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Old October 18, 2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: June 23, 2010
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Ameristep Groundblind help

Hopefully someone has had an experience like this.

I received an Ameristep Bone Collector ground blind last Christmas. Yesterday I decided to put it up for the first time. Got it out of the back pack it came in, looked at the directions and tried to lay it out on the ground per the instructions. Blind will not lay out like their directions because it has some of the fabric looped over the end of the poles. I messed with this thing for over an hour and couldn't get anything done with it. It also sound like some of the roof poles are broken.

Today I called Ameristep customer service. They basically told me what the directions said and I explained that it will not lay out like the directions say and that I think some poles are broken. Well the guy tells me "you can't tell if poles are broken until you set it up.

I then asked about a replacement and he tells me that I have to send in my sales receipt and the blind and then they would send me a new one if it proved defective. I explained that it was a Christmas gift to me and I didn't have a sales receipt. His response, " Well, I am sure my manager won't do anything unless you can provide us with a sales receipt" So now I'm trying to get the 'gifter' to help me come up with a sales receipt and then go at this again.

Meantime, if anyone has had a similar problem (fabric looped over poles) and has a solution, please let me know.
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Old October 18, 2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Mine is the Doghouse version from Ameristep, but the roof on mine is supported by two external poles that I have to slide into loops to form the ceiling.

The internal frame on mine is a steel ring that is sewn into each of the four sides. The blind itself pops right up, gets staked at each corner and then the roof poles are slide into place to raise the ceiling and that's pretty much it.

I know we have two different models, but maybe its a starting place for you.

Good luck.
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Old October 18, 2010, 02:38 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Their written instructions SUCK.

Here's the product page with a takedown video. I think that standing it up should be the exact opposite procedure.
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Old October 18, 2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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Krzy........... yea yours is different but thanks for trying.

Pizza......... thanks. I have watched that video 20 or more times and like you say, should be the same in reverse. My trouble is that mine won't lay out flat like his does after he drops the roof. That's what I been trying to explain to Ameristep. I am certain mine is messed up but I can't figure any way to fix it.

Definitely open to suggestions........
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Old October 22, 2010, 03:38 PM   #5
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Grounnd Blind

I have a predator made by ameristep or so I am told. When I first removed mine from the bag I was expecting it to pop up presto.....It did no such thing just laid there no matter which way I tugged and pulled.

Then the physics failure in me kicked in and I realized the issue. The fabric had overlapped the side supporting poles and became stretched further than It should have. I simpley compressed the unit from top to bottom to stretch the fabric just a little further and as soon as the tension slacked a little bit inirtia took over and i had a flat ground blind like the one in the pictue.

I have taken it down and put it up numerious times after that with no issues. I find that when I fold it back up I simply put the top fabric into the folds and force it into the carry bag. That way it pretty much pops up upon removal from the bag. The longer it is stored with the fabric over the top the tougher it is to get out at first.

Just my expirence.

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Old October 22, 2010, 07:54 PM   #6
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I have the same blind as you and occaionally have difficulty with setting up as well.It is important to pop the roof in it's set up position first.If the door is closed open it.It sounds like it's trying to open inside out.When you get it set up cut the sewn in "camera holes" out.they will deflect your arrow if you're bowhunting.I have never been closer or had more shots at game in any blind as I have with the Ameristep "Bone Collector".Set up can be frustrating until you learn how to do it.Also wear a black shirt or jacket when inside then you will disappear.Persevere it will open.
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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Vermonter, you may have described what I had. I finally got a friend who is a crackerjack mechanic/puzzle solver to help me and we got it open & set up. Unfortunately, by then two of the "poles had been broken or perhaps they were broken originally which caused the problems.

Long story short, I got tired of fighting with them about their so called warranty and spent the $17 for four new poles. My friend is going to help me replace them tomorrow and I will hopefully be able to start using it but..........

I am done buying Ameristep products!!!!!!!! I hate companies that won't provide service for their products after the sale or stand by their so called products.

I also emailed Michael Waddell's website about this product since he is endorsing it. After 2 weeks haven't received any kind of respons. sooooooooo, I won't be buying anything else endorsed by Mr. Waddell as apparently he doesn't care about the quality of things his name is attached to, only whether or not he gets a big enough check to allow them to put his name on it.......

I really appreciate all you guys who offered assistance.
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:55 PM   #8
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Try posting about it on
Michael Waddell posts there pretty often.
If something seems too good to be true it's best to shoot at it just to be sure
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Old November 1, 2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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Follow Up on Blind

Well, received the poles and installed. When putting it back up to install the poles 2 of the "heavy nylon cups" that hold the bottom of the poles stitching pulled through. We used mechanic's wire to sew them back together and finally got everything repaired and the blind erected.

We took it back down by the directions and put it back in the bag ready to take to the field. I will be crossing my fingers when I put it up in the field this weekend to prep for gun season opening the weekend after.

Thanks for the other site suggestion. I will check out the realtree thing.
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