside continuously.
  • Usually uses thin, often not coated, fabrics so the blind springs out quickly.
  • Degrades quickly in the field and can cause problems if you leave them out.

Ideal For

  • Dove hunting
  • Turkey hunting
  • Shoreline duck hunting
  • Situations where you need a blind for a short period

If you want a blind to leave out in the woods for deer or bear, this probably isn’t your best option because of its fabric. It’s best used for turkey run and gun situations where the blind is out for one or two nights maximum.

Hub-Style Blind

This is the premium ground blind.

Pros

  • It has heavy duty poles permanently attached to plastic or metal hubs that pop out with scissor or accordion style arms that lock into place.
  • Durable
  • Huge, feature-rich blinds you can deploy and leave for an entire season.

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Ideal For
Deer hunting where you need to brush in the blind and leave it.
If you intend to use this type, make sure you have a team or equipment to help you set it up on the field.

Remember These Buying Tips

Before going Ground Blind Buying, know what you want, what you need and what you don’t want. Keep these tips in mind when making your decisions.

You have to Carry it

Everyone loves that ultra-sized feature-rich blind when it’s set up at the local sporting goods store. Strap that sucker on your back, and you’ll understand why there’s many stocks still left at the store.

Make plans to get a heavyweight blind in places using a cart, truck or ATV so you don’t have to carry it. Otherwise, buy a smaller blind that weighs much less.

Shoot through Mesh

Most blinds say they have shoot through mesh that covers the windows. The truth is, a shoot through mesh is going to break down over time. A few shots through it and it loses all its effectiveness.

Even worse if you’re an archery hunter, it’ll skew your shot. Roll it up and leave it up unless you absolutely won’t shoot through that window.

Brush it in, No Matter what

Turkeys approach a ground blind as long as it’s not moving.

They don’t care if it wasn’t there 20 minutes ago, they’ll walk right up to it. Deer, elk, moose, bear or anything else you’re likely to kill out of a ground blind will freak out if they see a camouflaged box in the woods.

Brush it in well enough to break up the outline of all sides especially the roofline. Don’t get too hang up in camo or shapes, they all have to brush in to work well.

Wear Black!

Camouflage means blending into your environment. If you’re in a ground blind, that means blending with the fabric that lines the inside of the blind. If it’s black wear black, if it’s brown wear brown. The key is to blend in.

Know that you’ll be buying new hunting clothes when you’re making out your budget.

Know how to Assemble and Disassemble

Before you go into the field, make sure you know how to set up your blind and how to take it down. It sounds simple. But many blinds aren’t very intuitive the first time you try and take them apart.

The last thing you want is for your trophy buck to hear you swearing and cursing the guy who designed the blind you’re losing the part to and breaking before dawn because you didn’t do your homework.

Buy a Decent Bag

If you’re going to invest a few hundred dollars in ground blind buying, then it likely comes with a decent carrying case to lug it around.

If you bought an off-brand or a low-end item, then you need a good bag to make the ground blind last longer and carry it around conveniently.

Keep Away from the Cross Members

ground blind buyingThis is the bane of archery hunters in ground blinds, but it applies to rifle hunters as well. Make sure you know where your cross members are and where your weapon is before you shoot.

If your limb or barrel hits the cross member, the blind is going to shake violently and you’re likely going to miss the shot. So pay attention!

Remember Your Offset

A rifle or a crossbow is going to have an offset — the distance between the bore and the crosshairs of the scope. Usually around 1.5 inches, it’s enough for you to accidentally shoot the cross member of your ground blind if you’re not careful.

Make sure the barrel of your gun or the rail of your crossbow is clear before you shoot.

Get Comfy

No one ever said that hunting has to be uncomfortable.

Get some chairs, a cooler, or even a heater going if you’re so inclined. Ground blind hunting can be as comfy as you like. You just have to lug the equipment out to the back 40 where the blind is at.

Leave the Windows Open

Game animals aren’t dummies.

They’ll learn what the blind looks like. If the windows are open, they’ll know something’s up. Leave the windows in the condition they’ll be in when you hunt but don’t let them flap around in the breeze.

A change in the windows or movement when there shouldn’t be is a dead giveaway for a mature whitetail or monster elk.

Buy Decent Stakes

The stakes that come with 99% of ground blinds are worthless. Buy some decent stakes from the camping section or use the section of a rebar about 20 inches long hammered in deep to keep the blind where you put it!

A New Level of Shooting

If you’re considering to take advantage of ground blind hunting, you’re going to open up a new level of shooting where small details matter more, the terrain is unforgiving, and small differences add up quickly.

The best thing you can do is to make sure you get your hands on conventional equipment, so you aren’t worrying about your gear failing.

Above all, get out on the field and use the gear for what it was intended for. In other words, enjoy the outdoors and go hunting!

Written by Almo Gregor from outdoorempire.com

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Posted in: Pro Staff Blog
Ken Hansen

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assistant site director
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