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October 16, 2012

Customer Photo: Layout Hunting Blind in the Field

We love hearing back from our customers, whether it’s about a successful hunt or suggestions on how to improve our products. Here’s a photo and testimonial from a Wisconsin hunter.

“Hi I just wanted to say I love your layout blind that I just bought! It is an easy set up and take down and folds up nicely. I also camcamo it up really really well. For the price you can’t beat it.”

Thanks,
Austin S.

KillZone Layout Blind

Lay'n Slay hunting blind in the field with camouflage added

October 2, 2012

Best Camouflage Patterns for Hunting

Filed under: Deer Hunting — Tags: , , , — probus @ 7:16 pm
Camouflage pattern

Deer see patterns and shades rather than colors.

Few hunters venture out into the woods or fields without some form of camouflage—not only on their clothing but on their gun, hunting blind, binoculars, and other equipment. It’s generally a given that camouflage provides concealment. But how does it work? Here are a few of the factors that go into making an effective camouflage pattern.

1. Open pattern

The secret to modern camouflage is an open pattern. A busy background will turn into a blob at a distance, but an open pattern mimics how the eye views a landscape—open in the distance and detailed up close.

2. Contrast

Contrast is what breaks up the hunter’s outline. That’s why some hunters wear natural brown pants with a camo shirt—the contrast breaks up their outline. An effective camo pattern will include a detailed, contrasting foreground against a large, open background. This creates a three-dimension illusion that makes deer see straight through you.

3. Blending

Although colors are what most hunters use to match a camo pattern to their terrain, the blending of those colors is even more important the combination of colors used. Animals such as deer see shades and patterns rather than colors.

4. Non-Reflective

The last thing you want is camouflage with a sheen that glows in the light. An effective camo pattern will work just as well in low light conditions as it does in the middle of the afternoon.

If you have a problem with shiny camouflage, give it a few coats of mud to dull the finish and make it look earthy and natural. Mix up a bucket of mud (or better yet, let your kids help out). Then use an old paintbrush to paint the ground blind, gun wrap, or other camouflage gear. Let the mud dry in the sun, then brush off the excess. Add one or two more layers of mud if needed. Just make sure not to track the mud back into the house!

August 21, 2012

Camouflage for Hunting: Hiding in Plain Sight

Filed under: Deer Hunting,Turkey Hunting — Tags: , , , — probus @ 8:09 pm
Tree stand camouflaged

Wear camouflage if you hunt from a tree stand.

Keeping a low profile is “do or die” for a sniper. For a hunter, the stakes are a little lower, but if you want to bag that next buck, here are some camouflage tips from a professional sniper, as profiled on American Hunter.

Break Up Your Outline

Camouflage is about more than just color. It’s about shapes, backdrops, silhouettes, and patterns. Deer and other animals can pick out the shape of a human (or the clean edges of a ground blind) and instantly sense danger. The trick to breaking up your outline is to change what you wear, how you move, and what’s around you.

Take Advantage of What’s Around You

Use as much natural camouflage as possible. Tall stumps, large rocks, and dense shrubbery can keep you from getting spotlighted against the sky, especially if you crouch over as you move or sit. Essentially, you want something taller and wider (or bushier) than your form, so that it swallows your outline.

Camouflage and Ground Blinds

If you hunt from a ground blind, then you need to break up the outline of the blind. Set up the blind against a backdrop that will soften the blind’s outline, such as a large group of trees, tall shrubbery, or large rock. Then gather natural foliage (downed tree branches, shrubbery, stubble, etc.) and stuff them into the brush loops. This will help break up the straight, unnatural outline of your blind.

Camouflage and Tree Stands

If you hunt from a tree stand, make sure you wear camouflage that blends in with your surroundings and conceal your equipment (firearm, bow, ladder stand, etc.) with camouflage tape, gun wrap, etc. Avoid fabric that is shiny. Camouflage as much of your skin as possible, including your face.

Remember that one camouflage pattern does not fit all situations. Match your camouflage to the season and terrain as closely as possible.

July 31, 2012

Hunting Lessons from a Sniper: Stay Concealed with Slow and Stealthy Movement

Filed under: Tree Stands — Tags: , , — probus @ 4:49 pm
Sniper

Snipers have a lot to teach hunters about movement through a territory.

How many times have you gotten busted just before the perfect shot? Even once is one too many.

Snipers in the U.S. military are specially trained to avoid detection by the enemy in situations where their life—and the lives of others—depend on it. Here are some lessons you can learn from snipers on how to avoid getting busted in the woods or the cornfields.

According to AmericanHunter.org, unnatural movement is one of the factors that are most likely to get you busted in the woods.

Moving Through the Woods and Fields

Movement for snipers is an art form—a slow and methodical one. They use their surroundings to mask their movements, keep a tight reign on how fast they move, and pause regularly to survey their surroundings.

The game you hunt has far better sight, sound, or smell (or all three!) than human beings. Long before you’re aware of any game in the area, they’re aware of you. It’s what keeps them alive.

