Ground blinds are sort of the unsung hero of the hunting world, and I’m not sure how it became this way. Yes, treestands are great for getting out of a deer’s line of sight, but they also come with quite a few drawbacks. A good ground blind, on the other hand, is essentially just a comfortable place to hang out while you wait for the bucks to come strolling in. Below are some of the reasons why you might like to take one for a spin on your next hunting trip.
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You are Hunting on Public Land
When you’re hunting on public land, there are quite a few more rules on what you can and can’t do when setting up a treestand. Sure, if you find the right tree and use a climbing stand, you might be able to set up quickly and with no damage to the tree. Chances are you’ll need to cut a few branches to create some sight lines though and this may be a big no-no depending on your local regulations. A ground blind better adheres to the backcountry policy of leave no trace.
They are Quite a Bit Safer Than Treestands
Treestands are probably the biggest source of hunting accidents, and while many of those are due to improper use (not attaching the harness), there’s little question that treestands are more dangerous than using a ground blind. If you’re older, less physically fit, or just not up for the challenge of hauling yourself up a tree, a blind is an excellent alternative. When used correctly, they’re just as effective too.
You’ve Got a Creative Streak in You
Okay, so maybe not every hunter is like this, but “brushing in” a ground blind can be a really creative and satisfying activity. Once the blind is set up, take a look around for brush: twigs, leaves, anything that will break up the silhouette of the structure. Then go about making your masterpiece, recreating nature on the canvas of your ground blind.
They are so Comfortable Compared to Treestands
Sitting up in a tree exposes you to wind, rain, and chilly temperatures; a ground blind protects you from all of them. If you live in an area with inclement weather, the Pacific Northwest comes to mind, dry and warm inside a ground blind will be so much more enjoyable.
You are Looking for Mobility
A ground blind might weighh 20 lbs, but compared to the set up and take down involved with a treestand, they are downright portable. If the winds change or you just decide a trail has gone cold, you can move a ground blind with only moderate effort. That being said, treestands and ground blinds are both more effective when placed weeks or even months in advance of your hunt. Your prey needs time to get used to them.
They are a Convenient Way to Cut Down on Scent
Treestands are something of a catch-22 when it comes to scent – if you place them high enough (30+ feet), the chance of a deer detecting you is low, but at the same time your chances of making a killshot drop dramatically too. Ground blinds avoid this whole issue by containing the scent to the blind, so long as wash any scent off the outside of the structure. Many hunters seem to unaware that blinds have this advantage as they open up all of the windows to give themselves more shooting lanes, while simultaneously releasing the scent. Do some proper scouting and place the blind in a position where you will only need one window open to make your shot (and be sure that window is not upwind of the deer.
You Like to Stretch Your Legs a Little
Even the most comfortable treestand has a pretty small footprint, and if you’re up there for a few hours you might feel the need to move around a little. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. With a ground blind you’re free to stand up, walk around, and then sit back down in a different position. You’ll want to minimize your movements because deer will still notice them, but you’ll have a lot more options compared to treestand hunting.
They are Better for Hunting with a Friend
There are a few treestand models that will fit two people, but most of them have you flying solo. Even with a tandem stand you’ll most likely be looking down the same sight lines and competing for the same deer. Ground blind are a more social experience, allowing you to hunt multiple sight lines with one or two friends.