The Best Hunting Blinds 2017 – Deer, Turkey, And Other Large Game

Best Hunting Blinds of 2017

Portable ground hunting blinds are becoming more popular every year as the designs and durability continue to improve. Factors contributing their popularity are; older hunters are moving away from ladder stands, portable stands, and self climbing stands, young hunters are being mentored by their parents or grandparents, and they are ideal for hunting areas that do not have trees available for a tree stand.

Today’s hunting blinds are of higher quality and are designed to be comfortable, compact, light, and easy to set up, making these blinds attractive for both deer and turkey hunters. Large hunting blinds also provide room for multiple hunters or for shooting in the standing position, which makes them an excellent choice for the archery hunter as well.

In choosing the right hunting blind you need to consider the following; where are you hunting, what is the terrain like, can you leave the blind up for an extended period of time, how often are you going to be using the blind, and what weapon are you using? This should help you decided on which blind is best suited for you.

Advantages Of Using Hunting Ground Blinds

So what are some of the advantages of using a ground blind?
– It’s more comfortable, allows more freedom of movement, and allows for a comfortable seat to be used.
– It helps block your scent. This does not mean it’s a scent eliminator, so continue to practice scent control.
– It gets you into places where there are no trees available or trees large enough to support a stand.
– They are much more affordable now.
– They are very easy to set up and take down.

The Best Big Game And Turkey Hunting Blinds – Whitetail, Elk, Mule Deer, & Caribou

These big blinds are great for both turkey and big game. They offer comfort, height, and room for more then one hunter. Below we briefly review the best portable hunting blinds available.

Browning

Browning is our number one choice when looking for a great deer blind. Hunters, if you’re looking for a sit down shooting position then the Illusion, Mirage, Phantom, and Phantom X are great choices. These prices range from $179.99 to $299.99. If you’re looking for a blind that allows you to shoot from the standing position then you want to purchase the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse is priced at $299.99, not a bad price for a great blind that will last.

Powerhouse Features And Specifications

SILENT-TRAC Window System for Limitless Window Positions
Stand-and-Shoot Design
180° Curtain Style Viewing Area
180° Strategic Window Placement with “Shoot-Thru” Mesh
Durable 600D Polyester Fabric with Blacked Out Backing to Help Keep You Concealed
Realtree® Xtra HD™ Fabric
Aluminum Hubs with Engineered Tips and Pins
Strong and Flexible Fiber Glass Poles
Oversized #10 Zippers
Durable Mesh Windows for Even Better Concealment
Accommodates Long and Recurve Bows
Center Support Included
2 Camera Window Ports
Full Length Zippered Door for Easy Entry
Ground Skirt Helps Conceal Movement, Keeps Scent In and Light Out
4 Gear Pockets for Storage
Brush Loops for Extra Concealment
Bow Hanger Included
Oversized Stakes with Tie Downs Included
Includes Durable Custom Carry Bag with Padded Shoulder Straps
Dimensions: 59″ wide x 59″ deep x 82″ high
Shooting Dimensions: 74″
Weight: 23 lbs.

Barronet

Our number two choice for Deer hunting blinds are from Barronet. These big blinds allow for the hunter to either stand or sit when shooting. They are much like the Browning, but just a step behind on the design and necessities. The blind technology and high quality fabric help make this portable hunting blind light, easy to set up, and easy to take down. Barronet blinds provide plenty of room for multiple hunters and caters to both gun and archery. If interested in Barronet blinds take a close look at the Big Mike or SupperTough hunting blinds. Prices range from $199.99 to $299.99.

SuperTough Big Mike Features And Specifications

Double-Layer Welded Fabric
3 Year Warranty
80 Inches Tall For Standing Shots
Versatile 5-Panel Window Configurations
Extra reinforcement on all corners
Replaceable shoot-through mesh camo windows for broadhead use.
Durable five-hub design for easy set-up and take-down.
Brush holders provided for additional concealment.
Height (A): 80”
Set-Up Size (B): 75” x 75”
Footprint (C): 59” x 59”
Water Resistant
Weight: 29 lb
Capacity: 2-Person

Primos Double Bull Blinds

These blinds offer a 360-degree view and enough room for two hunters or an adult hunter with two children. Shooting is from a sitting position since the blinds are not tall enough for standing, making this blind less desirable for the archery hunter.

A real advantage over many other blinds is the zipper-less double-wide door, making it very easy to get in and out of. The window zippers are quite when operated, easy to maneuver, and give a 180 degree front view. The carrying case needs improvements and comes with only one strap. Primos blinds are heavier than most large blinds and are more difficult to setup and pack away. The cost for the Deluxe hunting blind comes in at $482.95.

