hub style ground blinds for deer hunting?

drew_235

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May 22, 2019
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I have been out of the deer hunting game for over 15 years but have finally found some private land that I can hunt. I also now have a young child that I would love to take along. If he doesn't go this year, that's fine, but does not negate the need for a simple blind. I am not a big fan of heights so I'm not really looking for a treestand at this time. I posted a generic picture below of what I see in my local Cabela's and they appear to be the non-insulated hunting version of the Eskimo hub shelters that we use for ice fishing.
I have no need to haul this thing miles up the side of a mountain, more like a few hundred yards the day before season opens. Consistent with my ice fishing, I understand they'll blow away in the wind if you don't tie them down.
Are these popular? Any specific features I should be looking for or trying to avoid? Any first hand experience with their use?


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zk-315

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Jan 8, 2019
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Cen. Texas
I don't own any of these anymore since we've gone to box blinds or tripod stands, but these work pretty well in a pinch. You'll definately want to steak it down. 1. to keep the thing from blowing off, and 2. to keep it from flapping in the wind. If you're in the store, feel of the different fabrics of the pop-up blinds and pick one out that seems to be the most durable.

If you plan to keep it out all season, expect it to only last a couple of years, as they deteriorate fairly quickly while out in the elements. We would put ours out a couple of weeks before season, leave them out all season, then pull them after season was over with. I think on average we'd get 2-3 good years out of them.

Make sure to check inside before crawling in it each time. Snakes like to crawl in and make a den. Same goes with spiders and such. For the most part, they work well for a "cheap" blind and can be thrown up quickly. Also, make sure there's enough room for the both of you to sit comfortably. Really cold days, a little heater works amazingly well inside one. A short set of shooting sticks will also be handy to have.

Good luck this season.
 

dimar1492

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Good advice above. I have hunted out of this type of blind with my kids and it worked out great. As stated above, be sure to stake/tie it down. We left ours out all season and kept a couple chairs inside of it. I had enough room inside to set my daughter's rifle up on my RRS tripod and let her sit behind it. I would sit next to her and stay on binoculars. She's somewhat addicted to this hunting stuff now as she enjoys helping dad cook the meat she harvested in the kitchen as much as any of it.
 

drew_235

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May 22, 2019
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Thank you for the comments and advice.
I am in the upper mid west, so I have not needed to be worried too much about snakes previously, but given how 2020 is going so far....you never know.
The more I think about this, the more I think it will probably be set out 2 - 3 days before the season starts and left out for about a week. Our seasons are pretty short, 1 - 2 weeks max.
Good point on feeling the fabric and thinking about how it will sound in the wind, I will do that this weekend when I'm looking at them. My little one is too small to hunt yet, but I'm thinking I'll need to make sure I get one with vertical corner windows to make sure he can see more than the inside of the blind.
 

zk-315

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Jan 8, 2019
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Cen. Texas
I was mainly meaning feeling the material to get a little thicker and more sturdier material. They are pretty quiet with the wind and the outer material is very taut when set up. You'll mainly want the heavier material so it doesn't just disintegrate due to weather.
I'm used to our season down here, which is about 2 months for the non-MLD places and 4 months for the MLD ranches. If you're only going to have it out for a couple of weeks, it should last you a long time if it's stored inside (garage, barn, attic, etc.)
Glad you're getting you little ones out and about. My oldest boy is 4 now and he went with me a few times last year. You may not see a whole lot, but it'll be memories well worth it to the both of you.
 
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MNhunter1

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May 6, 2020
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I have two different Double Bull blinds which are now made by Primos. Mine are older models and I much prefer them over the offerings they have today, but I'd still lean towards the Primos/Double Bull if I was in the market for a new one. I use mine primarily for turkey hunting and can pop it up in the morning and the birds still act like it's not even there. For deer however, you'll want to get it set up in advance and give them some time to get comfortable with it if you're hunting the locals. They also tend to be a little skittish of the big open windows, so the more you can brush it in, the better off you'll be. Wear black or dark colored clothing to hide in the shadows and be mindful not to silhouette yourself between open windows. I'd also recommend against the new 360/one way viewing mesh models that seem to be the new fad. They look nice on the showroom floor, but it's hard to think a nice bright sun beating down wouldn't somehow filter through and give up some of the concealment, and they don't quite offer the wind break/protection against those brisk fall breezes.
 
