This guide assembles all of the expert tips and hints about what to do to get the most out of your ground blind and presents them in an easy to read and understand format. The main focus is on using blinds for deer hunting, although we also take a look at layout blinds for hunting waterfowl too.
In some cases it may not be possible to hunt using a treestand. The landscape may not include a stand of trees that suit the inclusion of a stand. It may just turn out that a blind on the ground is the only option, but it’s not an option that is necessarily a bad one.
Getting the positioning right for you blind is an important step and can itself be an art form. You can get the blind placed along a travel corridor or at a known feed place but if you haven’t blended into the surroundings or set it up to cater for the prevailing winds it might all be for nought.
Putting a new object in the deer’s territory is going to be noticed and it is something they will be suspicious of until they have confirmed it is not a threat. If you can get it placed so that it is blended into the environment it may not even notice it at all.
Ground Blind Hunting Tips and Tricks
No matter whether you are deer hunting, duck hunting or going after big game, there are a number of different tricks you should familiarize yourself with. Any of the tips described below could mean a far more successful hunt.
- Start In the Pre-Season
- Set Up Early
- Positioning Is Crucial
- Brush In the Blind
- Prepare Your Blind
- Ensure A Wide Field of View
- Remove any Scent from the Blind
- Remain Undetected Inside the Blind
Each of the tips that have been pointed above deserve a little more attention and explanation so we have expanded a little further on the detail below.
Doing your homework before hunting season is going to pay big dividends later. Placing your blind at the edge of a wide open field is very unlikely to be an effective strategy.
Scouting the land where the deer live will allow you to understand the travel corridors they favor as they move between feeding and bedding areas. If you can find yourself a spot that can be well blended where the mature deer frequent to set up your blind in the coming season you are well on the way to success.
Remember that habits can change from one season to the next as food sources change or predators move around. Get to know the movements and habits of the deer in the area, either firsthand or with the use of a trail camera or two.
Don’t think you’re fooling the whitetail when you place your blind in its new spot. They know there is something foreign in their territory and they’re going to avoid it while it is new.
At the very least try to put your blind in place a couple of weeks before you plan on using it. Give the deer time to become used to the new object and the smells that go with it.
If you absolutely can’t go in ahead of time, try your best to blend it in with the surroundings. Well inside the tree line will give you the greatest level of concealment. Good blind placement should still mean the deer will still pass right by the front of the blind.
In fact the position of your ground blind is very important. And not just because you need to be in a position where you will get clear access to your deer. There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when working out where best to place the blind.
It is not a wise choice to face the east. This will mean that you are looking directly into the morning sun. Important pieces of equipment will be affected such as the scope or your range finder. Plus it will be more difficult to see the deer due to poor light levels below the treeline.
When working out the actual position of the blind you should be looking for spots where you can naturally conceal it. Try to make your blind a part of the landscape. This means not only placing the blind in among foliage and undergrowth but also placing as many branches, twigs and leafy material on and around it.
In fact, some ground blinds are designed with strap loops or cords where you can stick small branches or twigs to help make the blind disappear.
Avoid skylining the blind. This is where the outline of the blind can be clearly seen and tend to stand out.
It's going to take some work but it will definitely be worth it over the longer term.
From the moment you wake you should be setting up your blind for the day’s hunting ahead. Equipment should already have been set up in the spot where they will be used.
The windows and mesh should be put in the configuration you are expecting to use when hunting. You don’t need to expose yourself with too much light getting into the blind by rolling back the window coverings. But you could slightly open windows that are not facing the trail.
Get your rifle or bow propped and ready and the chair placed and with it, your shooting stick, heater, small table and the like. All of them, along with your pack, should be within easy reaching distance to where you are waiting.
A mistake that is common when using a ground blind is the hunter sets up in a position that offers limited visibility and only a single shooting lane.
You don’t want to be in a position where you are surprised by the sudden appearance of a deer that is then gone before you have time to pick up your rifle or bow.
Ensure that your blind site will allow you to see a deer moving along a trail for a period of time before it comes time to take action. This will give you time to identify shooting lanes and check out the deer before shooting.
