Best Hunting Blinds For The Money – 2017 Hunting Blind Reviews

Overview of hunting blinds

For hunters, one of the most difficult parts of stocking a freezer with fresh game is to even get in position for a good shot. There are a lot of factors that go in to a good shot and a lot of training and practice to place your bullet or arrow on the mark, but if you never even have the chance for a shot, all the practice in the world isn’t going to help.

Ambush hunting is the form of hunting that will give most hunters the most success. Most game animals either see better, smell better or hear better (sometimes all three) than a human. Their senses have been honed for survival far beyond the capabilities of a human. As such, human hunters must use their most powerful tool, the mind (well, for most anyway…) to get within range of their prey. This is where hunting blinds come in to play.

Below we will discuss the main types of hunting blinds, their specific applications, and offer a “Best of” for each category to help you have the most successful hunts possible! Please note that we will not be discussing tree stands in this article as there will be an upcoming article devoted to tree stands very soon.

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What is a pop up hunting blind?

A pop up hunting blind is basically a blind that is designed to be folded for storage when not in use. Most pop up blinds will fold small enough to fit in the back seat of most vehicles when in their case. Pop up blinds often have zippers to open and close the windows, which are generally just a triangular, rectangular or semicircular cut out from the main blind. Many pop ups also have shoot through windows, which is a mesh that is designed to shoot a fixed broadhead arrow through. Keep in mind these shoot through windows are NOT meant for mechanical broadheads as they will cause the mechanical head to open. The greatest advantage for a pop up blind is the portability offered and the ease of set up, rather than spending a lot of money and time building a stationary traditional blind.

What is the best pop up hunting blind?

Top Pick: The Barronett Big Cat 350 Hub Blind

The Barronett Big Cat 350 Hub Blind gets our nod for the best overall pop up blind. The enormous 70” x 70” footprint gives plenty of room for two, or even three hunters. We actually had to double check the measurements because this blind felt so much larger than the actual dimensions. As if the footprint wasn’t already big enough, the distance from hub to hub (the widest point in the center of each wall) is a whopping 90”…elbow room won’t be an issue here! One feature we really liked is that the blind is 80” tall in the center, allowing for even a 6’ tall hunter to have plenty of room to stand up for a shot.


PROS:
  • Huge size means extreme comfort for multiple hunters.
  • Very sturdy frame construction.

CONS:
  • Can be a bit heavy for some due to size.


What is the best budget pop up hunting blind?

Top Pick: The Evolved Ingenuity 1RX2S010 Hunting Doghouse Ground Blind

The Evolved Ingenuity 1RX2S010 Hunting Doghouse Ground Blind is an excellent option for those who are looking for a portable ground blind while trying to keep the cost as reasonable as possible. It has a footprint that is 60” by 60”, but if you are going to be hunting with a buddy, you should keep in mind that the blind comes in on the sides as you go up, so elbow room might get to be a premium. It has very large zippered windows to allow for a very wide field of view. At 66” tall, it has plenty of headroom, but again, keep in mind this is only in the middle of the blind. The Realtree Xtra pattern allows this blind to blend in to a wide variety of backgrounds the small artificial leaves on the edges help to further break up the pattern. The Doghouse also comes with shoot through mesh window screens to help add to your concealment, just remember that shoot through screens should only be used with fixed broadheads and not mechanicals. All in all, the Evolved Ingenuity 1RX2S010 Hunting Doghouse Ground Blind is very portable, very easy to set up and take down, and won’t break your pocket book.


PROS:
  • Great value.
  • Easy to set up and easy to take down.

CONS:
  • Narrower at the top than the base.
  • Zippers can be a bit noisy.


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What is a waterfowl hunting blind?

A waterfowl hunting blind is a blind that is specifically designed to hunt, well, waterfowl. What makes this style of blind unique when compared to other hunting blinds is that the openings for shooting are not designed for horizontal shooting, but rather elevated or even vertical shooting. These types of blinds are going to be designed to conceal a hunter from being viewed from above and also from typically longer distances than a normal blind.

There are two basic types of waterfowl blinds, the upright blind and the laydown blind. Each type of blind has its best placement and usage depending on where the hunt will be taking place.

An upright blind can allow for more hunters and can also allow for a bit more comfort. You can have a comfy chair in most upright blinds and even possibly a heater should you like. Upright blinds allow you a greater field of visibility since you can move around and turn your head to watch for incoming birds. Upright blinds do have their disadvantages, however as they have a higher profile in regards to wind and also to the surrounding terrain.

The laydown waterfowl blind is a very simple blind, allowing the hunter to basically lay on his or her back and look up through a mesh to watch for incoming birds. This position can get a bit uncomfortable as you cannot really move around much. The blind has almost no wind profile and is easy to hide in tall grass, but also allows for less overall field of vision.

What is the best upright waterfowl hunting blind?

