Effective Turkey Decoy Strategies for Hunting Out of Ground Blinds

Turkey Decoy Strategies When Hunting from Ground Blinds

Few turkey hunters today head to the woods without having one or more decoys with them. Whether you are run and gunning turkeys in big timber country or hopping ground blinds in southern agricultural fields, decoys can help bring that boss gobbler those extra steps needed to make the kill. Hunting turkeys from ground blinds typically means you are on birds. You may have positioned the blind the evening before or have it set up in a season long hotspot. Either way, you are probably fairly confident that turkeys are close by, which is where your decoys come into play. With birds in the area, your calling has to be crisp, your turkey blind placement perfect and your turkey decoy strategies on point.

The Right Way to Use Decoys from Ground Blinds

Some turkey hunters swear by decoys and yet others curse them because they have had a bad past experience of getting busted while using them. In most instances when a turkey hunter has a bad experience using decoys, it is almost always the operator’s fault. Here are six tips for setting up turkey decoys the right way when hunting from ground blinds.

Trophy Pursuit’s Turkey Camp, Part 2

Opening day of turkey season with the Trophy Pursuit Team in southern Iowa.

  1. Ground blind placement should be between the bird and the decoys. When hunters get busted while using turkey decoys, the first question to ask them is where were their decoys set up at? The answer is always right in front of the blind. Decoys are designed to distract a gobbler and have him focus his attention on something other than yourself so you can get positioned to shoot him. When you are behind the decoy, the approaching turkey is looking right into your portable turkey blind. Instead, determine where a likely gobbler will approach from and position portable hunting blinds between him and the decoys, ideally on your shooting side.
  2. Know your range. You want your portable turkey blind close to your decoys or at least half the distance you can shoot. For example, if you can effectively pattern your shotgun out at 40 yards, you want your decoys out at 20 yards. The mistake many hunters make is their decoys are set out as far as they can shoot. What happens? A gobbler gets nervous and hangs up at 60 yards and you have blown your hunt. Keep them close when hunting turkeys from ground blinds so you either have a close shot or at worst a shot that is within range.
  3. Ground blinds should be concealed but not your turkey decoys. Decoys should be placed in open areas such as fields, right-of-ways or open timber, where often bale blinds make the best turkey blind. Putting out a set of hen decoys in thick brush 20 yards from your ground blind that you can barely see is a waste of time. Gobblers react well and are less likely to spook if they can see the decoy from far off. One of the main purposes of using decoys is to give a bird something to draw his attention in with and if your decoys are buried in the brush you will never give him that chance.
  4. Numbers matter. Fall turkey hunting warrants more decoys because birds are flocked up as opposed to the spring where there is more one on one interaction between birds. Again the purpose of using turkey decoys as part of your ground blind hunting strategies is to create authenticity around your calling. A big flock of 6 hens and a jake set out in front of your pop-up turkey blind is not realistic in the spring.
  5. Spread your decoys out. Often, several different decoys are deployed outside your ground blinds like a hen and a jake or multiple hens. When you are using more than one decoy, make sure there is plenty of space between all of them. A gobbler approaching from a distance may not be able to recognize what you are trying to emulate if all the decoys are bunched together. Similarly, if your decoys are too close and a gobbler runs in, you may have a hard time getting a shot on him. A mature gobbler may also be unwilling to join in on the action and bypass you altogether if the situation looks too
  6. Hunting ground blinds and turkey decoys should both be prepared for the weather. You probably have your ground blinds secured enough unless it is severe weather in which case you will not be out hunting anyway more than likely. However, even light breezes and hard rains depending on the style of decoys you are using can cause them to look unnatural. Be prepared with extra stakes to secure decoys or that whirling hen decoy in front of your portable turkey blind will be the only thing you see.

Top 3 Ground Blind Turkey Decoy Strategies

A gobbler’s desires change from week to week in the spring. Early on they are determining dominance in an area so aggressive decoy set ups work well to lure big, mature birds in looking for a fight. Next, comes breeding. Gobblers will move from fighting to breeding a few weeks into the season and be less receptive to aggressive decoy postures. Younger birds can be lured into jake decoys during this time because they feel they can take on a smaller bird for a chance at part of the breeding grounds. But, strutters will scare these younger birds away as they have not forgotten previous losing battles to boss gobblers earlier in the year. Try a jake decoy matched with a hen as breeding moves into full force. Gobblers will look to break up the action if they catch sight of a receptive hen in their area with a young bird. After breeding is over and hens move on to nesting, use a single feeding hen to lure in receptive gobblers to your pop-up turkey blinds later in the season.

Along with turkey hunting from a blind, there are other spring turkey hunting methods. Having decoys with you is beneficial whether you are in a blind or not. However, these top three turkey decoy strategies work the best when hunting turkeys from ground blinds.

Ground Blind Set Up #1 – Jake and Hen

If you had no other decoy set up to use from your ground blinds, the jake and hen would be it. This set up works well early through late season up until hens start to nest. Early on gobblers will come in to fight away a jake while later on as breeding ramps up a big tom will come running in to displace what he thinks is a jake crossing into his territory and moving in on his hens.

The assumption with this turkey decoy strategy is that you are hunting mature gobblers. Sometimes if the area you are hunting is heavily polluted with jakes, you are better off just using a hen decoy. Remember to position the turkey decoys off to your shooting side and not have your portable turkey blind directly in line with how you expect a bird to come in. Otherwise, his full attention may not be on the decoys but rather on you and your blind.

Ground Blind Set Up #2 – Feeding Hen

Why a feeding hen? Because when turkeys are feeding, they are calm and relaxed. If you put out a hen decoy that is upright and alert, a cunning boss gobbler will get the sense that something is not right or that she is alert for a particular reason. A group of feeding hens, 2-4 of them, works well when breeding has picked up and gobblers are looking for hens. You can add a strutter behind the hens if it is further into the breeding season to spark some competition if you are hunting in areas that contain mature birds. Keep the strutter positioned behind the hens like he is trailing them, which is a typical situation in the spring.

Ground Blind Set Up #3 – Strutting Gobbler

Turkey hunters are reluctant to put out a strutting gobbler decoy for fear that the dominant nature of it may make a bird hesitant to come in. There are two times when using a strutter decoy is successful when used as part of your ground blind hunting strategies for turkeys.

First, position a strutter facing away from where you believe a gobbler will approach from. Early season birds looking to dominate will see an away facing gobbler as an advantage to taking him on. Second, use it at the right time and right place. Stay away from this decoy setup, even if it is paired with a few feeding hens when hunting areas with jakes. Jakes will quickly be turned away from a dominate strutter later in the season. Also, this set works more effectively earlier in the season when birds are willing to challenge other gobblers for breeding rights.

Bottom line, turkey decoy strategies work effectively when planned out with ground blind hunting. Although it can happen, it is rare to throw up a decoy and make a few clucks and see a big gobbler running in. The more common scenario is having to plan your turkey hunting blind placement and decoy set up down to the last detail. These six tips should go a long way to improve your turkey hunting, especially if you are unsure of how and when to place decoys when turkey hunting from a blind. The next time you head out to one of your ground blinds for turkey hunting, think about these tips and pick the right decoy set up for tempting in a mature longbeard.

spring turkey hunting

Spring Turkey Hunting Methods

Spring Turkey Hunting Methods and Tools

As with any outdoor activity, the better prepared you are beforehand, the more likely you are to enjoy your time doing it. The same is true for spring turkey hunting. In the unpredictable spring weather conditions, you never know what you will face. So if you’re wondering how to hunt turkeys in the spring, you need to decide how you’ll go about it first. This spring turkey season, take some time to consider your personal hunting approach and that can tell you a lot about how to stay comfortable the whole time you’re out.

