Many people may consider a ground blind to be a luxury. If you are one of these people, you may want to reconsider.
Bow hunting is a traditional practice that has been greatly modernized to give hunters an easier time. So, why would you not use all the amazing equipment available and give yourself awesome experiences out in the woods?
Ground blinds are not just for camouflage and there is a lot to learn about them; from their benefits to the art of setting them up, to how you can get the most suitable one for your situation.
Advantages of Using Ground Blinds
There are ground blinds designed to fit into any kind of hunting environment. Being an outstanding hunter involves knowing how to blend into the surrounding. You can test the truthfulness of this statement by going hunting in your brightest clothes. The right hunting blind will hide you in plain sight of your prey. As long as you know where and how to set it up (more on that later) you have all the advantage.
Shielding from Bad Weather
What is the point of buying a ground blind if you already have camo clothes? Well, for starters your clothes will not be very helpful if it starts to rain or when you are under the scorching sun. Get a high-quality hunting blind and terrible weather will never keep you from hunting.
Many of the ground blinds in the market are not very big for obvious reasons but they have enough space for all your belongings. They are like your small home away from home. It is a place that you can unpack your stuff, take off those heavy boots and have a snack while still remaining undetected. Imagine sipping coffee in cold weather while lying in wait for prey.
You Can Wait for as Long as It Takes
When the weather is very bad, you can only lie in wait for so long. Seasoned hunters will tell you that it can take hours for an animal to appear. It would be very difficult to have to sit still and be alert for a long period of time. With a ground blind, you can sit or even take a nap in your chair as you wait. You are completely hidden so no animal can detect your movement. You can even stay overnight if you bring a heater and other necessities with you.
Have Fun with Your Kid
Have you ever thought of bringing your child but changed your mind at the thought of how restless they can be? Kids are great, no argument, but they may be the reason you go home empty-handed after a hunting adventure. It is harder for them to sit still (especially if they are very young) and it is almost impossible to get away with too much movement while hunting— unless you are in a ground blind. This could also prove to be a fantastic bonding moment as you teach the young one a few things and answer their gazillion questions.
Most of the ground blinds in the market today are portable. Although they are meant to be stationary, you may decide to move from one spot to another for a better chance of success. For whatever reason, animals can decide to avoid the place you thought was a hot spot making it necessary for you to move. Animals are also not as dumb as many people think, they can easily notice you and move away. This would be a reason to move to a more concealed location. In any of these instances, you will appreciate the portability of your archery blind.
Ground Blinds Vs Treestands
Treestands and ground blinds are meant to serve the same purpose but they have some major differences. A treestand is a platform just like a ground blind except it is set up on trees. It can also be either closed or open. What makes these two very different? Why would an archer choose one over the other?
- A treestand offers an elevated platform. You are able to see over a long distance and prepare accordingly. While using a ground blind, your sight is a little limited. You can only see so far. This is, however, not that much of a deal if you already know a good spot.
- While on a treestand, animals can barely pick up your scent, especially if they are near. hunting blinds, on the other hand, will require you to be extra careful.
- Treestands are set up on trees so you will not be in your prey’s line of sight. You will not have this advantage with a ground blind.
- Hanging a treestand can prove to be a cumbersome exercise. If you choose a heavy one and you go hunting alone, you are likely to have a very tough time. Imagine the struggle! Even when a ground blind is heavy, at least you do not have to lift it up.
- Ground blinds are more comfortable than treestands. Not many treestands will allow you to sit on your comfortable chair as you wait for your prey to show up.
- Ground blinds are more forgiving in terms of movements. When on an open tree stand, you have to avoid movement as much as possible lest you give away your position.
- You need to find a strategically located tree to hang your stand. All you need for a ground blind is a well-hidden location.
- A ground blind will protect you from the wind and you do not risk falling and getting injured. You will have to endure the harsh wind while on a tree stand. Moreover, if you are not careful you can fall and get injured pretty badly.
It all comes down to what is fitting for your situation. Where you hunt and your style of hunting determine whether you should get a treestand or a ground blind. To be honest, however, many hunters are better off choosing a ground blind—especially newbies and intermediate level hunters.
How to Choose an Archery Ground Blind
Yea, ground blinds are cool and all that— but how do you choose one from the many brands that are available? Are they all the same? What factors influence this decision? Here are the most important factors to consider.
Camouflage/Your Hunting Environment
Assuming that you have already settled for a hunting place, you need to choose a ground blind that will blend perfectly into that area. Generally speaking, all hunting blinds are camouflage; but each camouflage ‘shade’ is designed to blend into a specific environment. A brown wooden ground blind is camouflage but it will not be when you use where the vegetation is all green. The same way a greenish one will not blend in a brown environment.
Take a tour of the place you are planning to go hunting and keenly observe the colors that are there and how the vegetation looks. When you go to buy a ground blind imagine it being at that place. Would it blend well?
Ground blinds come in many sizes. If you plan to go for long hunting adventures and are, consequently, forced to bring a lot of equipment, you will need a bigger ground blind. If your hunting adventures only take a few hours, you will be better off buying a smaller one. Another thing: how many people do you expect to have in the blind at the same time? You might want to choose a bigger one if you will be bringing a friend, your kid or your dog.
