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SnoManX

Hunting Blinds

27 posts in this topic

OK, I'm looking at getting an Archery blind this year. I was looking at purchasing one of Cabela's Full Draw 2X blinds and thought it was a great deal for the price. However, one buddy swears they won't hold up in the rain/wind and the only way to go is with a Double Bull blind. I know they are a great blind but have a hard time shelling out $400 for one. Anyone have any suggestions? comments? tips? smirk.gif

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I've heard the same concerns with the Cabelas 2X blind. I saw that Gander is selling a couple new blinds this spring that have the same setup style as the Doublebull and the Cabelas 2X blind. They seem more durable than the 2X, yet pretty affordable.

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I think that you will find many blinds for less money than a Double Bull. I have used close to them all and from what I have seen and learned, the Double Bull is hands down the best around even though it is a little more cash.

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My blind came from fleet farm its a piece of cammo screen 42"x 10'.I wrap it around brush,poke sticks in the ground and tie it up,hang it from a dead fall, Its versitile! Its cloth screen.

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How does that work in rain? grin.gif

I vote Double Bull. The only aspect with the Double Bull that I dont like, is that its pretty heavy compared to most blinds. But thats why its so good. Its built darn good.

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No arguments on Double Bull being number one.

Last year I asked my buddy who owns a sportshop if anything else even compared. He quickily recommended the Eastman Ground Blinds. I bought one for $99 at Cabelas last fall and proceeded to miss a doe out of one the first night(my fault not the blinds). I also used it and had over 45 deer within 4 to 120 yards of the blind during Muzzeloader season on a buddies awesome QDM land in NW MN. Two things I love about ground blinds now over treestands is its much easier to stay warm during late season below zero hunts, and the scent control just amazed me. Some deer were downwind and within 10 yards, but I believe they didn't catch enough of a wiff to do the typical snort and run. Some did get squirrley, but then calmed down again because they didn't see the usual 3O0 pound Gorrilla in the barren late season Cottonwood.

Back to the Eastman Blind though, for turkeys, or gun hunting deer, the $99 model was awesome. It was small/light enough, very durable (the hub system was 100 times better than the crappy Ameristep out there), and the fabric was very taught under cold windy conditions. When I got home though I ended up going back to Cabelas and upgrading to the much larger Eastmant Escape Deluxe which retailed for $149.99. Its huge and for turkeys it'll be great since I'll be able to get 1 or 2 buddies in there (Those goofy birds are a sucker for ground blinds anyway so the size isn't an issue).

Mainly I upgraded for size, since I'm not a little guy its tough to draw my bow in the $99 model without my elbow almost hitting the back wall. With the big one I can sit in the middle and swivel in all directions, much more quiet and less movement I would think. Also it'll be neat bringing my nephew along in this when he starts hunting with me next year. I can't wait.

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I had two cabela's brand blinds that I bought last summer. I was very disappointed in both of them. I took them both back because they didn't hold up. The one was out for about 2 weeks and the zipper broke on it so the door wouldn't close. They both got pinholes in them in a very short time. My next blind will be a Double Bull, I like the 360 degree shooting window they offer in it and lots of people on this site recommend them.

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Ameristep Doghouse blind for me. I found it on clearance at Gander a couple years ago. I paid $90 for the reversible one. Only downside is that its not black inside so I have to make sure I'm in the shade so I don't get "daylighted".

Its been through thunderstorms and complete downpours. No leaks. Throw out the guylines and it stays put in the wind.

Double Bulls are the gold standard, but if you're looking for cheap to start there are about 5 different Ameristep sizes and shapes. Either way you'll want a DB someday so might as well get it now or try to find a used one. If you do let me know.

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I can't emphasize enough, DB are great, hunted out of several for years with buddies, but if you aren't going to spend the 400-600 smackers on one the Eastman Escapes are hands down better than any Ameristep crap out there. About the same price too.