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afv338

anthony
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as mnhunter said brush it in and if you do this right it will also help from it blowing away. when i put one up i also spray it good with sent killer as they do have sent and do it again when i hunt it maybe not so much when gun hunting as you can hunt at longer distance. anther thing to think about is during gun season use lots of blaze orange visible from the outside on all sides even if your state law doesn't require it.
 
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bachelorjack

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Snakes.
These are snake magnets.
Its unlike anything I have ever seen.

I have set one of these up then hunted on the ground 80yds away. Because all the snakes in the area will be in the blind.

It sounds too absurd to be true. I wish it was....
 
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jc2

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Sep 13, 2020
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5
There ok I guess. I've used them in limited areas (brushy). Some things I did not like was the limited views and muffled sounds. Sometimes it's hard to brush in early enough that deer get used to it. In open areas you have to find something to use as a background, so it doesn't stick out (a natural and existing clump of brush, brushy outcropping, clump of trees/ brush). It can be a challenge for sure.
On the other hand what it does do very well is hide movement, give a little protection against a cold wind and (although usually not completely) rain/ snow proof. I suppose it does help a little with scent but I wouldn't rely on it.

As always this is just my two cents worth.

I like natural blinds made well in advance. Built with whatever mother nature gives me....it , to me, just blends better. Some netting inside the blind helps and you ban bring a seat heater and small stool if needed to keep you dry and comfortable. Best of luck to you..hope you have many many years of hunting together.
 
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XLR308

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I have hunted out of them alot in South and central Texas and also in northern Arkansas.
Many have made some good recommendations primarily brushing in and scent control.
Don't take it out the day you plan to hunt in it without letting it air out since it will smell like plastic and whatever coatings are on the fabric from new.
I have used the store bought scent control sprays in the past but have switched to making my own.
Considering were you live I would pick something aromatic like cedar or pine mix it up with some distilled water in a pump sprayer and let it sit in the sun to warm up and draw the oils out.
One of the best things I switched to when using pop ups while bow hunting is wearing all black since the inside of the blinds are black and you disappear inside of them.
They also can be destroyed by ice and snow pulling up on them so consider that if leaving them out for extended periods.
The only thing I found about some of them that I really didn't like is make sure the windows are zippers and quality ones, Velcro sucks ass and is noisy if you have to open one to shoot in a direction you weren't expecting.
 
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drew_235

Sergeant of the Hide
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May 22, 2019
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I have hunted out of them alot in South and central Texas and also in northern Arkansas.
Many have made some good recommendations primarily brushing in and scent control.
Don't take it out the day you plan to hunt in it without letting it air out since it will smell like plastic and whatever coatings are on the fabric from new.
I have used the store bought scent control sprays in the past but have switched to making my own.
Considering were you live I would pick something aromatic like cedar or pine mix it up with some distilled water in a pump sprayer and let it sit in the sun to warm up and draw the oils out.
One of the best things I switched to when using pop ups while bow hunting is wearing all black since the inside of the blinds are black and you disappear inside of them.
They also can be destroyed by ice and snow pulling up on them so consider that if leaving them out for extended periods.
The only thing I found about some of them that I really didn't like is make sure the windows are zippers and quality ones, Velcro sucks ass and is noisy if you have to open one to shoot in a direction you weren't expecting.
If it weren't for the velcro on the vinyl windows, I'd use one of the three Eskimo brand insulated shelters that I already have for ice fishing. :)
After reading all of these comments, I'm thinking that (most) any blind that is designated as good for bow hunting will probably fill my low window requirement for letting the little guy see out the window.

This is all good stuff, keep it coming.
 