While still on the topic of size, understand that size can be an inconvenience. Do not get carried away and pick an unnecessarily big blind. It should have just enough room for you, your equipment and maybe a friend.
This is a tricky factor. On one hand, you do not want something that is too heavy and a headache when moving. On the other hand, a very light ground blind will cause you so much trouble in windy weather. There are so many unpredictable things in life, and one of them is the weather. Of course, the weather forecast can give you an idea of what to expect but you cannot bet your safety on that. You still have to be prepared for anything. Conditions can change and get very harsh while you are far from home. Therefore, when picking out a ground blind, find a balance between these two things.
You need a ground blind that is easy to move around. How far do you have to walk from your car/home to the hunting ground? If the distance is long, get an archery blind that you can carry conveniently. Bear in mind that you will have other things to carry such as your bow, backpack and whatever else you may be bringing. Look for features that are meant to help in the transportation process.
There are ground blinds designed for general purposes, that is, they can be used to hunt any animal. Others are meant for specific animals; for turkey, deer, etc. Choosing the wrong blind may end up being a total waste of money and on top of that, cause you to have a bad time. Consider the kind of prey you will be hunting.
Also, check out the number of windows/openings and their sizes. When the windows are too few, your visibility will be limited. You will not be able to watch out for prey from all sides. Look for a blind that has openings all around it. The windows should also be small—too big and animals will see you before you even aim. The best blind will have many small openings that can be opened and closed at the convenience of the hunter. The problem with this feature is that many blinds have Velcro or zippers which are super loud. Very quiet blinds will most definitely require you to cough out a few extra bucks.
Ease of Set Up
No hunter wants to spend the first couple of hours trying to figure out what goes where. This can turn out to be your worst nightmare especially if you are setting up for the first time. You will end up making so much commotion and probably cause the prey to detect you. The blind should also be easy to take down in case of anything.
Consider how long it takes to put everything together and the amount and size of pieces. Many pieces can be confusing and very small ones are easy to lose in the woods.
After buying the ground blind, practice putting it together before you go out into the wild. Make sure you know all the pieces and how they fit together. That way, things will be easier for you when you have to set up with little light.
Do you want a basic, plain ground blind or a fancy one? The fancier the archery blind is, the more likely it is to be heavy. Mostly, the amount you are willing to dish out is the biggest determinant here. Nonetheless, other factors also come to play. Think about the features that you consider absolutely necessary. Some have ports for all kinds of things including cameras, others have awesome features like cup-holders while the over-the-top ones may come with chairs. The point is finding what you really need then picking out a blind that offers that.
This one depends on where you do your hunting. You want a blind that can withstand the conditions of the respective environment. If you plan to hunt in a rainy area, your ground blind of choice should be water resistant, at the very least. The material should be tough enough to withstand the downpour without giving in. Even when you do not expect rain, some hunting blinds cannot stay out for long periods of time, they collapse. Avoid skimping on the material of the blind. It is better to make one expensive purchase once and for all and be happy with it than to be too frugal and end up with something that will not last.
How to Set Up a Ground Blind
Setting up a hunting blind properly is a skill. One thing you need to know is that the location of your blind is crucial. Here are tips to help you be as thorough as possible.
A wise hunter does not start preparing when the season starts. Scouting pre-season will teach you a lot. Take time, occasionally, to find out where the deer, turkey, etc. frequent. Look for their bedding areas and where they go to graze and find water. Remember to do this from a distance. To get more details about the life of your prey, hang cameras at strategic places—the cameras will do what you cannot.
One mistake that amateurs make is relying on previous years’ information. A lot of things change and it will do you good to have updated information.
Set Up Ahead of Time
Some animals like deer are not easily deceived. They will notice a new object in the surrounding and even try to stay away. Set your blind long before you start hunting to give them time to get used to it. After they establish that the object is not dangerous they will be comfortable coming near it.
Find a spot for your blind. The ideal spot should allow you to clearly see the animals while remaining concealed. Even though the blind is already camouflaged, go an extra mile and make it blend even more. Use vegetation in the surrounding to hide it completely.
Consider the wind and the sun. Many animals have very sharp noses and eyes. To prevent them from picking up your scent, your blind should be placed downwind. Position your blind between the sun and your target. When you are facing the sun you are likely to be conspicuous.
Note: before you set up, clean the spot first. Dried leaves and branches will make noise when you step on them or move around.
When you are sure that you have done all there is to do, test out your work. Get in the blind and check all your angles. Make sure you can see clearly from every side and that there are no obstacles. You should have many shooting lines. Confirm that the archery blind is securely fastened and cannot be blown away by a strong wind.
As the season draws near, bring everything that you will need. When doing all these preparations, avoid being noticed by the prey. Once the animals see you, your work goes down the drain.
Ground blinds have always been a big part of hunting. In the past, hunters made their own natural blinds but now you have the luxury of ordering one and avoiding all that trouble. Regardless of where you hunt, archery blinds have a ton of benefits and they make all the difference. They are a great investment and are totally awesome. To many hunters, they are way better than treestands (safer, more comfortable, more space). With a ground blind, it is almost guaranteed that you will make a kill. Just make sure that set it up in a great spot.