Skip to Content

The Pros and Cons of Bowhunting From Ground Blinds

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

To be honest, I love bowhunting no matter the method: stand hunting, still hunting, blind hunting. Switching it up keeps me on my toes and makes things more fun. Plus, all these methods have pros and cons that make them better for certain situations. Overcoming the challenges and taking advantage of the benefits makes a successful hunt all the more rewarding.

Pro: Hidden From Game

Unlike a tree stand and still hunting where you are visibly exposed to game, a ground blind covers you completely, except for through the shooting slits or certain cases where the sunlight can give you a silhouette or shadow. 

In a ground blind, you don’t have to worry as much about wearing camouflage and blending your body in with the environment. Deer simply can’t see you.

Con: Limited Visibility

Deer can’t see you in a ground blind because there’s a structure or tent around you. But that means you can’t see them either…

Your blind will have shooting slits or windows from which you can see a quarry passing in front of you, but otherwise, you might not even know they’re there. You don’t have 360 degrees of visibility like in a tree stand.

Pro: Protection From the Elements

I’d say the main reason I break out the ground blind is because I don’t feel like weathering the rain and icy wind of the Midwestern deer hunting season. Protection from the elements is a big perk of ground blinds, and many hunters even insulate their blinds and heat them.

Con: Less Interaction With Nature

Small herd of white-tailed deer eats corn

Being protected from the elements comes with the downside that you don’t interact with those elements. I can assure you that the game is interacting with the elements and changing their behavior as a result, so this eliminates a lot of information that can help you while hunting.

For example, deer usually move against the wind so that they can pick up smells. Feeling the wind yourself can help you predict their movements.

Pro: More Space and Comfort

Tree stands are usually pretty cramped. When still hunting, you can only bring what you can carry on your back. In a ground blind, though, you can bring a chair, a cooler, a heater, even a friend. There’s a lot more room, and you can wait for your quarry much more comfortably.

Con: More Conspicuous to Game

Although a ground blind’s larger size gives you more room, it also makes it more visible to animals like deer. In fact, ground blinds are pretty conspicuous and easily recognizable as man-made even when they have camo patterns.

A ground blind is far more likely to spook a deer on its own than a tree stand, and deer are unlikely to approach it when it first appears. The best strategy is to set it up a couple of weeks ahead of time.

Pro: Versatile Placement

A tree stand requires a tree that is capable of supporting your combined weight and that provides adequate visibility of your surroundings. A ground blind, on the other hand, can go just about anywhere as long as you clear enough space on the ground for it. This gives you a lot more versatility for hunting environments, especially if you live in a part of the country where large trees are uncommon, such as the Great Plains. 

Con: Placement Learning Curve

Okay, so you can put a ground blind just about anywhere, but should you? Ground blinds are visible to game like deer after all, so if you just plop one in a field, it’s going to scare them off.

Proper ground-blind placement could be its own college major. The best spot is arguably on the edge of a feeding area where you can blend the ground blind into the woods behind you, but this isn’t always an option. For example, if you have no option but to plop it down in the middle of the field, you can use hay bales and decoy blinds to make it less conspicuous.

Plus, there is a whole science to setting up your ground blind at the right time.

Pro: Level Bow Shot

Upward angle of a man shooting a bow downward from a treestand

A ground blind lets you bowhunt from the ground while still remaining hidden from game. For many bowhunters, especially those using traditional bows like longbows and recurves, most of their practice is from the ground. After all, you don’t usually climb up in a tree to take practice shots.

As a result, shooting from the ground blind is a lot more similar to your practice scenario. This may improve the chances of an accurate shot.

Con: Decreased Accuracy Over Range

Although shooting from a ground blind may more closely match the shooting you’re used to at the range, it’s less accurate in general. Being elevated in a tree stand helps you shoot more accurately for several reasons. The arrow can go a farther distance before dropping to the ground, a greater portion of drop is accounted for in the angle of the shot, and the downward angle of entry provides more margin for error.

In other words, if you want to bowhunt over a long range and have a high-powered compound bow, a ground blind won’t let you take full advantage of this capability.