Choosing Your Turkey Hunting Method

Let’s start with some spring turkey hunting basics. Everyone’s got their own way of doing things and personal preferences. But there are really only two styles of hunting when it comes to spring turkey hunting. You’ll either be in a ground blind of some sort or exposed on the ground. You could hunt them from a tree stand, but it’s not as common for spring turkey hunting season. Depending on which type of hunting you like to do, you’ll have to adopt different methods to stay comfortable in the field. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll discuss below. Take your pick and see which sounds better.

Ground Blind Hunting

Using a ground blind has a lot going for it for spring turkey hunting. A turkey’s primary predator defense mechanism, and thus its strongest sense, is its vision. When you move at ground level without any kind of cover, a turkey is very likely to spot you and that will be the end of your turkey hunt. Ground blinds are obviously one of the best ways to stay hidden and out of sight from such keen vision. Since there are only a few open windows, you can move around significantly more inside a blind without spooking turkeys away. That makes them such a great bow setup for turkey hunting; you can grab your bow and draw it without really worrying too much, especially if they’re focused on your spring turkey hunting decoys.

Blinds also have the added benefit of keeping you protected from the elements while you’re out there. Rain and wind can make for a pretty miserable time in the woods. But when you can hunker down inside a blind and stay warm and dry, you’re more likely to stay out longer. Obviously, more time afield can help increase your odds of putting a gobbler down for good. Since you’re well-hidden, you can also afford to sit very comfortably. The swivel ground seat from Muddy® is a great option for turkey hunting from a blind. It comes with a convenient carrying strap, is very stable, and can swivel 360 degrees to allow you to get in position for a shot quickly. It’s slightly heavier at 15 pounds, which makes it a good candidate for bringing the seat out when you set the blind up (ahead of the hunting season). It’s already colored black, so it will blend into the dark blind interior, and then you can leave it for when it’s time to hunt.

Of course, the primary drawback to this style of spring turkey hunting is that it isn’t as portable and adaptable as just sitting somewhere. If you notice lots of turkeys congregating on the other side of a field one day, it would take more effort to pick up and move your gear than simply moving over to the other side by yourself. Of course, you could always just move and hunt by yourself in that situation and then resort to your blind if the weather’s not great. You can combine the two methods to take advantage of different situations.

 Exposed at Ground Level

The other primary spring turkey hunting approach is to just sit in the woods or on a field edge somewhere with a good vantage point until a gobbler comes within range. Since you don’t have any concealment around you, this approach means you’ll need to really rely on your turkey hunting camo clothing and natural concealment opportunities, such as shrubs and long grasses, to hide your profile. That makes it tricky for bow hunting turkeys, so this approach is better for shotgun use. You’ll also have to keep your movements minimal and pay special attention to when you are truly not being watched (going back to turkey hunting 101). This can be a tricky catch-22 situation, because you can’t see what’s behind you, and can’t turn your head to check without potentially being spotted. One of the best spring turkey hunting tips is to set up in a good location with lots of cover behind you so you’re able to get away with a little movement when needed. While you could simply set up next to a large tree trunk to lean back against, sitting on the damp, hard ground for a few hours just gets old fast (and it gets old faster the older you are); it doesn’t provide great back support and will start to feel uncomfortable after a short time. Additionally, the best time to hunt turkey in the spring is often in the early morning when dew is thick on the grass and undergrowth. To help avoid these issues, the folding tripod ground seat folds up for easy packing and is camouflaged to use in the woods with some minor concealment in front of you. Being up off the ground a little can also help to produce some better visibility and shot angles around you while keeping your rear end dry.Of course, the downside to this style of spring turkey hunting and the controversial method of turkey reaping is that you are exposed to the elements and can be easily seen. Again, there are ways to mitigate that risk (e.g., good camouflage clothing, being aware of your movements, finding natural cover, etc.), but it is still a risk. As mentioned above, you can combine these two methods easily to take advantage of each scenario you face.

When you head to the field this spring, perhaps very soon, plan ahead for whatever situation you are likely to encounter. If you hunt on private land where the turkeys are not as perceptive and the weather forecast is grim, you should really consider using a ground blind equipped with a comfortable chair. If on the other hand, you hunt mostly public land, you don’t have much choice except to use a ground seat for turkey hunting in the open. But as long as you’re prepared for it, you should be alright.

Bale Blinds 101 | Turkey Hunting with Bale Blinds

Bale Blinds for Turkey Hunting

Hunting turkeys from a blind is an effective strategy when it comes to springtime gobblers. It is even more effective when going after big boss gobblers with kids or inexperienced turkey hunters. The one challenge with portable ground blinds is they stick out like a sore thumb when trying to hunt a food plot, open field or power line where turkeys may be feeding or strutting. Bale blinds give you all the advantages of other ground blinds but fit in much better in open areas.

Bale blinds are nothing more than a hunting blind designed to mimic a round hay or straw bale sitting out in an open field. Unlike traditional ground blinds, hay bale blinds are dull in color, usually comprised of burlap or other natural fabric material left uncolored. The natural coloration blends in much more effectively than a dark camo blind, which is their big advantage when it comes to turkey hunting. Even though you may be hunting areas that have never had hay bales in them, the design of these ground blinds for turkey hunting are exactly what it takes to fool a distant gobbler into making a mistake.

Turkey Hunting from a Blind

Bow hunters chasing turkeys in the spring are very familiar with hunting ground blinds. They are about an archer’s only chance to get drawn on a close bird and make the shot. However, the proven advantages of better concealment, weather evasion and versatility in creating a spot are making turkey hunting from a blind the norm from bow hunters to shotgun hunters.

Even the best turkey hunters get busted year after year. The turkey’s eyesight is one of the best if not the best defenses to avoid predation out there. Concealment, therefore, is the key to consistently take spring gobblers. The standard approach to turkey hunting is finding a tree big enough to block your backside and sitting as motionless as possible. This is Effective, and many mature birds have been killed under this exact hunting setup, but many more turkey hunters have been busted from a quietly approaching bird or trying to get one last box call sequence in, only to be picked out from hundreds of yards down the field. Hunting blinds for turkeys address all these challenges and then some.

The turkey blind removes most uncertainties while afield, giving all turkey hunters a major leg up on mature gobblers. It is tough for even seasoned turkey hunters to sit still for hours waiting and also pick the exact perfect time to move if a bird comes in not as planned. Hunting turkeys from a blind makes it easier to sit for longer periods of time more comfortably and also move when needed without being detected. Also, ground blinds for turkey hunting like the portable Muddy Bale Blind are designed to be light and mobile so that they can be located right in the action.

Five Reasons Bale Blinds Work Well for Turkeys

Clearly a blind for turkey hunting gives you an advantage as opposed to the alternative. A blind like the Muddy Bale Blind works well for turkeys for these five reasons.

  1. Concealment

    Camo style portable ground blinds have a hard time blending into open areas well. Stick one of these blind out in a food plot or an agricultural field and pressured birds may be reluctant to come in. A bale blind presents itself more naturally in these situations, which helps to blend in more when hunting open areas for turkeys.

