How To Pick A Layout Blind 2021
Layout blinds can be a vital tool in your duck hunting arsenal. Growing up hunting the islands on the Colombia river, early in the season there was an abundance of natural cover. But as the leaves fall off the trees and the vegetation starts to die we get left with less and less cover. Combine that with a large amount of hunting pressure and you soon find yourself wanting to hunt different, less covered areas that other people won’t hunt.
Layout blinds are key in situations where other natural cover is less of an option. not only will they provide you with more cover, but they can also make a day out in the field more comfortable.
What Is A Layout Blind?
A layout blind is generally a lightweight portable blind that, you guessed it, you lay down in to keep your profile as close to the ground as possible. Most even have a netting material over the face section to allow you to see out while keeping your face hidden.
Along with allowing you to lay down, layout blinds also give you added comfort, the ability to customize your camouflage with surrounding vegetation, and can even get a better view while keeping you right in the action.
What Are The Different Types Of Layout Blinds?
These days there are many different styles, shapes, and colors to choose from. One of the most popular styles of layout blinds are blinds with Frames
These blinds have aluminum frames that help keep the shape of the blind while set up. They can also have a little more added comfort and hold the blind material away from your body.
With this added benefit of a frame, there can also be drawbacks such as a higher profile out in the field and can be a bit heavier.
Next, we have layout blinds without frames. These are more of a sleeping bag style with a propped-up backrest. Frameless layout blinds have the added benefit of a much lower profile along with being very lightweight.
But with that, you tend to lose a little comfort along the way.
With the two main styles with frames and without frames in mind, there are also different types of doors. The most common is the side door style where there are one or two doors that push out of the way to each side when birds are within range.
Another style is the flip-up style where the cover essentially fips up out of the way behind the user.
When choosing a color it can be relatively straightforward. Match the terrain you most often will use the blind in. The biggest difference would be brown or white used for snow cover.
Layout blinds will usually have loops on the sides of the blind to allow you to tie your own vegetation to match your surroundings.
Hunting Tip: It’s tempting to try and keep your new blind nice a pretty when you first get it, but oftentimes the colors can be a little too bright or unnatural. We would use mud to rub on the outside of the blind to darken and make the outside look more natural.
If you hunt in wet conditions often, waterproofing might be a must-have feature of your new blind.
Not all blinds are waterproof. In fact, some blinds such as the ALPS OutdoorZ Delta Waterfowl Zero-Gravity Layout Blind have no bottom at all instead, it has a chair to hold you up off the ground. Other blinds like the Beavertail Big Gunner offer waterproof material, along with a full waterproof flooring to help protect you on those rainy days.
Cons Of A Layout Blind
Although layout blinds can be a make or break in certain situations, they do have some drawbacks. One of the biggest and most obvious is cost. You can find some for a reasonable price, but once you start looking into things like frames and waterproofing features the price steadily increases.
Another con is weight. Depending on the distance you have to travel to your hunting spot, weight might be a big factor. In such a case, I might lean towards the little bit less fancy but lighter frameless models. One last con for me would be the size.
Again this had a lot to do with the frame layout blinds. But fitting your blind in a car or SUV might be a problem, or even a 12-foot boat once you start thinking about having to people, guns, decoys, dog, and other gear.
Layout blinds definitely have their place in hunting. I wouldn’t necessarily say you have to have one to be a great duck or goose hunter, but they definitely help.
They can open up all-new places to hunt that you previously couldn’t, or allow you to easily and comfortably hunt more open terrain such as corn or grass fields. If you know someone with a layout blind ask to try theirs to see what you might like or dislike. If not try watching some Youtube videos of duck hunting in fields to see what they use and what you might like.
Getting your first layout blind is defiantly an exciting moment and will open new ways of hunting to you.