It must have been 1988 when I first set up a pop-up hunting blind. It was an erector set gone mad. The aluminum parts required bolts and nuts and the tent part socked over the frame with a lot of anguish and discussion. There was no pop-up about it. I brushed it in and sat in it probably 3 times and never saw a deer. Some of that failure was my ignorance of effective blind hunting.
I was jaded for a number of years and then gradually came back to try out the newer models. Now other than three 18-20-foot ladder stands on my farm I’m all blinds, eight of them. I have graduated to an elite blind design made by Field & Stream. They have been paying attention to veteran ground blind hunters and may have arrived at a perfect design format.
Half of my blinds are now F&S blinds, here is what I like about them. First the hubs have never failed to pop into place. Other makes have jumped the corners, punctured the blind or the fiberglass rods have failed. I can pop one open in 30 seconds.
Another benefit is the loops for brushing the blind in. Although deer get used to a blind within a week or two they really get comfortable if I brush the blind in and back it into a non-access point of the food plot. This means they are not walking next to it when they arrive. I have found that if I set the blinds up 30 days before I begin to hunt they totally ignore it.
Another design attribute I love is the silent slide windows that are infinitely adjustable. I sometimes set up on a hillside and without adjustable windows some of my shot opportunities are eliminated. My favorite aspect of these blinds is room and plenty of it. To be effective you must sit back from the windows and wear black clothing. The generous size allows me to do just that. I also enjoy getting comfortable for long sits during the rut. I like to spread my stuff our adjacent to me and still be able to move.
Something I always do is carpet the floor. Any old piece of carpet cut to fit the floor will do. It seems like I’m warmer but I know I’m quieter with a carpet floor. Scent suppression is another benefit of blind hunting. I sat over 50 hours this year in ground blinds and never got winded. Granted I am a fanatic and use Sport Wash products to eliminate my scent, deer are experts at smelling trouble. The blind captures my scent vector and gives me an advantage.
We captured 25 branch antlered bucks adjacent to our blinds this season. Blinds work.