I enjoy hunting with traditional longbows, but the same issues arise every year with my usual hunting methods: tree stands, ground blinds and stalking. I don’t have enough patience to sit for long hours in a tree stand; most ground blinds are not tall enough for shooting longbows; and with stalking, I’ve had mixed results.

Fortunately, when my family purchased a new deck umbrella, I had an idea of how to use the old one to help overcome some of the issues I faced while hunting with a longbow. The old umbrella measures seven feet across and weighs only four pounds! Similar deck umbrellas cost about $20 new. Some models are available that are even lighter in weight.

To camouflage the umbrella, I used Krylon camo spray paint, olive drab and green for a base color, and black and tan to highlight and provide depth. For stencils to spray over, I used local plants such as ferns, pine, dogwood, and cedar to create a breakup pattern and create a 3D effect. I’ll probably make a couple of see-through openings using mosquito netting.

The best part of my “new” umbrella blind is I can stand up to shoot my longbow, and use it for cover when spot and stalk hunting. If caught in a squall, I’ll even have a large umbrella to rest under! Plus, it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and easy to use!