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Do I Need Brush in My Ground Blind? | What to Know

A ground blind is simple to set up, yet it provides endless possibilities for camouflage, positioning, and strategic use to harvest a quarry. For example, most hunters want to know to what extent they should add brush to their ground blind, that is, surround it and fill it with leaves, branches, and other natural elements.

You should almost always add brush to your ground blind. Adding brush to the blind helps camouflage it and blend it with the natural environment. Deer and other game animals will be less suspicious of it and more likely to come within shooting range.

But like any “rule” in hunting, there are exceptions. I’ve made this brief but detailed guide to help you understand when and why to add brush to your ground blind.

The Benefits of Putting Brush in a Ground Blind

The primary benefit of adding brush is simple. It makes the blind look like a feature of the natural environment, concealing it and minimizing the chance it spooks game. 

Most manufactured ground blinds have camo designs, but they still have straight lines and a boxy shape that makes deer and other animals suspicious. Brushing can help cover these lines and fit the blind into the pattern of the landscape, which is the basis of deer vision.

It’s more than just appearance, though. Brushing your ground blind has several other benefits:

  • Scent control: Ground blinds already contain your scent to a large extent, but you can improve it by placing natural elements with a strong odor in and around the blind. These include fallen, decaying leaves and pine needles.
  • Noise reduction: You can use brush to cut down on noise that could spook game in two ways. First, you can use it to stabilize the blind itself so that it doesn’t flap in the wind, making a blatant plastic sound that deer pick up on. Second, you can use it to dampen your footsteps and movements in the blind, though this is difficult to do correctly. It works best with soft and moist brush rather than dry brush that will crackle under your feet.
  • Long-term placement: If you plan to leave the ground blind in place for an extended period, the brush can accelerate the wildlife getting used to the blind as a feature of their environment due to the reasons already discussed.

When Is Adding Brush to a Ground Blind a Bad Idea?

It is possible to make some mistakes when adding brush to a ground blind:

  • Don’t add brush that doesn’t match the environment. If you’ve set up your blind in the woods, don’t bring in grass from a distant field.
  • In fact, if you’re setting up in a field or the edge of a food plot, you may not want to put brush in your blind at all. The ground blind is already a conspicuous shape, and you don’t want to add to it.
  • In general, try to stick to soft, moist brush. The dryer the twigs, leaves, pine needles, etc., the more noise they make and the less they function as scent control.

As long as you keep these things in mind, you should blind hunt with a plan to add brush to your ground blind, inside and out. It’s a good habit to develop.