While walking the isles of the Iowa Deer Classic a few weeks ago I realized there are a lot of those semi-permanent ground blinds available today. There were blinds on display that resembled spaceships, giant cans, boxes, stumps or big pine bushes, and some were meant for ground use, others for elevated platforms. One even moves up, down and travels around. While many of these type blinds seem to have gun hunters more in mind, there are several that can also accommodate bowhunters. Here's a look at just a few of the ones I found.
"Why didn't I think of that?" is the first thing that came to mind when I saw the original Pine Blind. Then I remembered a few situations where during late winter nasty conditions the buck I was after would hide in a stand if pine trees. If only I had that Pine Blind in place! Their tag line is, "The best blind you can't find."
It has a realistic pine tree look with a full 360 degree view. Six panels with drop down windows are easy to adjust. Blind materials are of 100% plastic. It sits on a steel base and has 6 legs for easy leveling on all terrains. The blind is also handicap accessible. And it sure does look just like a pine tree or pine bush capable of blending well with the environment. www.pineblind.com
Another blind that blends in well with certain habitats is the Blind Ambition Bale Blind. Their tag line is, "The most realistic bale blinds on the market. " The blind looks like a big round bale which is something that animals get used to seeing in areas where these farming practices occur. The blind is lightweight, portable and easy to move. The main benefit I see with this type of blind is that deer require next to no acclimation time to this type of blind. www.baleblinds.com
Moving from blending in to standing out, let's review a few of the box blind types. "Elevated ground blind" sounds like an oxymoron, but some of the semi-permanent ground blinds can also be placed on elevated platforms and not all are box shaped.
I like the name of this next blind...Window-Tree Deer Stands. The blind is a solid one piece unit made from polyurethane. It weighs 350 pounds and can be tipped into a full size pick-up bed for transport between locations. It has a heavy duty frame built to accommodate 4x4 posts so you can elevate the blind if desired. www.fabradome.com
"Get a Stump, Hear the Thump." Okay then. The Stump 1 does resemble a tree stump and the company has progressed to Stumps 2, 3 and Stump 4 Deer Tower which is a bigger blind with more room. www.banksoutdoors.com
Shadow Hunter Blinds began as a way of making their own hunting blinds, but soon orders began pouring in as people heard about these blinds. They make several styles of blind in the Shadow Hunter Series including gun, archery, combo, crossbow, total view, octagon and wheelchair accessible. The 22 3/8 inch by 8 inch windows are large enough for nearly any angle of archery shot. There are many great standard features on each blind and upgrades are available. www.shadowhunterllc.com
I have heard many good things about the Redneck Blinds and got the chance to look them over while at the classic. Important features include roomy, well thought-out design of fiberglass construction with tinted tempered automotive glass windows that help hide movement inside the blind. According to the manufacturer these are among the largest windows in the industry. They blinds are modular and easy to assemble with high quality powder coating and weatherproofing details.
The 6x6 Buck Palace 360 Combo blind from Redneck Blinds is what I call one of those, "That's what I'm talkin' about!" blinds. It is extremely roomy and specifically designed for up to four hunters. It is great for filming hunts when you need room for the tripod, two people and gear. The blind features huge 46” tall bow windows enabling you to shoot from virtually any position within the blind, at any angle. www.redneckblinds.com The folks at Redneck Blinds identify 4 important questions that should be considered in any decision to purchase a ground blind. #1, Is the deer stand, deer blind, or camouflage well designed and constructed? #2, Are the products high quality, from fiberglass to resin molded material? #3, Will you be able to set up your hunting site easily? #4, Is the equipment portable enough for your needs?
With so many blinds on the market of many different proportions, features and materials, these are great questions to ask yourself when considering any semi-permanent ground blind or elevated blind purchase. Last but not least, is the Traveling Tower. "No Tree? No Problem!" Manufactured in MN, the Traveling Tower is built with electrolyzed powder coated steel which enables you to reach heights of 11 to 15 feet. The blind can be moved with your ATV and used for tree trimming, and other non-hunting activities such as gutter cleaning, painting, siding or working on variety of projects that would have required scaffolding or ladder climbing. www.travelingtower.com Don't we wish more of our hunting gear would double as honey-do gear!