Concealment: Not Just For Hunting
I have debated for quite a while about placing this topic on my website, because at first it seemed applicable only to hunters. However, I believe there are others in the Disability Community who might find the information useful. Many nursing homes have ponds that attract aquatic wildlife, as well as, a variety of birds. Individuals who have areas around their homes could find a well-constructed blind might allow closer observation and find that animals will display more normal behavior. So, it is with these ideas in mind that I place this information on Handihelp.
Any individual trying to observe or photograph wildlife in a natural setting is immediately faced with the challenge of camouflaging himself to conceal any movement from an animal's exceptional vision and or hearing. This can be very difficult over an extended period of time when game is close. Remaining out of sight and limiting movement can also be heightened by insects and weather. Concealment is compounded for an individual in a wheelchair. Many commercial blinds are available but they are both expensive and usually difficult to access in a wheelchair.
A couple years ago a fellow mentioned to me using snow fence to make blinds. Some of my friends put several up on a neighbor’s land where I have permission to hunt; and the landowner did not mind if the blinds were left up. Once the snow fence was up, it was covered with camo material, and then we added some fake vegetation from a local craft store. Having only my head and gun or camera above the blind has worked wonders. I have had turkeys walk within 10 feet of me, and deer feed and pass a little further out. I can even move my chair when deer are nearby, and it does not seem to bother them. I have a leg bag which we leave open while I am in the blind and that too does not seem to affect the animals’ behavior at all.
I have also used commercial tent blinds like the Outhouse Blind, but I don’t like being zippered in. We even went so far as to use Velcro straps to replace the zipper. These enclosed types are alright in bad weather but I would rather be outside. Recently I purchased a ground blind at Gander Mountain made by Gorilla Gear called the Adjustable Height Blind. It is a portable ground blind that has 5 adjustable stakes which can be set anywhere between 25” to 40”. It is made of die-cut 3D leafy material, is 11 feet long and the height is adjustable. I've attached a bungy cord to each end for fast set up. It works just fine.
For Christmas my son gave me a Ghost Blind. It consists of a mirror finish bonded on 4 durable polypropylene panels, making a weather-resistant blind that will function in almost any environment. When set up (8' by 3.5') the panels reflect the environment immediately in front of it so you blend right in. If the wind is blowing the reflection is moving.