Ground Blind Hunting: Getting Face to Face with Whitetailson Jul 9, 2012
My wife’s afraid to death of heights.This means in order for her to enjoy bowhunting I regularly place pop-up blinds directly beneath ideal stand trees. I also have a couple elderly friends who are perfectly happy to climb into a stand but probably shouldn’t. Also, for you regular monkeys out there, also consider that when late season temperatures turn brutal a pop-up is the warmest seat in the house; cutting wind, containing heat (along with scent) to keep you in the game longer. Another late-season advantage is a light blanket of snow helps blinds melt into any landscape. A word of caution though, too much snow and your blind will collapse, shattering poles and ripping walls (Blue River Innovations -- 785-562-8386 – makes an adjustable-height brace and roof cup to prevent such mishap).
Once they have been in place for awhile, deer accept pop-up
ground blinds as a natural part of the landscape.
Unlike open fields, woodlands, riparian habitat or high grass require blending, as changes in such settings are quickly noticed and put deer on edge. In such areas I start with a leafy-covered blind before brushing them over to help them blend better. Understand though, it’s important to avoid creating an obvious “brush pile.” Best case scenario in such habitat is setting up well ahead of season, though with more care it’s possible to set up and hunt from pop-ups in thicker areas with little advanced preparation. First off, you should arrive to set up and brush your blind when deer are well removed to minimize disturbance, and go to great pains to minimize scent dispersal, wearing Scent-Lok-type clothing, clean rubber boots and gloves. Also consider setting up and brushing only when a heavy rain or snow is eminent, weather that will wash away scent after your work is done.
For ground blinds set up to be hunted from right away,
you’ll have to add natural vegetation to help them blend better.
One of the biggest give-aways with pop-up blinds – at least when whitetail are under discussion -- are the black gaps created by shooting ports. Shoot-through screens have effectively cured this problem, for the most part, but it’s highly important to make sure your broadhead of choice will pass through such material cleanly and without affecting flight or impact. A quick backyard rehearsal should eliminate any questions. From my experience, mechanical broadheads and shoot-through screens are a bad combination.
Another helpful feature today is sewn-on loops that make it easy to attach camouflaging boughs, weeds or grass to your blind sides. I also like to place handy logs and larger branches for break-up cover, sometimes even “planting” bushes and grass clumps to help blinds become part of the landscape. Before any of this though, I start with a site that already offers plenty of backdrop cover or shade; setting up against a large blow-down, in a bank of vegetation (or corn-field edge) or beneath the umbrella of a shading tree.