Choosing a feeding area is a good idea because this will give you a greater chance of seeing does and, eventually, a buck or two. A well managed food plot or high-protein feed in an agricultural field is going to attract a lot of deer and this wide open space will also offer you plenty of shooting options.
Don’t forget that the material of the blind has the capability of holding the scent of its surroundings. This means that if the blind has been stored away in the home for ten months it is going to come out smelling of the home.
One of your preparatory steps before you place the blind is to make it scent-free. Do this by spraying it with a scent-eliminating spray.
Once the blind has been given a good spray it still needs to be aired out to help any mustiness and other odors to dissipate. Leaving the blind out for a couple of weeks before it is going to be used is going to play a big part in ridding it of human scent.
One of the most crucial tips you want to take notice of is to do everything you possibly can to remain unseen whilst inside the blind.
It is for this reason that you should buy a ground blind that has a matte black finish. By wearing black clothing when inside the blind and minimizing movement you should remain unseen.
When you move your movements should be slow and measured. Most of the windows should be closed to maintain the darkness inside.
With a black interior, black clothing and little or no movement inside the blind you stand a much better chance of not being seen by a deer.
What To Look For In A Ground Blind
Ground blinds are not made the same. They are designed to meet specific hunting needs depending on what you are hunting – deer or waterfowl, for example. The type of blind you need may also be determined by your choice of weapon – rifle or bow.
The hub design has quickly grown in popularity because they are quick to set up and take down. They are also light but still rigidly constructed and are available in a number of different configurations.
You really want to get a blind that has a matte black finish on the interior walls. This, in combination with black clothing, will give you a far greater chance of being unseen while inside the blind.
Brushing in is strongly recommended and the better ground blinds will come with loops and straps that will allow you to tuck branches and foliage to aid camouflage.
Multiple windows is also a big factor and front windows that offer a wide field of view will be the most useful design. They should all be able to be covered over and being able to deploy the shades single-handedly and silently should be another feature to look for.
If you are a bowhunter your requirements are going to be a little different to the rifle hunter. The size of the blind is going to be an important consideration because you will need to be able to stand and have the room to draw the bow without making a sound. The Primos Hunting Double Bull Deluxe Ground Blind provides you with the perfect amount of room for bowhunting.
For some people comfort is a key consideration and whether or not the blind is waterproof is a an important factor. A waterproof ground blind is going to cost a little more but for if you are going to be spending many hours sitting and waiting, the fact that your blind will protect you completely from the elements will make the difference between buying one over the other.
Bow Hunting Out of a Ground Blind
The type of hunting you do will change the way you set up and use your ground blind. A bow hunter has a few specific things to take into account compared to those hunting with a rifle.
If you are going to be bow hunting, shooting distances are going to be an important consideration. You are going to have to get closer to your target and that means the concealment of your blind is going to have to be better.
You should also make sure the deer don’t know you’re in the blind. Noise and scent control is going to be of great importance for the bow hunter.
Why Use A Blind Instead of a Treestand?
It's a debate that tends to raise its head among hunters - hunting from a ground blind vs treestand. The majority of hunters targeting whitetails are going to set themselves up in a treestand. You are out of the way, can see the deer early and are not as easily scented.
But an increasing number of hunters are choosing to hunt from a ground blind and sometimes it makes more sense to do so. Here are a few reasons why the ground blind is preferred over the treestand:
- The terrain is not suitable to a treestand. It is quite possible that you are hunting in an area where suitably sized trees are simply not available.
- Older hunters are not as able to get into a treestand. Hunters who, for years, have always hunted from a treestand may be getting a little older and find that climbing up into a treestand is no longer possible.
- Some hunters feel safer on the ground. In other cases, some hunters may have never used a treestand and don't feel as though they would be comfortable shooting from one. For them, it is better to stay firmly upon the ground.
- Hunting with children may make it necessary to use a blind. Taking a child or children out for their first hunt may mean that climbing into a treestand is simply not possible. Tucking them into the ground blind is a far wiser option.
