When we visit the SHOT, NRA, or other trade type shows, we are always on the lookout for items that can be used by varmint hunters. Oftentimes, the manufacturers themselves don’t realize that they are missing a large block of hunters, so we love discussing the alternative uses for items that are normally reserved for duck hunters, turkey hunters and even big game hunters. Since varminters are a versatile group, we can make do with almost anything. When I hit the Flambeau booth at the 2015 SHOT Show, they showed me a bunch of very cool products for predator hunters, including items you would expect from Flambeau, like decoys for predator calling and a lot of their MAD calls. However, one product that they gear towards turkey and predator hunters caught my attention. It is a compact, ultra-light, folding blind, with a rest for your rifle built into it! They call it the “Mad Max Blind”! I call it the perfect blind for predator hunters, who hunt smaller varmints in the off-season. This is my review of the Flambeau Mad Max Blind.
Watch the Video Portion of this Review By Clicking Below!
After speaking to the folks who handle Flambeau’s marketing, I asked if they could send me one of the blinds to try and use at the end of when I quit my predator calling here in California. Unfortunately, hot weather and odd coyote behavior left us with no response and blank stands, so the blind got tucked away for a few weeks until I started hunting my spring and summer quarry, the ground squirrel. Right before leaving to Northern California for my Belding’s ground squirrel hunt, I headed up to the high desert to site in some rifles, and also practice a little behind the Mad Max Blind. I was using my Remington R15 in .223, with my typical predator calling set-up, except I was not wearing my camo pants. I wanted to see how much could be seen through the blind, while wearing some Wrangler jeans. As you can see in the image, the blind did a good job blocking out the blue in my jeans. I was also able to comfortably shoot my AR15 with no issues while behind the blind. The two sides of the blind, coupled with the third stabilizing leg, helped with a steady rest and I was popping clay pigeons out at 100 yards with no issues. I was ready for my hunt up north, so I packed the blind up and slipped it right back into the tube it came with (see image below for more on this). It is compact enough to leave in the back of my truck, so it is always available when I need it. Which is exactly what happened a week later.
Northern California Airgun Hunt:
Most hunting for ground squirrels takes place from a bench, where you are shooting longer distances. However, there are places where shooting a firearm is not feasible. That’s where my airguns come into play. After spending most of the day shooting ground squirrels at 100+ yards, I found a pocket of ground squirrels in an area near some farm equipment. They were running everywhere, so I grabbed my Daystate Huntsman airgun and the Mad Max Blind. I positioned myself on the end of a haystack, with my back against the bales, and the blind in front of me. Within a few minutes of setting up, the ground squirrels started popping up out of their holes all around me. I started shooting the squirrels that were out at 40 yards, then working my way closer. As I shot, I noticed that the ones closest to me, would stop eating for a moment, but go back eating, even though I was shooting mere feet away from them. They had no idea I was there! With my shooting position and the MM Blind, I was able to cover about a 120 degree angle in front of me, with having to make only slight adjustments to the blind. As the shooting intensified, I ended the evening with half a dozen ground squirrels within 20 yards of my location. I was sold on the blind and planned to use it again upon my return to SoCal, on the more wary California ground squirrels we have down south.
Testing the Hatsan BT-65 QE from Behind the Max Mad Blind:
When I returned home, I was given the opportunity to test one of the new Hatsan BT-65 QE airguns, in .25 caliber. This is a beast of a rifle, weighing in at 12 pounds with a scope and measuring about 50″ long. I wasn’t sure if the Mad Max Blind could handle the weight, but I knew it would allow me to shoot in locations where I could not do so with my traditional bench, or Idleback Chair. After sighting in the Hatsan, I set-up against a tree and set-up a couple of video cameras. One was near me in order to record my shots, but I set-up the other one pointed towards me, in order to video myself shooting.
Everything worked out perfectly, with the blind holding the weight of the Hatsan, while still allowing me to make some slight adjustments for shots. I was able to kill a bunch of ground squirrels in an area that had always been a problem in the past. I knew the farmer would be very happy, as was I, while racking up the kills! Oftentimes, there would be two, or three squirrels in front of me while I was shooting. Even with some of them being only 40 yards out, these were the ones that would normally disappear into their holes with just a glimpse of us sitting off in the distance. Even when I missed shots, the squirrels either didn’t move, or came right back out a few minutes later. In the past, they would have been gone for the day and I would have to move on to another spot.
I am always looking for ways to increase my percentages while hunting. This blind does just that, without being a pain to haul around in my truck. It has allowed me to hunt areas on some of my permissions that I had given up on. Lastly, it’s really not that expensive for what you get (about $35.00 at Amazon Here: Mad Max Ground Blind – We get credit for each sale). Because they are cutting down on weight, it can feel a bit flimsy, but once you get it in place, it is more than sturdy enough to hunt from. I’ve heard some folks complain about it not covering enough on the sides, but that is not really an issue if you blend yourself in with the natural growth in the area you hunt.