Hunting out of a Blind – Layout Blind Tips
Layout blinds are an essential tool when field hunting geese or ducks. They essentially provide you with the optimal concealment necessary to fool birds in neglecting that you are present among your decoy spread. However, if you haven’t hunted from one before. Having a few layout blind tips and tricks can help provide a successful and safe hunt.
Buying a Layout Blind
One of the best layout blind tips I can offer is make sure you do your research on layout blinds. Having a blind that offers low profile and comfort is extremely important. Now I’m a conscious buyer and with no experience with a layout blind. I bought the first one a saw that was on sale. It proved to be a little higher and larger in profile than what I really needed. Still a good blind, however, I tend to not use it early season, because if I can conceal myself while field hunting with something smaller that is just what I’ll do. So to offer some help in buying a blind I wanted to make sure you are equipped with a few layout blind tips when buying.
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Avery Outdoors Power Hunter Blind
- EASY SET UP:
- The Power hunter is one of our favorite layout blinds to use. It offers one of the easiest aluminum frame designs to set up. This blind takes about 30 seconds to set up in the field. So considering that concealment is so important. This offers you the most time to stubble your blind which I get to later in this post.
- The power hunter is also one of the cheapest blinds available. With a price tag of only $150. As field hunting gear is already so expensive, being able to save a few bucks and buy a field blind under $200 is a steal.
- One of the lowest profile blinds to hide while shooting. It offers a “sleeping bag” like feel. You simply can slip your feet into the blind and a hood with meshing gives you the ability to hide your face but keep you hidden. It’s offered in both a brown canvas and a camo mossy oak canvas. However, for the cost and since you will more than likely stubble your blind anyways. Having a brown canvas style can save you a few bucks.
- This blind doesn’t offer the greatest leg room, I do have a 6’2″ buddy that hunts out of one and can fit, but legroom is a little tight. As for comfort it only has a back support that keeps your torso at about a 45° angle. So it doesn’t offer the best comfort but it’s a layout blind, not a king size bed.
Rig’em Right Drake Raider Layout Blind:
- The Rig’em Right Raider reminds me of the Avery Power Hunter. Quick easy aluminum bars that slide up to give you a backrest. The canvas falls over you kind of like a blanket. Offering really low profile concealment. Making sure that your body and blind don’t create any shadows.
- The Raider comes in at a little higher price tag than the Power Hunter, however, it still comes in under $200.
- Rig’em Right offers a doorless design that makes it only as tall as your body is while lying down. Plus they have an abundant number of stubble straps lining the canvas to give you plenty of room to hide your blind with whatever stubble matches your field.
- The blind offers a mesh screen so that you can cover your face and still see while birds are approaching. However, because there is no frame around the face it makes calling a little difficult. Because the mesh will move as you are moving your hands around.
Delta Waterfowl Zero-Gravity Layout Blind:
- If you are looking for an extremely comfortable blind. Check out the Zero Gravity. It feels like you are hunting from a lawn chair. This layout blind only requires you to unfold it from its carrying position and with a few stakes you are able to give it the zero profile look that you see in the image. It requires no assembly.
- Again this blind comes in under $200, with a camo version that does exceed the $200 mark. However, with mudding your blind and stubble the brown canvas is perfect. So for one of the most comfortable blinds I’ve ever sat in, it’s worth the money.
- The Zero Gravity is a truly unique approach to concealment. It still has the conventional door design, however, the canvas doesn’t go around you like the Power Hunter or Raider. Rather it gets pulled out from the chair and staked down to give it a wide profile. Which in turn makes it seem as though it is flat. It’s a really smart design that even though it’s as high as most blinds it has a perception to seem flat and low profile.
- The only drawback that I discovered with this one is that since you stake out the canvas and it needs more material for the profile to appear flat. It has a larger surface area to stubble. This can be a little more time-consuming in the early mornings when stubbling blinds.
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With these three options for blinds, I hope it provides you with the proper layout blind tips when making a purchase. Make sure you have the concealment, comfort, and budget you need to make a good purchase on a layout blind.
Stubble your Blind & Concealment:
A simple misconception or maybe more lazy approach to layout blinds is that since you bought camo you don’t need to stubble your blind. However, it won’t take you longer than a hunt to realize you probably will see flock after flock flare around your decoys when field hunting geese. Since you didn’t properly stubble your blind.
I always get the field with my truck and trailer I throw out the blinds first and decide what direction we are going to face and shoot. Why? Because I always stubble my layout blind first, even before I set decoys. If we set up on the “X” and are running out of time it’s much easier to have a sloppy decoy spread than a layout blind not concealed. Because birds will still come in if they don’t see you. However, if you choose to not stubble your blind you are going to find out the hard way that waterfowl have better eyesight than you think.
Therefore to ensure you stubble your blind well. I have few simple layout blind tips to be thinking of when stubbling your layout blinds.
- Give yourself 10-15mins of work per blind, setting up and stubbling your blind.
- Ensure that you match the stubble to your environment. Don’t get lazy and leave your bean stubble on from the last hunt while shooting a corn field.
- Be sure to stubble every inch of your blind, and try and keep it blending in with your ground cover.
- If you can grab field stubble the day before your hunt and stubble your blind at home. You can easily save 15 mins in the morning hunt.
Shooting from a Blind:
One of the best layout blind tips to offer is knowing how to properly and safely shoot from a layout blind. At first glance, it looks simple. But when have you ever shot trap or sporting clays while laying on your back. Therefore there are a few tips and tricks that will ensure you stay safe and also get a shot off.
- Practice in your yard or garage laying in the blind with it all setup. Then pretend someone called the shot and you need to pop-up and shoot. Try practicing shouldering your gun quickly and being able to spot a target. One of the hardest things to remember is where to put your gun. So by practicing, you can be sure to position your gun on your chest where you can safely reach the safety.
- If you have doors or a hood to push out of your way when shooting. Make sure you practice a good sequence of using your hand that isn’t shouldering your gun to push it out of your way.
- If you can find a spot to shoot a few clays while sitting this can easily help with targeting and the feel of shooting while sitting/laying. It sounds funny, but you lose a lot of range of motion when you are sitting that you otherwise would have when standing.
- Last but one of the most important is follow birds with your eyes, not your head and neck. What I mean is that even though you may be under a mesh layout blind, birds can still spot movement. So if you are stretching left to right in quick movements to spot birds overhead. You more than likely will spook geese or ducks and they will flare. Therefore keep your head and body still and follow the birds with your eyes.
HUNTER TIP: If you are planning to hunt in the cold or late season weather check out The Waterfowl Hunters best shooting gloves. A proper set of gloves will give you the range of motion and ability to still pull the trigger. Don’t forget to keep your face warm as well with a neck gaiter.