Hunting from a ground blind provides deer hunters with one of the most strategic ways to remain hidden from game, get in position for a shot and ultimately fill their tags on quality deer during the season, no matter what type of terrain they may be hunting. Here’s how to make the most of your time afield from a ground blind and walk away a winner this season.
- Scout It Out – With so many TV shows, websites and magazines about deer hunting, you’d think every hunter should have a PhD on deer by now. But the fact is, a lot of them still leave their hunting to chance. Too often hunters choose spots to set up that look “deery” or just seem like a comfortable spot to hide and wait without giving it the proper thought to where they will set up. Take time before and throughout the season to scout areas from afar, noting where deer enter, forage in fields and food plots, or funnel through feeding and bedding areas. Determine your reliable range whether hunting with a bow, muzzleloader, slug gun or rifle when using a ground blind. Then look for a spot within that distance that provides ample space to set it up, yet helps it blend into the terrain and remain unnoticeable to game.
- Set It Up Early – Don’t set up a blind one day and expect to whack a wall-hanger from it the next. Deer are keen to notice changes to their landscape and will avoid something that suddenly looks out of place. Set the blind up at least a week before you plan to hunt it giving deer time to recognize it as a simply, nonthreatening part of their landscape.
- Eliminate Scent – Blinds are a great tool to help you minimize scent blowing around while hunting, but take the extra step when setting yours up to spray it down with a scent eliminating spray and take precautions such as wearing rubber boots and not touching any more foliage than necessary around the area it is being set up. This will minimize any human scent that becomes associated with the hunting blind as deer get accustomed to it.
- Distort the Hard Lines – There are few straight lines in nature. Your blind setup shouldn’t have any either. Use a blind like Ameristep’s Deadwood Stump™ or Distorter™ blinds, which utilize kick-out technology, to alter the outline of the blind so it doesn’t look like a large square. The Distorter™ goes the extra distance in breaking up its outline by employing 3D Edge ReLeaf® technology to make the edges appear leafy, while the Deadwood Stump™ uses shoot-through mesh windows that are naturally shaped to not have any hard, straight lines as well. All of these blinds should be brushed in with natural foliage that mimics the surrounding brush and trees.
- Watch the Elements – Set the blind up in a way that prevailing winds are blowing in your face (typically out of the West or Northwest) to hedge your bets on when the blind will be a good spot to sit and pay attention to East and West orientations of the blind. You don’t want to be looking right into the sun if hunting the blind in the later afternoon or into the east on early morning hunts.
- Make Room – Ameristep’s kick-out technology is great for not only distorting the shape of the blind, but also providing additional room inside to set gear, draw a bow or aim a firearm. With larger blinds such as the three-man Silent Brickhouse™, hunters can easily share the experience of the hunt with a friend or family member while ensuring there is amply room to move inside and get in position for that necessary shot when the moment arrives.
- Keep Quiet – A blind is great at keeping you hidden, but it’s not a sound-proof chamber and hunters need to remember to remain quiet inside and whenever accessing their blind. After setting the blind up, rake an open trail to a field edge or distance away in the woods where you can make your final approach to the blind quietly on hunt days. Ameristep’s hinged silent door design and silent mesh attachments found on the new Silent Brickhouse™, Distorter™ and Deadwood Stump™, do away with noisy zippers and hook-and-loop fasteners so hunters can access their blind and adjust windows and screens in total silence.
Consider these tactics the next time you prepare to set up your ground blind and you will no doubt enjoy the deer season you’ve been dreaming of.