As I sat in a treestand high above the rain soaked forest floor, my hunting buddy sat on the ground in a pop up, on the corner of a corn field. Although the "hidden pop up blind" didn't really seem so hidden at all, we were both a little curious how the latest camo pattern would hold up. We were after at least a 3 year old buck in MI's thumb area, so when I spotted a small little yearling 6 point cruising down the edge of the corn, a perfect test was soon to come!
*If you like reading about mature buck hunting strategies, make sure that you check out my 1st book, "Whitetail Success By Design".
I was roughly 100 yards away, but I was close enough to see the young bucks immediate reaction as he stopped, jerked his head towards the blind, turned and vacated the ag field ASAP! He couldn't smell the blind and my friend made no noise, but instead the little teenager didn't care for the hidden pop up blind no matter what the camo pattern. Of course to the deer, the pop up was not hidden at all.
Pop Up Blinds
First off, I am a big fan of pop up blinds. In the right circumstances they can easily be used to harvest a mature buck. But far to often hunters rely on the the camo fabric to hide the shape of the blind, and that rarely works. Instead, the most hidden pop up blinds I have seen -or not- are blinds that have been brushed in, covered up and positioned so that they are extremely difficult to be seen by a hunter, let alone a deer.
Adequately Hidden Pop Up Blinds
What is the greatest piece of advice I can give you when it comes to hiding your pop up blind? If you are already hidden in the exact spot you choose to set up your blind -without the blind- then you have chosen a good spot! If you are located in a spot that a deer would see you in already, them in my experience a blind will only make it worse.
Over the past 6 years I have used my hidden pop up blinds to harvest 3 bucks between 4 and 6 years of age, as well as to help my sons shoot their first bucks and does. And if you have ever hunted with 10 year old; you can probably imagine that is no small feat!
How To Hide Your Pop Up
If your pop up has loops to hold brush and weeds to help conceal you; use them. If you can hide behind a cluster of trees instead of in front of them; do it. If you have to cut and move and clear a hole within a tangle of vines; outstanding!
Your goal should be to be so hidden that a passing hunter 30-40 yards away would never know that you are there. How do you hide a pop up? By making it blend into the habitat as just another flowing piece of the scenery.
*Sneaking into a blind and setting up a 10 year old for a shot on a 3 year old buck is not an easy task, but it can be accomplished by using a pop up under the right conditions.
It was over ten years ago that I had my first experience with a not so hidden pop up blind. In the past I was always a treestand guy. However as the years pass, I continue to feel my age more and more, and my kids are carrying their own weapons, I rely on hidden pop up blinds more and more.
Although they will most likely never replace my arsenal of treestand ambush set ups, pop up blinds have found a permenant location in my personal book of hunting strategies; as long as they are hidden!
*My son Jake and I used a pop up blind hidden in a cluster of rocks within a steep hillside, to harvest this incredible 6 year old. We had deer in front of us for over 3 hours, and were able to remain hidden for the entire final hour, as the buck slowly worked to us from across the hollow.