April 15, 2019
To me, there are two types of blinds that matter for spring turkeys. The first is an over-sized, heavy beast of a blind that can easily accommodate two hunters and is perfect for a season-long hotspot. The other is a lightweight, might-last-two-springs type of blind that is cheap and portable.
For my close-to-home private land hunts, the big heavies get the nod. When I’m hunting out of a tent in some random state looking for a public-land longbeard, the lightweight, smaller blinds are my go-to.
If that sounds about right, or you’re just ready for a blind upgrade, check out the following options, which are all perfect for a specific style of gobbler hunting.
Ameristep Care Taker Kick Out
An earlier version of an Ameristep blind that was sized like the Care Taker was my go-to blind for public-land turkeys as well as quite a bit of my wildlife photography. I loved that blind, and I’m sure I’m going to love the new Care Taker Kick Out, considering it weighs only 15 pounds, measures 66 inches tall, and features a unique footprint that allows for plenty of gear storage. The silhouette of this blind is unlike most camo cubes, which allows it to blend easily into a host of wooded environments. For $120, you can hardly go wrong with this blind, especially if you like to be mobile and hunt solo.
Browning Phantom X
If you routinely host small dance parties in your turkey blind, the Phantom X is a solid choice. Or if you just happen to hunt with one or two partners, sans the fancy moves... Either way, this blind offers a 74-inch shooting width and measures a full 70 inches tall. It weighs in at 19.5 pounds and is designed with 180-degree strategic window placement. It also comes standard with an LED swivel clip light, a bow hanger, and four gear pockets for storage so you don’t have to fumble around for your calls or snacks.
NAP Mantis 2 Hub
his blind is an interesting one. I thought this might be the answer to my public-land hunts, so I started using it last year. For some situations it was perfect. The first day I used one I hiked deep into a tract of public land and sat in it for 10 hours before arrowing a Nebraska longbeard. If you need lots of space and headroom, this might not be the best choice, but if you value lightweight (14.5 pounds) and highly portable blinds, then you will want to check this out. I used a small stool to sit on, and shooting from it was a breeze. I also found out that this was one of the easiest blinds to get to blend into all kinds of turkey habitats, so for some hunters it’s a deadly option.
Primos Double Bull Evader
For a killer set-it-and-forget-it blind, you’d have a hard time beating the new Evader from Primos. This 23-pound blind measures 70 inches between hubs and offers 67 inches of height. The material used to create this blinds is crazy durable, which when combined with the Double Bull hub system, means the Evader is not a flappy, move-with-every wind-gust type of blind. If you’ve got a killer strutting zone that birds use from the beginning of April until the end of May, you could do a lot worse than setting up an Evader there.
Rhino Blinds Rhino-200
This blind is a gray-area blind, because it’s big and durable enough to house two hunters easily but also only weighs 18 pounds. It’s covered in 300 Cordura denier fabric to ensure it will last for plenty of seasons, includes a backpack, stakes and tie-down ropes, and is designed with shoot-through mesh windows. To ensure the Rhino-200 melts into the foliage, it’s covered in Mossy Oak camo and built with brush loops.
I don’t know too many bowhunters who haven’t at one time in their lives hunted whitetails out of a Summit treestand. The iconic company has now expanded into the ground blind market, and their offerings are pretty sweet. The blind that caught my attention at the ATA Show this year was the Cobra. Their two-person option weighs only 14 pounds and features a shooting width of 71 inches. This blind – and the rest of the Summit blinds – are built with some of the most innovative windows/shooting ports out there, and even the door is very well thought out.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this blind is awesome. It’s by far one of the most durable blinds on the market, and after you use one for a spring you’ll also see that it’s designed really well. It weighs 25 pounds so it’s not the most portable of the bunch, but if you want a quality blind that will withstand a lot of abuse, I don’t think you could do better. This blind is also good-sized considering it measures 73 inches tall and 72 inches between hubs. When I need to set up a blind in a spot for at least a few weeks and leave it, the Apex is my go-to. I did just that last year in my home state of Minnesota and when I did sneak in to hunt, I brought along one of my seven-year old daughters. We skewered a great bird and had a blast hunting out of this blind. In fact, my Apex is sitting out there right now letting the birds get real used to it so in a few weeks we can hopefully repeat that memorable morning.
ALPS OutdoorZ Triad 360-Degree Swivel Stool
At about 8.5 pounds, this stool is not one you’re going to carry everywhere. But if you’ve got a blind setup that you plan to leave for a few weeks, or don’t have a terrible hike into, then this is the answer to your problems. This stool is awesome, simply awesome. It offers up a 360-degree range-of-motion and features three independantly adjustable legs so you can level it no matter how unlevel the ground is. If you’re still using a repurposed camp chair to bowhunt in blinds, toss that sucker in the burn barrel and get yourself a Triad – you won’t regret it.