You will hunt out of the Boss "Willow" Blind! Being a guide and outfitter for over 30 some years has given me the opportunity to see a fantastic number of improvements in the equipment used to hunt waterfowl. I have some firsthand experience in watching the development of today's most popular blinds. In the mid 90's, the original design of the "Final Approach" line of lay down blinds was field tested at Nighthaven Lodge. They were a great idea and went on to be the "bread and butter" blind for a lot of hunters and outfitters.
For the next ten years we used the lay down blinds with great success. However, the nature of our business is that we have to adjust to what works in the field and what is best for our clients. For as good as the lay down blinds were, there was still a downside. No wind made them awkward to shoot out of and our clientele was not getting any younger. As a result we found ourselves hunting out of our original willow blinds about half the time.
For the past five years at Nighthaven Lodge we have been booked solid. Waterfowl populations have rebounded and our success rates have been excellent. You wonder why I would bother writing all of this. It is because of one single fact - During the 2016 waterfowl season, our lay down blinds never came off the shelf. For over 80 hunts we exclusively used our willow blinds. Again in 2017 willow blinds only!
Another interesting fact. Most of the willow blinds we use in our operation have been around for 20 to 25 years. Each year we clean them up, fix any imperfections and use them again. They are serviceable over a long period of time with little upkeep. Every year I experiment with new materials, new sizes, some have worked and some have not. In essence, our willow blind is very close to what it was 34 years ago when I built the traveling swamp.
While this was happening I kept track of all kinds of other blinds being produced and have read countless comments in chat rooms and in websites regarding "willow blinds". The general perception of willow blinds is that they don't work. Question: Why should a blind made of all natural materials from in and around the field you are hunting in not work?
Our/your willow blinds should be like the canvas a painter paints on. They need to be constructed to hold willows, cattails, saw grass, stubble, poplars - any natural material you think will work in the situation you hunt in. Willow blinds, (natural blinds), work well in any situation where one can take advantage of the surrounding vegetation.
One final piece of advice in using a willow blind. The key to any blind you use is to make it look like a natural part of the landscape. Blinds that have a "boxy" shape, whether low profile or stand up will not work to their full potential. I you can create a "bushy" effect by putting willows around the outside of your blind. We use a "Boss Step Stake" for the final set up and it makes a huge difference in the way birds react to our blinds.
Our willow blinds go out of the trailer twice a day, every day for the entire season. We use them for groups as large as eight and our daily success speaks for itself. If you are interested as an outfitter or recreational hunter in a great design for a willow blind, contact Bob. You will be glad you did!