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Maybe The Trees Aren’t For You

As you age, climbing a tree to chase whitetail may not be for you.

As time goes on some of us feel that we don’t need to spend all of our hunting time swinging among the branches, but instead are returning their roots hunting from the ground. Ground hunting is where the majority of us started out, but today’s ground hunting is nothing like it was back in the day.

It’s no secret that I am a huge proponent of pop-up style blinds and I am not alone. A quick walk around any sporting goods store, online site or old-fashioned catalog, and you’ll find a huge selection of ground blind options.

Back in the day, most of us started hunting from the ground. In fact, during my very first hunt I was told to sit on the ground at the base of an old oak tree and not make a sound. This was the way most hunters did it back in the day. Oh heck, there was the occasional tree stand made out of wood but most folks kept their feet on the ground.

Like most sportsmen I have been able to deer hunt everywhere from an old wooden pallet stand and/or from fancy ground blinds that could be easily made into a small hunting cabin.

Today’s hunters have many options to choose from: ladder, climbing, hang on, tripod stand or ground blinds. It seems more folks — especially those of us that have seen more years pass then they have in front of them on this earth — are choosing often to use what is known as a pop-up or portable blind.

There continues to be new companies tipping their toe into the ground blind business, but there is still one that offers sportsmen a wide variety of choices at just about very price point, Ameristep. Three of the reasons Ameristep is leading the industry is the quality, weight and price. For those who haven’t checked out pop-up style blinds lately, they vary greatly in price and weight. Pricing can be as low as $100 or up to and over $500, as far as weight from 15 to 40-plus pounds is the standard.

Now I am not sure about your house but for me to go out and drop $500 plus on a blind weighing over 30 pounds is not only going to bust my back but get my ear tugged on by the wife.

The senses of the North American whitetail and wild turkey are highly evolved. Their uncanny abilities to detect predators are astonishing and must be respected. Anyone who’s hunted either of these wary game animals has likely learned this the hard way — by spooking so many deer and turkeys they’ve lost count.

A successful hunter must beat the eyes, ears and nose of the game he or she pursues, and spend a lot of time and money addressing the issues of all-around concealment. Camouflage and various scent-control products are all standard aspects of the game, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to take multi-sensory concealment to the next level?

The hunter-centric engineers at Ameristep lay awake at night pondering such conundrums and how to incorporate practical solutions into their ultimate ground blind designs. More often than not, they successfully convert all that insomnia-inspired, meditative thought into reality. One of their newest creations, the Ameristep Element Blind, is exactly the kind of game changer we’ve come to expect from these ground-blind brainiacs.

The new Element brings all-around concealment to that fleeting “next level.” Yes, the bones of this blind are pure Ameristep, held true-to-shape by the brand’s incredibly tough Spider Hub System — a two-piece, stamped steel design that is famously steadfast and virtually indestructible. But, it’s what surrounds that ruggedly reliable frame that sets this blind apart from other.

The Silent Brickhouse takes a good thing and makes it even better. The original Brickhouse easily camouflages up to three hunters, but the Silent Brickhouse further conceals those hunters with complete silence. New for this season, a hinged silent door design simplifies entrance and exit with absolutely zero noise. Additionally, the silent mesh attachment mutes any window adjustments as you find your shot. Nature may be listening, but this blind will make sure whatever you’re hunting doesn’t hear a sound.

The Element’s remarkable new NS3 Carbon Enhanced Fabric combines a quiet and dull, brushed micro-fiber exterior with a carbon-enhanced, black ShadowGuard interior laminate. Super soft and quiet inside and out, NS3 stands for no scent, no shine and no sound. It’s extraordinary not only because of the way it helps attenuate scent and sound, but also because its dull and non-reflective weave defies shine and accepts printing like no other blind fabric available. The result? The Element Blind’s Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camouflage finish stands out with incredible clarity, lending this blind unmatched hi-definition concealment. Of course, a row of sewn-in brush loops is provided around the Element’s perimeter just below the roofline for supplemental camouflage with local vegetation.

The Element’s shooting windows are laid out for maximum versatility. Large, main windows constructed of tight, shoot-through mesh are positioned in the center of each sidewall, while nifty gun ports facilitate covert barrel penetration on all four sides. Additionally, a pair of tall, vertical, shoot-through windows, perfect for bow hunters, are located in each corner. All windows attach to the openings via Velcro for a perfectly tight fit, and are easily replaceable. Which is important when shooting throw, them with archery equipment.

A couple of things that will make your pop-up blind more comfortable and hence keep you in a field longer are a good chair and bow holder. When picking a chair, I prefer a bag-style chair. This allows mobility when moving about and gives a comfort that I enjoy. A bow hanger or bow stake will keep your bow within reach. Experience has taught me that just having your bow leaning against the inside of the blind doesn’t work. I have been caught picking my bow up because it makes a sound when brushed up against the blind. For this reason, I have been using a hanger that is easily attached the top of the support bars. This keeps the bow within reach and all but eliminates any noise that could spook that close buck that just appeared out of nowhere.

Before you take out a young or new hunter and expect them to sit still under an old oak tree, take time to check out pop-up blinds. They are an investment that will pay its back many times over.

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