Our team agrees that the Primos blinds are over priced and the quality does not live up to its high price tag.

Primos Double Bull Deluxe Blind Features And Specifications

270-degree field-of-view.
180º full-front view
Double Bull cotton/polyester canvas
Ironclad, lifetime warranty
Zipperless double-wide door
70″H x 60″W x 60″D.
Wt: 27 lbs.

Other Blinds To Check Out

The following blinds are of less quality and more suitable for shooting from the sitting position. However, depending on your hunting techniques and how little you want to spend you may find something you like. Check out the BlackOut, Invisi-Bull, and the Ameristep blinds.

Best Turkey Hunting Blinds

The big blinds mentioned above are also great for Turkey hunting. However, if you’re like me, you like to move and stalk after the first couple of hours of daylight, so a blind that is light and effective is more practicable.

Hunter’s Specialties

This blind is easy to set up, pack away, and carry. It stands 27 inches high and stretches out 12 feet. The material is very durable and will last many years. These blinds run from $20.00 to $25.00.

Specifications

Easy carry, easy setup 12′ x 27” ground blind
Collapses to 19” package for easy carrying
Shock-corded poles
Spun-bonded polyester blind material die cut for 3D camo effect
Designed to last

Ghost Blind

The Ghost blind is quite the blind and would be great to try, but is the cost worth it? The design of this blind use mirrors, which are angled down toward the ground, reflecting its immediate surroundings. The blind requires the hunter to either be sitting behind it on a chair or crouching, and does not have much area to hide behind unless you purchase more panels, which adds more weight. The Ghost blind will run you between $150 and $200.

Specifications

4 reflective mirror panels Constructed with unbreakable, waterproof plastic
Optional Extra 2 Panel Additions
Dimensions: 102”W x 46”H
Weight 12 lbs

Recommendations And Tips

*Purchase a high quality blind, it will last longer and you will be happy with your decision.

*If you want the best (cost, quality, comfort), purchase a Browning!

*Don’t purchase the cheap $50 special deer blind, these will only last you two to three years. The biggest problems with these blinds are the zippers. The material and zippers are of low quality and will tear out easily.

*Blinds where the door zips down to open and requires you to step over are not desirable. First, if you step on this part of the blind you will most likely damage or tear the zipper. Second, its not a safe practice to be stepping over this when carrying a weapon, as you can easily trip.

*Blinds will help block scent, but if you do not practice scent control (clothes and body) you can still be scented.

*Do not fully open all the windows in your blind, this increases your chances of being scented or seen. Control the light and scent by keeping windows shut, using only small peak holes, and one or two openings for shooting.

*If possible set your blind up 2 months before the season starts and use as much of the natural cover as possible. Take advantage of natural foliage to help conceal your blind.

*Wear black or dark clothing to help conceal you in your blind.

*When stalking Turkeys do not carry a blind, carry a decoy and when you have that Tom in sight use the decoy as a blind, approach by crawling with decoy in front.

Best Deer Hunting Apps – Top Apps of 2017

Deer Hunting Apps

As a hunter we are always looking for ways to improve our safety while increasing the success rate of our hunt. Now with technology in the Wi-Fi arena we have at the touch of a screen the best hunting apps available. These following 6 Apps will aid in; planning a safe hunting trip, increasing your success percentages, tracking your hunting party, and provide survival tactics?

Deer Tactics & Calls

Our #1 App is Deer Tactics & Calls and provides us with the 12 most effective deer vocalizations (Calls & Grunts), along with tips on how and when to use them. A calendar tool, which takes into account the Lunar & Solunar day ratings, along with the Rut stages, will recommend the best calls to use during the season. This App also provides a Deer Score Calculator making the scoring of your deer easy.

Calls & Grunts

These vocalizations include sparring and rattling, doe bleat, doe estrus bleat, doe grunt, breeding bellow, contact call, buck grunt, buck bawl, tending grunt, tending click-grunt, and the snort-wheeze.

The Cost: $1.99

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices.

SAS Survival Guide

Our #2, The Survival & Safety Guide is a must have App that was written by a former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier. The App provides valuable Survival information, which includes;

Included Contents

* 16 videos providing invaluable survival tips
* Photo galleries of edible, medicinal and poisonous plants
* Morse Code signalling device
* 100+ question quiz to test if you’ve got what it takes to survive
* Survival Checklist
* Sun Compass
* Extreme Climate Survival
* Comprehensive First Aid section

The Cost: Free

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices.

