There are hundreds of new bowhunting products released every year, but relatively few are unique, useful and innovative enough to truly stand out from the crowd. However, the new SurroundView ground blinds from Primos Double Bull certainly stand out. In fact, I believe SurroundView blinds — featuring an exclusive, one-way fabric that appears completely solid from the outside but allows a panoramic view of your surroundings from the inside — will revolutionize the category by eliminating the closed-in feeling so many bowhunters have hated about ground blinds in the past.
Although the SurroundView blinds are just now reaching store shelves, I had the opportunity to hunt from a prototype during a November deer hunt in Kansas. I know saying you have to see it to believe it is clichÃ©, but in the case of the SurroundView, it's true. Approaching the blind from the outside, it didn't look much different than any other hub-style blind on the market. But as soon as I opened the door and stepped inside, I literally couldn't believe my eyes. Instead of only being able to see out the windows, I could see right through the walls, offering me great visibility of the woodlot where my blind was set and the large alfalfa field adjacent to the woodlot. A couple hours into the hunt, I spotted a 10-point whitetail out in the alfalfa, hit my rattle bag and watched in amazement as the buck ran on a dead sprint from 250 yards away to just 20 yards before stopping and staring in my direction without any idea that I, or the blind, was there! The buck then proceeded to walk directly in front of me at less than eight yards before turning into the woods directly behind the blind and disappearing into the brush. Had I not filled my tag the day before, it certainly would have been game over.
The one-way fabric in SurroundView blinds isn't designed to be shot through, so you still have to arrange the various window openings based on your hunting style and anticipated shot opportunities. However, the unrestricted views the fabric offers eliminate the need to constantly stand up or lean awkwardly to "peek" from side and rear windows. I can't wait to have a SurroundView in my arsenal this spring when a big tom struts in two feet from the rear or side of the blind. That has happened to me so many times in the past, and it's maddening to be able to hear the bird approaching but not see him. Now, I'll be able to watch his every move and be drawn and ready when he finally presents a shot.
SurroundView blinds are available in three models. The 180 features two one-way fabric walls, measures 48 inches square, 65 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds. The 270 features three one-way fabric walls, measures 55 inches square, 70 inches tall and weighs 21 pounds. And the 360 features four one-way fabric walls, measures 60 inches square, 70 inches tall and weighs 23 pounds. All models feature Primos TRUTH camouflage, Double Bull's heavy-duty construction and a limited lifetime warranty.
MSRP: $299.99 (180); $399.99 (270); $499.99 (360) | www.primos.com