Tips & Tactics

Stay Grounded

Stay Grounded

By Ken Piper

A few extra tips for making your ground blind more effective.

A few weeks ago, we covered the benefits of using ground blinds in your whitetail strategy. I wanted to follow up with a few more subtle things you can do to increase your odds of success from a blind.

When it comes to scent, blinds help contain your smell, but the fact that you’re on the ground and so close to them tends to negate that benefit. I’ve had some positive experiences with scent-control machines and recommend them. Ozone units are NOT meant to be used inside the blind, however, so set them up so they push air outside and downwind.

ThermaCell units can be a hunt-saver in the early season, but they, too, shouldn’t be used in the enclosed space of a blind. Hang yours from a branch so the air currents carry its repellent across the outside of as many of your blind windows as possible.

I prefer blinds with attached floors. They’re better at holding in scent, and also in keeping out creepy-crawlies. Floorless models, however, are lighter and easier to set up – and can be quieter. Lee and Tiffany Lakosky taught me to bury the edges of floorless blinds about 4 inches into the ground to get the scent- and bug-free benefits of a built-in floor. It’s a little work, but it makes the blind more stable, too.

One of the best benefits of hunting from a blind for firearms and crossbow hunters is the opportunity to use a stick rest. Do it. It’s not so much that you need the rest for accuracy at such short distances, but the rest helps you have your crossbow or gun up and ready while you wait for the shot opportunity.

Crossbow, gun or bow, where you keep your weapon matters, too. Just because you’re in a blind doesn’t mean you can get away with excess movement. Your weapon should be within easy reach and require little movement to bring it to the ready position. You can hang a compound bow from the roof support rods of some blinds, but you really need to test that before using it in the field. First, the rod must support the bow without having the roof cave in. Second, you must be able to lift the bow off its hook without having the blind shake and move. Crossbows and guns are likely too heavy to hang without pulling down the roof. If your blind chair has armrests, rest your gun or crossbow across the armrests in front of you. Or, just put your gun or bow on the ground next to your chair. Do not lean them against the corner of the blind.

To help keep a buck’s eyes off a blind, deer property expert Steve Bartylla taught me to use mock scrapes and man-made licking branches to distract their attention. Position the scrape or branch so the buck is quartering away as he examines your handiwork. A decoy can serve the same function, but their effectiveness window is smaller than that of scrapes and licking branches.

Wow, I could go on and on, but that’s enough to get started. Give blind hunting a shot this year!

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd