On a Wing and a Prayer: Okie Innovation Strikes Again
|Product Reviews - Blinds, Stands & Accessories|
As hunting season gears up, it's time to take stock of your hunting equipment. And thanks to the ingenuity of two enterprising Oklahoma entrepreneurs, water fowling enthusiasts have more opportunities than ever for spreading their wings. What follows are two fine examples of Oklahoma ingenuity that are sure to make an impact on your hunting success.
When a man brought a ground hunting blind into Shirley's Canvas--Larry and Shirley Bergdall's Enid, Oklahoma, business--several years ago and requested a replacement cover, Shirley rose to the challenge. The iron frame, however, was cumbersome and heavy, and, as a result, Shirley came up with the idea of building a better mousetrap: a lighter, more easily portable ground blind. After several revisions, she successfully designed a single person model before turning her attention to a blind that would accommodate a wheelchair-bound hunter. Shirley rented a wheelchair to insure the correct measurements, modifying her original design to make it taller and wider. Once the design process was complete, she contacted Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, submitted a sample of her blind for approval and applied for a license to use Advantage camouflage fabrics for the covers. A year ago, Shirley filed the preliminary paperwork for a patent for her new product and with the help of the Inventor's Assistance Program through Oklahoma State University, the Hide-N-Hunt ground hunting blind was born!
The Hide-N-Hunt blind's frame is made of square aluminum tubing for lightweight strength and long-lasting durability. Each frame is hand-bent, welded and assembled by Shirley's husband, Larry. Shirley sews the covers using longwearing, water repellant, acrylic-coated 500-denier Cordura fabric available in the Ducks Unlimited official pattern of Advantage Wetlands, as well as in Advantage Timber and Classic patterns. The blind is also offered by special order in Trebark Superflauge--a vinyl-backed, insulated fabric for very cold, wet hunting. The blind's frame and comfortable, sling-type seat is rated to support hunters up to 300 pounds, yet it folds into a convenient-to-carry package. A green camo storage cover protects each blind from soil and damage while being stored or transported, and both the blind and storage cover have carrying straps. Set-up is a snap: simply set the blind down on the ground, grasp the top frame tube and pull up. For duck hunters, the top of the Hide-N-Hunt springs open for quick over-the-head shooting. There is a window in the back of the blind and, for complete concealment, two front visors: one made of camouflage netting, which stores in a front pocket; the other, which is made of vinyl for wet conditions, can be secured by a clip under the seat when not in use. The floor of the blind is made of 18-ounce vinyl, making it completely waterproof, and the bottom is totally enclosed to prevent snakes from getting in. The blind is guaranteed against defects due to workmanship or material quality for one year.
Shirley and her husband have sold several hundred Hide-N-Hunt blinds at local hunting shows, where she enjoys meeting and talking with people about her product. She says she has sold many blinds to women, who appreciate its lightweight portability, as well as to hunters who--after falling out of tree stands--desire a safer option for hunting.
The Wing Magic decoy is made out of high-quality G&H Decoy shells and heads and mounts with a bracket on a half-inch EMT stake. Seventy-five feet of operating line runs through the bridle ring that is attached to the separate line stake. The wings are white on one side; and life-like graphics on the other side add dimension to the movement. Some simple assembly is required before going out into the field, but well-written instructions with clear pictures facilitate the process. Action is achieved by rhythmically applying and releasing tension on the operating line and is controlled by how deep you set the wings in the water, not by how hard you pull the decoy. The water line is marked on both sides of the wings. To get more wing action, set the wing paddle slightly higher than the watermark. Conversely, to get more water action, set the wing paddle lower in the water. This decoy comes ready to work in most wading water, but for deeper water you can purchase additional lengths of the half-inch EMT stake from most hardware stores. Frank's Website at www.wingmagic.com , with additional operating tips and suggested layouts, is highly recommended reading.
Wing Magic offers many advantages over other motion decoy models. It's simple and reliable with no motors, batteries, pulleys, or belts to fail. The hunter creates the wing and water movement only when he wants it, and the decoy is great for non-callers or kids who want to be more involved in the hunt. Wing Magic is silent, 100 percent waterproof and lightweight. A one-year warranty applies to the decoy bracket, which if broken for any reason other than neglect or abuse, will be replaced for the cost of shipping and handling.
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