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Blind Hunting Vs Still Hunting | Pros And Cons

Man in camo hiding in tree or blind with rifle

There’s no doubt you want to hunt, but the question is how. Blind hunting and still hunting are two of the most popular ways, but they differ drastically.

Blind hunting involves hunting from a simple structure or tent set up on the ground that hides you. Still hunting, on the other hand, means walking around and stalking game. It’s unclear why it’s called “still hunting,” but some think it comes from stopping and standing still when you believe a quarry is close while others claim it’s a corruption of the word “stealth.”

Each method has pros and cons. You can weigh these pros and cons to decide which to use, and remember, you can always try both.

Blind Hunting Vs Still Hunting: Pros

You’re Hidden

The most significant difference between blind hunting and still hunting is that a blind, as the name suggests, hides you from your quarry. It’s not just their eyes, though. The blind also conceals your smell and even the noise you make. This makes it much easier to get within shooting distance of the animal.

You Can Sit Down

Let’s face it. Sometimes you could use a rest. With two kids and beer in the fridge, I’m not as spry as I was as a young buck.

The largest age segment for hunters is 35-44, and about five million hunters over age 55. If you need to sit down every once in a while, I’m certainly not one to judge.

You can do that in a ground blind. While still hunting, you’re on your feet the whole time, probably hours.

You Can Bring Things With You

When blind hunting, you’re not limited to a chair either. Depending on the size of your blind, you can also bring food, water, entertainment, etc. 

While still hunting, you’re very limited. I always stuff some power bars in my rucksack, but a cooler of drinks? Forget about it.

You’re Relatively Safe

A blind doesn’t keep you entirely out of harm’s way, but you’re less likely to be attacked by a wild animal than while wandering around the woods still hunting. You’re also less likely to be shot by a fellow hunter mistaking you for game.

You’re Protected From The Elements

Since a ground blind is similar to a tent, it provides protection from elements like wind and rain. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to hunt during stormy weather. 

When still hunting, you have to get down and dirty, no matter how wet and muddy it is.


Blind Hunting Vs Still Hunting: Cons

You’re In A Fixed Location

The most significant disadvantage when it comes to hunting success is that with a ground blind, you’re committed to a single location. If you pick that location badly, you’re out of luck.

While still hunting, you can move around, track game, and change your position based on new information and circumstances. This is especially ideal when hunting in wide open areas with wide-ranging game.

You Have Less Connection With Nature

A ground blind seals you off from nature even more than a tree stand and certainly more than still hunting. You’re basically hunting indoors. 

A still hunter is more in contact with the wilderness around him and taps more into his primal hunting instincts.

You Don’t Feel The Reward Of The Challenge

At the end of the day, hunting from a ground blind or tree stand is easier and more effective than still hunting. Yet tons of hunters, myself included, still get up and still hunt year after year. That’s because there’s nothing like the feeling of successfully tracking and stalking game, of honing your skills until you’ve bested your quarry.

You Have To Buy A Blind

Finally, a ground blind costs money. There are a lot of affordable budget options, but it’s still something. And elaborate hard-shell ground blinds can sometimes run thousands of dollars.

When To Blind Hunt Vs Still Hunt

When you consider these pros and cons, you can probably tell which situations are best for blind hunting and which for still hunting. Of course, a lot comes down to your personal preferences and what you want to accomplish on that specific hunt.

When to blind hunt:

Dressing a deer carcass with knife
  • When you only care about taking your quarry
  • When you’ll do whatever it takes to harvest a deer, either for food or the trophy
  • When you’re a beginner and need to learn hunting basics
  • When you have mobility problems and can’t walk for long periods of time
  • When you need protection from the elements
  • When you want to relax and enjoy the hunt, maybe even bring some food

When to still hunt:

  • When you don’t feel like buying a ground blind
  • When you’re hunting migratory animals like elk that cover large ranges
  • When you’re looking for a primal and challenging hunting experience