Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Gobbler: To Blind, or not to Blind...

I cut my teeth hunting Spring Gobblers at eye level.  A low seat, a vest with some back padding, and maybe a deke or two out there.  However, after a rained out muzzleloader season, I invested in a ground blind. Nothing fancy, just a simple pop up, but now that I have it, the blind just begs the question: Do I hunt spring gobblers from a blind now?

There are obvious advantages to having a blind.  If it's raining it will keep you dry and more comfortable.  I'm a huge advocate of comfort.  The more comfortable you are, the longer you stay in the field.  The longer you stay in the field, the greater your chance of success. The blind will conceal movement. This is great when drawing a bow, or a gun on a feeding deer, but absolutely critical when hunting turkeys.  There's nothing more paranoid then a turkey, especially one that has been hunted. As my boys get older the blind will also come in handy because anyone with kids knows well how poorly they sit still.  The blind will give us an extra layer of protection from all those little fidgets. 

There are some big disadvantage as well though. The blind is one more piece of equipment to carry in the field.  The blind above folds down into a round pack with a diameter right around 2 feet. At about 8 inches thick, and 12 pounds, it's not awkward to carry, but it is one more thing to carry. All my hunting ground is rolling, so no matter where I choose to go, I'm hefting that thing up hill at some point.  Also once I'm set up I'm more committed to that location, then I would be if I was just carrying my low seat.  I've either got to fold up the tent, and pack it to the next location, or leave it and remember to go back and retrieve it, before I leave the woods.  You'll also notice in the picture above, all blinds need to be "brushed in" so to speak. The blind by itself looks like a building.  Completely out of place in the woods.  If you stack brush around it that will help to blend the hard edges into the background.

Probably the biggest disadvantage is just the fact that I've had success without using the blind.  Whenever you have success, you really want to replicate that success.  Changing something major about your setup, puts you at risk of starting over, so to speak, and learning how to be successful with that new tool.

It's a toss up to be sure. 6 weeks from now, with the Spring Gobbler season starts in PA, will I find myself in a blind?  Probably not for the opener, I'm too superstitious for that.  However, since I own a blind now, I'm sure I'll test it out later in the season.  Experimenting later in the season has worked out well for me in the past, so maybe by the 3rd Saturday, I'll pack that blind into the woods and give it a test run.

Happy Hunting
Scott M

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