In turkey hunting, there are times to sit motionless against a tree and stay alert and in tune with the woods. There are also times to park yourself at the edge of a field, doze, eat your lunch, check your phone, and look up every once in a while to count the decoys and be sure no real bird has joined them.
Nothing beats a blind for the latter style of hunting, and plenty of hunters shoot birds from pop-up blinds every year. My problem with popups is that I don’t feel like I’m outside when I’m sitting in a nylon cube with a roof over my head, and turkeys are dumb enough about blinds that hunting from them feels slightly unfair.
The Double Bull Stakeout Blind is one answer to my dilemma, and I’ve spent a lot of time sitting behind one this spring. The blind lets me sit at the very edge of a field and still remain reasonably hidden while nodding off, chalking calls, reading e-mail, and snacking. I can also look up into the branches over my head to watch migratory songbirds and wood ducks when the turkeys aren’t bothering me. At $99.99 it costs much less than a full-size pop-up, too.
Made of two camo panels supported by stakes on hubs, the blind weighs just 4 ½ pounds and packs down compactly. Mine rides easily in the game bag of my vest. It pops up in seconds and breaks down just as quickly. It’s 37 inches tall and features three shooting windows, which make it just fine for gun hunting. I was worried a bit about accidentally shooting through the support strap that runs down the middle of the center window, but I can report that I was able to kill a turkey out of the blind without endangering the blind. The top half is made of the SurroundView mesh that is supposed to let you see out without animals seeing in.
About the mesh: Animals can’t see in. At least, the doe that walked past mine at 40 yards eyeing it suspiciously couldn’t tell that I was waving my hands rapidly at it. But the part where you can see out is overstated. Light does come through, which I appreciate, and if you know there’s a deer or a turkey out in front you can see that there’s a moving blob out there. I think the SurroundView mesh technology works more dramatically in an enclosed popup where it’s dark inside.
The blind is 59 inches from corner to corner, which is enough to hide you from in front but does leave you visible from the sides, so it helps to tuck it into cover a little bit. It does make a little noise when you pop it up. The other day, when I wanted to get in early on a bird roosted along a field edge, I popped the blind together at my truck and carried it into the field. Really, the only problem with the Stakeout Blind is that it’s so easy to use, I am getting dependent on it. I have to make myself leave it behind when it’s time to sit up against a tree and hunt turkeys the old-fashioned way.