Choose your routes carefully. Walk in areas that offer natural camouflage. If you’re moving near a hill or ridge, stay below the crest to avoid silhouetting yourself against the sky. Stay in the shadows when possible, and avoid dense foliage if you can.

If you get up close to your target and decide you need to move sideways, back up carefully until you’re out of sight, then move to the side and forwards towards your target again. This is what’s known as a “cloverleaf” pattern that snipers use.

Sitting in a Tree Stand

Sitting in a tree stand can be one of the most rewarding parts of hunting, even if you don’t score a buck. Just being in the woods is enough to make your day a good one.

It’s not always easy to sit still for long periods of time though. Keeping yourself warm, shifting to avoid discomfort, and keeping an eye on what’s going on all around you all require some movement.

The trick, again, is to move slowly and methodically, avoiding any unnecessary movement. Move your eyes in the direction you want to look rather than turning your head. If you still need to see further, turn your head slowly and scan the area with your eyes.

Keeping your cool when you sight a buck and your heart starts pounding is toughest part. Moving deliberately and slowly, even when under pressure, will keep you from getting busted.

Make sure your firearm or bow is positioned in a way that requires the least movement to set up for a shot but also allows you to rest easily during the waiting period.

If you just can’t sit still, or if you have kids along, using a portable ground blind might be a better choice. They keep you warm, out of the wind, and concealed from game.

April 30, 2012

How to Use a Layout Blind in the Field

Setting up blinds in the field

Setting up blinds in the field

Ready to duck hunt with your new layout blind? Here are some tips for using your layout blind in the field.

Get It Dirty

This is one time where you DON’T want to keep your new toy shiny and clean. The first thing you should do after taking your layout blind out of the box is to coat it with a fresh layer of mud.

Mud is one of nature’s best camouflage tricks. Mudding up your blind covers up any shine that the fabric gives off, especially when the sun hits it.

Remember making mud pies as a kid? Then you know how to mud your blind. Just mix up a little mud pie, use a paint brush or a broom (with your wife’s permission) to spread it over the layout blind, and let it dry in the sun.

Shake off the excess mud when it’s dried. All you need is a thin layer to coat the fabric.

Blend It In

Most layout blinds come with stubble straps for extra camouflage. When you set up your blind in the field, take note of what’s around it. Is the vegetation sparse? Thick? Tall? Short?

Do what it takes to make your blind disappear into the field. In most cases, less is more. You don’t want to end up looking like a haystack in the middle of a barren field.

Use the stubble straps to add vegetation, but only use enough to match the general pattern of the field. In fact, if the field is mostly dirt, your layout blind might blend in better without any extra vegetation.

December 8, 2011

Open Woods Camo Pattern in Action

We love hearing from our customers! Thanks to Matt for sending us this note about his new Turret Pop-Up ground blind from KillZone Hunting:

“I posted some pics of the Open Woods camo on AT.com from when I was out hunting yesterday. This has to be one of the best camo patterns available for hunting blinds.”

Matt is a bowhunter who bought one of our KillZone Turret ground blinds with the new Open Woods camo pattern. The Turret blind is small enough to blend in easily with its surroundings but large enough for drawing a bow. Matt said, “There’s enough room to draw inside for one hunter. If you sit more towards the corner you get a little more space.”

Open woods camo

Open Woods camo in the woods (closeup shot)

Open Woods camo

Shot from further away (Tip: Use the camo mesh to eliminate the black hole effect.)

Open Woods camo

Open Woods camo from a distance

November 14, 2011

KillZone Hunting Announces Open Woods Camo Pattern

Filed under: KillZone Hunting News — Tags: , , , — probus @ 9:35 am

KillZone Hunting has a brand new camo pattern in house! The Open Woods camo pattern is now available on select KillZone blinds and will be available on all of our ground blind models by the end of the year. KillZone Hunting has partnered with Hunting Attractions, a cutting-edge camouflage company, to bring you one of the most innovative, effective, and performance-based camouflage patterns on the market.

The Open Woods camo pattern is designed specifically for hunting a hardwoods stand or wetlands in the late fall. Bowhunters and gun hunters alike will appreciate the stealth of the Open Woods camo blind. The unique lighter and open background colors on this camo pattern make it ideal for late season hunting, including deer, waterfowl, turkey, and other late season game.

Open Woods Camo

Open Woods Camo Pattern

June 13, 2011

How to Care for a Ghillie Suit

Ghillie suit

Wash your ghillie suit occasionally to make it last longer.

Even though the dirtier your ghillie suit gets, the better it performs, all the dirt, grit, snags, and mud can take a toll after awhile. Running through the woods and crawling on the ground can tear threads, snag the webbing, and wear down the suit material. Prolonged sun exposure will cause the colors to fade over time, to the point that it reduces the effectiveness of the camouflage.

