What are the best types of waterfowl layout blinds for goose and duck hunting?
With so many options for goose hunting layout blinds it can be challenging to know which one to select.
If you are planning on hunting geese or ducks in fields, investing in a waterfowl layout blind is an excellent way to conceal yourself from the sight of the birds.
For those of you who are new to goose hunting you may be wondering what a goose or duck hunting layout blind is. Well, layout blinds are essentially small enclosures that you place on the ground that you lay inside of and they help conceal you as the hunter from ducks and geese. They are typically made out of some type of heavy duty fabric material.
The blinds come in several different colors based on the type of field or location you will be hunting. Additionally, most layout blinds have loops on the sides that allow you hook vegetation through. For example, if you are hunting in a corn field you can hook some of the downed corn stalks into your blind to make it blend in nicely with you surroundings.
Variations of Layout Blinds:
- Layout Blinds With Frames
- Layout Blinds Without Frames
- Layout Blinds With Doors
- Layout Blinds With Flip Up Tops
- Chair blinds
- Layout Blind Covers
- Flagging Holes
Layout Blinds with Frames
Field layout blinds with frames are one of the most popular types of blinds used for duck and goose hunting. Basically, these waterfowl layout blinds have metal or aluminum frames that form the shape of the blind and make them small structures.
The benefit of this type of blind is that they create a small space for you to lie within and be out of the elements of the weather. They are like mini laying tents and when you close them up they can help keep out the wind and rain.
These layout blinds with frames usually have some type of backrest with a pad inside that helps keep your back at about a 45 degree angle. This elevation is a relatively comfortable angle to sit and wait for ducks and geese at.
The elevation also helps provide you good viewing distance. You can easily scan the skyline to see when birds are approaching your decoy spread as your head is in a position to look in all directions.
Weight and transportability of framed layout blinds are a few of the downsides. The metal frame obviously will add some weight to the layout blind compared to waterfowl blinds without frames. Additionally, the frame also creates some issues with transportation.
These blinds can usually be folded up into about ½ the full length of what they are when fully setup and they also collapse to reduce total size. However, the frame still needs to stay somewhat intact so if you are trying to transport these blinds in a car or SUV you may have a challenge of getting them to fit along with all of your other hunting gear.
Layout Blinds Without Frames
Layout goose hunting layout blinds without frames are similar to blinds with frames in regards to the material. Again, they are often made of a thick durable fabric and you place them on the ground.
The difference with these is that there is no structure to them so you are essentially lying on the ground with just the thick fabric between you and the dirt. Think of it as laying on the ground in a camouflage sleeping bag.
Layout blinds without frames have a very low profile which makes them an incredible choice if you are hunting in a field that does not have much vegetation or other natural items to cover up with in the field.
Additionally, these goose hunting layout blinds are very lightweight so if you have a long walk to your hunting spot you may want to consider going with a layout blind without a frame.
I would consider the largest downsides of these layout blinds to be comfort and viewing angle. First, the comfort of these blinds is significantly less than blinds with frames because you are pretty much laying on the ground without much buffer between you and the ground.
You can often feel every bump of the ground on your back and this can make for an uncomfortable hunt. For short hunts it might not be a problem but if you plan on sitting in the field all day these could become very uncomfortable.
Second, the viewing distance with these is a little more challenging. You do not have any head or neck support so you have to lift up your head to scan for ducks and geese. After a long day of looking up from a laying position you will have a very sore neck.
Layout Blinds With Doors
Another variation that you will often see is layout blinds with doors. You may either see a 1 or 2 door option. Basically, the doors function as your method of being able to pop up and fire your gun at the approaching ducks and geese.
Often times the doors are on hinges so you simply lay on your back and when the birds are within range you use your arms and shoulders to push open the doors and shoot.
If your blind does not have a frame it may simply be a fabric flap that opens and again gives you a clear shooting lane at your game.
Waterfowl Blinds With Flip Up Tops
Instead of doors, you may also see hunting layout blinds with flip up tops. These flip up tops cover your head and chest area and when birds approach you push up the top and it flips up and folds back behind your head.
Although they are not as common as layout blinds with doors they are still an effective form of concealing yourself from the sight of ducks and geese.
Another type of blind for field goose or duck hunting is chair blinds. Essentially these blinds are somewhat like a reclining lawn chair that has a large goose shell cover that you pull down over yourself for concealment.
When the birds approach you push the goose shell up over your head on a hinge and you have clear shooting. After you shoot you simply pull the shell back down and prepare for the next flock of birds.
Chair blinds are not as popular as standard layout blinds but if you are looking on craigslist or other used sources you may find these at very reasonable prices.
You can expect to find chair blinds for less than $100 each. I often see them on Craigslist for about $50.
Layout Blind Covers
With each of the above layout hunting blinds that we discussed you will usually find them in several different color variations. You will see brown, white and several different camouflage patterns available for each blind.
As you select your blind color you will want to think about what type of situation and field you will be hunting in the most often. For example, if you will be regularly hunting out of a hay field a brown layout blind would be an excellent choice to blend into your surroundings.
However, if you are like me and like to hunt in several different locations and conditions you can consider layout blind covers. If you are a person who purchased a brown blind but now you want to hunt for snow geese in a field covered with snow the brown blind is no longer a great choice at least not without a blind cover.
You could get a white blind cover that zips over the top of your blind to completely change the layout blinds appearance in order to fit in with these new surroundings. These blind covers are significantly less expensive than purchasing a completely new layout blind. In fact, some layout blinds come with a cover in the box.
A feature that you should also look for when buying a layout blind is flagging holes. Flagging holes are small slits in the side of a layout blind that allows you to reach your arm outside of the blind without opening the top of the blind.
If you are a person who likes to flag for ducks and geese to grab their attention then you should ensure your blind has a flagging hole. Many of these holes have a zipper for you to close them when they are not in use.
Field layout blinds are a very effective form of hunter concealment. For hunters who are going to be spending a lot of time hunting in fields I would recommend that you purchase a layout blind that has a frame as it will be by far the most comfortable.
However, please do not let cost get in the way of you using a blind. If it is not in your budget to buy a new blind you could check Craigslist or other online bulletins to find a used layout blind to serve your needs as you get started.