How many times have you been sitting in a tree stand, above the deer's line of site, and all prepared to bag that buck - only to have him look you right in the eye!
We have all been there. Accessory manufacturers have been working on various camouflage systems to try and help with this little problem. Several tree stand camouflage tent/nets are on the market.
Bowhuntinginfo.com recently had the opportunity to test a different system called Cover System by PortMidwest International, Inc., (PMI). Cover system is a set of artificial tree branches with fall colored oak leaves. The branches, six provided with each package, are pliable, so they can be bent into any configuration necessary. Each of the branches fit into a snug holder about three by four inches that can be attached to a tree or tree stand, or they also have a spike version that can be placed in the ground. The cover system can be used to help break up the hunters outline against the sky from a ground level perspective, or as portable ground cover.
One cover system against the tree and one in front of the hunter at the tree stand platform level will provide optimal coverage.
The branches are long enough that they can be bent around to provide some break up on the sides as well. The leaves look and act like real leaves, they move and rustle just as natural leaves do, although they don't make quit as much noise as do dried oak leaves.
We found the system easy to install, easy to use, and realistic.
We also tried out PMI's, Spot Cover, that is attached to the limbs of your bow with velcro strips. These can provide additional coverage, and don't make any appreciable noise when you shoot your bow. We tried the Spot Cover in both a stationary stand and still hunting environment. While the system seems to help in a stationary environment, we ran into problems with the bow cover in still hunting or stalking mode - the cover would catch on natural limbs, and pull off the velcro - making noise.
We can't claim to have put any more venison on the table from the Cover System, but we were sufficiently impressed to continue using the system after our test.
PMI is listed in our Equipment Manufacturer Page under Tree Stands. For prices, brochures, or to purchase the system, write to PMI, Inc., 14570 Washington Rd., West Burlington, IA 52655, 888-419-6706. You can also visit their website at www.coversystem.com