Six Ways to Improve Your Ground Blind Hunting Experience
Ground blind hunting is one of the coolest things to do for a couple of reasons, one of them being that you’re pretty much on eye level with the deer and other wildlife.
Hunting in treestands is common in much of the Southeast and Midwest, of course. Nothing wrong with that at all. Getting elevated in a tree helps keep your scent up and affords you more views. If you’re bowhunting then your shot angle is different, of course, but that’s part of it. Box blinds, which also may be elevated or on the ground, provide good concealment and with a few good additions of carpet or noise-dampening foam on window sills, you can get away with a clunk or clink now and then.
Ground blinds, to me, are a throwback to the old days of stump-sitting and even before then, before the outdoors industry took hold. Take your gun and hunting clothes, if you had any, and go sit on a stump or find a brushpile to booger up in for a while.
I love hunting from ground blinds. I’ve found little hidey holes and hunkered in, created some quick blinds with my clippers and limbs to sit against a tree, and have tossed up portable blinds for more concealment. Each works, although the portable blinds available today with quick “hub-spoke” assembly and spaciousness are quite nice.
If you’re going to hunt from a portable ground blind, a few tips to help give you a leg up:
1. Brush It In: Even if you’re enclosed, make time to brush in your blind with natural vegetation. Use hand pruners or a good saw to trim limbs to lay on top and add around the sides. Many of today’s newer models have loops on the outside so you can attach vegetation.
2. Don’t Be Stinky: Even if you’re enclosed, use your best scent control products on your boots, clothes and inside the blind. If you’re not enclosed, well, definitely hose down with them.
3. You’re Not Invisible: Just because you’re inside a pop-up ground blind and it’s dark doesn’t mean you can twerk or jump around. Yeah, you can get away with some movement. But don’t go crazy. When you set up or make the blind, clear out limbs, leaves and anything that can snag, break or make noise. A whitetail’s behavior is pretty sharp so you don’t want to take any chances.
4. Hunt the Right Wind: Just as with tree stands, you should be smart about entering the area to the ground blind. Definitely know the wind direction and either use the best entry route or, if possible, hunt another day. If you’re in an enclosed blind then you may be able to get away with it.
5. Be Comfortable: For goodness sakes, we don’t have to suffer when we’re hunting in a ground blind. The kids can take a game or their iPhone. Take snacks and a sleeping bag if you have the kids with you. Take comfortable chairs, You’re on the ground so take your gear and be comfortable.
6. Have Options: One thing I love abound hunting on the ground is the ability to move quickly if I want to make a change. Wind shifts? Make a move. Snake in the first ground blind? Make a move. Your brother-in-law texts and says he is riding his ATV in through the back part of the property to get to the Slobbernocker Stand? Move fast to where you’ve seen deer take off when they hear his ATV. It’s always good to have options.