ActInNature

#3 is an App that will give you an advantage over other hunters and improve your success rate. How, by providing you with the location of other hunters, giving you navigation capability, and providing mapping. Yes, ActinNature tracks all hunters within a 3 mile radius, as long as they have a device with GPS, map, and camera support on them.

Included Contents

* Map – Hunting zones, POIs (hunters), compass, and weather information.
* Camera – Augmented view with POIs and other hunters.
* Notes – Tags, journal records, tracking, gallery pictures, weapon and ammunition.
* Planning – Sun & Moon phases and weather forecasts.

The Cost: Free

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices.

iSonular

iSolunar is our #4 App. This App uses the Solunar information (Lunar Phase and Moon’s position) from the US Naval Observatory and calculates the peak Hunting and Fishing times.

The Cost: $4.99

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices.

ArcheryPal

#5, Are you looking for a way to improve your accuracy, or know how fast your arrow travels. Well here is the App for you, ArcheryPal. With ArcheryPal you now have a tool that will calculate arrow speed, kinetic energy, and weather your arrows are balanced properly.

Included Contents

* Shooting sessions log
* Graphs on accuracy trends over time and distance.
* Waypoint Navigation, compass, and distance
* Night vision screen (Green vs White)
* 3D Score Tracking

The Cost: $4.99

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices.

Trimble GPS

App #6 provides satellite imagery views, topographic maps, and many other map overlays from Google Earth. For a small additional fee you can also get access to maps with forest service roads and public land boundaries.

Included Contents

* Tracking information
* Mark (waypoints)
* Ballistics calculator.

The Cost: Free

Available: IOS, IPad, IPad Touch, IPhone, and Android devices. .

How Can You Start A Fire Without Matches

What Is Needed To Start A Fire

To start a fire you need three elements; Heat, Fuel, and a Gas (oxidizing agent usually oxygen). Since Nature provides Oxygen everywhere we go, and fuel is typically abundant (wood, leaves, etc), the only element we really need to provide is Heat. Heat is the hardest of these three elements to generate, so we need to find the simplest method for creating it and igniting our fuel quickly and easily.

Heat Generators

There are several methods for generating heat and they vary depending on what supplemental fuels we use to aid in getting our fire going quickly. First we will focus on the top three heat sources, then we will cover what is the best way to prepare for a night in extreme weather. Why extreme weather, because in the Mid-West we have rain, high winds, snow, subzero temperatures, and nights with 30 – 60 below Wind Chills. Now try starting a fire in those Winter conditions, it’s tough as I have done it and I will explain what works best. Also it helps to practice your technique (in Rain and Winter conditions) multiple times before heading out to the wilderness.

Magnifying Glass

A magnifying glass is light to carry and does not take up much room, but it ranks third (#3) out of our top three heat sources. Why, because you need a sunny day, dry conditions, and a good dry fuel that burns easily. This method also takes time and when it’s below zero it does not take long before you’re too cold. If you are going to use a magnifying glass, even as a backup heat source, I would recommend you make some char cloth for a fuel supplement. When purchasing a magnifying glass look for one that comes with a Compass, as this is a must tool for all Outdoorsmen.

A 9 Volt Battery

With a 9 Volt Battery as our heat source we will look at using Find Steel-Wool as our fuel. By shorting the steel fibers across the positive and negative terminals of a small 9 volt battery you can generate enough current to bring the steel to its ignition point. Steel Wool is easily ignited, weather it’s in rain or the worst Winter conditions. However, it takes special care by continuously blowing on it, and it does not burn long. You will also need to warp a dry fuel around it, such as leaves or char cloth, to get your fire going. The Battery & Steel-Wool ranks #2 in our top three methods for starting a fire without matches.

Steel Striker & Flint

When purchasing a Steel Striker do not buy a cheap $10 – $18 one as you will be disappointed and it will not start a fire under the Mid-West Winter conditions. So you will need to buy a good one, which will run you $30 and up. Now that you have a good striker you will need a good supplement fuel. Here we will use the Cotton Ball and 100% Petroleum Jelly. But why two fuels, because this combination simulates a candle or lantern, thus burning much longer. You could look at the petroleum jelly as the oil and the cotton ball as the wick. This fuel combination is also easy to store (a small Aspirin container will hold quite a few), burns long with a tall flame, and ignites easily in rain or Winter conditions. Make sure before placing your cotton ball that you open it up exposing cotton fibers that have not been covered with petroleum jelly. By exposing these fibers the cotton ball will ignite quickly. We rank this method as #1 for starting a fire without matches.