I've owned and hunted out of three different Ameristeps, the Outhouse(perfect name by the way), the Brickhouse(more like straw house), and the Doghouse(I ran out of corny humor).

The Brickhouse got returned and exchanged three times. Twice for hubs and rods malfunctioning and once for the zipper jumping the track. The Eastman rod to hub connection differs in that the rod isn't solidly bolted inside the hub, they are on a real short piece of cable entering the hub which allows for some much needed twist relief. All of the problems in the Brickhouse happened on the first or second times being set up. JUNK. I'm usually pretty careful with my stuff too. The guys at two of the stores totally agreed with me since they were taking tons of them back, which led to the obvious question, "why are you still selling them then..."

The Brickhouse ripples and flaps in the wind compared to an Eastman or DB, and the other two Ameristeps look like my snowgoose wind sock decoys when the wind is over 10mph.

Once again, just my opinion...

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One other quick pointer we discovered this fall, when you need a snow camo, I couldn't find any covers or options out there. So we contructed our own out of $8.00 Queen size white bed sheets from Walmart. Two sheet would effectively snow camo our two Escapes.

We cut small holes for the tie down eyebolts and slipped them through, that held it relatively tight to eliminate ripples in the wind(very important). We then carefully cut out slots for the windows. These resulting flaps were secured to the triangular zipper window edges by the little strong black metal paper clamps found in any Office Supply store. If you think they blend into the weed or trees, you should try huntin with snow camo. You can put them in knee high prairie grass and hunt out of them the first night. My buddy shot the fourth buck(147") in range the night he first sat in his. We're sold on them.

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I have looked at the BD blinds and yes, no question they are probably the best blind on the market. I just purchased a Ameristep Dominator because it was $225.00 at Fleet Farm and I just could not bring myself to spend $400.00 for a blind now, with that said If I was using only the blind and no other stands, I may have went ahead with a DB but I have already purchased a hang on and two ladders for the upcoming season so I went this way. In looking at it, the quality seems to good and I really like the 82" in height.

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I just saw the Eastman Blind on sale for $99 at Cabelas! I think a guy can't go wrong on this one...

Short of a DB, but for the money, the best of the rest...

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Thanks for all of the information. I'm guessing, I will buy the DB 360 Matrix later this summer when the cash is flowing again. But I just found an Eastman H2 Outfitter blind with carbon liner and black walls for $62.97 (org. $180) in one of my hunting overstock catalogs. It also has a zip open roof panel for duck/goose hunting, which might be kind of handy.

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SnomanX:

Good discussion's here, seems to be the general thought process of most (including myself) when trying to figure out pros/cons and how much available cash we have to spend on our hunting goodies.

Personally, I did without a year or two, borrowing blind's from friends and then when I could afford, spent the money to buy a Double Bull. That's the route I chose to take over the Ameristep "band-aids." I skimped a year or two to save up for something I know I'll have a very long time, and is of the best quality out there.

If you'll be hunting turkeys, there are a few additional considerations. Make sure whatever blind you buy doesn't have the hangy, leafy things. At gun range, birds don't seem to spook much from these. On a day with a good breeze near archery range, they won't tolerate it. Also, the "plasticy" or nylon sheen on alot of the cheaper brands will spook turkeys when in direct sunlight. Lastly, make sure whatever you go with has a silent window system that you can open/close without making noise or alerting the bird to your presence. Turkeys often come in from some pretty odd directions, and if you have to zip, snap, or pull velcro, it's game-over. Many of the above concerns are valid for whitetails also, especially the sheen consideration.

I hate to see folks drop thousands on their bow, leases, gas, and other equipment only to skimp on the blind. As I sated earlier, it's different for me with turkeys than for most folks here regarding whitetails, but it's akin to someone taking the fishing trip of a lifetime to the Amazon with the best gear money can buy, only to spool up with the cheap-stuff from the bargain-bin.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck!!!

