I always tell new hunters that you can put a hunting blind anywhere you want. If you do it right. I consider the middle of a field, particularly if it’s recently been cut, an advanced placement. Because it’s a very visible location, it’s a very challenging location. However, when done right, it can provide a lot of success, especially in the late season.
Tips for Setting Up a Ground Blind in a Field
Setting up a ground blind in a field requires extra steps to camouflage it in the open terrain. Here are some tips.
Mix It With Hay Bales
If you want to set up a hunting blind in a cut field that has low grass, I recommend bringing in other bulky elements so that the blind doesn’t seem so out of place. A lot of hunters use hay bales and set up the ground blind next to them.
I’ve never hunted a field with hay bales on it and have always been too lazy to truck them in. Instead, I just build up piles of brush. Once, I even brought in all my raked leaves and dumped them in a pile. The idea is just to make the ground blind seem normal to the deer because it isn’t the only thing sticking out above the grass.
Set Up a Decoy Blind
You don’t necessarily even have to use hay bales or other natural materials. You can just set up another ground blind to make them both seem more normal. (Of course, this means forking out the cash for a second blind.)
Decoy blinds have other benefits, too, though. You can alternate between the two—or three or four—so the deer don’t know what to expect. You can also set one up a bit more conspicuously and the other a bit more hidden. The deer will pay more attention to the conspicuous one, giving you better chances than the other.
Finally, you can use a decoy blind to steer deer movement. Rather than hunting from the blind itself, set it up so that deer stay away from a certain pinch point and instead move towards another. You can be there waiting in another blind or tree stand.
Set Up the Blind Early
The most important thing to do if you want to hunt from a ground blind in the middle of a field is to set it up early. We’re talking at least two weeks before you hunt, but ideally around a month. With enough time, the deer get used to the blind and will walk right up to it even while you’re inside.
Why You Might Want to Put a Hunting Blind in a Field
Hunting from a ground blind in the middle of an open field can be a challenge, but I’ve found it to be a good strategy in certain cases:
- Agricultural fields in cold climates are deer magnets as temperature drops, and deer have fewer options for food.
- Many Midwestern plains environments don’t have any other options.
- The field is elevated, so visibility is limited from the tree blind.
- It’s the late season, and deer have gotten used to hunting pressure and avoid common hunting spots like tree lines and pinch points.
- I’ve aimed this article at whitetail deer hunters, which is what I usually hunt, but the middle of a field is an ideal spot for hunting wild turkey and migratory birds, as well as controlling pests and predators in your agricultural fields.
Problems Putting a Hunting Blind in a Field
Setting up a hunting blind right in the middle of an open field is certainly a challenge, which is why you should follow my tips to avoid these problems:
- The blind is far more noticeable, and wary deer will avoid the field.
- Timing is a bigger issue since you have to be in the blind before the deer arrive at the field.
- Sounds from movements are much more conspicuous when you’re in the middle of a field, so stealth is more difficult.
- The deer’s positioning is harder to predict.
Alternatives to Putting a Hunting Blind in a Field
I usually don’t hunt from the middle of a field unless I feel the circumstances call for it. If you can swing them, here are some alternatives:
- Setting up the blind on the nearest tree line
- Still hunting the field or hiding behind natural objects or hay bales
- Finding the deer’s trail in and out of the field
For more, check out Ground Blind Essentials | Strategies for Stealth and Success.
Main photo courtesy of Tina Shaw/USFWS
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.