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Can You Hunt a Ground Blind the Same Day You Set it Up?

Camo tent or hunting blind between the trees

Hunting is a lesson in patience, but that doesn’t stop us hunters from getting as antsy as anyone else to try out our new gear and finally take that trophy buck. But if you’re reading this article, you know that a level head and research are essential before doing so. That’s especially true with ground blinds.

You can hunt a ground blind the same day you set it up, but it’s not ideal. Deer and other game are more likely to notice and avoid a blind the day it’s set up, so you’re decreasing your chances of success.

If you want to know how long you should wait before hunting your ground blind, read on. I’ve also given some tips to increase your chances if you absolutely have to—or want to—hunt your ground blind the same day you set it up.

The Best Time to Set Up a Ground Blind

I generally recommend setting up a ground blind at least two weeks before you plan to hunt it. This gives the deer time to get used to it. If you hunt in an area with a lot of hunting pressure, you may need even more time.

If possible, I try to set up my blind in the off-season before any hunting has put pressure on the local herd. This way they don’t associate it with hunting at all.

If You Have to Hunt Your Ground Blind the Same Day…

Of course, setting your blind early is only possible on private land. If you hunt public land, you probably have little choice but to hunt the blind the same day. Don’t worry, there are several things you can do to make the blind less likely to spook game:

  • Eliminate scent: This is the most essentialstep. Brand-new blinds usually have a strong plastic smell that can spook deer. My go-to method for removing the scent from the blind—and the rest of my gear, for that matter—is to store it in a box with fallen leaves, pine needles, and moist brush for several days before the hunt. You can also rinse and spray it with scent-neutralizing chemicals or take it to the next level and use an ozone car cleaner.
  • Add brush to your ground blind: Adding brush in and around your blind during your hunt helps eliminate scent in the same way described above. Plus, it helps camouflage the blind and make it seem more like part of the landscape.
  • Place your ground blind correctly: The best place for a ground blind is on the edge of a feeding area where you can see a wide open space but still obscure the blind in the woods. There are other good places, so do your research and put it in the best spot.
  • Get the right camo: Ground blinds come in different designs, so get one that matches your local landscape.

And If You Have to Hunt the Same Day You Buy the Blind…

While not an ideal situation, sometimes an emergency demands you hunt on the very same day you buy the blind. In this case, in addition to following the above tips where applicable, I highly recommend you pay attention to the wind. Avoid being upwind from where you expect the deer to be at all cost.