- It is more comfortable hunting in a protected shelter. Sitting 30+ feet up in the elements exposes you to the harshest of weather conditions. Some hunters just want to stay protected under shelter and the ground blind offers this.
- The greater comfort means you can hunt for longer. The better you feel, the more inclined you're going to stick it out for the long haul.
- It is quicker and easier to set up. The new hub frame ground blinds minimizes set up and take down time and you can have your blind in place very quickly.
- You get better concealment inside a blind.
Popular Ground Blind Brands
To give you a head start on where to start looking for some of the more popular ground blinds currently available in the market we have given you a list to look through. To find out more about each company, including the ground blinds that are currently available, simply click on the company name.
Ameristep is one of the largest and most well-known suppliers of hunting accessories with a significant selection of ground blinds among its product range. From the smaller single person to large two or more person blinds the quality is high and the choices are extensive.
This is a specialist ground blinds company and they do it very well. When a company confines itself to perfecting a particular type of product you can be confident that the results will be extremely reliable. It is definitely advisable to check out the Barronett Blinds website when trying to decide on a quality ground blind.
Better known for their treestands, Big Game also produces a small selection of lower priced ground blinds. They are very good quality blinds and offer a selection of sizes to the hunter from a larger two person down to a small single person option.
Primos is another company that produces a large range of hunting accessories and could be the brand that will cover just about all of the hunter's needs. Ground blinds is a part of that range of products and the needs of the serious hunter are well catered for by the range offered here.
This hunting accessory company has produced some very fine ground blinds that are made in a range of different designs are are suitable for all types of deer and waterfowl hunting situations.
This is an outdoor accessories company that includes a good selection of ground blinds in its inventory. The hub style blinds that are made by the company are good and reliable in quality yet they aren't overly expensive.
Layout Blinds For Waterfowl Hunting
Blinds for waterfowl hunting such as ducks and geese are essentially different to other blinds such as those used for deer because you need a clear view of the sky. Known as Layout blinds, rather than looking like a little hut, as do bigger game blinds, the better duck blinds are watertight shelters that allow you to recline.
Displayed above is a typical layout blind, although this is the Gunner Field Duck Blind produced by Beavertail and has been designed with an ergonomic seat that springs up into the upright position to help you to quickly get into a shooting position.
Many of the locations that you will be hunting from will be water based and your blind may be sitting in a few inches of water. A good duck blind will handle this without a problem and will allow you to be comfortable while doing so. They provide warmth for the long wait and padded comfort so you don't find yourself stiff and sore the next day.
The ability to make calls is another aspect that the blind must be capable of allowing and this means the top must be able to open silently and easily.
Also, look for a blind that offers plenty of storage that can be accessed without having to contort the body to reach it.
We have put together a guide to the 12 Best Layout Blinds of 2015 where you will find blinds that cover the various different types of duck or goose hunting situations.
Here are a few brands of Layout Blinds to look for include
Specializing in duck hunting apparel and accessories the company has been producing blinds and accessories for many years now.
This is largely a brand that caters to the hunter who is going to be on the water with boats the primary focus. But there is also a nice selection of field blinds available that are well worth taking a look at.
This is a duck hunting accessory producer that has catered very nicely to finding layout solutions for shallow water and other difficult terrain conditions
Another waterfowl specialist, you can be confident that the layout blinds that are produced by Rig’Em Right are going to cater directly to the duck hunter’s needs.
The company produces everything needed for a successful hunt and as well as a solid range of layout blinds there is also a selection of decoys and other accessories.
Elevated Deer Blinds
Another type of blind that is growing in popularity is the elevated deer blind. Getting a raised perspective without having to climb up into a tree is the motivating factor behind these types of blinds. You can find out more about this option by visiting our Tower Blinds For Deer Hunters page.
Hopefully you have found the information on this page useful and it helps you in using your ground blind or in finding one that is most suitable to your needs. Elsewhere at Keys To Hunting we have put together a buyers guide to some of the best ground blinds for deer hunting.