A major benefit of a ground blind is that it conceals you and your gear completely. A major downside is that you then have to conceal the blind. Luckily, I’ve found that this is easy to do and straightforward if you follow three simple steps.
Find the Right Location
If you’ve read my article on the subject, you know that my favorite places for ground-blind placement are along deer trails, particularly at “pinch points,” places where deer coming from a wide area will move through due to physical pressures and constraints. Examples that you’ll find in the woods include:
- Crossings over creeks and streams
- Saddles and cols (points of low elevation between two higher points)
- Points where large patches of wood are connected by narrow strips with open fields on either side
- Crossings through man-made structures such as openings in fences
Additionally, you can find worn game trails in the woods where deer move between bedding and feeding areas. While it’s a more advanced strategy, you can also set up right by the bedding area itself as long as you make sure to be in the blind before the deer return around dawn.
Camouflage the Blind
Once you’ve picked your spot, your job is to camouflage the blind with the surrounding landscape as best as possible. Luckily, this is a bit easier in the woods than an open field. Here’s how you do it:
- Either put it behind trees and brush or move some in front of it. The most important thing is to break up the straight lines of the blind’s edges since these are dead giveaways of human activity.
- Choose an appropriate camo pattern. Almost any collapsible ground blind you buy will have a camo design, but it may not match your local landscape. If you live somewhere that’s snowy and gray during hunting season, then a blind with a lot of green might not be a good choice. In some cases, you may need multiple blinds for different parts of the season, or you can repaint a blind yourself if you have the know-how.
- Turn the blind entrance opposite where you expect the deer to pass.
- This is less of an issue in the woods, but if you’re on a hilltop in particular, try to avoid putting the blind between the rising or setting sun and the deer because this will create a conspicuous silhouette. This requires you to plan ahead based on the angle and timing of the sun in your local area.
- Camouflage your blind for smell as well. A newly purchased blind likely has a plastic, industrial odor. Consider leaving it outside or in a box with leaves and brush for several days before using it.
Minimize Sound and Smell
You’ve found the right spot and successfully hidden a ground blind there. Your final step is to do your part while you’re in it.
- Get in the blind early. At least 30 minutes before sunrise for a morning hunt or an hour before sunset for an evening hunt.
- Enter the blind as quietly as possible without rustling the fabric.
- Keep noise to a minimum in the blind. If you’re hunting in a group, there’s always the temptation to talk, but try to do so as little as possible.
- Use scent control. A ground blind blocks your scent to an extent, but you should still wash your body and gear with scent-neutral soap and use sweat-wicking clothing.
Above all, remember that although it is important to hide the blind from the deer’s eyes, their nose and ears are even more powerful, so hide the blind from those senses as well.
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.