LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Chasing and eventually arrowing whitetails is my passion. Over the years I have typically pursued this passion from high above Terra Firma. However, every now and then I have actually chased Odocoileus Virginianus (whitetail deer) and turkeys with my boots on the ground. In those circumstances I either choose the “spot and stalk” method or climbed inside of a ground blind. While I must say my spot and stalk attempts in hilly terrain have rarely turned out well, hunting from a ground blind does show promise. Truthfully, I’ve only used ground blinds a time or two in the past and I must say I didn’t enjoy the experience. Not so much because of an inability to kill a whitetail while using a blind (quite the contrary), but mostly because of the blind itself and its lack of hunter-friendly options. Well, that was a long time ago. So, when I recently had a chance to try out one of “today’s” top models I was pleasantly surprised to discover that ground blinds are not built like they used to be.
Although a lot of bowhunters hunt from an elevated position, there are many circumstances that lend themselves to hunting from a ground blind.
Out With The Old
The last time I was in a ground blind I felt like a rat in a cage…literally! The particular setup I was in was so small and cramped that had a deer walked by it surely would have seen me struggling inside to reach full-draw without hitting the sides or back of the blind. A few years ago while turkey hunting, I barley had enough room to pull the bow string back on a Kansas long beard. But that’s just the one of the problems I faced. Let’s back up a bit.
Setting up a ground blind can be complicated and time consuming or it can be quick and easy. The Ameristep Brickhouse falls into the latter category. With the new Hub-Style technology, the Brickhouse blind sets up in under a minute. No kidding. When I pulled this blind out of its box I was a little skeptical because I was accustomed to a tent-like, time consuming setup. I really didn’t think that I could have this blind hunt-ready that quickly. However, once I realized how to “pop” the hubs into place, the blind was ready to go in about 45 seconds. Wow! And best of all, it was rock-solid once it was fully opened up. No flimsy sidewalls or roof; just a solid structure to climb into.
The Ameristep Brickhouse sets up in seconds thanks to the companies Spider-Hub technology. Simply pull outward using the available strap and the Spider Hub will spring into action; literally popping the blind into shape. No time consuming, fragile “tent poles” to mess with.
Apart from the Hub-Style technology, the Ameristep Brickhouse has many other features that bowhunters will enjoy. The NS³ Carbon-Enhanced Fabric with Black Coating helps reduce Scent, Shine and Noise. That’s important when you’re eye level with whitetails. The blind is very quiet (inside and out) and the depth of the blind, coupled with the black interior, will definitely hide a “blacked out” bowhunter hunkered inside.
In addition, having ample room to draw your bow (undetected) is critical. I’ve spent time in some blinds hunting whitetails and turkeys and had difficulty reaching full draw without my bow protruding out the front of the blind or my elbows hitting the backdoor once I did reach full draw. Either scenario can end your hunt or distract you enough to botch the shot. The Brickhouse measures 75″ (Shooting Width) x 67″ (Tall) and comes with 10 windows. That’s more than enough room to get a shot off alone, with a friend, or while accompanying children on their first hunt; something I plan to do in the very near future with my Brickhouse.
The Brickhouse has plenty of options when it comes to making the shot. The “shoot-through” mesh will hide you from even the keenest eyes in the woods, or, you can lower the mesh and shoot directly out of the open window.
Inside the Brickhouse hunters will find easy access attachments for the various number of mesh windows. Simply unhitch the plastic “button” from the elastic strap and you can quickly and quietly raise or lower any window you choose. The front window however should be raised or lowered before the hunt as it is the only window with a Velcro attachment.
The Spider Hub attachment rings are perfect to affix tree limbs and shrubs to in order to brush in the blind; a small feature, but one that can make a big difference. Also, the roof is strong enough to support limbs and brush without crushing or collapsing.
Overall I would have to give this blind a big thumbs up! It is very roomy, easy to set up, lightweight, and rock solid. For whitetails or turkeys it would be a very valuable piece of equipment. In short, it erased all of the negative experiences I have had in the past with ground blinds. With the help of the Ameristep Brickhouse blind, hunting from the ground will be in my arsenal this year. How about you?