A while back, I got the opportunity to go on a trophy deer archery hunt in western Wisconsin. I was pumped as this is where all the giant bucks are coming from these days. The first morning of the hunt, I was climbing up into the treestand when a sharp pain erupted from my foot. Rather than end the hunt, I was given the option to hunt from a ground blind. The problem became clear when I had a 160″-class whitetail standing broadside at 20 yards. The blind was way too short for me to be able to get off a shot.
When I got back from that hunt, I began looking for options as I knew the injury to my foot was going to take a long time to heal. (It still hasn’t fully.) Did anyone make a ground blind that was tall enough for a big guy like me to hunt from?
That answer is yes. Ameristep makes some of the most popular ground blinds out there. Many of the top names in the hunting industry use Ameristep products and there are several models of blinds bearing the names of these celebrity endorsee’s.
One of the blinds that Ameristep makes that doesn’t seem to get much press is the one I was most interested in. The Dominator hub blind is far and away my favorite model of hub-style ground blind from Ameristep. It has the height and features I was looking for.
The cool stuff
Their NS3 Micro-Tech fabric gives the Ameristep Signature Series their biggest selling point. This fleece fabric has a dull finish that basically eliminates all visible sheen, while being whisper quiet and completely waterproof. Ameristep really did their homework here. The strap-free, fully adjustable camo mesh window system offers 360° viewing in all directions for optimal visibility, so the big bucks can’t sneak in on you.
Another feature that is of great importance is the reinforced, carbon-coated shadow guard lining that eliminates shadows and silhouettes as long as you dress properly. Oh yeah, it also helps keep scent in the blind. That doesn’t interest you, does it?
The shoot-through window sections are replaceable and have a noise-free magnetic curtain allowing you to adjust things in silence. They work well too, although it takes some practice.
The little things
Flip-up reflective orange patches make it easier to find your blind, just use a flashlight in the dark to see the reflective tape. On the inside are three sealed camera ports should you want to jum into the craze of videoing your hunts. There is also an included shelf and a bow hanger that attach to the frame via clips. Trouble here is that my shelf and my bow hanger both had clips that broke the first time I tried to use them. For a $300 ground blind, I would have expected better.
There are stubble pockets across roof and under the windows. The ground skirt keeps elements out and scent in and does a good job. The floor can be unzipped and removed. The blind also includes stakes, high-wind tie-down ropes and a backpack-style carry case with padded shoulder straps and a bow/gun-holder carry system. You can carry it on your back but it is awkward and bulky.
Set up and take down of this blind are pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I had my father-in-law try to take it down the first time and he finally gave up. Took me a few tries too and I had the directions. At least it doesn’t have any of the spring-steel stuff that some other blinds do. That stuff is always dang-near impossible to get back together right. I suggest practice shooting to with the blind. The screens didn’t affect my arrows, but they might yours. Always good to practice hunting conditions anyway.
The Outwrite Truth
I am really happy with this blind despite the few small issues I have with it. It is quality built with all the major features a hunter could want. It is also plenty big enough for not only standing bow shots, but I can also bring other people with me. My wife and I will be able to hunt together in comfort. We’ll be able to stay dry and concealed and with the scent protection features, she can have bad breath in the morning and not have it be a problem. (She’s going to get me for saying that!)