The Hunting Ground Blind – A Buyer’s Guide
There are a number of factors that you should consider when buying a new ground blind. While we recently took a look at some of the best options on the market, if you wish to do further research, these guidelines will help.
Before you pull the trigger on buying your next blind, make sure you think about the following factors first.
How many people will be in the ground blind?
The first thing to consider is how many people will you have in the ground blind during hunting trips. This is important because it determines the size and type of ground blind model that you need. Also, manufacturers make their blind models to house a specific number of people.
Usually, you can hunt alone or with a partner, and therefore you should the appropriate 1-person or 2-person ground blind. Sometimes, you can hunt as a team of 3, 4, or even 5 hunters, and you should choose a model that can accommodate all of you.
The second consideration is the size which should be matched to the number of people who will be in the ground blind during hunting sessions, as well as the need to carry it from place to place.
The height of the blind determines whether you can hunt while standing, or if you are limited to hunting while seated or kneeling. Moreover, models with doggie doors allow for hunting while lying down.
The largest ground blinds are hub-style models but they are also the heaviest and bulkiest, though they are durable and offer the best concealment if they feature reflective coating. You should choose this type if you are hunting as a team, and need to hunt while standing.
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Weight and Portability
As mentioned earlier, ground blinds are designed to be carried to the hunting site. You should choose a model that you can carry on your own if you are going to be hunting alone or a model that you can carry with your hunting partner if you choose a 2-person ground blind.
You should also consider if the heavy and bulky ground blind can be transported to the hunting site by wheeled vehicles, such as trucks, carts, or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). As expected, this requires the hunting site to be accessible by these vehicles.
Also, if you choose a heavy and large camouflaged ground blind that you will transport around the hunting field using an ATV, then it should be large enough for you to hide the ATV behind it, or even inside it.
Field of View
As mentioned earlier, the size, location, and the number of windows determine how much of the field the hunter can see.
You should look for a model that allows you to see as much of the field as possible. Windows that allow you to have a 360-degree view angle also provide a 360º shooting capability as you can use any window as a shooting window.
Therefore, the larger the field of view, the greater the allowance for shooting.
You should also consider the placement of the windows. This is because if the window is placed at an appropriate height, it allows you to easily see and shoot the game.
As discussed earlier, some windows are covered by thin see-through mesh that can be rolled up or detached from the windows. Usually, meshes provide shade if they are directly facing the sun, while shoot-through meshes offer the additional benefit of allowing you to shoot your arrow directly through them.
If you choose a model that has a shoot-through mesh for archery hunting, it is best to ensure that it can be rolled up or detached from the window because shooting an arrow through it can skew the arrow direction, besides dampening the arrow momentum and causing it to fall in front of the target, or weakly hit the target.
Unless you are using your ground blind for hunting turkeys, then you need to choose a model that is camouflaged.
The reason is simple, a turkey will walk to any structure in the field even if it was not there a few minutes ago, while other games such as deer, mongoose, and elk will freak and run away if they see a strange contraption or structure in the field.
Camouflage breaks the outline of the ground blind which reduces the chances of the game noticing it.
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Set-up and Maintenance
You should be able to set up your ground blind, and then take it down after use and pack it for transportation and storage. This requires you to know how to assemble and disassemble your ground blind.
As expected, you should lookout for a blind that you can comfortably assemble and disassemble as this also makes maintenance easy because you will know which parts need to be checked for faults, as well as what to do if the fabric has tears.
High-quality and high-end models come with their own storage bags. However, some off-brand models come without a bag, and this requires you to acquire a good storage bag separately. This bag also doubles as the carrying case.
The stakes of your ground blind must be able to securely hold it in place during a draught, as well as minimize its movements during a windy day.
You should therefore check the quality of the stakes that come with your model, and if you are not comfortable with their quality and strength, then it is prudent to acquire another set of high-quality stakes.
It is generally recommended that you use stakes that are about 20 inches long, and that can be easily hammered deep into the ground.
You should choose a model that comes with a seat, or that allows you to place a seat inside if you are going to stay in the ground blind for hours when hunting. High-end models usually come with a height-adjustable padded seat that features armrests and a headrest.
If possible, the model should be spacious enough to allow you to place a cooler or lunch box inside it, and if necessary, a heater if you are going to be hunting during cold weather. Some models feature waterproofing, doggie doors, and multiple cover options.
Also, a good model should be able to lock the scent of the hunter inside the blind. Some models even come with a scent-lock feature.
Usually, this scent trapping is achieved by carbon coating the interior fabric.
Likewise, the blind should allow the hunter to silently zip it and fasten its Velcro strips. You should therefore look for a model that features silent-type zippers and Velcro.
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As mentioned earlier, the 3 variables in ground blind construction are durability, cost, and mobility. Factors pertaining to durability and mobility/portability have been discussed above.
After considering these aforementioned factors, you should be able to narrow down your choice to a few models. Then, the ultimate determinant of which model you will acquire is the price as your chosen model must fit within your budget.
Other costs to consider are the costs of the camouflaged hunting clothes, camouflage face make-up, and camouflaged head nest and gloves that you may need to buy alongside the ground blind.
The aforementioned considerations that you must factor in when choosing the ground blind that suits your needs and budget can also be used to rate and grade the different models in the market.
This allows for ranking and rating of ground blind models depending on their type, and this review has chosen 5 of the best ground blinds for discussion and appraisal.