Top Pick: The Ameristep Dove and Duck Hayhouse Blind

The Ameristep Dove and Duck Hayhouse Blind is a great choice for hunting waterfowl in an upright setting, especially if there are round bales of hay placed nearby. It is designed to look like a round bale of hay, sporting Max 4 camo, and a mesh top to allow you greater visibility to see incoming birds. The blind is approximately 6’ by 5’ and is appropriately sized for two adult hunters and a dog. We have spoken to some folks that have put a third hunter in, but it is almost always a younger child. Keep in mind that this blind is not meant to be tall enough to stand up in, it is for sitting and waiting for the birds. The top is designed to open easily and quickly to allow for rapid shooting once birds come in to range. The blind is very easy to put up, and also very easy to take down, although we would recommend you practice before going to the field. If you have never used this type of spring-loaded blind, you may take a bit of time getting it folded back up for storage. It definitely is not difficult nor something that requires much strength, you just have to know how to do it, and cold weather with a bit of rain is not the time to practice!


PROS:
  • Very quick and easy to set up.
  • Enough room for two hunters and a dog.

CONS:
  • No protection from rain.
  • Takes practice to learn how to fold it back up.


What is the best laydown waterfowl hunting blind?

Top Pick: The Ameristep Duck Commander Landing Strip Layout Blind

The Ameristep Duck Commander Landing Strip Layout Blind is a well made and heavy duty laydown blind. It is constructed from 600D polyester fabric and is built with a heavy duty aluminum frame and steel joints. We found the padding in the seat and headrest to make for a comfortable hunt. One thing we noted was that the blind is definitely not waterproof…water resistant, yes, waterproof, no. Basically, if you are going to be putting this down in a very wet or marshy area, you will end up getting wet, so plan ahead with your clothing. A great feature of this blind is how easy it is to set up, even with numb fingers. We have spoken with many of our readers that are well over 6’ tall who have used this blind and they have reported never feeling crowded at all. All in all, the Ameristep DC Landing Strip is hard to beat in the laydown hunting blind category.


PROS:
  • Easy to set up.
  • Very durable construction.

CONS:
  • Not waterproof


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What are popular hunting blind accessories?

Hunting blinds are great tools for concealment, but just as with many other hunting tools, there are always accessories that should be considered. Some of the accessories we discuss below are for creature comforts, while others can truly make or break a hunt, depending on conditions. Either way, they are things worth considering before venturing out into the field.

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Chairs

This may seem like a no brainer, but really is something that should be given careful consideration. A chair is typically very portable, or very comfortable, but rarely both. When deciding on what chair is best for your hunting scenario you should consider a few factors: weight, noise, padding and size. You don’t want to be lugging a 25 lb. chair if you have to hike miles to get to your hunting location. If you have to go far, weight should be at the forefront of your decision process.

You always want to consider the construction of your chair, especially in regards to how much noise it makes with your hunting clothing. There are more than a few chairs out there that end up being quite noisy when you are sliding around on them in certain hunting fabrics. Know how much noise your set up makes before you hit the field. The amount of padding may not seem like a very important feature, but when you consider how long you are going to be sitting, and sitting reasonably still, you may want to reconsider padding. I have been on many hunts in an otherwise very comfortable deer blind where I wished I had thought about a little extra pad!

The size of your chair can also be an issue. Too small and you aren’t going to be comfortable, but too large and you may have issues with space. It is easy to bump something at the wrong moment when your chair is too big, and if you are hunting with a partner, there might be room for two hunters, but not two large chairs.

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Rifle rest

Unless you are hunting with a vertical bow or at extremely close ranges, a good solid rifle (or crossbow) rest is paramount to making a pinpoint accurate shot. The type of rest you choose should be based on your space requirements as well as your skill level. Whether you go with a monopod, a bipod, or even a fully adjustable Field Pod, be sure you practice shooting using that rest and in real world (sitting) positions.

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Covers/umbrellas

Most blinds have some sort of roof on them that provides moderate protection from rain. Very few blinds are waterproof, but the angle of the roof usually means you won’t get soaked unless the rain is torrential. Some blinds do not have a roof, however, so in those cases you really need to consider what you are going to do if precipitation begins. Firearms and bows don’t perform their best when wet, and trying to look through a scope that has water droplets on it isn’t going to do your accuracy any favors. Think about what will work best for your blind, whether it is a tarp or even just an umbrella…make sure you are prepared for that errant shower.

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Heaters

Most blinds will offer at least a modicum of insulation, even if it is just the thin wall of the blind. If you are a hunter who is prone to getting cold easily, especially cold feet, consider some type of heater. Most of us don’t have the luxury of electricity near the blind, so likely you are going to want to look into some type of propane heater. Just be sure nothing is too close to it to catch fire and that you have plenty of ventilation.

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Additional camo

This is something that is often overlooked, especially by novice hunters. Just because a blind comes in a camo pattern doesn’t mean that it won’t benefit from additional camouflage. This can be especially important to help break up the silhouette of the blind…very rarely is a natural formation in nature something with straight edges. Also consider adding some type of greenery around openings for windows so they don’t appear to be empty black holes to the prey animals.

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