240nmc

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I use them primarily on gas lines looking down a slope where you don’t need to be high off the ground. I put it up next to trees so there is a good backdrop. We’re black inside and use a terrorist black face mask cause your face will light up... use a Bog pod and a good blind chair and they work When you don’t want to climb, trying out new spots, and working with a young hunter. Stay still cause they can be loud.

can’t stress leave the cam o at home and wear black....
 

checkmate101

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I've used a couple different ones. I have a large one from ameristep (i think) that I like when taking the kids along just for the extra room.

For set up, I would plan on setting it out 1-2 weeks in advance of when you plan to hunt. Deer will avoid them for a while before they get used to them. This is helped by brushing it in, but doesn't eliminate the need to let them acclimate to it. That said, I do mostly bow hunting out of mine so the need to get them in closer is what drives me to leave it out for this long prior to trying to hunt it.
 

drew_235

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May 22, 2019
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I'm reviving this thread because I finally got around to testing out some of blinds at Cabela's with my 3.5 year old. I found that most of the blinds had 2 fatal flaws - they were ~66" tall so I couldn't stand up in them and the windows were too tall for my child to see out of. The Ameristep brand seemed to be the shortest of all the blinds on display. While their prices were attractive, the inability to stand makes it a non starter. I'm coming off a summer with a back injury and I need to be able to stand up and stretch quite often.
The current winner in my eye is the Double Bull SurroundView 270, which can be had for $350 at Roger's Sporting Goods with a $100 gift card, for a grand total of $250. There is also a SurroundView 360 but I'm shying away from that because there is no black wall on the backside.
The other option is the Muddy Infinity 3, which I've found for $200 from MidwayUSA , is 2" taller than the Double Bull 270, and appears to use the same style of shadow mesh see-through walls. The other interesting aspect of the Muddy Infinity 3 is that they are proud of their 600D construction, and I can't really find any other blinds that even mention the base material.
 

Shane431

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We used a couple of these on our deer lease in Texas for years. We’d leave them out all deer season. They’d only last 2-3 years but the deer didn’t seem to care about them. We’d move them a few times during season and the deer didn’t care. Many times we’d shoot deer the day we moved them.
 

Shifty6BR

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IMG_1894.jpg

My buddy picked this up and lucky me being the "I have a carpenter buddy" framed up a platform for him 10' up. Not sure the brand but its a pretty sweet setup for him.
 
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drew_235

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May 22, 2019
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I ended up ordering a Muddy Infinity 3 off of Amazon for even less with 2 day delivery. It'll be here tomorrow. I went in that direction because it was relatively inexpensive and the ground to window-bottom height was low enough to let my little guy see out. I'll post some pictures when I get it set up in the yard to air out. I will also be experimenting with chairs, tripods, etc.
 

blott2007

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I have used pop up blinds with good luck. We leave them out all season and brush in like others have said. To keep movement noise down I’ve bought some cheap “moving blankets” from harbor freight to put under the chairs. It also helps with keeping your chair from sinking in mud. Good luck!!! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to start hunting with me.
 

drew_235

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May 22, 2019
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I have used pop up blinds with good luck. We leave them out all season and brush in like others have said. To keep movement noise down I’ve bought some cheap “moving blankets” from harbor freight to put under the chairs. It also helps with keeping your chair from sinking in mud. Good luck!!! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to start hunting with me.
That is a great tip about blankets under the chairs. I have 3 old large door mats in the bed of my pickup truck that I pull out for standing on when changing boots, waders, etc. and they would probably be perfect for this application.
Regarding getting your kids out hunting - I don't know how old they are and I'll never tell someone else how to parent, but I have been taking my son outdoors for trout/salmon fishing, grouse, woodcock, and pheasant hunting since he was 18 months old. I simply put him in a backpack carrier and go. He also wears hearing protection when we go hunting. He loves it, I love having him along, and it makes it a much easier sell to my better half when I want to spend an entire day away doing fun stuff in the woods.