  2. Disguise Movements

    When hunting turkeys from a blind, you want to leave the camo clothing at home. Dress in all black (or as dark of clothing as you have) to take full advantage of the matte black interior of bale blinds. The dark interior allows you to move into position for a shot or to fire up one last call sequence to get that bird a few steps closer.

  3. Protection

    Spring weather can be unpredictable. As such, there are going to be times this spring when weather conditions will be less than favorable. Hay bale blinds provide protection from the elements, which is especially important when hunting those open areas where there is not protection from trees.

  4. Reduce Noise

    Turkeys stay alive with their eyesight but that does not mean they have poor hearing. A hay bale blind blocks most noises you may make in a blind that could alert a close turkey you may not even know is there.

  5. More Success for All Turkey Hunters

    Hunting ground blinds like a bale blind makes every turkey hunter more successful, but they benefit youth and inexperienced hunters the most. Bale blinds can comfortably fit two people so one mentor and mentee can hunt easily together while remaining concealed.

Early Spring Setups for Bale Blinds

Hunters still need to put their time in before the season to scout and pattern birds, and once you find birds it is time to make plans for where and how to hunt them. There are three early spring areas for hunting turkeys where bale blinds make the most sense.

Strut Zones

The first prime location for a bale blind is in strut zones. These areas are defined by disturbed leaves, broken feathers and increased turkey tracks and scat. Gobblers will seek out these areas from the roost in the morning or later in the afternoon after feeding. Typically, strut zones are found in and around fields like along one edge or a high corner. These open conditions lend themselves to using a bale blind. You can position hay bale blinds in a number of different spots in an open field or food plot depending on where birds are coming from to access the strut zone. A good tip is that mature birds usually visit strutting areas around the same time of day and take the same path to get there. The bale blind works well here because they can be positioned exactly where you need to be to get a shot without worrying about trying to brush in a blind just off the field, which may leave you out of position.

Feeding Areas

Second, feeding areas like established food plots and pastures are going to be good setups for early spring birds. After strut zones, locating areas where gobblers are feeding throughout the day are key in setting up your blind. Turkeys will use perennial food plots and pastures that are close to mast sources to find acorns and bugs. Areas like these that are adjacent to water are ideal because turkeys will frequent water sources throughout the day and the closer one is to a food source the more use it will get. Do not forget about right-of-way areas as well. Gobblers may use areas like power lines and gas pipelines as strutting zones but more importantly, these areas are usually planted with tall grasses that provide ample forage of bugs in the springtime. Again, open areas where birds are feeding are where hay bale blinds shine. Positioning one on a food plot or along a right-of-way will disguise you much better than other hunting ground blinds.

The Fly Down

Third and finally, roosting areas are another location to use a bale blind. Turkeys are going to be roosting in trees, obviously, so how does the bale blind work here you may ask? If you can pinpoint where birds are roosting, you can setup your bale blind to ambush them as they leave the roost in the morning or head to the roost at night. Turkeys are not graceful flyers and usually, they like to leave the roost and land in an open area. Hay bale blinds can be set up along field edges near roosted birds for morning hunts and in open fields or right-of-ways near water to catch birds in the evening heading to roost.

Bale Blind Setup Tips

There is more to hunting blinds for turkeys than simply getting your blind upright. The location is most important when positioning your bale blind, but several other considerations can also increase your odds from a bale blind.

Avoid setting up your bale blind facing the sun if at all possible. Bright sunlight can reveal your movements in the blind by adding light to the already dark inside. As you pick your location, think about the direction the sun will rise from and set to in conjunction with how your blind is set up. The sun’s position throughout the day and your timing on when to hunt the blind may or may not influence your hunt.

Get in a few days early to set up your blind. If you have scouted well, you know when birds are using an area so you can use the times when they are not there to set up your blind. Getting the blind in a few days before the hunt takes the pressure off having to put it up in the early morning hours and potentially risking bumping birds off the roost. More portable bale blinds should still be set up beforehand but can be adjusted if needed or work well for those that have limited time for scouting an area.

You have to go where the birds are this spring and if that means fields, food plots or right-a-ways then a bale blind is your best bet. The whole idea behind turkey hunting from a blind is to minimize the chances a gobbler will spot you. Open areas make it tough to hunt on the ground and other portable ground blinds stick out enough that they may alert birds that something is not right. Bale blinds cannot make you successfully all on their own. However, with good scouting and using setups around strut zones, feeding areas and roosting locations, they can give you the advantage in open areas to close the deal on a mature gobbler this spring.

turkey hunting ground blinds

Choosing the Best Turkey Hunting Ground Blind

How to Choose and Use Turkey Hunting Ground Blinds

As the weather continues to warm and we keep hearing the cardinals chirp outside, most hunters’ thoughts are turning to turkey hunting. After all, it’s the next major event of the year that we look forward to, and it’s just around the corner! This imminent arrival means you’re probably getting your turkey decoys ready, practicing a few more mouth calls, and patterning your shotgun. But as you prepare for turkey season this spring, have you thought about turkey hunting ground blinds much? They’re used a lot for fall turkey hunting, simply because you can also deer hunt out of them. But their use for spring turkey hunting is a little more sporadic.

Maybe you’ve never used one before, but you have been eyeing them for a couple years. While some shotgun turkey hunters prefer to sit in the open and depend on their turkey hunting clothing while they hunt instead, ground blinds are almost necessary for bow hunting turkeys. Because turkeys have such amazing eyesight, more shotgun hunters are turning to turkey hunting ground blinds as well. They might not be as portable as moving your body alone, but the advantage of being completely unseen is often a better tradeoff for portability. It allows you to bring your kids along more easily (you know they can’t hold still for very long), and it grants you more freedom of movement to get ready for a shot. Provided you pick the right locations for them and take a few precautionary steps before you hunt, you’ll be impressed with the benefits of using a ground blind.

How to Choose a Hunting Blind

Convinced you need a ground blind for turkey hunting yet? Before you run to the store to put one in the back of your pickup, you need to realize one important thing: not all blinds are created equal. Some are cheaply made or poorly designed for specific hunting purposes. Others are just too bulky or don’t blend in the way they should. Take a moment to consider your turkey hunting opportunities and compare them to the major categories below. If a hunting blind meets these specific criteria, you are in business and ready for hunting.

Design/Size

First off, if the turkey hunting ground blinds you’re looking at simply aren’t big enough for you, you should pass on them. If you feel cramped inside a blind, you won’t want to hunt in it very long, which will usually limit your opportunities at bagging a bird. For bow hunters especially, having enough elbow room to draw your bow back stealthily is critical to it all working. Some people prefer shooting in a standing position, so you need to find one to fit that style of hunting. Additionally, you might want a hunting partner or camera gear to join you on a given hunt, which means you’ll need even more room. Finally, some hunting blinds just seem like they were made for anything but hunters in mind. For example, windows containing noisy Velcro or zippers are sure to spook game out of range in a split second. But windows with a silent hook release can be operated with only one hand while the other holds your weapon.

Camouflage Pattern

As we mentioned, wild turkeys have amazing eyesight and can spot the smallest little irregularities. That’s one of the advantages of hunting from a ground blind; it totally conceals your movements. But if your pop up turkey blind doesn’t blend in the way it should, it’s not really doing its job. You can (and should) always take steps to brush it in a little, even if it’s in a field setting. But that won’t hide poor designs or camouflage patterns; that would be like putting makeup on a pig. Try to get the most realistic pattern you can find so you don’t have to drastically alter the look of your turkey hunting ground blinds.

