I love hunting because there are so many activities surrounding it that are fun in and of themselves. One of my favorites is the pre-season scout, where I map out the area I plan to spend the most time hunting. Part of this involves finding the best spot to put my ground blind, and I’ve developed my own step-by-step process for doing so.
What Is a “Good Spot”?
Before you can find a good spot, you need to know how to spot a good spot, so to speak. Basically, these are places you’re likely to see deer during a hunt.
I may get some pushback on this, but I insist that the places where deer move are the best places to hunt, regardless of whether you’re using a ground blind, tree stand, or hot-air balloon. This is because the deer are more isolated, busier, and easier to wait for. Deer in feeding areas, for example, are in larger groups, more on-guard, and there for a longer period of time, making sneaking up on them more difficult.
Deer usually move routinely along paths between their feeding, bedding and watering areas. Sometimes, this forms noticeable game trails where the vegetation is worn down.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The places deer spend most of their time, their feeding and bedding areas, are still good places to hunt. A feeding area is an especially good choice for a ground blind because the tall grass along the wood’s edge provides the perfect camouflage for the blind. In fact, if the woods in your area are sparse and devoid of brush, this might be your only good option.
How to Find a Good Ground Blind Spot
With the ideal ground blind spots in mind, I have a specific process for finding a good one where I plan to hunt.
1. Scout the Area
Even if you’re hunting public land, you can visit the area in the off-season and the weeks leading up to your hunt. If you absolutely can’t scout the hunting area, at least consider looking at satellite images.
Map Feeding, Bedding and Watering Areas
When scouting, your first job is to identify where the deer eat, sleep and drink.
- Feeding areas: These are usually open fields with tall grass that deer graze on, though they could feature fruit and nut trees. Look for plants that have been nibbled on and deer droppings.
- Bedding areas: Deer sleep in areas of thick cover that are elevated to provide a better view. Look for vegetation that’s been flattened by their bodies.
- Watering areas: Any body of water is potentially a watering area, but deer usually drink from places where the bank has a low grade that lets them walk right up to the water. Look for hoofprints in the mud.
2. Look for Worn Trails
Once you know where the deer eat, sleep, and drink, you can find the trails that connect all these places. Many trails will be easy to spot because they have hoof prints, deer droppings, and trampled vegetation.
3. Look for Pinch Points
However, I prefer not to look for these signs. Instead, I first look for the places I expect the deer to move. Deer are just like you and me in that they prefer to take the path of least resistance. For example, if they have to cross a stream, they’ll do it at the narrowest, shallowest part. If they have to cross from one hill to another, they’ll pick the place where it’s the least steep.
Since deer from wide areas tend to pass through these narrow places, they’re called “pinch points,” and these are the best places to put up a ground blind. If you see signs of a game trail passing through one of these areas, all the better.
Don’t Forget Ground Blind Camo
My last piece of advice. Don’t get so preoccupied with finding the best spot to see deer that you forget you need to conceal your ground blind. Once you find a good spot, check that there’s some good brush or tall grass and that the coloring is similar to that of your blind.
For more, check out Ground Blind Essentials | Strategies for Stealth and Success.
Christian grew up in the Ozarks where he spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ homestead learning about guns, hunting, and the great outdoors.
An avid traditional bowhunter, much of his writing covers this and other similar topics, but he also covers just about everything from history and economics to motorcycles.
See more of his work at ChristianMonson.com.