“4 Crucial Tips for Hunting from a Ground Blind”
For those of us that hunt in ground blinds instead of tree stands, we have to take extra precautions. Here are the 5 biggest lessons I’ve personally learned while out in the field.
Choose the right location.
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to choose your spot ahead of time. The whole point of using a ground blind is to conceal you the hunter. While it may block one side, I always try to find a natural structure to piggy back off. A downed tree with limbs forming a perfect “v” is a ground blind hunter’s dream! By fitting your blind in like a puzzle piece animals are less likely to spook when they see it. They are already familiar with something there; the addition of your blind will not be so “shock” as it they came upon a new standing structure that wasn’t there the day before.
Depending on the situation you may lose the third shooting window but you’ll gain the element of surprise, the deer will be that much more comfortable as they saunter by providing you with a great shot opportunity.
One of the most important things to do when hunting from a ground blind is to conceal it.
Use debris to really conceal it from prying eye (human or animal).
Private Land: If you are able to hunt private, brushing in your ground blind will be that much easier.
Placing your blind ahead of time and in the location you want provides a leg up. It will give deer time to become used to seeing the blind.
You’ll be able to take advantage of constructing a more permanent structure. Whether you cut limbs or use limbs that have already fallen, use black zip ties to secure them to the blind itself, creating the perfect “pile of brush”.
Public Land: Unfortunately most public land hunting will be more of a challenge.
Since most states do not allow you to leave structures overnight on public land (why would you want to chance some jerkoff walking off with it anyhow) setting up your spot ahead of time is important. That way when you arrive at 4 in the morning you can efficiently set up and brush in your blind.
Choose your spot well in advance if possible. Spring is a perfect time to choose the spot(s) you want to hunt. The time period right before everything blooms, is most like the environment you’ll be hunting in this fall.
Look for downed limbs and forest debris to ensure you follow regulations. Many states prohibit cutting or damaging trees/foliage in any way. If possible, gather the debris and pile it (as un-obviously as possible) near the spot you’ll be hunting. Using zip ties or twine, tie several limbs to the supporting poles of your blind. You may want to practice this a few times ahead of time. The first time I ever employed this tactic I drove to a completely different area, and practiced zip tying medium sized limbs to the blind. Through trial and error I figured out what size limbs I should keep an eye out, where exactly I should zip tie a limb and where exactly I shouldn’t so as not to block my shooting window!
While most of us are excited to wear our camo, camouflage clothing can actually be a hindrance rather than a benefit when it comes to hunting in a blind.
So you are not silhouetted, you’ll be hunting with at least on side closed up. In order to blend in against the dark background, you want to wear dark clothing. It makes no difference that deer are color blind, they see patterns, and a big black background with a human shaped camo silhouette is a sure way to get busted by shrewd deer. Many other hunt-able species are not color blind so getting into the “blacked out” habit is a good habit to get into.
There are two camps on this subject. Either the “it doesn’t matter what you wear in the blind” camp or the “black, black and nothing but black” camp. When it comes right down to it you could probably sit in a blind, wear a clown suit and still kill something.
However, if you want to increase your chances of killing, common sense is needed. Let’s face it; 7 year old bucks on public land don’t get to be that age by being stupid. They’ve probably encountered many different circumstances and learned from each one. A few years ago I had a doe stop about 40 yards from my blind; she literally stopped and bobbed her head about trying to look into the blind. It took everything in me to not move an inch as she tried to determine if there was something inside the darkness. Luckily I was completely blacked out, black sweatshirt, black ball cap to cover my blond hair, black on my face and she ended up in my freezer.
Many, many years ago I wore a pink and white camo sweatshirt in my blind while turkey hunting. A nice jake stepped out about 35 yards to my left. I had the shoot through curtain drawn with minimal shooting gaps thinking that would be enough coverage to hide me, he totally busted me. He literally ignored the blind until he turned towards me, his neck extended upwards as he craned to look in that blind. It took about seven seconds for him to get the heck out of dodge. Last time I EVER wore camo in the blind and the last time I wore pink hunting turkeys!
Bottom line: you wear camo to blend into your surroundings out in the field, why wouldn’t you wear something to blend into your surroundings when in a blind?
Silence on the Floor
Every time you move your feet the potential for making noise is there.
Have you ever been sitting in your blind and you hear rustling behind you and you’re like “OHMYGOSHTHAT’SADEERANDIT’SHEADINGRIGHTTOWARDSME!!” and then you’re like “stupid squirrel…”
That rustling sounds like a megaphone in your ears. That’s what YOU sound like to deer when you shuffle your feet. As the season proceeds, deer become more aware of the apex predator in the woods with them. They are on high alert and notice everything.
Clear the floor
Early in the season I tend to kick sweep any and all dead leaves and loose brush from the floor of the blind. If I’m able to choose a spot to sit ahead of time, I’ll clear an area as much a possible when I’m gathering the debris I’ll be using to brush in my blind. The less I have to do at 4am the better.
Create a Barrier
Later in the season I carry in a piece of high traffic carpet remnant cut to the size of my blind, I got mine at Lowe’s for about eight dollars, it has a rubber bottom and high traffic carpeting on top – it’s very light and wraps around my blind in the blind bag. This “floor” provides two enhancements. First it provides silence. I don’t have to brush out anything. Secondly it provides a barrier between the cold ground and my boots, helping me stay warm.
I hope these tips will help you hunt better this upcoming season.