Weather Resistance

If your hunting ground blinds can’t stand up to the unpredictable spring elements, you’re out of luck. One of the advantages of using a turkey blind in the first place is to stay out of the weather, which could include sleet or rain, depending on where and when you hunt. If the blind is constructed poorly, it will likely leak through after only a little while and start raining inside too. Who wants to hunt in that?

Stability

Along with weather considerations, most hunters leave their turkey hunting ground blinds in the field for at least a few weeks. This allows time to get the turkeys acclimated to seeing it and also includes the actual hunting time you spend in it. During those few weeks, it will experience high winds, falling branches, wildlife encounters, and probably more than you even want to think about (particularly if it’s a brand new blind). But that’s just how it goes. So if your turkey hunting blinds can’t stay securely anchored or hold up to the abuse they are going to face, they probably won’t last very long.

What’s the Best Turkey Blind?

So now that you know what to look for in your turkey hunting ground blinds, it’s time to actually go buy one. But is it possible to combine all the attributes discussed above into a single option?

Ground Blind Options

Ground blinds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and features. We pride ourselves in the fact that our blinds, tree stands, and hunting accessories are top notch quality, offering you the best products available for your hunting. We offer 3 Hub-style ground blinds, the Ravage, Redemption, and the VS360. We also offer up-in-comers in the world of both deer and turkey hunting, bale blinds. Both the Muddy Bale Blind and Muddy Portable Bale Blind offer the quality of blind needed for turkey hunting, in a better disguised package! All of the ground blinds feature a blackout interior with solid and durable exterior.

How to Use Ground Blinds

Once you get your turkey blind out of the box at home, it’s time to consider how you’re going to use it to be the most effective turkey hunter you can be. While you could simply throw your blind up in the woods and potentially kill a turkey that same day, there are some other things you should think about first.

First, it usually helps to set your turkey hunting ground blinds up early so the turkeys and other wildlife have time to get used to it before you hunt them. Some birds don’t seem to care about or even notice blinds when they’re put up that day, but some definitely do. If you’re going to go hunting at all, why wouldn’t you eliminate any possible chance of being unsuccessful before it happens? In this case, it’s a very easy solution. If you hunt on private land, simply set up your ground blinds at least a week or two before your turkey season starts. That way, the normally wary birds among the flock should have settled down again and grown used to seeing it there. When they start to expect it, you will be all set to sneak into your blind and hunt. Depending on how discerning your local turkeys are, you may even want to leave the windows open so they get used to seeing the black shapes. If you keep them closed and they’re suddenly open when you go hunting, it will have the same effect as not having a blind there in the first place. If you hunt on public land, you don’t have much of a choice. Most public lands don’t allow you to leave ground blinds overnight. And for the places that do allow it, you run the risk of someone else stealing or destroying it when you’re not there. But as long as you’re setting up near some quality gobbler hot spots, you’ll still probably get a shot at one.

Before you hunt in your new ground blinds for turkey hunting, you may also want to consider a few concealment tips. First, you’ll want to get your brand new blind dirty. Literally. Slop some mud or dirt up on the walls and rub it around. But the goal is not to create a layer that hides your camouflage and makes you look like an earthen mound. Instead, you should wipe a thin layer around and brush most of it back off. This simple act helps cover up the slight sheen from new blind materials once the sun shines on it. Have you seen what dust can do to a shiny new car? It makes it look dull, right? That’s exactly what you want for camouflaged turkey hunting ground blinds.

After the blind is in place and mudded up, you should also take just a few moments to brush it in. No matter if you’re in the deep and thick timber or within an open, grassy field, it helps to surround the blind with some other natural vegetation to hide its outline. Lay lightweight branches against the sides of the blind and even on top as long as they’re not too heavy. Tuck tufts of grass and branches into any exterior crevices or around the windows. The whole idea is to make it blend in with the surrounding vegetation as much as possible, and nothing can help do that better than using some of that natural vegetation.

Using Turkey Hunting Ground Blinds This Spring

If any of this resonates with you, it’s probably time you start looking at adding a hunting blind to your turkey hunting gear. Using a blind, especially on turkeys, offers you a much better chance of success in the field; unless you choose a blind that falls short in the features we mentioned above. But if you pick a high-quality version that puts hunters’ interests first, you’ll wonder how you ever hunted without one before.

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy Outdoors

Should You Be Bow Hunting Deer in Farm Country?

How Does Bow Hunting Deer in Agricultural Areas Rank?

Imagine a hunter sitting in a tree stand bow hunting deer. As the hunter perches above a field edge, you can see deer after deer entering a beautiful soybean field. The deer happily graze the last few green leaves as harvest season approaches and the beans are drying out. Among the herd, a giant velvet buck

raises his head, oblivious to the hunter only 30 yards away. Everyone who watches outdoor television can probably relate to this familiar scene. For those who don’t have access to agricultural land, it’s likely a dream to be in this situation. What is it about big “farm country bucks” that holds our imagination so much?

Before we get into that discussion, let’s define what we’re talking about. Agricultural areas are very different than wooded wilderness areas. For the purposes of this article, we’ll define farm country as anywhere where agriculture makes up at least half of the land use. That means lots of human disturbance on the landscape, and lots of open areas. Compare that to remote, densely forested wilderness areas, and bow hunting for whitetail deer is a whole different ballgame. So why is hunting farmland so appealing and are there any down sides to it?

Challenges of Bow Hunting Deer in Farm Country 

One of the best things about hunting whitetails in agricultural areas is also one of the hardest parts. Each year, there is a seasonal abundance of food. During the summer and early fall, deer can graze away at corn, soybeans, or hayfields until they’re absolutely full. This can make patterning bucks a little difficult when there is similar quality food everywhere. Similarly, once harvest season comes and farmers head to the fields, all of this food disappears almost overnight. Thousands of acres of high-quality, carbohydrate and protein-packed crops literally turn into bare soil and wide-open exposures. At this point, usually in late fall, bow hunting deer can get really hard without an alternate source of food around. Whitetails still have to eat. In fact, rut-weary bucks need a major amount of calories to gain back some weight and make it through the winter, so they will seek food out wherever they can.

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy Outdoors

Another issue with hunting farmland whitetails is access. Many public hunting lands consist of forested tracts or open grassy areas. But there are very few publicly-available agricultural properties. Some state agencies will plant food plots for deer and other wildlife, but it’s definitely not the norm in most places. So unless your family owns some crop land or you have some generous relatives or friends, you’ll likely have to lease a property or get permission from a land owner to hunt. Depending on where you live, this could be tricky.

One other challenge with farm country bucks is stealth. Because crop land is so open and exposed, having some variety of tree cover or topography is important for bow hunting deer. Without that kind of cover, it can be hard to sneak into and out of tree stands without deer spooking in every direction. For example, you might be able to sneak into tree stands for bow hunting on a corn field in the afternoon. But try sneaking back out in the evening with eyes watching you from potentially every direction. All you’ll accomplish is educating the deer herd on your intentions. And that definitely won’t help you out.

