Over the last ten years, probably no product has changed the way we hunt more than the portable ground blind. Originally adopted by turkey hunters, today's blinds are quickly gaining popularity with deer hunters, as they become larger, quieter, and are proving to be extremely effective. This rise in popularity has resulted in numerous manufacturers jumping on board and producing their own line of portable blinds. These blinds range widely in their features, as well as their prices, and choosing the right one can seem like a daunting task. If you are looking for a decent blind at an affordable cost, then you may want to take a look at the line of blinds sold under the Cabela's label.
When I first chose the Cabela's Full Draw blind nearly three years ago, I have to admit that cost was the biggest factor in my decision. While I really wanted a top-of-the-line Double Bull blind, I was on a tight budget and couldn't afford to drop $400 on what I considered a hunting "accessory"! At under $100, I didn't figure I had too much to lose by giving the Cabela's blind a shot.
The first thing you notice about the Full Draw 2 is that it's two hub system gives it a striking resemblance to the original Double Bull T5. At 60" x 84" x 64", I felt it would be plenty big enough to hunt with either a gun or a bow, or to team up with a buddy to video some hunts. It also had several other features that I found useful in a good portable ground blind. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of the Cabela's Full Draw blind so you can make an educated decision whether or not this is the right blind for you.
Ease of Setup
When the Full Draw blind first arrived at my home three years ago, I did what any red-blooded hunting fanatic would do - I tore into the package, got it out and started messing with it! The first thing that I noticed, after a quick peek at the directions, was how quickly and easily it set up. One person can have the blind popped up and in place within a matter of seconds. Even better, it was just as easy to take back down and store it in the included carrying bag. I was impressed already!
The storage bag has a pair of attached backpack straps that
allows for easy, lightweight travel in the field.
Step 1: Simply pop out the first hub by pulling on the attached strap.
Step 2: Pop out the second hub in the same manner as the first.
Step 3: Spread out the sides of the blind to their maximum width and stake into place.
Blacked Out Interior
One feature that I considered an absolute must when I was choosing my blind was a blacked-out interior. I had hunted before in a blind that lacked that feature, and got busted numerous times when deer and turkey spotted movement through the thin camouflage material. While the Full Draw blind doesn't have a complete separate liner to keep it dark, it does have a black coating on the back of the camouflage shell that gets the job done. It may not be as neat or effective, but I haven't had any problems with turkeys spooking at close range.
Four large front openings allow for a wide field of view
and plenty of available shooting angles.
Another feature that I found very useful on the Full Draw blind was the numerous window openings with shoot-through screens. This gives you plenty of options for getting a shot, regardless of which direction the animal comes from, and the window screens really aids in concealment if you are bowhunting from the blind. For gun hunters, or bowhunters shooting mechanical broadheads, the screens can be removed as needed. Another great feature relating to the windows are the elastic-secured window flaps. These allow you to silently open and close the windows without the noise of a zipper or Velcro.
The removable, shoot-through window screens add an extra
level of concealment for bowhunters.
Loops above the front windows make it easy to "brush in"
the blind with branches and leaves.
The elastic-secured window flaps allow you to silently open and
close the windows without the noise of a zipper or Velcro.
Probably the number one factor separating most high-end blinds from those under $200 is the material from which the blind is made. In this case, the shell of the Cabela's Full Draw blind is a water-resistant 210-denier polyester. While this has proven durable over the last three years, it gives the blind somewhat of a sheen on bright days, and the material is noisy when brushed against branches and brush. This is really the only major downfall to the Full Draw blind that I have found, and it is one that you will probably have to live with if you don't want to spend a fortune on a decent ground blind.
Overall, I have been very satisfied with my Cabela's Full Draw ground blind, and it has more than paid for itself over the last three years. I have found it to be roomy enough for myself and another hunter, easy to setup and takedown, and extremely effective for turkey and deer hunting. While it may lack some features found on high-end blinds, for the money, I think you will find it hard to beat.
The author has had great results using the blind for turkey
hunting, even when set up in the middle of an open field.
Brian Grossman is a wildlife biologist, freelance writer and avid outdoorsman from Mt. Washington, Kentucky. You can visit his web site at www.PoorBoysOutdoors.com .