Joel

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Quote:

SnomanX:

Good discussion's here, seems to be the general thought process of most (including myself) when trying to figure out pros/cons and how much available cash we have to spend on our hunting goodies.

Personally, I did without a year or two, borrowing blind's from friends and then when I could afford, spent the money to buy a Double Bull. That's the route I chose to take over the Ameristep "band-aids." I skimped a year or two to save up for something I know I'll have a very long time, and is of the best quality out there.

If you'll be hunting turkeys, there are a few additional considerations. Make sure whatever blind you buy doesn't have the hangy, leafy things. At gun range, birds don't seem to spook much from these. On a day with a good breeze near archery range, they won't tolerate it. Also, the "plasticy" or nylon sheen on alot of the cheaper brands will spook turkeys when in direct sunlight. Lastly, make sure whatever you go with has a silent window system that you can open/close without making noise or alerting the bird to your presence. Turkeys often come in from some pretty odd directions, and if you have to zip, snap, or pull velcro, it's game-over. Many of the above concerns are valid for whitetails also, especially the sheen consideration.

I hate to see folks drop thousands on their bow, leases, gas, and other equipment only to skimp on the blind. As I sated earlier, it's different for me with turkeys than for most folks here regarding whitetails, but it's akin to someone taking the fishing trip of a lifetime to the Amazon with the best gear money can buy, only to spool up with the cheap-stuff from the bargain-bin.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck!!!

Joel


AMEN to that!

I borrowed out/loaned both of my blinds to clients at gander. They drop me a check for 165, I hold it, they bring the blind back and they tear up there check.

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I have the Big Game Escape Deluxe or whatever the top of the line deal is and it cost me $150 on sale. It's not the DB but I really like it. Ability to take standing shots and I can raise and lower the windows silently from the inside. The con of a larger hub blind like that is its big, which means its harder to blend in so you really have to pick a good spot to brush it in.

I also have a Doghouse, which conceals nicely in small thickets and close to trails. But of course the downside is....its very small and hard to draw inside.

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My buddy that strongly suggests DB blinds just told me his brother is looking to get rid of his DB T5 Prostaff (guess his wife will let him get the Matrix if he sells it). He said he is looking to get $275 for it. What do you guys think? Should I pull the trigger or save up for the Matrix??

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sounds cheap to me...

if its in good shape, go for it.

then again, I'm not your wife...

hopefully your thinking, thank God...

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I would also say that if its in good shape with no tears and everything is good, i would pull the trigger and buy it.

Hands down the best blind out there.

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Hmmmmm....tough decision. Hunted out of both blinds, and like the Matrix better....but for $125 cheaper, with no problems, I might be inclined to get that one? The nice thing about these blinds is that if you want to upgrade to the Matrix, there will always be someone willing to buy your T5 to help you upgrade then.

Either way you'll be happy.

Joel

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Ok, call me dumb but after reading what Joel said and going back and re-reading all the topics on the DB blinds, I took back the Ameristep Dominator and now all I have make up my mind which dealer I'm going to buy from because they all offer different deals on ebay, for sure I'm going with the Mattrix!!!! Thanks Joel for bringing me to my senses!!!!

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You will be very happy with that blind.

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I noticed your in Waconia...Cabin Fever in Victoria carries both the Double Bull & Big Game blinds & their priced the same as Cabela's. I was in there earlier this week & they were down to three Matrix. You may want to check them out.

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Thanks Havvey, I think your right on. Thanks Arrowit, I never notice the DB at Cabin so I will look. Right now I'm dealing with a couple from out of state because most DB dealers are at $399.00 and up and a couple of these guys are less plus if you buy a DB, they will throw in a chair and free shipping and from what I understand, the chair is a must because of the height but, I still will look at Cabin because I have purchased from them before and they are good guys.

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Well, I pulled the trigger on it. The blind is in excellent condition and he had DB enlarge the front two windows before he bought it plus it came with 2 extra screens. I figured I would have kicked myself if I didn't. Thanks guys for your help!

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