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Blinds

Duck Blinds 2017—Wildfowl’s Editors Pick The Best

by David Draper   |  September 20th, 2017 0

You can have the most expensive new auto-loader, biggest spread of custom decoys, and the latest in technical apparel, but if you don’t have a good hide, you’re going home skunked.

Through the years, we’ve tried about every type of blind there is, from burlap bags to hog wire panels. But birds smartened up, and we invest more time and money into blind building than ever before (don’t tell our wives). Today’s modern hides allow hunters to disappear in thin cover, so there’s always a chance to get on the X…if you have the right blind. The following are some of our favorite models—all designed to make you disappear.

1.-Banded-Axe-WIFP-170800-EBLI-017

Banded Axe Blind

Originally designed as an easy-to-use, pop-up boat blind, the Axe was quickly adopted by landlubbers too. After first assembly, the Axe sets up in seconds, and provides cover from above with a quick-throw, sliding top. A row of straps around the outside provides a place to stuff in brush. Adjustable ground stakes and a 3-D leaf-cut camo skin are optional. $350-$450 | banded.com

2.-Avian-XWIFP-170800-EBLI-018

A-Frame

If you hunt hedgerows or near hay bales, this blind is your ticket. Hell, Fred Zink kills ducks and snows out of the A-frame in the middle of a field. The non-corrosive aluminum frame goes together in seconds, then simply snap on the 900-denier nylon shell and grass it in. You can squeeze four 150-pound hunters in, but three and a dog is best. $500 | avian-x.com

3.-Tanglefree-WIFP-170800-EBLI-001

Tanglefree Flight Series Panel

Fold it out, grass it in and you’re ready. A single panel is great for backing up against brush lines, standing corn and riverbanks. Add a second panel to create an enclosed blind that’s deadly in open fields to shorelines. Viewing ports allow everyone to keep an eye on the action. Available in Optifade Marsh or Timber and Realtree Max-5.  $300 | tanglefree.com

4.-Momarsh-WIFP-170800-EBLI-005

MOmarsh Invisi-Man

In shallow water or short cover, this adaptable hide puts you right where the ducks want to be. The comfortable platform is short so your legs hang down, and can be adjusted to put you just above the waterline, whether it’s 1” deep or 30. Oversized feet on the adjustable legs resist sinking in muck or mud. $300 | momarsh.com

5.-Heavy-Hauler-WIFP-170800-EBLI-010

Heavy Hauler F-3

The new Killer Korn camo, exclusive to HH, looks just like a field of cut corn stalks and husks. The natural, light coloration means less time brushing in. Works in wheat and oat fields as well. Roomy, the full-frame blind sets up quick, and features a couple of mesh storage pockets inside, including a flag pouch. $250 | heavyhauleroutdoorgear.com

6.-Avery-WIFP-170800-EBLI-019

Avery Outfitter

Many layouts resemble the Taj Mahal, but Avery keeps it simple and affordable. A tough aluminum frame is accented by solid aluminum hinges. Heavy woven fabric cover finished in Realtree Max-5 features a bi-folding door design with zippered flagging hole. Assembles quickly and unfolds in seconds. $200 | averyoutdoors.com

7.-Lucky-Duck-WIFP-170800-EBLI-021

Gear Down

This is one of our go-to layouts for public-land and spring snows. Basically, a pool-side recliner with a blind cover you can grass up, it’s easy to carry (just nine pounds) and comfy for all-day white bird grinds. $100 | luckyduck.com

8.-Delta-Waterfowl-WIFP-170800-EBLI-020

Delta Waterfowl Zero Gravity Snow Cover

The Zero Gravity Blind is one of the most comfortable layouts we’ve ever hunted from, especially in late season as it lifts you off the cold, hard ground. Now, Alps is offering a durable snow cover, which slips easily over the blind’s shell and stakes out to eliminate harsh shadows. Zippered flagging holes mate up perfectly, though we do wish the white, anti-UV, fabric had a few more stubble strips, particularly along the front of the blind. As is, the blind and cover combo is still a must-have for fooling end-of-the-migration ducks and geese.  $90 | Deltawaterfowlgear.com

