We’ve all spent a day flagging and calling flock after flock, finally sucking a group in on gliding wings only to watch as they flare at the edge of the decoys. For a moment your pulse jumps, giving way to disappointment as you bemoan what could have been. Any number of variables might have caused such an unfortunate circumstance, including concealment.
These days, layouts and field blinds run the gamut from campfire sleeping bags to single-wide trailersâ€”in Mossy Oak and Realtree, of course. With every passing season, it seems the ducks and geese become more wary of four mud-covered coffins in the middle of a decoy spread, so the layout must evolve. These blinds are on the cutting edge of innovationâ€”the best duck blinds and layouts of 2013â€”designed to keep the flocks coming in. But the scouting, digging in and brushing upâ€”thatâ€™s on you.
Price: $150 to $175
The non-corrosive aluminum modular frame is covered in a 900D Mossy Oak Duck Blind shell. It can accommodate four hunters and is equipped with grass straps and pockets, so you can incorporate natural vegetation for concealment.
The base is much wider than the shooting port, creating a tapered effect that helps eliminate shadows. A 900D cover and 1200D-reinforced floor will keep the elements at bay, and the padded head and backrest will have you taking early-morning siestasâ€”at least you can dream about cupped up greenheads.
You will stay dry in up to 10 inches of water, and the zippered foot pouch is big enough to slip your retriever in for a quick warm up, just make sure he has hunkered back down beside you when the geese show up.
Price: $190 to $200
The seat is padded with plenty of lumbar support for your back. Thereâ€™s also a scabbard for your gun, which is handy if you canâ€™t drive out to the field, or if a couple juvies fly too close on an afternoon walk-in.
We spent a majority of the season resting our heads on the comfy little pillow included in this spacious layout, and the DriBed kept our backsides dry in up to six inches of standing water. The shell pouch has plenty of room for gear and the stubble straps are nice and taught, so you donâ€™t have to spend as much time gathering stalks to brush in the blind before each hunt.
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.
Price: $280 to $300