Rewards of Bow Hunting Deer in These Areas 

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy OutdoorsThough we’ve touched on the potential setbacks you could have with farmland whitetail archery hunting, there are a lot of rewards with it too. As we already mentioned, deer in these farmed areas have an amazing seasonal abundance of calories. Row crops like corn and soybeans are most commonly planted in these areas, but longer-lasting alfalfa/clover hay fields also provide a lot of forage throughout the year. They use these foods to grow larger bodies and antlers than many other deer across the country. That’s why states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois have consistently high entries into the Pope and Young records. And if you’re hunting deer in agricultural areas, you could stand a chance at joining this crowd.

Another nice thing about bow hunting deer in these areas is that the open exposures allow us to keep an eye on the deer herd throughout the summer. Why is that important? Well, many bucks form summer bachelor buck groups and travel together often. If you get a bachelor group of bucks on your property, you can pattern them and keep tabs on their activities from a distance (say, from a county road using a spotting scope). If your bow season starts early enough, you just might be able to take advantage of this long-distance deer scouting to put you within bow range of a good buck. This isn’t an option in wooded areas with no main focal feeding point. Of course, once the corn gets tall enough even in farm country, this approach is no longer possible. So use it while you can.

How to Hunt Deer in Farm Country 

Now that we’ve talked about the ups and downs of hunting bucks in the country, let’s discuss how you could do it this fall. The first thing you’ll need to do is gain access to hunt a farm property. This process should not be taken lightly. First, spend some time looking for potential areas on an aerial map to find farms that could be good to hunt. Look for promising bedding cover adjacent to hidden farm fields or anything that might set up for a successful bow hunt. Later on, you can get more specific about where to hunt deer on a smaller scale. Then get yourself a plat book and contact the land owner. See if you could arrange to meet them in person so you’re not just a voice on the phone.

As far as how to ask someone to hunt on their land, it’s a delicate process. Be aware that most farmers have heard about a hundred different pitches and they’ve maybe even had some bad experiences with hunters. So don’t be surprised to get far more “no” responses than “yes,” and don’t take it personally. If they say no, simply thank them for their time and be courteous. As with anything in life, authenticity and respect make a difference. If you’re very respectful to them and perhaps even offer to trade some chores or venison meat for the privilege to hunt on their farm, you will stand a better chance at getting to a “yes” as fast as possible. From that point on, make sure you do whatever you say you’re going to do. Nurture the relationship by extending a helping hand or sending a card on Christmas. It will help you stand out.

As much as you’re able to, take some time and scout the property from a good vantage point over the summer. Whether it’s from a road, a hayloft, or in an observation tree stand, glass the fields with binoculars or a spotting scope in the evening to find out where the bucks are entering to feed. Try to piece together a pattern from their activities and try not to enter the woods until you absolutely have to. While deer in farm country are fairly used to tractors and four wheelers driving by, they still get very suspicious when a human walks through their territory on foot. Another way to keep tabs on the herd to know where to hunt deer is to use trail cameras on the field fringes. Be sure to only check them during the day when they are unlikely to be nearby, and pay special attention to scent control to hide your presence. If there are no suitable trees, such as in a hedge row, use the dual camera ground mount to cover a couple directions.

Hopefully by the time archery season comes, you’ll have developed a hunch as to where to hunt deer on the farm. The next step is to find a location where you could hunt them without them knowing you’re there. Wooded corners (outside or inside) bordering agricultural fields, hedgerows with some mature trees, or isolated forest islands are all good deer hunting stand locations you might want to try. If the landowner allows, using box blinds for deer hunting is a great way to stay comfortable.

should you be bow hunting deer in farm country | Muddy OutdoorsBut the single biggest predictor of success is how hidden you can stay throughout the season. If you notice that the deer aren’t traveling where you can hunt them, you shouldn’t just toss your bow hunting deer stands up and hope for the best. Instead, you need to get creative. For example, a ground blind covered in corn stalks and tucked into the rows can become nearly invisible. Make sure you’re overlooking a cut portion or you won’t have much of a shot available. Or an especially deadly tactic for hayfields is to use a hay bale blind that’s hidden amongst other round bales. After sneaking into one of these in the afternoon, you can wait in concealment until the deer pass by your location.

And as we mentioned above, even farm properties can become barren places after harvest season. Suddenly the typically larger deer herd has to compete for far fewer available calories. For that reason, either planting a food plot or negotiating with the farmer to leave some row crops standing are both beneficial. They concentrate deer in one area and can drastically improve your odds of putting a buck on the ground.

Should You Bow Hunt Deer on the Farm? 

If you can find a good property in “farm country” with a willing landowner, you should definitely try hunting it at least once. There are challenges, as with any hunting. But the potential reward of seeing a mature and healthy “corn-fed” buck that could land in the record books far outweighs the challenges with hunting them.

tips for setting up ground blinds under roosted turkeys | Muddy Outdoors

Tips For Setting Up Ground Blinds Under Roosted Birds

Turkey Hunting With Ground Blinds | Getting Close To The Roost

The action packed hunts of the spring that draw us into the woods will soon be over. The cool rain of spring is giving way to the heat of summer, and with it turkey season will come to a close. While some states are just getting through their first week of turkey season, some turkey hunters have checked out completely. For those still in the game, some much needed tips will be supplied to end your frustrations and save your turkey hunting. By now, if your still turkey hunting you might be getting discouraged. Many hunters tap out in May, it’s simply too late in the season they think, but they couldn’t be more wrong. May is a perfect opportunity to break open the ground blind, get the decoys out one last time, and experience the last of the beautiful spring mornings. Use these tips to set up your ground blinds under the roosted turkeys, and come out of spring one beard and fan richer!

Ground Blind Hunting Tips for Turkey Hunting | Buck Advisors
(Video)- Whether it’s ground blinds, box blinds, or some sticks and branches thrown together, hunting blinds are excellent tools for hunting. When it comes to turkey hunting it’s all about getting them in the correct place.

Roosting Turkeys

Late spring birds have been heart broke, many hens have used them, and left them and this can present to you some extraordinarily lonesome Toms. Getting close to their roost and presenting a lonesome hen at first light can and is one of the best ways to kill a gobbler. The trick is, getting a near exact location on the bird the night before.

Roosting birds can be easy, or tricky depending on the situation. Some are easily roosted with a owl, crow, or pileated woodpecker call. Other birds that are surrounded by crows, owls, and woodpeckers daily, hourly, and even minutely ( if that’s even a thing?) will not sound off no matter what you throw at them, even with the last ditch effort of a coyote howl. These birds require much more education to roost. You literally need to be their stalker…follow them, learn what they do, and be relentless. Knowing where they come from, and where they are going gets you the general area. Two nights preferably, if not, the night before you hunt grab some camouflage and sit quietly on that ridge, section of tall trees, or whatever the area is that you think they are roosting. Pay attention as the sun goes down, listen and look for any sign of flight up to the roost and try and pinpoint the bird’s location.

Getting A Ground Blind Under Roosted Turkeys

After you have pinpointed the birds go in cautiously. As a rule of thumb, a lot of hunters will try and get within 100 yards of the roost location. If the situation allows sneak in quietly and set up your ground blind, one window facing towards the birds with all other windows closed. It also helps , if it’s two nights before, to clear a small path so you can be silent on the way to the blind, walking with no lights is best but not at the risk of snapping and tripping on every stick in your way.

Another quick tip for you to remember while roosting the birds and setting up your ground blind under them is to place your chairs, decoys, and whatever else you can into the blind to make the next morning as effort free as possible.

