How does the GhostBlind perform in the field? If you can find it after setting it up, you’re doing better than most.
By now, you’ve likely seen the pictures and videos of GhostBlind products in the field. It’s difficult to believe it’s not a computer-enhanced distortion. These blinds literally disappear into the surrounding environment in seconds.
We had the privilege recently to chat with the national sales manager and part owner of GhostBlind, Greg Thieman. Check out what he had to say about the products. Oh, and see if you can spot the GhostBlind in the pictures and video below.
How did the company start, and what was the inspiration behind it?
As with many good product launches, the GhostBlind started with a conversation over drinks. The two founders decided they wanted a hunting blind that would perform better in the field. So they each went home to start the invention process.
Surprisingly, they both made an extremely similar prototype that involved the application of glass mirrors to panels so that they could blend in with whatever environment they hunted. Thus, an idea was born.
What was the first product, and take us through the manufacturing process.
Based off of the prototype design, the first product took 5-1/2 hours to manufacture one blind, which weighed close to 40 pounds! Obviously, that wasn’t going to be a viable option for hunters, so the team went back to the drawing board to make some tweaks.
Eventually they worked the blind down to only weighing under 15 pounds! Now four different styles of mirror blinds are made completely in the U.S.A. (most of it in Ohio), and a new Octagon blind (discussed below) was added to that lineup in 2015.
With whitetail seasons opening soon, what are some tips for using it in the field?
Lots of people call wanting to use the Stalker Pod to sneak within bow range of a bedded whitetail. While it’s theoretically possible, the Stalker Pod was made more for pronghorn or mule deer, where hunters have to sneak across 500 yards of open country to within 300 yards to make an ethical shot.
The Runner blind can be used on the ground with a bow or firearm, and as its name suggests, it is compact and easy to move quickly. It’s very popular for turkey hunters. But 90% of GhostBlind sales for whitetail deer are the Predator series. The Predator is a four-panel blind with shooting ports, and it was the original blind.
Can it be used even against waterfowl species, which aren’t approaching from ground level?
The Waterfowl blind is designed for duck and geese hunting. It does not have sloped panels like the other blinds because ducks and geese will be approaching from overhead instead of directly on. It is also taller than the other blinds to provide some extra room to hide from eyes above you. Simply stake it down within some cattails or marsh grass cover, and shoot over the top. You can also place some camo netting over the top of it if you wish.
Based on the videos, it looks like the setup process is pretty slick. How long does it typically take?
In good conditions (i.e., calm to slight breeze), you can easily set one of these blinds up in 1 to 2 minutes. If the conditions change and you need to move quickly, set up and take down are both extremely easy, allowing you to be mobile to chase a big buck.
The beauty of a GhostBlind product is that you don’t need to set it up weeks in advance and brush it in to allow deer to become used to it. Once you set it up, you’re invisible to them right away. If you play the wind right and keep your visible motions in check, they’ll pass right by you.
Is it difficult to maintain/keep clean?
Simply use a water hose and a soft cloth to clean dirt or dust from the mirrored panels. Avoid chemicals like window sprays, simply because they will leave an odor that deer will pick up and you’ll be busted. The panels fold up like an accordion with the mirrors to the inside, so that even without the carry case, you won’t scratch the panels. If your blind ends up blowing over onto a rock or tree it may scratch a little, but it will still work just fine. That’s the beauty of the mirrored technology.
Under typical hunting conditions, the blinds will easily last 5 to 7 years. Since the company started 7 years ago, they are just now having customers return to buy a replacement blind.
What about use in extremely cold weather, such as during late season muzzleloader or bow seasons?
The GhostBlind products were tested in temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and still maintained their structure and pliability. Obviously, extended use in such conditions may make it more brittle. But if you’re consistently hunting in forty below conditions, you’re probably not going to sit motionless in an open blind either.
What are some memorable customer reactions to seeing it in the field?
One customer related an entertaining story. He had set up his GhostBlind in the woods for a morning hunt. He decided to go back home for a quick lunch and elected not to take it with him. When he returned, his GhostBlind was gone! He called up a few friends, thinking they were pranking him by stealing his blind from his known hunting location. They denied it, so he wandered around looking for evidence.
Eventually, he turned around and found his GhostBlind sitting right where he left it. Even though he knew exactly where he had left it less than an hour prior, he couldn’t find it again! That’s a real testament to how well the products work.
Do you have any new products on the horizon you’d like to mention?
There aren’t any new formally-announced products on the horizon, but the Octagon blind was a new introduction in February 2015. It features, unsurprisingly, eight wall panels for rigidity and strength. The roof has a steep pitch to help shed snow common in northern hunting seasons. It can either be used on the ground or mounted to an elevated platform, and is 6 feet tall to allow you to stand up inside. You can customize how many windows you want, and where you want them. Best of all, it only weighs 50 pounds, so you can bring it far back into a hidden food plot and assemble it easily.
It was kind of Greg to take time to discuss this game-changing hunting blind. Hopefully its benefits are clear, and hunters everywhere can begin to see the difference when their blinds are working as they should.
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