There’s no denying the value of a ground blind. Still, there’s an endless debate surrounding the equipment, in particular, how long before your actual hunting trip you should set your blind up.
Is same-day ground blind hunting possible, or does it need to be set up days in advance?
Some hunters argue deer need time to adjust to and accept new objects in their territory.
Others believe that as long as a blind is strategically positioned, camouflaged, and paired with good hunting practices, it works. So who’s right?
Same day ground blind hunting is possible! If you’re planning on setting up a ground blind the same day you hunt, keep the following suggestions in mind.
Brush in the Blind
According to ground blind manufacturer Primos Hunting:
“If you plan to hunt the same day you set the blind up, you need to blend it in with the surroundings, also known as brushing the blind.”
Most blinds are made using a camouflage pattern, but may not necessarily match the surrounding brush. If you notice the difference, your game will too!
Luckily there’s a simple fix!
Mask your ground blind with the brush surrounding your hunting spot. It’s crucial to emphasize the word surrounding.
If you gather brush from your home, then travel miles to hunt, it will likely vary from where you set up.
You’ll also want to avoid completely covering your blind with the brush so that it appears as natural as possible.
So how do you brush in the blind properly? Once you've staked down the blind, gather undergrowth from nearby trees and bushes, varying in size.
Most ground blinds are constructed with loops around the top of each outside wall to insert the brush. You may want to keep this feature in mind when purchasing blinds.
If you already have one and it doesn’t contain inserts, no worries! Many hunters just cut large pieces of brush then stick them into the ground around their blind.
Even if your blind has brush inserts, still consider placing brush around the bottom as it’ll leave a mid-section for shooting.
If you're having trouble establishing a shooting path, clip any restrictive brush from inside the blind.
So now you’re comfortably hidden, but how can you be sure your game won’t detect you?
Practice Scent Control
As far as BowHunting.com is concerned, a good way to perform scent-control in the hours before a hunt is to use Ozone units:
“ I have personally purchased a small ozone unit and use it in the hours leading up to the hunt.”
Practicing scent control is something you can and should begin days before your hunt.
Deer have a superior sense of smell, sometimes 1000 times stronger than humans. They also smell individual scents rather than the combination of multiple scents at once.
Therefore, scented deodorant, soap, and detergent will overwhelm and spook the animals as these smells are foreign to their habitat.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce your chance of being caught.
The first step most hunters take is washing their hunting clothes with unscented detergent and no fabric softener.
A popular choice is to only wash hunting gear with baking soda to ensure there is no scent at all.
Some hunters strictly wash their attire with water. They even go as far as to use water from outside as the washing machine carries unique scents.
Also, refrain from slipping into your apparel until you arrive at the hunting area.
If you put your camo and boots on before leaving your home or camping site, they will soak up smells from your vehicle, tent, camping trailer, or wherever you're coming from.
You’ll also want to stick to unscented shampoo, soap, antiperspirant and dry off with a scent-free towel after the shower.
There’s a lot of scent-neutralizing products made specifically for hunters. There’s even a type of hunter’s gum. You’re probably thinking, isn’t it impossible to eliminate my odor?
It is, and that’s why scent eliminators exist. You can find these sprays at a majority of outdoor sporting stores.
The location of your blind can also affect an animal's ability to smell you.
Be Smart When You Position Your Blind
North American Whitetail is cautious about your chances of being successful when attempting to hunt from a ground blind on a same day setup:
“Deer are familiar with everything in their environment, and anything new or out of place will give them cause for suspicion until they get used to it. Sure, you might get lucky and fill your buck tag on a same-day set, but the odds of that happening aren't very high.”
Positioning your blind takes analysis but is certainly worth the energy.
Most experienced hunters will advise you to play the wind or set up according to wind direction.
Always stake your blind downwind of your game. If you’re upwind, the breeze may blow your odor toward the animals and cause them to flee.
Most smartphones have a weather app that details the wind direction of your current location. However, a simplified piece of advice is to hunt with the wind in your face.
Once you’ve figured the wind, ensure you’re in a feeding, bedding, or roosting area. Finding these areas can take time, so consider scouting in advance.
Additionally, these areas are typically in open fields. So position your blind slightly staggered from them as if it is a part of the brush.
If you can’t find any good flatland to set up on and are hunting from atop or below your game, keep thermals in mind!
In the morning, the air warms and rises. In the evening, it grows cold and falls. Your scent will travel with the thermals, so exit your blind until the temperature steadies.
In discussing early season ground blind set up strategies at BoneCollector.com, there is an acknowledgement that same day hunting is a possible strategy:
“Now, there are many deer hunters have successfully harvested deer the same day they have set a new ground blind or new deer stand. No one would deny that it hasn’t been done many times, and will continue to happen in the future.”
Naturally, there are some caveats provided in the discussion.
Same-day ground hunting is feasible if done correctly, and making it work is as simple as employing good hunting practices.
The most crucial thing to remember is to put up your blind so it blends into the natural environment. Doing so will prevent you from spooking the animals.
Another option is to forget about a manufactured hub blind and take it to another level with natural ground blinds.
Once you’ve got this down, learn to disguise yourself as well. The most powerful way to do so is by masking your scent as much as possible.
Lastly, like any successful hunting trip, scout the best place to set up, taking the type of animal, landscape, and weather into account.
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