After three decades of hunting from elevated stands, I’m learning to come down from the trees. I’ve been using ground blinds for deer — with varying degrees of success — in the last few seasons, mainly when taking my kids with me to the deer woods.
While I love the portability and easy setup of most most pop-up blinds, they have their drawbacks. In my experience, the blind has to be out there for a while so deer can get used to its presence. Otherwise, they can get pretty jumpy. Or the setup has to be near perfect: Plenty of brushing in and other prep to camouflage the game-spooking silhouette of most blinds.
So I perked right up when a bowhunting buddy from Alaska tipped me off to the Nature Blind. Designed by a Hollywood set designer, the Nature Blind mimics a gnarly old tree trunk that, I’m convinced, would hoodwink any whitetail. The thing looks darn comfy (it has a carpeted floor, insulated walls, plenty of shooting windows, and can hold 2-3 people comfortably), appears weatherproof, and seems to have all the hunter-friendly features you’d expect in a quality blind.
Of course, no product is perfect. The Nature Blind weighs 300 pounds, which means that moving the thing requires at least a couple helpers and — at minimum — an ATV with a trailer. Oh yes, and then there’s the $3,500 price tag. The only way I’m going to own one of these is if Hurteau gives me a massive raise, or if I find that wealthy, ailing uncle we’re all searching for. Sigh … Guess I’ll just keep zip-tying branches to my pop-up model.