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If you hunt, you know that every opening day makes you feel like a kid on Christmas morning. With gear staged by the door and maybe a dog or two shaking with excitement, you hop out of bed for a splash of coffee and hit the road before the first signs of sunlight. Every game animal requires unique gear and strategy, but most of them come around easier if you have a good hunting blind. We don’t care how disciplined you are; at some point, you’re going to need to adjust your seating position or turn to check your surroundings. If that happens to be the moment the big one shows up and looks your way, one tiny motion could cost you your shot. Stay hidden and use the tools available to you to get the most out of your next hunting trip.
Hunting blinds are as diverse as the game animals you hunt. Take a look at our recommendations to see blinds for every season and budget–and maybe one for your favorite hunting buddy, too.
This pick from Rhino Blinds is a versatile hunting blind with the kind of thoughtful features that make all the difference in the field. The exterior is water-resistant and strong enough to take pokes and scrapes from branches without being damaged. Reinforced seams and corners add extra strength in high-wear areas. Antimicrobial treatment helps fight off mold and mildew to keep this blind fresh year after year. Windows open and close silently with hook-and-loop elastic closures rather than loud zippers or velcro. This blind’s unique frame design allows it to be set up in as little as one minute. Once you’re done, there’s room for three hunters to sit inside. A 66-inch center peak provides plenty of room to sit and maneuver a rifle or bow. The footprint measures 58 inches square. Four camouflage patterns are available, so chances are there’s one for you.
Those of you who hunt from a tree stand can get a little extra concealment on the cheap with this blind from the Allen Company. It’s not fancy, but it does the trick and, at this price, we can’t think of a good reason not to try one. The lightweight fabric installs quickly and weathers over time to take on the appearance of its surroundings. A long-lasting cord fastens the top of this blind to your tree stand. The area around the cord is reinforced for durability, and plastic eyelets protect the fabric while providing smooth, quiet operation. Once in place, it will cover you from about the waist down. This simple solution is a great way to upgrade your existing tree stand setup.
If you can’t imagine leaving your bird dog at home (and we don’t blame you), treat your hunting buddy to their very hide with a Rig’Em Right dog blind. It folds flat for movement to your hunting spot, then pops up in a snap to keep your dog out of sight. Realistic camouflage and a rounded triangle peak help this blend in with the natural surroundings while avoiding glare and sharp shadows. This dog blind measures 34 inches long, 23 inches wide, and 19 inches tall to give your dog room without being too bulky. In warmer weather, open vents to create cooling airflow. Flaps over the opening leave space for your dog to peek their head out, and flap out of the way when it’s time for them to retrieve a bird. If you’re going to conceal yourself, it only makes sense to think of your dog, too.
Those of you tough enough to spend hours in the snow waiting for a good shot could benefit from a Radar Hub from Barronett Blinds. This blind provides realistic winter camouflage that blends in with snowy environments. It’s made from durable fabric that’s water- and wind-resistant to keep you warm. Windows can be covered using this pattern, opened all the way for a clear shot, or covered with a mesh screen to allow visibility while obscuring your presence. The inside is matte black to help you and your fellow hunters disappear in the shadows. Set-up and tear-down are simple and easy for one person. With a footprint of 59 inches square and a peak height of 80 inches, you’ll have more than enough room to sit comfortably with a fellow hunter and stand to shoot.
If you’re looking for a great ground blind on a budget, check out this option from Thunderbay. You’ll save money by forfeiting four walls and a roof. What you’ll get in return is a well-built three-sided blind that’s easy to set up and makes a big difference in your ability to maintain the element of surprise. Each panel measures 48 inches wide, and the camouflage fabric extends 36 inches high. Above that is another 12 inches of see-through mesh so you can sit under concealment until it’s time to take your shot. A pop-out frame stretches the panels tight to create a solid structure that won’t attract unwanted attention with excessive movement in the wind. Treated fabric helps you remain undetected by resisting odors, reflection, and sound. The open-top, three-sided design will leave you more exposed than full enclosures but, at this price, we won’t complain.
Sometimes bird hunting requires a layout blind; for those situations, we recommend the Alps Outdoorz Legend. This premium blind comes assembled, so you can carry it right out to your favorite hunting spot using the backpack straps and be in action as soon as you lay it down. The durable shell is waterproof and can be had in Realtree camouflage or coyote tan. Stubble straps create ample opportunity to add natural foliage for better concealment. What’s inside this blind is even more impressive. A zero-gravity seat elevates your body off the ground to create a layer of thermal insulation and keep you warm. An angled headrest puts your neck at ease while you scan the horizon for game birds. When the time comes, top panels open quickly and easily so you can present your shotgun and take aim. Just don’t get so comfortable you fall asleep and miss the action.
Types of hunting blinds
Which hunting blind you choose will depend on how you plan to use it. You wouldn’t wear the same camouflage in the fall and winter, you wouldn’t hunt duck and bear with the same weapon, and you shouldn’t use one blind for every situation, either. Start by thinking about whether you’ll be seated, in a tree, or lying down in your blind. Next, find a camouflage pattern that most closely resembles the area where you’ll be hunting. You can (and should) always add natural foliage, but it helps to have a good starting point. Finally, narrow your choices down by budget. These steps will ensure you give yourself the best odds of success come opening day.
Key features of hunting blinds
- Size: The most compact hunting blinds are designed for a single person to sit or lie down and remain still. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are blinds large enough for multiple people to sit and move around comfortably while staying out of sight.
- Intended game: If you hunt deer in dense woods, odds are you’ll be in a tree stand. If you’re hunting geese on the frozen prairie, you need a layout blind. Make sure the blind you choose is appropriate for the kind of hunting you enjoy.
- Pattern: Matching your blind’s camouflage to your environment is key. Try to replicate your region’s colors and patterns when choosing a camouflage option for your blind. It also never hurts to augment this pattern with natural elements once you’re set up.
- Field of view: The more concealment a hunting blind offers, the more it impedes your vision. Think about whether your favorite hunting spot has a dedicated firing lane or multiple avenues of approach, and select a blind that meets your needs.
- Ease of setup: The most robust hunting blinds naturally have a more involved setup. If you plan on leaving it in place all season, that’s not an issue. If you tend to move around and hunt on your own, you might want to consider a compact blind that’s easy for one person to set up and tear down.
Benefits of hunting blinds
Hunting blinds offer improved concealment that keeps hunters out of sight. Even a simple three-sided blind can mask your presence as animals approach. You might be surprised how quickly animals detect and recognize things like the silhouette of your legs in a tree stand or your figure on the shoreline. By obscuring yourself, you also gain the freedom to change position and stretch your legs during those long morning hours.
Hunting blind pricing
We’re happy to say that there’s a hunting blind for almost any budget. If all you need to do is wrap your tree stand, you don’t need to spend more than $15. A simple, three-sided blind will cost you less than $70. For $100 or more, you can get a blind that covers all sides and has room for one or two hunting buddies. For $300, you can get an insulated layout blind that’s warm enough for the coldest goose hunts. Of course, those of you with a trusty bird dog will be glad to know that you can get a separate blind for your dog for about $130.