The Best Solution For Starting A Fire In The Wilderness

Now let’s stop and think about this for a minute. If we are planning or knowingly going out into the wild for an adventure then we have time to prepare, even if it’s just for a couple of hours to hunt, so why do things the hard way? And since we want to travel lite let’s consider what technology has to offer that will simplify things, allowing us to start a fire quickly and easily. *Take into consideration that you may be spending a long night or two under extreme weather conditions, it may save your life.

Recommendations For Starting A Fire

Always carry a knife and a compass, preferably one that comes with a magnifying glass. In one dry container have Kleenex or Toilet Paper (duel purpose), in another small container store Kitchen Matches (good for a backup and if they get wet use them for kindling), and then purchased a couple of cheap lighters (reliable, easy to start, works in all weather conditions).

For a Supplemental Fuel use the Cotton Balls dosed with Petroleum Jelly, these are light to carry and you can store a lot of them in a small aspirin container. If you are planning on a long Wilderness trip, for example a week or two in the Boundary Waters, then you will be packing in. In this case it’s wise to have a good Steel Striker & Flint as a backup heat generator. For a supplemental fuel use the Cotton Balls with 100% Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline or Equate) or purchase cotton pads and place some Sterno or Hand Sanitizer (Alcohol Based) on them. You can get all these products in a plastic container and they’re easy to pack-out when empty.

Starting A fire In The Worse Conditions

Here I will show you how to start a fire in the snow with temps of -10 F and 30 below wind-chills. We will use the Cotton Ball & Petroleum Jelly for the fuel and a lighter for the heat source. For the kindling we will find small twigs and then move to large sticks. Make sure to spread out your cotton ball as you need non-jelled cotton fibers to get things started.

What Are The Best Cuts Of Venison – Deboning A Deer

What Are The Best Venison Cuts

When it comes to Venison we do not name the cuts like you would in Beef and USDA names. Instead the steaks and roast cuts are simplified to just a few names such as Chops, Rounds, Neck Roast, Rump Roast, Tip Roast, and Ground Meat. Here we review the typical cuts of Venison and correlate them to the same cuts in Beef so you have a better understanding of what they are and from what part of the deer they come from.

Venison & Beef Meat Charts

First lets take a look at the Venison and Beef Meat Charts so we have something to reference. We will also stick to the well know names of USDA Beef; Chuck (Ground Meat), Tenderloin (Filet Mignon), Rib-eye, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, and Roast (Neck, Tip, & Rump).

Venison Chart

Beef Chart

Comparing Venison Meat Cuts To Beef Cuts

The most common cuts of Venison are; Tenderloin, Chops, Rounds, Roast, & Ground Meat. Here we will compare them against the beef cuts, which will help in understanding which are the tougher cuts of meat and where they are located on the carcass. Listing the most tender of cuts to the toughest we have; Tenderloin (Filet Mignon), Chops (Rib-eye, T-Bone, Porterhouse, & Sirloin), Rounds (Rounds), Roast (Rump, Tip, Neck), and then Ground Meat. Reference the above charts if needed.

Venison Tenderloin

The Tenderloin is the same cut of meat that is called the Filet Mignon in beef. Typically the Filet Mignon is taken from the tip of the tenderloin, but can be the entire Tenderloin. The Tenderloin is found on the inside of the carcass, at the back-end and is the most tender of all cuts. In Venison the Tenderloin is typically removed first, especially if you’re deboning your deer. If you decided not to debone and keep the tenderloin in, then this would be the smaller portion of meat on one side of the bone in your chops (Venison), T-bone (Beef), and Porterhouse (Beef).

Venison Chops

When deboning a Deer remove the entire loin, known as the back-straps, from each side of the back-bone. Starting with the wider end of the loin, which would be the end that was closes to the hind-quarters, begin to cut your Steaks (Chops). If we were making this same cut in Beef we would be starting with the Sirloins, then Porterhouse, T-bone, and finishing with the Rib-eyes. The Sirloin cuts for Beef, in order from most tender to least tender are: Pin Bone, Flat Bone, Round Bone and Wedge Bone.

The loins (back-straps) can also be cut into roasts (Rib-Eye, Loin, & Sirloin), but not typically done for Venison, as the Chops (steaks) wrapped in Bacon are incredible, especially if you have Aged the Venison before butchering. The video shows the entire loin being cut into Chops with the remaining smaller cuts being used for Fondue.

Venison Rounds – Deboning

The Round Steaks are the cuts taken from the middle part of the back legs, as shown in the video. The bottom part of the leg is used for ground meat (burger, jerky, brats, sausage, etc.), the top part of the leg is used for a Rump Roast, cubed for fondue, or can be left into Round Steaks. The front part of the legs are used for a Tip Roast as demonstrated in the video, fondue, or tossed into the ground meat bucket. When cutting Round Steaks from Beef you would have a full Round Steak with bone in; Top, Bottom, & Eye Of Round (Venison Tip Roast).

