These blinds can be very convenient with their fast set up and out of the weather capabilities. I like this type of blind for photographing ducks and herons on beaver ponds in the spring of the year. However, some of the more wary birds will shy away from them unless properly set up. The first step is to get landowner permission. Now watch the pond from a distance with binoculars to select an active spot. One of my favorite beaver ponds is hour glass shaped. By placing the blind in the narrowest part of this hour glass, I am assured that any ducks passing from the upper to lower pond, or vice versa, will be relatively close. If possible set the blind up with some sort of backdrop. A side hill or a group of trees behind the blind will help break up the silhouette of the blind. You should also look for any dead branches in the area to stick in the ground around the blind, Dead grasses can be attached to tie down loops and laid on the top of the blind. The longer the blind is left in one spot, the more tolerant the local wildlife will become. The blind pictured here is marketed by Ameristep, however you may choose to shop around. Several sizes and styles are offered by Cabela's. I like the Ameristep Doghouse. The shadow guard (black interior) works great for wary subjects, as it keeps the inside of the blind very dark. I will sometimes cover my blind with, army surplus tank cover. This allows me to weave dead grass and dead cattails from the surrounding area into the tank cover.
This is nothing more than camouflage material with jagged cuts throughout. The piece that I use is approximately 16 ft x 5 ft. This stuff is great when calling wildlife to within camera range. It is very portable and rather quick to set up. Critters that can be lured by the use of a call include fox, coyote, hawks, owls, turkey, ducks and many more. Armed with camera, calls, and a piece of foam to sit on, I pick a likely spot and sit on the ground with the leaf-o-flage wrapped around myself and my gear. The lower you can get to the ground, the better. Not only is your silhouette less obvious but it also allows a more eye level view in the resulting photos. Clothes pins can be very handy for securing the material around the lens, tripod, and yourself. Leaf-o-flage was a brand name that I can no longer find however, you can find some great alternatives in outdoor supply catalogs like Cabela's. Go to Cabela's web site and do a search for blind materials. ( It comes in many colors to match your surrounding terrain.)
Camouflaged burlap has many of the same attributes as the blinds mentioned above, but at a lower cost. I have used the standard colored burlap and spray painted it to match the surroundings. You can either build a wooden frame and wrap the burlap cover around all the pieces to carry it to your destination or you can build a makeshift frame out of dead branches tied together with jute, and then drape the burlap over and around. Use safety pins or fine cord for attaching grasses to the outside of the burlap. This, of course, isn't nearly as fast a set up as either leaf-o-flage or a tent blind, but it works great if your going to be set up for a couple of weeks.
More Photography Tips Below:
Getting Started / Blinds / Getting Published / Finding Wildlife / Bird Tips / Birds in Flight
Duck Tips / Insect Tips / Mammal Tips / Deer Tips / My Equipment / Used Equipment