Lesson No. 4: Ground Blinds

posted on November 24, 2009

Last year when it came time to thin the whitetail herd a bit I carried a folding chair down to the bluff that overlooks the river bottom and stuck it behind a convenient bush for cover. It was OK—I shot a couple of does from it—but it lacked some important amenities. I confess that I am not the best stand hunter. Sitting perfectly still for hours just doesn’t work for me. Too, when the wind kicks up—not exactly uncommon in the Big Horn Basin—I am even more prone to fidgeting. Add to that my deer-hunting companion is a hyperactive Border collie; I needed better cover.

I thought about constructing a shooting house, but lugging the materials to build such a facility and the tools a half-mile aboard the tractor is an undertaking far down on my “To Do” list. Eventually I may do that, but in the meantime I needed something better than a chair behind a bush. Cabela’s came to my rescue with its Lightning Set 4-Season Hunting Blind.

It has a 75x75-inch footprint and a center height of 78 inches, plenty of room for a magnum-size guy like me and Spur, the Wonder Dog. With eight windows around its circumference you can cover 360 degrees. If you shoot sticks and strings there are the shoot-through netting window veils, but I chose not to use them. Its basic assembly takes less than 30 seconds—if you can open an umbrella, you can set up this blind. Another couple of minutes are needed to stake it in place and assemble some guy lines to buffet the wind. The Seclusion 3D camo pattern blended well with the sagebrush and grasses native to my area.

I spent every afternoon for about 2 1/2 weeks in that blind with Spur, and we shot three deer from it. A neighbor shot another deer from it after I was done. I was never “busted” by the deer despite my fidgeting, and, in fact, I was able to observe some very interesting rut behavior during my time in the blind. Even on those days when the wind kicked up to 25- to 30-mph we remained comfortable and able to focus on the task at hand. There was plenty of room for my pack, and I even threw together a small table to hold my water and rangefinder.

I am not too hot about most tree stands—credit it to the fact that I weigh 240 pounds and have an artificial hip—and I absolutely refuse to climb into a tripod stand for the same reasons. This ground blind may not be the answer to every hunting situation, but I found it the next best thing to an opulent shooting house.


Review Wilson Combat NULA Model 20 Lead
Review Wilson Combat NULA Model 20 Lead

Review: Wilson Combat NULA Model 20

Accuracy doesn’t have to be heavy.

Head to Head: .270 Winchester vs. .308 Winchester

Both the .308 Winchester and .270 Winchester are popular chamberings, and ammo is readily available from nearly every manufacturer. Which comes out on top? We take a closer look at the pros and cons of each.

#SundayGunday: Browning A5 20-Gauge

Get a closer look at the Browning A5 20-Gauge, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

How to Turkey Hunt Safely

FACT: Coming home is more important than coming home with a gobbler.

Turkey Calling by Subspecies

Ever wonder whether the difference between turkey subspecies extends to calling as well? We take a look at the different strategies used to hunt different birds.

Brownells 350 Legend BRN-180 Hunting Rifle Build

B. Gil Horman builds himself a new hunting rig right from the studs, exploring the ways in which an AR-pattern rifle can meet the various needs of most any American hunter.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.