By: Heath Wood
For deer hunters, ground blinds have become more prevalent in the last twenty years than any other product on the market. They are easy to put up and take down; they keep you, the hunter, hidden better than ever before, and let’s admit it, you can hunt more comfortably when there is room to move without being busted by a nearby deer.
Even though the popularity of ground blinds has increased over the years, there are still some who haven’t experienced for themselves how practical a ground blind can be. When used in certain situations, a ground blind can be the answer to keeping you out in the field long enough for that big trophy buck to show himself finally.
If you’re not entirely sold on the idea of using a blind, below are five reasons to use a ground blind that will make you a better deer hunter.
As hunters, we must pass on the tradition of hunting to the next generation. If one has ever hunted with kids, they know that the time leading up to the harvest is critical when making a good impression on a first-time hunter. Children can get bored quickly; they want to move, they often can get cold, which cuts the hunt short. To make a more enjoyable experience for a first-time hunter, a ground blind can be the answer.
Using a blind such as the Muddy Prevue 3 blind is a great way to hunt with kids or first-time hunters. The Prevue 3 is a three-person blind, measuring 58” X 58” with a 66” standing height. The large area of the Prevue 3 allows youth to take a chair with them to sit comfortably and allow them to move their legs and body throughout the hunt without being seen by wildlife. Being comfortable is essential when wanting to spend more time outdoors hunting.
On colder days when staying warm is a factor, I have had kids bring along a blanket and even a small heater to help stay warm. If they are comfortable, they have more fun.
I also suggest bringing along a good pair of binoculars for youth to use while hunting. Using a set of optics keeps them involved in the hunt, gives them something to do, and makes the entire experience more enjoyable. The Prevue 3 blind features one-way see-through mesh, allowing them to see more of the action from the inside without being seen by wildlife looking in from the outside.
There is a famous saying; “you can’t kill them from the couch.” Hunters do not like sitting in a stand getting soaked on rainy days. Some hunters even elect to stay inside and wait on more ideal conditions before hunting. The more serious hunters refuse to allow anything to keep them from their pursuit of a trophy whitetail. Especially during the rut when you never know when the big buck will appear, even in the pouring down rain.
Many hunters will keep a ground blind in place to ensure no missed opportunity, saving it for a rainy day. When a blind is in place near an open area such as a food plot or crop field, hunters can sit inside a dry ground blind, watching these open areas for deer movement.
Staying dry keeps the hunter warmer, more comfortable, and like hunting with a child, keeps the hunting time going longer.
No Place For A Tree Stand
One of the best tips for finding the top stand location or blind set up is not looking for a place or a tree that looks good but finding a place where deer travel. I am guilty of finding an area with a large number of deer signs, then starting to find a good tree for my stand. The problem is that sometimes that best-looking tree may pull me from the specific area where deer travel. When there is no tree in the exact spot to be a good treestand set, I elect to use a ground blind instead.
When using a ground blind, hunters can place it where the deer sign is prominent. Better blind placement will provide more shot opportunities when deer travel through the area, especially when bowhunting. Unavailable trees for hanging a stand can also occur when hunting near a crop field; white-tailed deer often feed and travel along the edges of the crops. To ensure that you are in the right place to provide a shot opportunity, you must be set up near the edge where there are no trees. A ground blind tucked up next to standing crops allows excellent concealment to get close to the deer.
Another great location to use a ground blind is when hunting an area that has been logged or features a lot of brushy areas. I have hunted areas that have been logged and found that deer movement is still good, yet there are often no trees big enough to hang a treestand. When no trees are available, I find where deer are traveling, then set up my ground blind instead.
It is common for temperatures to start falling below freezing in the mornings and evenings during the late season. Late-season hunters usually sit on food sources to catch deer storing up on food to stay warm and prepare for the winter ahead. Long sits in broad open areas such as crop fields, or food plots can become challenging to sit for an extended time.
To catch mature bucks up on their feet during the late season, one may have to sit until the very last light of the day. To sit all day and stay warm, a ground blind can make the hunt more enjoyable. Inside a blind, the hunter can keep out of the bone-chilling wind, plus one can use a small heater or dress heavily in insulated late-season gear. When sitting in colder temperatures while in a ground blind, I take my Yeti tumbler with hot coffee to help keep my body warm. If in a treestand, I could not get by with the movement, compared to sitting inside a concealed blind.
Scent control is on the top of my priority list each time that I deer hunt. I am a true believer in using a complete scent elimination regimen. My system consists of using Scent-A-Way laundry detergent on my hunting garments, spraying down my clothes, boots, and gear with Scent-A-Way odorless spray, as well as spraying down the exterior of my Muddy Blind with Scent-A-Way. To further my scent control practices, when hunting in an area where many deer will be at one time, such as a food plot, I like sitting in a ground blind to help control my human odors.
Sitting inside an enclosed area such as a ground blind helps mask the human odor from drifting in the breeze throughout the area you are hunting. Even though I still pay attention to wind direction and the use of scent elimination products, being inside of a confined ground blind is one more step to gain an advantage against one of the best noses in the wild.
When sitting in a ground blind overlooking a food source with several deer, I determine which way the wind is blowing and then close the downwind side of the blind to help deflect human scent away from nearby deer. In doing this, I can draw deer within bow range without them ever knowing I’m in the area.
The ground blind can often mislead hunters into thinking it is only to be used for the lazy hunter who wants to sit in a chair and wait on deer to appear. Today’s ground blinds are lighter weight than ever before. They are easy to carry and set up, and as explained with the above tips, hunters have discovered that they can be used as an effective tool in a deer hunter’s arsenal to become a more successful hunter.