Treestands are an integral part of bowhunting, but sometimes they’re just too much of a pain. They’re uncomfortable, somewhat dangerous, and take quite a bit of time to erect. An alternative option is the ground blind, which is much easier to deploy and great if you’ve already had a lengthy hike or just don’t want to spend the time doing set up. A good ground blind also provide excellent protection from inclement weather, keeping you warm and dry throughout the day. The tips below will help you to make better use of your ground blind and have more successful hunts.
The Best Practices for Hunting from a Ground Blind
Do Be Afraid to Use a Ground Blind in Place of a Treestand
So many hunters think that a ground blind is something you use when a treestand is impractical, like in an open field. Nothing could be further from the truth though, sometimes they’re just downright convenient compared to strapping on a harness and shimmying up a tree. While treestands give an excellent vantage point and can be less obvious to your prey, they’re not always the best solution. Feel free to set up your ground blind in a dense stand of trees, it will just be more effective with all that extra cover.
Hide Your Scent in the Blind
One of the best things about ground blinds is that they can block your scent. Unfortunately, many hunters don’t make use of this advantage as they open up all the windows on the blind to give themselves more lines of sight. That extra ventilation is a great way to release your scent, so stick to one window, especially if you’re upwind of your prey.
Put the Blind Out Early
That big buck is a lot smarter than you think and if you add something new to his stomping ground he’s going to sense it pretty quickly. Deer become more cautious immediately after you deploy your ground blind, so it’s best if you can get it set up a few weeks before you want to use it. This will give the animals some time to habituate to it, and they’ll drop their guard by the time you’re ready to hunt from it.
Decoys are great for ground blind hunting – you can set up the perfect scene that will draw the bucks in close, without them having the slightest idea that you’re there. A classic setup is to place buck and doe decoys together, which will get the competitive spirit pumping in your prey as it hopes to poach the decoy buck’s mate. This is when he’ll be the least cautious and the easiest target for you.
Keep the Blind Hidden
Invisibility is your friend when setting up a ground blind. You’ll want to add some extra camouflage material from the environment to further disguise the blind and help it blend in with its surroundings. Ideally, the deer won’t see the blind until after they’re in range of your bow. On the other hand, if there’s no way to hide the blind, don’t be afraid to leave it plainly visible. This is a bit counterintuitive, but if the deer can see the blind from a long distance, they’ll start to get curious and (slowly) approach. If they don’t notice it until they’re relatively close (30 yards), they’ll likely get spooked and wander off.
Treestands have one major advantage over ground blinds – a much longer line of sight. Sitting in a ground blind severely limits your ability to scout, so it’s best to do that beforehand and have a pretty good idea that a buck will be crossing paths with you. If you set up without scouting, there’s a good chance you won’t see anything at all.
Get Comfortable in Your Ground Blind
One of the best things about ground blinds is their superior comfort compared to a treestand. Your seat inside the blind can be as big or as small as you want, so it’s best to give some thought about the type of hunting you’ll be doing. If you need more back support and will be sitting for an extended period of time, it’s probably worth it to bring a bulkier chair and save yourself from a sore back the next day.