It's Not Inferior to Treestand Hunting
Throughout the years, I have run into more than one bowhunter that has had a treestand accident of one kind or another. Although they aren't crazy about hunting from a tree, they continue to do so largely because they feel that hunting from the ground is an inferior way to hunt deer. Hunting from a tree has its advantages for certain, but the truth is if you properly hunt from the ground, you can consistently bag good whitetails.
Private Land Blinds
The key to success depends on your ability to keep the blind completely concealed to your quarry. If you are able to hunt on private land, getting deer accustomed to the idea of having a pop-up ground blind nearby is relatively easy. Once you have your pop-up blind in the location you want it to be in, you can leave it in position. Over time, the blind will become just another piece of the landscape. Using brush and trees to break up its outline is a great way to help the blind blend in to the max.
When Going Public
If you don't have the luxury of being able to leave a blind in one location over long periods of time, there are still things you can do to increase your odds of not being seen by deer. For starters, once your blind is in the location you plan to hunt from, make sure you use shoot-through netting on your windows. In my experience, deer seem to easily pick out the large black holes and often spook from such a sight. The shoot-through netting that is available on most pop-up blinds helps camouflage the windows, making them blend in to the overall blind itself. If there isn't a lot of cover where you plan on putting your blind, you can use some type of leafy cover offered by most blind companies that can be placed over your blind to help make it look more like a bush and less like a blind.
Go for the Blow-Down
If you are hunting public ground, another option is finding a downed tree in the area you plan on hunting and placing your blind near it using the downed tree as a way of breaking up the outline of the blind. If you are hiking in a long distance or are concerned about being busted by deer, there are some blinds available that are extremely small and lightweight that can be packed in long distances. They're so small they can blend in almost anywhere.
I have discovered that using a ground blind in a place where I can lean large numbers of branches against it makes it disappear in the woods. When I am hunting with a pop-up blind on public ground, I will usually gather some dead branches into a pile near the location I plan on hunting. When I reach my hunting place, I can have my blind set up in a minute or less and have branches leaned against it in another minute and I am ready to hunt.
The Ground Advantage
Once you know how to camo up a blind so you can blend in, you're afforded a couple of advantages over a treestand. For instance, they are warmer in the late fall when temps are below freezing so you can stay out longer. You can bring more gizmos and gadgets with you into the woods because you are hunting from a blind. Last but not least, you can bring a buddy or one of your kids with you and they can wiggle around all they want without being seen. Videotaping a hunt is simple and easy from a pop-up blind because you can have a tripod and move your camera as much as you want without being seen. Some blinds come with a camera port to make videotaping that much easier. Most blinds come with a black interior so seeing any movement from outside the blind is nearly impossible.
In the Pits
If you do have private land, a pit blind is another great way to hunt for deer. Pit blinds have lost popularity in the last few decades but are still a great way to hunt. A small pit doesn't take long to dig and once you are dug out so to speak, you have a very effective blind. A few of our greatest weaknesses are taken care of when hunting from a pit blind. Our outlines disappear because all that is above the ground is our head and part of our shoulders. A pit blind also minimizes human scent. Most of our scent, regardless of wind direction will stay contained in the pit. Therefore, less human scent escapes and we have a lesser chance of being winded by deer.
Regardless if you use a pop-up blind or a pit blind, hunting from a well-concealed ground blind is a safe and truly effective way to deer hunt. If you have always been skeptical about using a ground blind, maybe it's time you give one a try. Pop-ups are lightweight and engineered to blend in almost anywhere. Give one a try this fall; you will be glad you did.
Editor's note: There's a wide selection of new blinds on the market, and many are available from Bass Pro Shops in your favorite Realtree pattern. Finding the style that's right for you is simply a mouse-click away. Visit BassPro.com and do a search for Hunting Blinds. You won't be disappointed.
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