Ground Blind Portable Deer Hunting
Kevin Felts 12.05.16
A few years ago I saw a ground blind on sale at a big box mart. I thought, “Why not?” So I bought it. Most of my deer hunting is done out of a fixed stand overlooking a deer feeder. I had never used a pop-up portable ground blind before, so this was gong to be something new.
Some of you may be asking, “What is a deer blind or a hunting blind?” They hide or block your movement and silhouette from the deer. Exactly why they are called a “blind” I do not know. Maybe because they make the animals blind to your movements?
Ground Blind Design
The ground blind I bought is an Ameristep mutli-season doghouse blind. It looks like a dome tent. It has a zipper door and three windows that can be opened and closed via a zipper.
The blind is supported by what appears to be pieces of flat spring steel.
Instead of rolling up like a tent, the blind coils up into a circle. Coiled up, it measures about 21-22 inches in diameter and is about 3 inches thick.
Two fiberglass poles are included for extra support.
My blind weighs right around 9 pounds.
A carry bag with shoulder straps was included.
There was a heavily wooded area that I had in mind for the ground blind. A small stream made its way through old growth oaks and pines, which made for perfect deer and squirrel habitat.
When packing the ground blind in for the first time, I opted for a fanny pack to carry my extra gear in. I like to have my GPS, flashlight, compass, gloves, skinning knife, and a few other things on hand.
Take the ground blind out of its carry pack, open the folds, and it will want to spring into place. The spring steel inserts put the blind in the shape it is supposed to be. Use the provided stakes to secure the blind to the ground.
Once the blind is in place, the fiberglass poles are installed to support the roof.
Setting the ground blind up takes maybe a whole five minutes?
The blind is not waterproof. If you want to keep rain off your head, put a tarp over the blind.
You will need something to sit on. I opted for a collapsible tri-pod stool.
There are three large windows, with a small window inside the large window. If you use the small windows, there is a removable mosquito net that covers each of them.
The mosquito netting is held in place by velcro and is very loud. If you want to use the mosquito netting, it would probably be a good idea to tie it in place with string or a safety pin rather than using the velcro. The velcro just makes too much noise.
The small windows provide a nice view of the area in front of the blind and on both sides.
If you want a better view, unzip the larger windows.
When getting in the blind early in the morning, I always worried about snakes. I would unzip the door, poke my head in, look around real good, and then step inside.
Taking the Ground Blind Down
Taking the blind down is a little more difficult than putting it up. The spring steel inserts want to bend a certain way for the blind to roll back into a circle. Trying to figure out which way the inserts need to bend is a little time consuming and trial-and-error.
There is nothing difficult about taking the blind down. It can just be a little time consuming.
Remove the fiberglass poles from the inside and put them in their carry pouch. Pull up the stakes and put them their pouch.
Push the blind on its side and fold it in half, fold it in half again. Stand at the top of the blind, which is on the ground, grab the spring inserts, form a U, twist to the side, and the blind should go into a circle. It sounds easy, but it takes some practice.
End of Season
The hunting season that I used the ground blind, I did not see anything but squirrels. Even though this was prime deer territory with a running stream, large mature oaks, and plenty of underbrush, I did not see a single deer.
I am looking forward to using the ground blind again. Being able to move the blind around, as compared to a fixed blind, is a big plus.