9.-Camp-Unlimited-WIFP-170800-EBLI-014

Camo Unlimited Netting

This 3-D camo is the gold standard when it comes covering up everything from homemade blinds to boats or pits. Breaks up hard edges, allowing anything it covers to blend into the surroundings. The material is waterproof and UV-treated for long life. Non-glare treatment won’t wear off.  $75 (8’x20’) | camounlimited.com

10.-Gibson-WIFP-170800-EBLI-012

Gibson Flip-Top Covers

Made from powder-coated, welded steel, these covers install in seconds and can be attached temporarily or permanent. Adaptable to many different styles and sizes of blinds (two to six-foot frames available as well), all with multiple viewing windows built in. $185-$405 (per pair) | gibsonduckblindcoversinc.com

11.-Go-Devil-WIFP-170800-EBLI-011

Go-Devil Boat Blinds

With a frame design that drops down completely inside the boat, these Avery FastGrass-covered blinds are just as hidden stowed as they are deployed. Easily installed, with four bases that mount to the bottom of the boat. The all-aluminum frame clips to the bases quickly and securely when hunting season rolls around. Fits most boats 12 to 20 feet long, and  the natural raffia is firmly affixed to high-strength netting for long life. $795-$895 | godevil.com

12.-Rig'em-Right

Rig’em Right Console

With drinks, shells, calls…you name it, the interior of a layout can be a disaster area, particularly when the shooting gets hot. This handy organizer snaps to the frame of many popular blinds and keeps everything in its place. Holds a box of shells, and has a cup holder that will fit a pop can or similar-sized travel cup. $20 | rigemright.com

13.-Muddy-Buddy-WIFP-170800-EBLI-004

Mud Buddy FastGrass

FastGrass incorporates palm leaves woven into durable, natural-looking sheets that make boats and blinds all but disappear in everything from salt grass to tules and phragmites. MB’s adaptable blinds feature an indestructible frame covered with the stuff. They fit nearly every duck boat from 10 to 18 feet, and can be removed at the end of season. $741 | mudbuddy.com

14.-Kohler-Blinds-WIFP-170800-EBLI-008Kohler Blinds

Go ahead and call in the excavator, Kohler’s in-ground pits come ready to hunt. All-steel, corrosion-proofed construction will hold up underground for years. The three, 15,000-btu burners quickly heat things up on cold days and prepare a hearty blind breakfast. Recessed steps on each end and full-length padded bench add comfort and convenience. $5,995 (12-foot) | kohlerblinds.com

15.-Hard-Core-WIFP-160800-E-BLI-009

Hard Core Deluxe Man Cave

When the big freeze comes the integrated spinning-wing pole mount is a fantastic feature. Shells and full-body decoys can also be clipped on to the doors of the layout, which has a spacious interior and no-pin design. The Dri-Bed keeps you dry in up to 6” of water. $230 | hardcore-brands.com

16.-Redhead-WIFP-170800-EBLI-003

Redhead Waterfowl Kayak

Kayaks can be a killer option when it comes to getting away from the crowds. The only problem is camouflaging them. Redhead solves that issue for Ascend kayak owners with a powder-coated steel frame blind built just for the FS12T and H12. The tough, weather-resistant 600D cover has flip-open doors and a mesh face panel for maximum visibility. $200 | basspro.com

17.-Hunting-Pits-WIFP-170800-EBLI-009

Hunting Pits Pro-Pit

When you finally find that waterfowl mecca and want to bury a pit, you won’t do much better than this one. Constructed from heavy-gauge steel with fully-welded seams inside and out, this blind won’t leak. All surfaces are powder-coated to prevent rust and corrosion and wing anchors at the bottom keep the pit from popping out of the ground when water tables rise. Several lengths available. $5,410 (16-foot) | huntingpits.com

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