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Blinds.

BACK IN THE 1970s and '80s, everyone hunted from fencerows and shore blinds. Ducks and geese that escaped barrages caught on, avoiding those places like the plague. Layouts and boat blinds stormed onto the scene, and waterfowlers took their game to the birds.

We're turning a corner once again. Layout hunting is still effective for field setups, but, more than ever before, today's blinds are built to be low-profile hides. Stick up, and you will stick out to incoming flocks.

Stand-up blinds that tuck into those old fencerows and other tall cover are making a comeback. As waterfowling legend Fred Zink says, "The generation of geese that were afraid of those fencerows are long dead. Today's geese are more afraid of the middle of the field."

For guys who hunt water, mobile blinds that allow access to preferred duck holes are the hot trend. And once you arrive, the advances in camo netting will keep you hidden.

We don't decide what's effective--dead ducks and geese do that.

LAYOUTS

Banded RIP

You'll be sending geese to the grave with the tapered design of the RIP, which flattens the blind's profile and nearly eliminates shadows. The cockpit has plenty of room for big boys (78x62), and the heavy-duty, square-tubed steel frame is built for punishment. There are plenty of comfort features, like flagging doors, mesh to cover your face and a padded back and head rest.

$250 | www.banded.com

Rig'em Right Low Rider

Putting together layouts on chilly mornings can be arduous. Rig'em Right made it simple with its low-profile Low Rider, which uses no pins and assembles in 30 seconds, giving you more time to focus on the intricacies of the spread. A multi-layered padded seat, backrest and headrest will keep you comfy and warm, and the storage compartment behind the headrest is a perfect place for a blind bag.

$280-$300 | www.rigemright.com

Hard Core Run-N-Gunner

Sometimes your scouting is just off. You could sulk and go home, or run-and-gun with this mobile blind. Unfurled, it's a fully-functioning layout with headrest and cover that's tattooed with stubble straps. Load them up and disappear. Folded, this blind doubles as a handy backpack. You can stuff about a dozen duck decoys, six full-body goose blocks or a dozen goose shells inside.

$148 | www.hardcore-brands.com

Foiles Strait Stealth

Just pull this low-profile blind out of the box, mud it up and head straight to the field. An outside cover eliminates shadows and the boxy look of conventional layouts--perfect for wary, late-season birds that have seen it all. The seat is padded with plenty of lumbar support. There's also a scabbard for your gun, which is handy if you can't drive out to the field.

$290 | www.foilesstraitmeat.com

Tanglefree Originator

Nobody would be hunting from ground blinds if it weren't for Ron Latschaw, the brains behind the Originator, so you know it's going to put you in the driver's seat. At 84x32, it has room for the big guys, but still only 14.75 inches tall, so no one's going to stick out like a sore thumb. And we're thrilled with the drag handle, so there's something solid to grab onto when we haul it across a field.

$250 | www.tanglefree.com

Cabela's Northern Flight Ultimate

Even when the ducks and geese are dumping in like crazy, laying in the rain gets old fast. This blind will keep you dry in up to 10 inches of water. The cover is a 600D polyester, with PVC backing designed to keep Mother Nature from crying all over you. The floor is sealed PVC with reinforced corners. A wide, adjustable seat with a movable back-support cushion lets you hunt in style and comfort.

$250 | www.cabelas.com

Final Approach X-2

Sometimes you can't get the truck to the spot where birds are going to land. Fold up the X-2, stuff in up to four-dozen silhouettes or 200 rag decoys and throw it on like a backpack--there's also a scabbard for your gun and flag. The X-2 measures 84x26, is 14 inches high, and weighs just 12 pounds.

$270 | www.fabrand.com

Edge By Expedite Gear Down

Not all of us are rolling in cash, but you can still be successful in the field. This souped up deck chair/layout is basically a steel-tube recliner with a camo blanket attached. Weighing only nine pounds, the blind folds up neatly and has straps so you can carry it on your back. The unattached side of the blanket is weighted so it doesn't blow away on windy days.

$80 | www.luckyduck.com

Avery Power Hunter

Avery is counting on hunters to rack up daily limits now that this workhorse blind comes in BuckBrush camo. From tilled crop fields to pond banks, BuckBrush will flat disappear. Of course, the Power Hunter is still covered with brush loops, so you can add natural vegetation. At 11 pounds, the Power Hunter is among the lightest layouts on the market, equipped with a single, flip-back door covered with mesh.

$150 | www.averyoutdoors.com

Rogers Goosebusters

Rogers has beefed up the Goosebusters to take a beating. It has heavier gauge tubing (anodized to cut down on glare). Also, the polyester shell is now 900D, as opposed to the old 600. This blind is loaded with features, including a large zippered foot bag for easy clean out, see-through mesh that covers your face, flagging ports and a removable shell bag.

