Skip to Content

10 Things Not to Do in a Ground Blind

Camo tent or hunting blind in a field

One thing I love about hunting is that it’s a never-ending learning process that keeps you on your toes. A big part of that isn’t just learning what to do but what not to do. I’ve always been a stand hunter, so my recent experiments with ground blinds have certainly forced me to learn from my mistakes. I’ve discovered 10 things that you shouldn’t do in a ground blind.

  1. Arrive Late

You should be in your blind at least 30 minutes before dawn for a morning hunt or an hour before dusk for an evening hunt. Deer move in twilight, so you want to be in position before they’re moving. Otherwise, they may be close enough for your movements to spook them, or you might miss them altogether.

  1. Ignore Wind Direction

In a ground blind, it’s easier to ignore the wind since you’re protected from it. Plus, you may think that you don’t need to worry about it since your scent is more contained.

You should still take wind into account when blind hunting. For one thing, you should still approach your blind from downwind of where you expect the deer to be. 

It can also determine your blind orientation. Deer generally move against the wind to provide them with a clearer scent profile of their environment, so you may want to position your shooting lane perpendicular to it.

  1. Eat Noisy or Smelly Foods

Ground blinds are usually more comfortable than other hunting methods, so hunters, myself included, have a tendency to get complacent and ignore good practices like noise and scent control.

I like to bring some food along with me in my ground blind, not to mention a big thermos of hot coffee. Sometimes I even take a cooler. After all, I have plenty of room to store it.

You can do the same. Just try to stay away from foods that are loud or smelly. Ground blinds can contain these things, but only to an extent, and deer may still pick up on crunching chips or the whiff of egg salad.

Tortilla chips with guacamole salsa and cheese dip
  1. Fall Asleep

I’ll admit that I have nodded off a time or two in both my tree stand and ground blind despite my giant thermos of coffee. This is a hunting no-no for a number of reasons: safety concerns, sleep noises from snoring to snorts, and even legal implications.

However, falling asleep will hurt your chances of success in a ground blind in particular. At least in a tree stand, you might hear or sense an approaching animal in your snoozing state. In a ground blind, you’re likely to miss it altogether. Stay alert!

  1. Move Around Too Much

A ground blind has the major advantage of hiding you from game, but this is not absolute. At dawn and dusk—the best times to hunt deer—the sunlight angle is nearly horizontal, which can create shadows and silhouettes at times visible even through a ground blind. Plus, moving around can make noise.

In other words, remain as still as possible in your ground blind just as you would in a tree stand. Avoid jerky movements in particular.

  1. Hunt the Blind the Same Day You Set It Up

Ground blinds are conspicuous and, regardless of how good the camo is, clearly man-made. Game needs a certain amount of time to get used to the blind, depending on hunting pressure, time of year, urban development, etc.

I generally recommend setting up a ground blind two weeks before you plan to hunt it, though the longer the better. However, I realize there are situations when this just isn’t possible, so if you must hunt your blind the same day you set it up, I have a separate article with some tips.

  1. Leave Your Phone on Ring

This is a no-go for any hunter. You should take your phone in case of emergency, but I usually leave mine off to save battery. If you keep it on, make sure it’s on silent! Imagine getting a call at the same time your trophy buck comes into view.

  1. Wear Conspicuous Clothing

Since light angles can sometimes make you visible within the blind, wearing dark clothing or camo is ideal. While unlikely, wearing conspicuous clothing with obviously man-made patterns could spook deer, especially if they catch a glance of it through your shooting slit.

  1. Leave Flaps Unsecured

A pop-up ground blind is like a tent. You have to stake it down and secure the foldable fabric. Follow the instructions and common sense to guarantee everything is taut and secure. You don’t want window or door flaps or the blind itself rustling in the wind and making noise.

  1. Forget to Clear Shooting Lanes

Whether you set your blind up the day of or weeks in advance, check your shooting lanes immediately before getting in the ground blind on the day of the hunt. Make sure no brush or trees have fallen in between the blind and the game trail or corridor where you expect your quarry to travel. If anything is in the way, move it.