When the Plan Comes Together

The morning of the hunt it’s important to wear all black. These late season birds have been through the ringer most likely. Their buds have been blasted, they themselves may be missing a couple feathers. Be sure to wear solid black long-sleeved shirt, hat, and face paint or facemask. That morning again sneak into the blind, set your decoys up, get settled in and start with some very soft yelps to simulate a hen on the roost. If available simulate the fly down with a cackle and wing sounds. This aspect of realism will notify the gobblers that there is a hen on the ground, and close! Once you hear the gobbler fly down, listen to the direction and volume of the gobble to determine if they are heading your way or going away from you. If they are heading away, hit them with some excited cuts and yelps to get them fired up. In a perfect situation and everything goes according to plan your hunt should look something like this…

Ground Blind Tactics | Success During Spring Turkey Hunting
(Video) Turkey season has finally arrived in the Midwest! Join The Buck Advisors’ Weston Schrank and his dad for a successful spring turkey hunt after they set up a ground blind on roosted birds on a small 40 acre property in Indiana!

Which Ground Blind Is Right For You?

Turkey hunting success out of a ground blind is dependent on getting the right blind. Some blinds just don’t cut it, they are too small, not dark enough of the inside, not weather resistant, or simply just don’t function well enough for a turkey hunt, especially bow hunting or filming your hunt out of a ground blind. When it comes to ground blinds for turkey hunting space, function, and overall quality and construction with thought of the hunter is needed. Check out these top hunting blinds for turkey hunting.

  1. The Bale Blindtips for setting up ground blinds under roosted turkeys Muddy Outdoorsbale blinds are growing more and more popular, and for good reason! Space, shooting windows, and overall comfort with wildlife make this a great ground blind to set in for turkey hunting.-64” Wide x 27” Tall Waterfowl Drop Down Window, Easy One-Hand Operation-Large Zippered Door with Window
    -4 Windows 6” Wide x 16” Tall
    -6 Windows 12” Wide x 16” Tall
    -Windows are reversible, with Burlap on One Side and Black on the Other; Slide Easily on Bungees
    -Bottom Wind Flap
  2. VS360 – Featured in the above videos, the VS360 is quickly becoming well known for a great deer and turkey hunting blind with its window design and function.Product Features
    -Sets up in Seconds!tips for setting up ground blinds under roosted turkeys | Muddy Outdoors
    -Sliding Shoot-Through Mesh Over All Windows for 360° Viewing & Shooting
    -9 Steel Stakes with Interior Stake Pocket
    -Over-Sized Deluxe Carry Bag Included
    -Sliding, Shoot-Through Mesh Camouflage Offers Endless Window Configuration
  3. The Muddy Redemption – the redemption ground blind with its quick set hub-style PRODUCT FEATURES
    -Sets up in Seconds!
    -Extra Wide V-Shaped Entrance
    -2 Interior Gear Pockets
    -9 Steel Stakes with Interior Stake Pocket
    -Silent, One-Hand Release ground blind system is another hub-style blind make for a popular turkey hunting and deer hunting ground blind.Hooks for Window Adjustmentstips for setting up ground blinds under roosted turkeys | Muddy Outdoors
    -Reversible Shooting Windows; Black Side Facing in or Facing Out
    -Corner Shelves for Access to Gear
    -Exterior Covered with Soft, Noise-Free Material
    -Over-Sized Deluxe Carry Bag Included

Again, many hunters tap out in May, but you now know it is a perfect opportunity to break open the ground blind, get the decoys out one last time, and experience the last of the beautiful spring mornings. Use these tips to set up your ground blinds under the roosted turkeys, and come out of spring one beard and fan richer!

4 mistakes bow hunters make when turkey hunting from a ground blind | Muddy Outdoors

4 Mistakes Bow Hunters Make When Turkey Hunting From A Ground Blind

Mistakes Not to Make While Turkey Hunting Out of a Ground Blind with a Bow

Bow hunting turkeys is a hot topic, but every article you read on the topic will tell you about the struggles and challenges of turkey hunting with a bow and how to beat it. While it is a challenge, bow hunters are actively seeking it, so they do not need to know exactly what the challenges are, instead some tips on what to remember when hunting would be more useful. When it comes to bow hunting turkeys out of a ground blind 4 mistakes are always made. Take not of these mistakes and go into your ground blind prepared this spring!

Spring Turkey Hunting From A Ground Blind With A Bow | Her Quest
(Video) Each and every year, turkey hunters take to the woods with their bows. This year The Buck Advisors’ Jessica Johnson attempts the challenge of bow hunting turkeys, and takes to the blind with her bow in hopes of sticking her first turkey.

These 4 mistakes made by bow hunter’s turkey hunting out of ground blinds are some common sense slip-ups but without being said, they will go unnoticed.

Mistake 1: Not Wearing Black in the Ground Blind

You know it, we know it, and every other bow hunter out there knows it…the draw is the most critical part of hunting any species. While you can remain perfectly still while hunting deer or turkey hunting, when the time comes for the shot you have to draw the bow back and this is when you get caught. Both deer and turkey have the uncanny ability to pick out the slightest movement. When your heart is pounding it can be difficult to pull back creating even more movement and struggle. While you are turkey hunting out of a ground blind one of the most important things you can do is wear black! Black hoodie, black gloves, and a black facemask or face paint. In a well built and functional ground blind the interior should deprive light, and with black on, virtually all movement inside the blind will be eliminated. This spring do not go turkey hunting in camouflage in your blind. Normal camo clothes are too bright in a blind.

Mistake 2: Not Getting a Big Enough Hunting Blind

This happens a lot when it comes to turkey hunting from a ground blind. You walk into a Bass Pro Shops looking for ground blinds, and you see the cheapest pop up edition ground blind. It’s a minimal investment, but you get what you buy! Upon taking it out in the field it does not take long to discover the blind is barely big enough to draw your bow back, put your film equipment in, or even take a youth hunter in. Getting a big ground blind that is sturdy is key for turkey hunting with a bow, taking youth hunters out turkey hunting, or filming your own hunt.

Mistake 3: Not Drawing at the Right Time

This goes for any and all turkey or deer bow hunters. Not picking out the opportune moment to draw and forcing the hunt your way will be futile. Even with wearing black, in a well-built blacked out ground blind, and only minimal light coming through one window a turkey still seems to inevitably see some sort of movement if its looking your way. Instead of forcing the issue, draw at the appropriate moment. Most turkey hunts have such moments. When the gobbler is committed to the decoy, his fan block his view, when they are feeding, or multiple gobblers are breeding/fighting. Drawing at these moments totally eliminates the chance a gobbler spots you. But still be cautious of observant hens that are trying to figure out the decoys and your blind. Keep this the back of your mind so it becomes instinct to only draw at the opportune instant in the seconds leading up to the shot.

Mistake 4: Not Practicing Shooting Your Bow Out of a Ground Blind Enough

While you might practice every summer before deer season and periodically through deer season chances are you haven’t picked up the bow since about January or February, right? Even on the off chance you have been practicing, it’s almost a guarantee it was not from a sitting position from inside the ground blind. The practice up to this point was made standing up in a perfect archery position in your backyard. This really doesn’t help simulate the actual scenario of bow hunting turkeys out of a ground blind. Instead this spring take your ground blind seat, set it inside your ground blind, and practice shooting at a turkey target or similarly sized block with turkey vitals. This will do several things for you. One, get you accustomed to sitting down and shooting, which is very different than standing up. Two, get you aware and watching to see if you will hit the ground blind on the draw or hit it with your arrow while shooting. Finally, shooting out of a ground blind at a turkey target will get your mind around where to shoot a turkey with a bow and where the vitals will be in different positions.