$165 www.rogerssportinggoods.com

FLOATING BLINDS

Cupped Up Muskrat Hut

Anglers have been getting to hard-to-reach spots on float tubes for years. Now duck hunters can too. Tow the Muskrat Hut, now available in Muddy Water camo, to a flooded field or marsh, jump inside with your

waders and cover up. The blind can be covered with included synthetic material, or you can stuff the real thing inside the elastic cords stretched across the exterior. Zippered windows allow you to see the ducks coming.

$390 www.cuppedupoutdoors.com

War Eagle Ducktoon

Capable of accommodating five hunters, it's an all-welded, 11x9 aluminum boat. Weighing in at 525 pounds, the Ducktoon is powered by an electric trolling motor. The front shooting rail can be covered with sheets of Realgrass that come with the blind, and you can add natural vegetation.

$5,500 | www.wareagleboats.com

Phowler Total Concealment System

Boat blind hunting will take you to the birds, but you have to have a good hide to keep the ducks coming. TCBS blinds are constructed from lightweight aluminum, and customized to fit your boat. They're built on a fully open design, so there's no bracing or supports to trip over.

$1,500-$4,500 | www.phowlerboatcompany.com

Go-Devil Floating Duck Blind

Pop a 23- to 27-hp engine on this all-aluminum blind to hunt where you want. The boat is 16x7, and the blind box is 9x5. Brush pipes and fence wire surround the exterior for adding natural concealment. A hard top provides protection from the elements, while the low-profile model has no top, but sits lower in the water.

$8,995 | www.godevil.com

GROUND BLINDS & PITS

Avian-X A-Frame

The A-Frame disappears in any tall vegetation, and four guys can hunt out of it comfortably. An aluminum structure breaks down in seconds, and is covered with two 900D shells. Throw the support poles on top of the outer shells and roll it up into a 26-pound bundle for transportation.

$500 | www.avian-x.com

Aero Deadly Duck Blind

This portable blind takes some time to put together, but once the job is done, prepare to hunt in style. Big enough for two hunters and a dog, you can connect several together for larger parties. The blind itself is a metal frame made of square tubing and covered with mesh.

$300 | www.aerooutdoors.com

Hunter's Specialties Backpacker

When you're chasing wood ducks in the timber, or hugging a fencerow for honkers, the Backpacker is a go-to blind. The aluminum frame stands 54 inches tall and extends up to 12 feet long, so there's plenty of room for you and a couple buddies to hunker behind it with shotguns at the ready. Sets up and takes down in seconds, and you can haul it on your back.

$50 | www.hunterspec.com

Hunting Pits Unlimited Pro-Pit

The Pro-Pit Signature is built from heavy gauge steel and welded inside and out, stopping leaks cold. Painted with an epoxy MILSPEC, the pit won't rust. Walk-down stairs on either end of the blind allow hunters and dogs to enter with ease. Shotgun stand pegs, a full-length top, wooden bench and shelf for storage are available in 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-foot pits.

$5,410 (16-foot) | www.huntingpits.com

MOmarsh Invisichair

Those marsh stools may keep you comfortable, but they aren't much of a hide unless you can find some tall reeds. The Invisichair blends into standing corn, cattails, tules, timber ... basically any kind of vertical cover. Adjustable from 22-34 inches, the bi-fold chair also has a blind cover that springs out of the way at shooting time.

$2.80 | www.momarsh.com

ACCESSORIES

Camo Systems Specialist Ultralite

This camo netting will leave you hidden and dry on those rainy mornings. Measuring 20x8, the Specialist Series is 100 percent waterproof, and resistant to rot and mold. The 3-D camo material is treated so it won't give off duck-spooking glares. It will also remain pliable in extreme temperatures. Comes in a variety of patterns.

$75 | www.camounlimited.com

Mud Buddy Shaggy Pro Hunter

Tapped as a "ghillie suit for your boat," you'll love the Shaggy Pro, and so will the ducks, until it's too late. The blind comes with galvanized tubing, hardware, and camo. Made of polyester, cotton and burlap strips, the camo mesh gives the look and movement of a pile of leaves and grass. Available for boats 14-20 feet long.

$685 | www.mudbuddy.com

Gibson Duck Blind Covers

You brush up the blind, stand back and think, "man, that looks awesome." But the ducks have eyes on the big black hole in the middle. These steel-tube, powder-coated covers come in pairs two-six feet long. When grassed, they completely cover the top of your blind, and flip out to shoot. A gap at ground level allows you to watch the birds work.

$215-S275 | www.gibsonduckblindcoversinc.com

D&M Outdoors Ultimate Blind Door

If you're looking for an adjustable blind door that opens lightning fast, this is worth looking at. Instead of the door opening to the outside of the blind, this product allows it to slide inside the pit, box or boat blind. This translates into less bird spooking. The door can easily be covered with just about any natural material or FastGrass to help it blend in.

$249 | www.dandmoutdoor.com
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Author:Reilly, P.J.
Publication:Wildfowl
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2013
Words:1790
Previous Article:Duck & goose calls.
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