Washing a Ghillie Suit

Although die-hard ghillie fans might tell you different, it doesn’t hurt to wash your ghillie suit once in awhile…and it might make your suit last longer. Most of the new lightweight synthetic ghillie suits are machine washable, and even traditional jute ghillies can be washed by hand. One of the best ways to wash your ghillie suit (synthetic or jute) is to lay it out on the ground (preferably on cement, asphalt, or other hard surface) and hose it down. Then allow the suit to air dry.

Storing a Ghillie Suit

Let your ghillie suit dry completely before storing! Don’t just ball up your suit and throw it in a corner. Listen to your mother’s voice telling you to hang up your clothes. Mold and mildew thrive in moist, dark places, such as your ghillie suit on the closet floor. If you want your ghillie suit to last, take the time to hang it up where it can air dry completely.

Repairing a Ghillie Suit

Occasionally you will find torn strings or leaves on your suit. To fix the suit, remove the torn string or leaf and tie a new one in its place. You can also replace strings with different colors to match new terrain or add more strings or leaves for thicker camouflage coverage. If your ghillie suit is beyond repair or if you’re ready to upgrade to a better suit, you can always buy a new ghillie suit.

May 11, 2011

How to Hunt from a Ground Blind

Filed under: Ground Blinds — Tags: , , , , — probus @ 8:46 pm
Ground blind in woods

This KillZone customer strategically placed his blind to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

Want to keep both feet on the ground for your next hunt? Whether you’ve had a close call with a tree stand or you just don’t like hunting 8 feet up, a pop up ground blind can give you the advantage you need to stay concealed while you hunt from the ground. Here are some tips on how to hunt successfully from a ground blind.

Placement

The best way to hide your ground blind is to place it in front of a backdrop that is taller and wider than the blind—for example, a clump of trees or thick, tall brush. The stark outline of a hunting blind highlighted against the sky is a dead giveaway. Try to break up the outline by blending it in with the landscape and by filling the brush loops with natural vegetation.

If you are hunting on private land, get permission to set up the blind early. Setting up your blind at least two weeks early allows deer and other game to get used to the blind. By the time you are ready to hunt, they’ll be comfortable with the ground blind and unsuspecting of your presence.

Camouflage

If your ground blind is brand new, let it air out before your first hunt. Get the factory smell out of it, and let it naturalize. For more effective camouflage, try mudding up the blind to dull any shine and make it blend in better with the landscape.

Visibility

Camouflage mesh lets you see out without letting game see you. It also prevents the “black hole” effect that happens when the window is wide open. A gaping black void in the midst of brush and trees can spook your game. When the sun is low on the horizon and shining directly on your blind, it can be difficult to see out through the mesh. For a clearer view, let down a corner of the mesh for a peek hole.

Practice

Practice setting up your ground blind before opening day. You don’t want your first time setting up the blind to be in the dark. Practice taking the blind down, as well. If you stay out past sunset, you’ll be glad you did. Fumbling around with a ground blind in the dark is hard enough without having to read the instructions at the same time.

March 29, 2011

Choosing a Ghillie Suit

A sniper suit is designed to let you crawl on the ground without getting caught on twigs and brush.

A sniper suit is designed to let you crawl on the ground without getting caught on twigs and brush.

Remember the cartoons where the character sneaks around with a bush over his body for cover? Well, that’s sort of how a ghillie suit works, except it’s designed to be a lot easier than finding natural cover and a lot more mobile (and comfortable) than wearing a bush.

A ghillie suit breaks up your outline with three-dimensional camouflage that moves with you when you move. It’s mobile enough for walking, running, and crawling, and it’s available in a variety of styles that combine comfort and function, including synthetic materials and ultra lightweight suits.

Mobility

How much mobility you need will help you figure out which type of ghillie suit to buy. A full-length poncho provides good coverage but restricts your legs and makes it harder to run or crawl. A shorter poncho makes it easier to run but provides less lower body coverage. A sniper suit is designed for crawling, running, and walking, with camouflage strips only on the back of the suit.

Coverage

How much coverage you need also factors in to which ghillie suit you should buy. A three-piece ghillie or a full-length poncho provides the most coverage. A sniper suit provides three-dimensional camouflage only on the back side, and a shorter poncho leaves your calves and ankles exposed.

Ghillie Materials

The stickers and twigs picked up by natural material are good when you want to “naturalize” the suit to match the surrounding terrain but bad when you’re trying to get through thick brush. Synthetic materials are less likely to get caught on every bush and tree.

Natural materials such as jute require an extra layer next to the skin to avoid irritation. Synthetic materials with a mesh base can be worn comfortably with next to nothing underneath. Synthetic suits are lighter in weight than suits made with natural materials.

Budget

Cost and time are also factors in choosing a ghillie suit. Kits are available for those who want a custom-made suit, but it will require hours of tedious tying. You can find ready-made ghillie suits for almost as cheap, with extra jute strings or synthetic ties included for customizing the suit to your taste.

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