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10 Disadvantages of Hunting From a Ground Blind

Pop-Up-Ground-Blind-Tent and Tree Stand Montage

Ground blinds are one of the most popular hunting methods, and I like them as a complement to my usual tree stand. They have many advantages, like room for companions and protection from the elements. However, using a ground blind strategically also means understanding its disadvantages.

  1. Limited Visibility

The most significant disadvantage of a ground blind is that it limits what you can see, normally to just one or two small shooting slits. Compare this to a tree stand or still hunting where you can see everything around you in 360 degrees. 

In other words, a deer could be near your ground blind, and you wouldn’t even know. This requires orienting the shooting slits strategically.

  1. Reduced Angles and Mobility

Limited visibility creates another problem: you have fewer shooting angles. This is a problem for bowhunting in particular. If the deer is straight in front of the shooting slit, no problem, but if the angle is slightly off, you have issues getting the bow into the correct position.

  1. Conspicuous to Game

The other major problem with a ground blind is that it’s more likely to spook game. Unlike a tree stand, which is up high where deer and other game animals don’t look, it’s right at eye level. Plus, it’s bigger, casts shadows, etc.

Hunting a ground blind requires a lot of effort to minimize this problem. Usually, this means setting the ground blind up ahead of time so that the local wildlife gets used to it.

  1. Setup Complexity

Depending on how elaborate the blind is, setting it up can be pretty involved, especially compared to a simple tree stand. Even simple stands are basically like tents, which are infamous for their frustrating assembly.

  1. Setup Noise

Because ground blinds involve a certain amount of complex assembly, this can lead to setup noise. This can be a serious issue if you’re hunting the blind on the same day.

Generally, you want to set up a ground blind in an area with thick brush that can camouflage it, but that means you have to move around in the brush as you do so. 

Furthermore, ground blinds have a lot of fabric that can rustle in the wind. This is especially true before you’ve finished setting it up.

  1. Disconnection From the Environment

Many hunters hunt to enjoy the connection with nature and the outdoors. This is harder to do if you’re insulated from it inside a hunting blind where you can hardly even see most of it aside from the view through a small slit. 

Hunting is more than just enjoying nature. It often involves taking cues from the natural environment. For example, you may want to note behavior from other animals like squirrels to judge game movements. This is more difficult when you can’t see or hear much of the woods around you. 

Silhouette of a bow hunter aiming at a White tail buck against sunset
  1. Ground Level

Generally speaking, ground blinds are much more comfortable than other forms of hunting, especially tree stands. However, the opposite is true when it comes to mud or wet ground. Hunting from a ground blind can be a lot muckier than other hunting methods, so you have to be willing to get down and dirty.

  1. Maintenance Requirements

This is relatively easy for pop-up blinds, but permanent ground blinds made of wood, plastic, or metal are essentially simple structures. That means quite a bit of maintenance. You have to regularly check the blind to make sure that everything is working so that when you hunt it, your shooting window isn’t suddenly going to malfunction or the door isn’t going to swing open and scare off all the game.

  1. Little Activity

With both stand and blind hunting, you’re stuck to one spot. Surprisingly, this doesn’t affect your chances of success all that much. That said, it does affect your enjoyment and stimulation while hunting. Ground blinds are even worse because you can’t see very much.

In other words, ground blinds can be a bit “boring” if you like a little more action on your hunt.

  1. Learning Curve

Hunting from a ground blind is usually more difficult than hunting from a tree stand simply because it’s more conspicuous and, therefore, more likely to spook game. Combine this with the limited visibility, and positioning the ground blind becomes very important. Doing it correctly can mean considerable success, but there’s definitely a learning curve. (For help with this learning curve, read my other articles on ground blinds!)