For the past few months we have attended several shows (including ATA, SHOT and Eastern Sports Show) and reviewed hundreds of products. Many great innovations caught my eye but two are at the top of my list. I cannot decide which is my favorite so I am declaring a tie. First place is shared by X-Steps from JWJ Outdoors and the TreeBlind from Nature Blinds.
TreeBlinds. Combine the creative talents and imagination of a Hollywood set designer with his passion for hunting and you get one of the coolest ground blinds ever created. Nature Blinds is producing a ground blind that looks so much like a tree, even its creator has been fooled when taking hunters to the stand. The outer surface mimics the texture of real bark. Animals don't seem to notice the blind as Mr. Whitetail, Larry Weishuhn attested, "Deer were just a few feet away from us and never even looked at the blind." Texas Outfitter Mike Stroff also believes in the blind's qualities stating," It's so quiet and soundproof inside, we can talk on camera with deer 10 yards away... incredible!" The folks from Nature Blinds also explained how the insulating qualities of this blind can bring the temps inside the blind up to a comfortable level with just the body heat of the individuals inside, while the outside temps are near freezing. The patented window system is one of the best I have ever seen in a ground blind.
While we are on the subject of ground blinds there were a couple more worth noting.
D.I.R.T. (Do It Right Treeblinds) If you are looking for a semi permanent box blind but don't want to build the thing from scratch, try ordering one of the "pre-fabricated" blinds from D.I.R.T. Many times, once a big box blind like this is built and set in place, it never moves. Which may or may not be a good thing. But with these blinds you can take them apart and rebuild them without having to be a carpenter. Which is right up my alley since my carpentry skills are a bit lacking, but after looking it over inside and out, I'm sure I could easily put this together with a little help. They attest that "If you can carry a sheet of plywood to your hunting spot, you can set up a D.I.R.T."
Snap Lock Hunting Blinds. For those interested in a relatively portable ground blind that is a step up from the fabric pop ups, the Snap Lock Blind has weather resistant, insulating qualities. This blind can easily be assembled without tools. It is lightweight and comes in 2 sizes. The blind can be fastened to a wooden floor for even more stability.
Several other products make my list of new and notable.
Night Com UV. Although they don't advertise this potential use, the Night Com UV flashlight from Streamlight has an ultraviolet LED that enhances blood trails. It works best when the blood is fresh. The flashlight is super bright on its highest setting, water resistant and of rugged construction. I have been a Streamlight flashlight fan ever since receiving one of their keychain lights called the Nano Light. This tiny flashlight has "saved the night" many times and is practically indestructible, made of machined aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish. I know I will never be without one!
Little Mule. How many times could I have used this! When it comes to deer hunting, I can do pretty much all of it on my own with the exception of dragging the deer out of the woods. This product makes that arduous task a breeze. The inventor has loaded the Little Mule with features including Kevlar tires, a built in winch, front and rear lights and an optional hitch making the cart capable of attaching to the back of your ATV once you get the ensemble back to the vehicle.
The Turkey Nightmare. I would love to try this invention for bowhunting turkeys. I also have a young grandson who hasn't quite grasped the concept of "Don't move." Maybe this would help!