Deer are exceptionally good at picking out what is different or looks out of place, so they will almost always notice a ground blind. The key to fooling them is to blend your ground blind into the surroundings and do it early enough that by hunting season, deer view the blind as part of the natural flow of the land.By following the , though, you can increase your chances of your blind going unnoticed by deer. Do it correctly, and deer will ignore your ground blind so you can get a clear shot.
The reason deer are so good at picking out parts of the landscape that do not fit is that they possess reasonably good eyesight, instantly cue on movement, and are hyper-observant.
The question is not “do deer notice ground blinds?” so much as it is “how can a blind be set up so that deer do not notice ground blinds?”
Your goal should be to address the reasons deer often pick up on ground blinds easily.
Read on to get some ideas on positioning, timing, and hiding your ground blind successfully by blending it in with the surrounding foliage.
All of the ideas discussed here are part of the strategies that should be employed for ground blind bow hunting success.
Steps to Take to Avoid Spooking Deer with Your Ground Blind
You can do several things long before your first hunt to get deer used to your ground blind. Here are some suggestions.
Set Up Early
Have you ever been driving around and been shocked at a new building that seemingly appeared overnight? Realistically, it took weeks, if not months, to get to the point you noticed.
Building it, however, was gradual, and if you were not looking for it, you missed it. The same principle applies to ground blinds.
Set your blind up early and build it up over time to give the animals around it time to adjust. Blend it in with the brush and work out a way to enter it with as little intrusion as possible, and, if possible, cover any openings while preserving your line of sight.
Get Rid of the Scent
Humans stink. Between food odors, deodorant (or lack thereof), soaps, household animal scents, etc., humans are some of the smelliest things in the forest.
The more you can obscure your scent, the more likely you will get a kill shot opportunity. Use scent elimination sprays, soaps, detergent, etc., to become a little less stinky.
Another way to help control human scent is to position your blind where it is “downwind” of the zone you are targeting. This way, when a deer happens upon your blind, any scent you still have is taken away instead of pushed towards it.
Choose Positioning Wisely
Positioning is a key aspect to being successful when hunting from a ground blind.
The best results come from becoming intimately familiar with the land on which you’re hunting, knowing their food source and placing the blind in a spot that gives you the best vantage point possible.
You want your blind to be next to deer trails or food plots. You don’t want it blocking their path or being so obtrusive you cannot obscure it.
Find the edge of a trail or feeding area and set up a little into the brush beyond that. If you can, position your blind in front of, or within, overhanging brush, so it is difficult for a deer to pick up on your silhouette.
Tips on Placing Your Blind
Here are a few tips to help your ground blind be successful.
Entry Position Is Important
You’re going to have to be very careful about the direction in which you place your blind entry.
If you’re going to ensure you don’t spook deer, your entry must be properly concealed and it really should be facing away from the direction that deer is likely to be approaching from.
Similarly, you want your entry into the blind to be as silent as possible. This may mean clearing some of the surrounding foliage that might otherwise give away your position as you get to your blind.
Keep It Closed
Deers notice movement and objects that they are not used to seeing. The more you can close your blind and limit movement within, the greater your chances of success.
At the very least, keep the blind dark inside. This is why many ground blinds are made with black rear walls - to provide the necessary darkness that ensures no movement from inside will be spotted.
Stay Close to the Food Source
There’s two factors here that must be achieved when placing your blind.
- Keep it near the deer trail or its food source
- Stay as far from the deer’s field of vision as possible
Of course, finding a position that achieves both of these goals can be tricky.
But if you’ve done your recon, you’ll understand the direction the deer will be coming from.
This gives you the chance to position off to the side, out of the way and, ideally, at least 5 to 10 yards into cover.
Use Longer Lasting Foliage
Choosing evergreen to camouflage your ground blind will help hide it longer than using foliage that dries up or sheds faster.
An ideal positioning aspect you could take advantage of is to position the blind within living foliage and simply drape low hanging branches across and over it.
Test What Can Be Seen
Deer have an uncanny way of picking up on what does not belong. That means they can see objects and individuals in your blind, especially if they have a direct line of sight.
Break up lines of sight by placing brush in front of your windows. Make sure you do not hinder your ability to aim successfully. Cloak your actions by keeping the windows in the back and sides closed and wearing darker camouflage clothing.
Test what you can see from various points around your blind and modify as needed.
Cover It Completely
Often, ground blinds have brush that covers the front but much less on the sides and back. By not covering the entire blind, a deer that comes from another direction might notice the blind.
When brushing in a ground blind, it is a good idea to cover each side equally.
A further option to keep you undetected is to use a natural ground blind rather than the manufactured one.
What this means is to make use of whatever cover occurs naturally in the surrounding environment and fashioning it into a form of covering blind.
This may be a brush hedge, a fallen tree, a natural depression in the ground or a veil of low-hanging branches to hide behind.
Not only do you not have to worry about the deer picking out the unfamiliar outline of your ground blind, but you don’t have to pay for it and you don’t have to carry it into position.
Deer notice what does not belong, movement, and what smells like a danger to them. If they pick up on any of the three, they spook, and then they bolt.
When hunting deer you must strategically place your blind, take steps to eliminate what deer can see in the blind, and reduce your odor. Keep your blind windows closed whenever possible and limit movement to only what is necessary.
By following the tips for successful bow hunting from a blind, though, you can increase your chances of your blind going unnoticed by deer. Do it correctly, and deer will ignore your ground blind so you can get a clear shot.
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