4 mistakes bow hunters make when turkey hunting from a ground blind | Muddy OutdoorsThese are several mistake bow hunters make when turkey hunting out of ground blinds. Many of these problems can simply be solved with starting with your basics and purchasing a ground blind that takes these mistakes and considerations into mind. A ground blind with a black interior, plenty of room for a bow hunter, and something that functions well with bow hunting turkeys is needed. Getting the right blind, and taking a conscious effort to avoid these 4 mistakes will have you being one of the many successful turkey hunters this spring.

Tips for bow hunting turkeys out of ground binds | Muddy Outdoors

Ground Blinds | Tips for Turkey Hunting With a Bow

Bow Hunting Turkeys from a Ground Blind

Bow hunting any game is making a commitment to a challenge in itself. Whether its deer, other big game, or turkeys, taking a bow to the field can be a humbling experience and with time can become the only hunting you take part in. Bow hunting turkeys is one of these challenges. Why some may have mastered turkey hunting, one thing is undeniable, drawing on a turkey is the biggest challenge. Multiple toms, or vigilant hens become major problems for turkey hunters. The most dreaded part is just trying to draw with all of those eyes around, but there are some tips such as using ground blinds that can help you be successful. Here are some tips to make hunting turkeys with a bow a little easier with ground blinds.

Bow Hunting Turkeys With Ground Blinds | Early Season Toms
(Video) Trophy Pursuit staff has some luck with early season gobblers. Several turkeys killed with bows out of Muddy ground blinds.

Ground Blind Selection

Ground blinds make turkey hunting easier. This is an extraordinary advantage when it comes to bow hunting. The biggest problem turkey hunters will run into when hunting out of a ground blind is selecting and hunting out of the wrong type. Face it, some blinds were just not made for bow hunters, they are small, with few windows, and everything seems to be in the way. Some of these blinds also don’t take into consideration what a bow hunter truly needs out of a ground blind for turkeys. What is needed, everything focused on the most important part…the draw.

  • Space- the biggest thing that bow hunters run into is enough space to draw. A ground blind needs to have enough room to bring up the bow, draw, hold, and swivel on for moving targets and an accurate shot. If your back arm is brushing against the blind, or limbs are touching the roof, or broadhead is catching just beneath the window there is a significant problem. A big blind, enough for multiple people, bow hunters, and even some extra gear like camera equipment would look something like The Bale Blind or VS360 Ground Blind by Muddy. These blinds are wide, tall, and perfect for bow hunting turkeys.

  • Invisible Draw- A blind that has enough windows to kill a bird out of it, but at the same time can provide a dark, flat black interior to make anything inside disappear, is desirable. Wearing dark clothing and either a black facemask, or black face paint, even a black bow all helps being inside a blind. Drawing inside the blind under the low light makes it near impossible for the keen eyes of a turkey to spot.

Tips for bow hunting turkeys out of ground binds | Muddy Outdoors

  • Comfort- If you have hunted out of a ground blinds before, especially one not made with requirements for bow hunting, you have been in some uncomfortable situations. With turkey or deer hunting out of ground blinds, finding a seat that is the perfect height to stay hidden but also be able to see out of the blind and draw out of is hard to find. Pair these restraints with the additional requirement for a seat that is completely silent, and you might as well just kneel on the ground. A big comfortable ground blind, with the addition of Muddy’s Swivel-Ease Ground Blind Seat or Folding Tripod Ground Seat
Bow Hunting Turkeys | Turkey Raw Double Muddy
(Video) Raw video footage of bow hunting turkeys. A double with multiple camera angles is caught on film by the trophy pursuit team out of a Muddy ground blind.

Bow Hunting Tips

Getting the right ground blind solves a lot of the problems and challenges of bow hunting turkeys. It conceals your draw, it gives you time to make a great shot, and it allows you to concentrate on every aspect of the hunt. Other than this, take the tips that you just witnessed from the Trophy Pursuit team. Use a quality broadhead, draw when the birds fan is blocking his view, and be sure to take your time with the shot. Bow hunting turkeys can be tough, but the right ground blind can make this challenge not only successful but twice as enjoyable.

How to set up a youth turkey hunt with ground blind | Muddy Outdoors

Ground Blinds | How to Set Up a Turkey Hunt for Youth Hunters

How to Set Up a Youth Turkey Hunt with Ground Blinds

Turkey hunting is a passion that is instilled in nearly every hunter come spring. Part of our responsibility as passionate hunters and conservationist should be bringing up the ranks with youth hunters. While taking youth hunters out hunting is nothing new to your ears, some tips may be useful. Here are some tips on how to set up a turkey hunt for youth hunters using ground blinds.

Taking youth hunting can be somewhat difficult, especially if you are feeling the pressure to make an incredibly good impression on them to make it stick. Commonly deer hunting is not where you want to start this process as it can be long, boring at times, and cold. Small game hunting is often the first hunt a youth can experience with minimal time spent and a lot of success. Turkey hunting is another great start for youth hunters. A normally quick hunt, in the comfort of a ground blind, and a unique heart thumping moment with a large bird gobbling his head off can be unforgettable for a youth hunter.

Youth Turkey Hunting Success
(Video)- Join Trophy Pursuit for some action packed youth turkey hunts in Iowa and Missouri. Shotguns, big ground blinds, turkey decoys, cameras, dead turkeys and some happy youth hunters make for an incredible episode.

Scouting

Like any turkey hunt scouting before you take a youth hunter out is critical. Scouting before the youth turkey season opens and making sure you find birds to hunt is the first step you should take. Find out where the gobblers roost, where the hens will feed, and which direction and pattern the birds work through routinely. Using trail cameras to scout for gobblers is also a technique that should be in use before a youth hunt. Gathering all this information will give you the perfect ambush spot to set a ground blind for the crew going out opening morning.

Ground Blind and Turkey Decoy Set Up

When it comes to youth hunter’s movement and focus is a very real struggle. Movement doesn’t work with turkeys so hunting from a ground blind is a must. While any ground blind might work for you when you solo hunt turkeys, ground blinds have requirements for turkey hunting with youth for the best experience.

  • Inconspicuous-A good hunting blind will be able to blend into the setting it is placed. Besides the obvious camo pattern, ground blinds have recently shift in the thought and ideal. The normal square ground blinds are now joined by popularity growing Bale Blinds. The bale blinds that are now available, create a perfect solution for certain turkey hunting situations, especially youth hunting.
  • Space-When it comes to turkey hunting with youth hunters, more space is better in a ground blind. Ground blinds with enough space for multiple hunters, will result in a fun and successful turkey hunt. A blind with ample room, a width around 64+ inches, is ideal. Youth hunters need space, an early morning nap, enough room for two or three chairs, and room for gear. The bigger the better.
  • Windows-This one’s obvious, the more windows, the more shooting angle and opportunities the youth hunter gets. A ground blind with multiple windows that allows a youth hunter to witness the hunt out of more than a tiny square window is ideal.
  • Dark Interior-Staying hidden inside the blind is a must for turkey hunting, especially with a squirming youth hunter inside. A flat black interior on a bind creates the ability to be invisible inside it when hunters also wear black.

