A few years back I started adding ground blinds to my arsenal of hunting tools. While I still hunt from tree stands, I also have several ground blinds set up in strategic locations. If you haven’t tried out a ground blind for yourself, let me tell you about why I highly recommend them for your deer hunting setups.
Why ground blinds?
Sometimes there just isn’t the right tree for a tree stand. One of the properties I hunt is full of thorny locust trees, crooked hedge apple trees and bushy cedar trees. None of these are ideal for placing a tree stand. So I have ground blinds tucked against tree lines and in their shadows. Last year I set a blind up one afternoon after seeing lots of activity on my trail camera. The very next morning I had a buck come through and stand right in front of me for more than 10 minutes as I sat in a ground blind 15 yards away. People often ask, “Do ground blinds spook deer, or do the deer have to get used to them?” Not necessarily.
Another great thing about hunting from ground blinds is that they conceal you and your movements. We’ve all had a deer sneak in and be right under you before you realize it. They’re so close you can barely afford to blink, let alone get your rifle or bow into position to make a shot. When hunting from a ground blind you can get away with more movement, as long as you keep it slow and quiet.
Comfort is another great positive about hunting from a ground blind. Not only can you set up in your favorite lawn chair, but if it starts raining or snowing you can escape the precipitation. Therefore, using a ground blind extends your hunting time and increases your odds of seeing game on the move during the bad weather.
Just as tree stands help you with scent control by putting you above the deer, a ground blind helps by trapping most of your scent inside the blind. For further protection, I’ll be using an Ozonics unit in my ground blinds and tree stands this year to eliminate my scent. I talked with several friends who’ve used Ozonics, and they convinced me that they do what they’re supposed to. I’m looking forward to seeing the difference it makes.
Choosing a ground blind
There are several styles of ground blinds to choose from. For a hub-style ground blind I recommend the Muddy Outdoors Redemption blind (MSRP: $199). It can be set up in seconds and comes in an oversize tote bag with backpack-style straps for transport to your site, and it only weighs 17.5 pounds. It comes with shoot-through mesh windows in addition to the one-hand easy-release reversible black/camo windows. The Redemption has a 70-inch height and 77-inch shooting width, making it large enough for 2 or 3 people. It’s great for taking kids hunting, to keep them comfortable and conceal their movements.
If you have a location you want to place a more permanent-style ground blind, I recommend the Muddy Outdoors Bale Blind, (MSRP: $399). This blind blends in well in an open field setup. Basically, it looks like a round hay bale. The Bale Blind is also spacious, with a 73-inch standing height and an 82- by 64-inch long shooting width. The window covers slide silently on an adjustable bungee. The burlap cover is lined with a black-backed water-resistant fabric, making this another great place to take cover from the elements. Brush straps are sewn onto the burlap, in case you need to brush it in to blend in to the surroundings.
Positioning your ground blind
I like to place my ground blinds along travel corridor or near feeding areas. Positioning it against a tree line tucked under overhanging limbs will help keep the blind in the shadows. Make sure to trim any limbs that would repeatedly rub and possibly put a hole in your blind material.
Sometimes I can’t get it tucked back in as well as I’d like, so I add some natural brush. This helps it blend in and keeps the fabric from shining in the sun.
Clothing for ground blinds
Most ground blind interiors are black, so I recommend wearing black or dark camo clothing. It will just help you blend in to the background of the blind and better conceal any movements. Steer clear of lighter and greener camo clothes, which will stand out.
Also, pay attention to your state’s hunter orange regulations. You may have to wear a hat, or vest, at least to and from your blind and especially, during firearms season.
Pay heed to the details when you set up your ground blind. You’ll soon have deer walking by within range without giving the blind a second thought.