Tips For Successful Ground Blind Bowhunting

More and more bowhunters are coming out of the trees and pursuing their game from eye level. That’s because hunting from a blind has so many advantages over tree stands.

Portable hub-style blinds, such as my Barronett, go anywhere, set up quickly and quietly, and provide unmatched concealment. They also block the wind and rain and allow you to hunt in total comfort. The result — you’ll hunt longer and improve your odds for success. Here’s a quick rundown of blind-hunting tips that will help you make the most of this season.

Which Blind?
Choosing the perfect blind for your hunt is very important. There are basically two styles of fully-enclosed blinds: frame-style and hub-style. In my opinion, nothing beats a hub blind, because the hub system pushes the fabric as tight as a drum to eliminate wind flap and unwanted movement. Hub blinds also give you more interior room since the hubs bow outward. There are many manufacturers of high-quality hub blinds, and each offers unique window configurations. I really like the way Barronett has laid out their window design for concealment and customization for different shooting scenarios.

Babe Winkelman

Proper Placement
Success absolutely depends upon where you place your blind. Naturally, for big game hunting, you want to set up downwind of travel routes and at the distance you want for your shot. For bowhunting, 20- to 25 yards from a trail is is a perfect distance. Whenever possible, position the blind within existing cover and avoid “skylining” the blind on a hilltop or ridge.

When you’ve determined the perfect spot, clear away all debris where the blind will sit. With all sticks, leaves, crunchy snow, etc., out of the blind, there’s no way to inadvertently snap a twig or make a sound when maneuvering inside. Another preparation includes spraying the blind, inside and out, with Scent-A-Way spray to neutralize odors. To enhance concealment, Barronett includes brush straps that allow you to affix nearby brush, branches, etc. to add a natural, 3-D effect to your set-up. Once inside the blind, set up your gear (bow, rattling antlers, calls, food/water, etc.) in an organized way so everything is within easy reach, yet out of the way when the moment of truth comes for a shot.

Room With a View
Arrange your shooting and viewing windows thoughtfully. Many hunters make the mistake of opening every window. This lets in a lot of light and silhouettes you inside the blind. The best approach is to open only the windows you could conceivably shoot through, and keep everything else closed. This creates a “dark-house” effect to cloak you in shadows.

Dress Dark
With the dark-house effect achieved, the optimal clothing to wear inside the blind is a black shirt or jacket, along with a black face mask and black gloves. The inside of my Barronett blind has a matte black finish so by wearing black myself it literally makes me disappear inside the dark blind. You can get away with a lot more movement if you’re dressed in dark clothes.

Practice Shooting
Most bowhunters practice shooting from a standing position. That’s great, and necessary. But when you’re hunting from a ground blind, your shots are usually taken from a seated or kneeling position. So be sure and practice that way! And actually practice from INSIDE your blind, so you’re used to the act of shooting through a small window opening. It might seem like a hassle, but if you practice shooting from your blind you’ll be glad you did when that buck-of-a-lifetime steps in front of your window!

As with all kinds of hunting, move like a predator when you’re blind hunting. Keep your movements smooth and slow, whether you’re reaching for your bow or just raising your binoculars to do some glassing. All big game animals are totally in-tune with spotting movement. Always ASSUME there’s a set of eyes on you at all times, even when you see nothing, and move with total stealth.

I hope these fundamental ground blind hunting tips are helpful to you. And if you haven’t done it already, pick yourself up a good hub blind and get out there at ground level with those deer. It’s effective, exhilarating and a great way to bowhunt!

Good Hunting!

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4 Responses to “Tips For Successful Ground Blind Bowhunting”

  1. Thomas kelley

    Good information.

  2. KJMClark

    This is an excellent write up. Some other things that I’ve found might help too:
    – I’m not fond of the shoot-through mesh on those windows. They affect arrow flight a lot, and you end up ripping them full of holes if you try to practice with them on. I just take them off on the side I think I’m most likely to shoot on. I suspect they’re intended for gun hunting.
    – But ground blinds are buggier than up in a treestand. OTOH, Thermacells work *really* well inside the blind. You only need to use them a tiny bit to keep all of the bugs out.
    – Sound is *really* dampened inside the blind. Things will walk almost on top of you without you hearing anything. But sounds you make are muffled too. You can often get away with small clinks and rustles in the blind that would bust you in the stand.
    – It’s *much* easier to stay warm in the blind. You can wrap up your legs in a blanket – even a bright white one – and nothing will know it’s there. There’s almost no wind chill in the blind.
    – I find a short three-legged folding stool is terrific. You can sit on that in a back corner (I’m right-handed, and use the back-left corner), and easily and silently shift to a ground shooting position.
    – In some ways, scent control is more important, and in some ways less. No wind to blow your scent toward noses, but no wind to disperse your scent either.
    – You are out of the wind, so it’s easy to forget to make wind adjustments to your target.

  3. Gerry Gindele

    I hunt stricley on my own property over the years after cutting the trails to my blinds and stands the grass has grown in making it like walking on carpet to get where I am hunting that day, I mow it once a month. The other thing I like to do is take untreated wood chips and line the inside of the blind about 4 inch deep, no mud, it’s quiet, keeps your gear cleaner. Good Luck

  4. Paul Wayne Dominy

    Good advise, I’ve used a blind in the past and have had a Buck almost breathing on me.Be blessed in your hunt P.W.D.