Venison Roast

The Venison and Beef Roasts come from the same areas and share the same nomenclature, from most tender to least you have; Rib Roast, Sirloin Roast, Rump Roast, Neck Roast, and the Tip Roast. Since the back-straps (Loins) on a deer are typically cut into Chops we would not have a Rib or Sirloin Roast.

Venison Ground

In a deer you do not typically make the cuts of’ Short-Ribs, Brisket (Front lower part of the chest), or the Flank (meat between the stomach and the hind legs). This meat is tossed into your bucket to be ground into hamburger, sausage, brats, etc. The front legs are also cut up and tossed into the bucket for grinding, but there are portions of this that can be used for fondue. The chest of the deer, known as the chuck in beef is also trimmed off and tossed into the grinding bucket.

Note, The fat on a deer is very wild tasting, so try to remove all the fat you can and replace it with Beef or Pork fat. See how to Mix Hamburger and Make Sausage.

Deboning A Deer

Crossbow Safety Tips & Handling – TenPoint

Safety Comes First

When choosing which crossbow to purchase one would typically take into consideration the speed, weight, draw weight, accuracy and of course the price. However, when purchasing anything, especially a weapon you need to factor in safety and what safety mechanisms have been considered in the design.

Safety Tips & Handling

Weather you’re at work or enjoying an outside activity you want to be safe and return home to your family in the same physical condition as when you left. With that being said Safety should be your number 1 focus in everything you do. Here we focus on Crossbow safety.

Crossbow Safety Tips

1. Make sure your string and limbs are in good shape
2. Make sure all assembly bolts are tight as these will loosen up over time.
3. Never aim your crossbow at a person, loaded or unloaded.
4. Never dry-fire your crossbow as this can damage your limbs and cause injury to yourself.
5. Do not use a cocking device to uncock your bow, could slip and cause a dry fire.
6. Cock your crossbow before getting into your tree stand.
7. Load your arrow (bolt) after you are in your tree stand.
8. Identify your game before aiming, if you can’t see it’s eyes you should not be aiming your crossbow.
9. Make sure your arrow is seated all the way back before shooting. Check this every time you’re going to shoot.
10. Make sure the rail, limbs, and wheels are free of obstructions.
11. When cocking your bow make sure to grab the string equally on both side to avoid cocking unevenly.
12. Check arrows and nocks for stress, cracks, splintering, and wear. If you see any of these toss the arrow.
13. Always check your safe to make sure it’s on, even if you have an automatic locking mechanism.
14. Only shoot arrows that are designed for your crossbow.
15. Do not shoot your crossbow with someone standing beside you, as a string break causes things to fly sideways.
16. Make sure tree branches are cleared and will not be hit by your crossbow limbs when shooting.
17. Always use a safety harness when in your tree stand.

Crossbow Handling Tips

1. Keep your finger below the string guide rail (travel corridor) when cocked, as this can cause serious damage.
2. Do not carrier your bow by the rail when cocked. Always keep your hands out of the string’s travel path.
3. Do not lay your crossbow on the ground or lean it against a tree when loaded.
4. Do not carrier or hold your crossbow by the trigger mechanism, this can cause accidental fires.
5. Hoist and lower your crossbow cocked but unloaded and with the front-end facing the ground.
6. Make sure your extra arrows are seated correctly and tight in your quiver.
7. Do not carry a cocked crossbow with an arrow in it while you are walking, unless still hunting and have full control of where the bow is being pointed. Note, arrows will fly over 100 yards.

Safety Mechanisms Designed In – TenPoint Stealth SS

When I purchased a Crossbow 3 years ago I spent many hours researching and test shooting. What I found at that time was the TenPoint Stealth SS was the best on the market when it came to; safety, quality, reliability, speed, handling, accuracy, and cost. Here are the safety design aspects for this Crossbow.

Safety Attributes Of The TenPoint Stealth SS

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1. Patented DFI (dry fire inhibitor), Protects against accidental dry fires.
2. Ambidextrous automatic safety, Places the safety on for you, but always double check it.
3. Dual-purpose safety wings, protects your fingers from being placed in the path of the string.
4. ACUdraw for ease of cocking, saves on the fingers and back.
5. 3.5 lb PowerTouch trigger, avoids you from firing before you’re ready.

Crossbow Safety Mechanisms & The Do’s & Don’ts

Recommendation

Do not try to save a few dollars at the expense of Safety and Quality. Crossbows last a long time if taken care of, so be stay safe and buy the best, you will never regret it.