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My New Hunting Stand

I have been hunting for about 50-plus years, and during that time I have hunted from many types of stands.

The first were climbers that my father made. These worked great, and you could easily carry them on your shoulder from tree to tree. They had a nice padded seat and back rest. Because you could climb the tree, you could go as high as you wanted. I remember climbing so high I could see into the next county.

Later, I had a custom-made ladder stand that was so light I could easily carry it from spot to spot. I used it when I first started bow hunting and managed to harvest a few deer using this stand.

Then, I moved to a more permanent type of ladder stand. These are way too heavy to carry from spot to spot or to shoulder by myself and move from spot to spot. All six of these are from different companies and all work pretty well.

I have had to modify all of them with a home-made roof and a lot of camo cloth hanging from them. Some have swivel seats and some have bench-style seats. They are all attached to a tree by ratchet straps and all work pretty well.

But now, I have moved on to a RealBark Hunting Blind. The difference between a normal stand and the RealBark Hunting Blind is like the difference between camping under the stars in your backyard or staying in a 5-star hotel. I had no idea what I had been missing out on all of these years.

Let me start with the assembly. The box showed up late in the day, so it was going to be the next morning before I could start. I unpackaged the instructions and read them several times to be sure I did not miss a step in the assembly. The next morning, I was up before daylight working on my new stand.

The instructions said it would be a two-person job, but it was only going to be me, so I got after it all by myself. I laid out all of the parts and got to it. This IS a two-person job, but with the help of some rope and a few ratchet straps, I managed to assemble it all by myself in about four hours.

All of the parts were provided, and the instructions were easy to follow. The assembly would have surely taken less time if I had help, because some of the four hours it took was spent rigging ropes to hold up the panels and other “jury rigging” I had to do because I was working alone.

But, I was impressed that I managed to get it together by myself – it just took a little longer. I then loaded it on my little trailer and head ed to the hunt camp.

The instructions say to use the provided auger and screw it into the ground to secure the blind. The location I placed the stand is sort of on sandy ground, so I dug a hole large enough to hold four bags of concrete. I felt this was more secure than screwing the auger into the sand.

Once at the hunt camp, I installed the legs, stood it up, attached the ladder, secured it to the auger, and I was ready to hunt. I had purchased a pretty nice reclining office chair to sit in, so I slipped it into the stand, shut the door, opened a few of the six windows for some breeze and would have been ready to hunt – if I had a gun.

The RealBark Hunting Blind is made of space age plastic that appears to be pretty durable. It has a top that will keep out all of the rain, wind and bugs.

Wait just a minute! I can now hunt in the rain without getting soaking wet! Because this very nice blind has a door that shuts tight and glass windows that close securely, I will be toasty warm in the cold. If I put a little vent in the top, I could bring a small propane heater and stay RealBark warm.

Here are some features that I like about this blind:

Glass windows – which means no cracking or discoloring that is common with Plexiglas windows.

A solid plywood floor for extra stability. The floor comes covered with a sound-dampening material on the inside.

When the windows are open, I have a shooting rest on each one.

The blind has several shelves molded into the side panels.

The entry door is plenty tall and wide enough for my big butt to get through.

The ladder (or stairs) is very stable and easy to use without fear of falling while getting in or out in the dark.

Now that it is assembled and secured to the ground, it seems to be very stable. I got up in it and moved around like I was break dancing to find it did not move at all. It is plenty big enough for two full-grown adults to use at the same time.

For years, I have hunted in stands that left me at the mercy of the weather, but with this RealBark blind, I can now hunt in just about any weather conditions. When it is cold and rainy, I will still be dry and warm.

Here are some specs on the blind I chose:

GBX-5 Hunting Blind Specifications:

• 5-foot Diameter

• 2’ X 5’ Walk-in door w/lock

• 6’-7” Inside Height

• Molded-In RealBark® Texture

• 6 Hinged Windows with gun rest (windows measure 13 1/2” wide x 10” high”)

• 1/2” Wolmanized Plywood Floor w/carpet.

About three weeks after I placed this blind in the woods, I put out about 100 pounds of corn, some apples, pears and other tasty animal food out. I waited a week and went back to the stand and sat for about six hours, hoping to shoot a pig. I did not see any pigs, but I had several deer and turkeys visit the area. Even with me moving around inside, I did not spook any of them.

The next day I figured I would try out my night vision scope on some pigs, as there were pig tracks around the corn pile. I climbed in the blind just after dark, and about three hours later here came the pork. I wanted to see just how much noise I could make, so I made more noise than I would ever intentionally make.

The pigs looked around some, but did not run off. I was shooting a solid copper bullet out of my nighttime pig gun, so I waited for two small ones to line up. With one shot, I had two nice little 40-pound pigs on the ground! So far, I love my new RealBark Hunting Blind.

For more information on this one and other models, go to: www.realbark.com/

If all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings. Shoot Straight, Shoot Safe!

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Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”