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Is it Hard to Bowhunt Out of a Ground Blind?

Pop-Up-Ground-Blind-Tent and Tree Stand Montage

If you’ve read my other articles, you know I primarily hunt from a tree stand. I also primarily hunt with a recurve bow. However, I sometimes want the advantages of a ground blind like weather protection, and I’ve found that with the proper technique, I can still use traditional archery.

I won’t lie to you. Bowhunting from a ground blind is harder than bowhunting from a tree stand or still hunting. It’s definitely doable, though, and if you like bowhunting, you probably enjoy a challenge anyway, right?

If you want to bowhunt from a ground blind, make sure you know the challenges you’re up against. If you address them correctly, you can have a successful harvest.

Challenges to Bowhunting Out of a Ground Blind

Ground blinds have a few big disadvantages:

  • Limited visibility: The ground blind blocks your view except for the shooting slits. You can’t see game in 360 degrees. You can only see those that pass through the shooting lanes.
  • Limited shooting angles: Because you have to shoot out of a shooting slit, it’s difficult to angle your shots. Blinds are primarily designed for simple straight shooting lanes.
  • Conspicuous to game: Ground blinds are, well, on the ground. That makes them easier to see. Plus, they’re relatively large and obviously man-made, so they may spook deer.

These disadvantages apply to all hunters, but they’re magnified when bowhunting. For instance, since arrows don’t fly nearly as straight as bullets, an accurate shot always requires calculating and adjusting for angles, which is more difficult in a ground blind. 

Additionally, you need your quarry to come much closer for bowhunting. The ethical range maxes out at about 40 yards versus 200 or more for rifles. It can be hard to get a wild animal to come that close to a ground blind.

Camo tent or hunting blind between the trees

Advantages to Bowhunting Out of a Ground Blind

It’s not all bad, though. There are some perks to ground blinds, even for bowhunters. Just like other hunters, you get weather protection and scent containment, and these are serious advantages.

However, there’s one benefit unique to bowhunting: the level shot. In reality, it’s easier to shoot accurately from an elevated position like a tree stand, but you may not have many opportunities to practice this way. 

If you’re using a traditional bow like a longbow or recurve, you need quite a bit of practice to hit the kill zone even from close range, so if this has all been over level ground at the shooting range, hunting from a ground blind is closer to your training scenario. 

Tips for Bowhunting Out of a Ground Blind

For any blind hunter, but especially a bowhunter, positioning the ground blind correctly is crucial. You have a limited field of view and fewer shooting angles, so the blind should be set up so that your quarry passes right in front of you. This requires a lot of study into deer movement in your area, allowing you to accurately predict their travel corridors.

In fact, I only bowhunt from a ground blind when I have time to set it up before the season starts and scout the deer’s feeding and bedding areas, mapping the trails they use to move between them. Bowhunting from a ground blind is more challenging and requires more effort, but that can make it all the more rewarding when you finally take your trophy buck.