Contributors to this thread:
Turkeys-Favorite Available Blind
Opening morning in KY and I’m sitting in my old Double Bull Matrix. It has been a great blind but is starting to show its age. The fabric needs some repairs and it faded out to the point that I painted it. I always keep my eyes peeled and fingers crossed for a Dark Horse blind to become available, but at this point it seems highly unlikely. That being said, if you were purchasing a blind today for bow hunting turkeys which one would you purchase or recommend? How is the setup and takedown, window configuration, weight and is the fabric durable and shine free? I had a Xenek and thought that it was going to be my new go to. I could deal with the difficult setup and takedown but I couldn’t deal with the shiny fabric that I had numerous gobblers shy away from.
I found any fabric or covering that shined or reflected was a big turn off for turkeys... I use to use cargo netting, cut opens for shooting, guile suit material worked great.
I'm considering the Barronett Ox 5 to replace a blind that either got blown away or was stolen from private land. I had a Big Cat. It didn't get a lot of use, but it was large and easy to set up. Definitely not what I would have considered real mobile. Zippers are definitely not quiet. I opened up a review and thought it was our WVMountaineer, but I don't think the photo matches up. LOL.
Just look at those eyes... such big beautiful eyes!
Barnett 5 sided with the multiple loops and Ts instead of zippers and velcro for holding the panels and screens shut. Two of the sides make a big door to open otherwise you can use the entry zipper. Not as quiet as my 20+ year old double bull but better than some. I got it on special at Fleet farm w/ coupon for about 100 bucks. Usually $169.99.
Hoping my dark horse lasts forever. I can’t believe they quit making it.
I’d love to find a dark horse.
I was so happy to pick up a T5 from someone on this site. Now I have a T5 and a pair of T2's.
Hopefully, someone will hook you up with a Dark Horse, Mark.
I would be fine with one of the see through DB blinds if they had some type of screen that you could hang inside to keep you from being silhouetted.
I still find the Xenek the best. Yes, they are shiny when new, I simply grab some dirt and trow it on the blind. I have several I leave out on my private ground all turkey season, so I'm not setting them up and taking them down every day, although I have in the past.
Nothing hides you on the inside better than a Xenek, IMO. Their black covered fabric allows no light penetration, unlike the DB blinds. On a sunny day, I've been busted more than once in a DB. No more for me. Cloudy days they work ok...
Ghost Blind. Money. Lol. But I hunt heavily pressured public birds.
Not the fastest to set up or move but I really like the Hay Bale Blinds. This spring I mounted one on a trailer so it is easy and fast to move and be set up.
Some yrs back, early nineties I believe, I purchased a Flambeu hen turkey decoy... decoy came in a large cargo netting sack in drab green.
I filmed my scouting with a big old VHS camera and had quite a bit of luck, I would show my local hunting buddies who nicknamed me " Marty Stauffer"... any hoot I came upon a group of birds doing the pecking order spring ritual and they came in fast to my soft calls... I had enough time to wrap the netting over me and start filming. The birds came in putting and aggressive clucks beating eachother up a mere 5 yds in front of me! The fact the decoy was present and my human silhouette was broken I attribute to the flock being comfortable with the situation... the only thing that messed up a half hour of filming was the sound of the camcorder motor after a Jake came into arm length of me filming.
I use fir tree branches and make about 5 blinds around the pastures I hunt. In the woods I pin point good blowdowns.
She’s no dark horse I’ll tell you that
I know what I don't like. I just saw an OX 4. Only two small zip windows between the struts in the back. That limits to only 180 degree shooting.
One of the best things about my Ghost Blind is I have no need to place multiple blinds in advance, nor branch in a pop up. I’m always invisible. No concern if birds have been educated. Hell I’ve had some WI public toms blow out at the sight of my pop up from 200 yards out. One ran after seeing just a 12” x12” corner not brushed in. And some intentionally skirted around me no closer than 50 yards. Never with the GB. In fact the opposite, often wandering too close.
I personally really like the “see through” blinds. My personal favorite is the double bull version. The one I have is the original “surround view 270” if I’m not mistaken. I just looked and it looks like they only sell them with the curtain type windows, where you push them up and down. I personally despise that window set-up. They have to be way too open IMO to give good clearance for bow shooting. I prefer vertical and lower corner shooting “ports”.
Most blind windows are poorly designed for shooting a bow out of IMO. Almost all are too high and basically begging archers to hit them. Especially for turkeys I don’t need a wide shooting arc, 2 or maybe 3 open ports is basically all I need/want. I like Starfire I don’t care about windows on the back at all, in fact I prefer none.
There are lots of blinds out there, most are not that great IMO, but it can also depend on what you are looking for. In my pic I feel the top triangle is almost useless for Bowhunting, way too big, and just begs to be hit if trying to shoot a bit to the left or right. I also don’t particularly like the ones with large triangles on the side (like I drew on the right) as I feel it lets in a bunch of unwanted light. I like these corner shooting ports as they are low and big enough, but not huge.
I also think guys often set them up not quite ideally too. For me I prefer to set the blind so that the most likely shot is out the corner, not the front. And I generally sit in the back left corner. That allows me the most room for drawing and swinging left and right through the most likely shooting port. I often see guys (and outfitters) set them up to shoot straight out the middle (V) window. Just not real good for a bowhunter IMO.