How to set up a youth turkey hunt with ground blind | Muddy Outdoors

When setting up a turkey hunt for youth, place the ground blind, keep only the front window facing the decoys open, closing up the surrounding windows will restrict the light that’s coming into the blind, and get rid of any silhouettes. When hunting out of a blind, do not wear your normal camo pattern. Wear a black top, black hat, and apply face paint to darken your face, this will virtually eliminate any chance the birds see movement in the blind. Face paint also is fun for youth hunters so it’s not a bad idea that is purposeful. Set the turkey decoys up about 10 -20 yards away from the blind. Close birds are not desired, 20-30 yards is perfect for a youth hunter with a shotgun.

Other Considerations

The obvious considerations when taking youth hunting is safety first. This should go without saying that practicing firearm safety and being observant to potential other hunters is a must. Also be sure t make it fun. This turkey hunting trip won’t stick if it’s not fun. Being too serious, or too hard on a missed shot opportunity can spoil it fast. Get a spacious ground blind, bring some snacks, break out the face paint, take pictures, grab a video camera, and have fun every minute of the hunt.

Taking a youth hunter out turkey hunting should be on all of our list this spring. Study up on how to set up a youth turkey hunt and get a set of spurs in a young kids hands.

Tree Stands and Hunting Blinds Preparing for Next Season | Muddy Outdoors

Tree Stands and Ground Blinds | Essential Preparation for Next Season

Spring Maintenance for Deer Tree Stands and Portable Ground Blinds

Hunting stand and blind maintenance is an afterthought for most hunters after the completion of a long deer season. Hunters are often preparing for spring gobbler or dusting off their trout rods for opening day in anticipation of warming spring weather. Spring, however, is an ideal time of year for revisiting your hunting spot and either removing or inspecting your tree stands. Take this break between outdoor activities to return to your tree stand locations, pull and/or inspect stands or prepare your pop-up ground blinds for turkey season or storage until next deer season.

Pulling Portable Tree Stands

The first thought before engaging in any activity involving hunting stands should be safety. Always approach climbing into your stand the same way, whether for a day long hunt or spring removal, safety first using proper safety belts and harnesses and general awareness on what you are about to do. Don’t take anything for granted, even ladder tree stands have risks associated with climbing and removal.

Portable stands, like hang-on tree stands and ladder tree stands, are best maintained by removing them after each hunting season. Not only does pulling your tree stands reduce weathering effects from temperature and precipitation but in some states it is illegal to keep your hunting stands on public grounds after each season. Having the stand on the ground gives you the opportunity to completely evaluate and repair all aspects of your stand and tree stand accessories such as climbing sticks or shooting rails.

Tree Stands and Hunting Blinds Preparing for Next Season | Muddy Outdoors

Maintenance Activities

  • Visually inspect your tree stands for signs of metal fatigue like stress cracks, especially in older stands.
  • Check each nut and bolt, tighten (or replace if necessary) any that may have loosen from use.
  • Proactively fight rust by priming and repainting areas showing signs of rust or parts that have been nicked or scratched from use to prevent further damage.
  • Examine cables, straps and pins for wear. Replace stand straps as needed or based on manufacturer recommendations, which is typically every two years.
  • Care for seats by checking for rips or tears. Cushioned seats are notorious for animal damage and wear faster than unpadded nylon seats.
  • Clean dirt and debris from climbing sticks, shooting rails or other accessories before storing.
  • Check safety systems for wear. Most harnesses have a lifespan of 5 years and should be replaced if older or if showing signs of wear that may impact performance.

Although safety is the most important reason for checking your hunting tree stands, maintaining stands also helps to improve your hunting experience. Rusty platforms and ladders along with loose bolts create noise that could be the difference between a successful hunt and one that sees your trophy running the other way as you move for a shot. Squeaks and other noises can be detected in stand and noted or attach your stand a few feet up in a tree at home. Move around your platform, lift the seat up and down and use the shooting rail to identify areas of noise and treat with a lubricant where applicable.

Parts that need replaced should be done with replacement parts from the manufacturer to preserve operating capability. Certain parts have specific specifications for their use and are designed for safety, using other parts may reduce safety or stand performance. Even the best hunting tree stands have a life span. Repairs can only go so far, know when a stand has exceeded its life, retire it and purchase a new one.

Neglecting Permanent Hunting Tree Stands

We all have it, our favorite deer hunting tree stand in that perfect location that you hunt year after year. Or perhaps it is a tried and true permanent stand along a field edge. Unlike portable tree stands, these stands stay out year round and often get overlooked when it comes to maintenance yet they still require upkeep to ensure safe hunts. Visually inspect for sturdiness on ladders or steps, rust on metal platforms, missing or loose bolts at connection points or worn strap on trees. Store any seats to prevent weathering or animal damage and loosen straps to allow for tree growth over the course of the growing season. Note any maintenance issues, acquire replacement parts and repair as needed so each stand is prepared for the start of next season. It is also a good idea to re-check permanent hunting stands prior to hunting the fall season to tighten straps and confirm the stand is safe and ready for your next hunt.

Ground Blind Preparation

Blinds like The Redemption Ground Blind by Muddy Outdoors are becoming more and more popular each season with hunters. Although constructed of durable, long lasting fabric these modern hunting implements still require care after each season and are often overlooked. Check tie down ropes as well as the shell itself for any signs of wear. Deer only blinds should be cleaned with a damp rag to remove dirt and grim from outdoor exposure and stored in the carry bag until next season. Prepare those that will be used in spring turkey by wiping down and checking that internal frames are fully functional.

Muddy Outdoors | Redemption Ground Blind Hub Style Set Up
(Video)- The Redemption Ground Blind by Muddy Outdoors is constructed with durable, long lasting fabric, and has extremely easy set up for reliable and portable use.

Secondary Benefits to Stand Maintenance

Unless you will be pulling your stand and opting for a new setup in the coming season, spring can be an opportunity to enhance your hunting location. The lack of vegetation gives you the same prospective you will see hunting in the fall. Take advantage and trim existing shooting lanes or create new ones by removing branches or small trees that may impeed future shots. If a portable hunting blind is more to your liking, make sure setup locations are free of debris and clear shots are available from all shooting windows. Be sure to preserve a balance between shooting lanes and concealment. Completing these activities in the spring also eliminates additional work, scent and disturbance in the critical weeks leading up to deer season. All that is left is a few snips on any new growth when you return to hang your stand or place your blind.

Tree Stands and Hunting Blinds Preparing for Next Season | Muddy OutdoorsShooting lanes are important but don’t forget about entry and exit points to your hunting spot. While pulling you stand or checking your set location, trim your trails. Clear fallen branches from winter and widen trails to avoid scent and noise that may spook game as you enter and exit during hunting season.

Reflect on the past season and determine if that tree or blind location is the best spot for success. Perhaps there is a better tree or setup based on your hunting experiences last season. Spring gives you the flexibility to analyze slowly and make decisions without the added pressure of deer season approaching and the stress of late summer heat and creepy crawlers.

Tree stands and hunting blinds are a tool and like any tool they require maintenance to perform as designed. Post season, spring-time is a great opportunity to get into the woods again. Revisit you hunting stand locations to remove and maintain your portable stands, check your permanent stands, care for blinds and spruce up your hunting locations, all in preparation for future successful and safe hunts.