I’m an avid bowhunter in my home state of Michigan and I’m pretty disappointed with a recent purchase.
Here’s what happened
I’m finding as I get older, the safety and comfort of the ground is pretty attractive. As a young man I had not trouble climbing a tree with a combination of screw in tree steps and whatever branches were convenient. There are really only 2 ways I’ll hunt now; from a ground blind or from a sturdy ladder stand. They each have their benefits, a ladder stand gets you up but can be a bit less portable, especially on your own, a ground blind is very mobile and easy to set-up for one person. Having a need to increase the number of ground blinds need to cover our hunting property meant I needed to get an additional blind. I chose the Ameristep® Doghouse® pop-up blind. The price was good and Ameristep® is a Michigan company.
Ameristep® should be in the doghouse for this one.
The Doghouse® came nicely packaged in a backpack style carrying case. I took the blind out to a spot that had a nice early season rub line and started the set-up. This blind is a pop-up model (those spring rod types that pop open but few can figure out how to get it “unsprung” enough to fit in the original package). Once I opened the blind I noticed stray threads hanging from the zippered openings, extremely poorly sewed seams and areas of the fabric that looked like they had been stretched causing irregularities. This had to be one of the worst manufacturing jobs I had ever seen. I had seen better work on the same type of tents for my kids, and those weren’t even meant to be outside. From the quality of this product, I would be surprised to get more than 2 seasons from it. The seams for the zippered windows are already starting to come apart after 1/2 a season. Compared to all of our other ground blinds, I’d have to say this one is unfortunately the worst.
So it wasn’t the top of the line…So what.
I know that the Doghouse® isn’t Ameristep®‘s top of the line ground blind, but does that mean it’s OK to have not met the bare minimum of expected quality? I say no. I’ve seen other Ameristep® products and read reviews and expected great quality. If I buy a Chevy instead of a Cadillac does that mean it should be poor in fit, finish and not start when I turn the key? Unfortunately for Ameristep® I won’t be purchasing any more of their products. Poor craftsmanship in a ground blind, what am I going to think about one of their treestands? Hunters need to make their voices and dollars count. Let us know of your blind/treestand experiences.