Tips to successfully hunt from a ground blind

All photo credits: Brady Miller

Depending on your physical abilities or the type of hunt you wish to undertake, hunting from a blind may be your only option when trying to harvest a western animal, especially with a bow. Often, it is not looked at as a common hunting strategy especially when hunting antelope. Still, it is a technique that can sometimes be the best strategy to harvest a trophy class animal — primarily when public land pressure or Mother Nature provides its own set of challenges that a hunter must overcome. Whenever I have a blind style hunt or hunting day, I set appropriate expectations to stay all day in the blind. This decreases the chance of accidentally alerting any local game to my presence during my travel to and from the blind or the scent that moves as I move. Since staying all day is my goal, it is essential to understand some tips to be successful and advice to help a hunter patiently wait inside their blind instead of finding any excuse to get out of it when boredom strikes.

Bring a book to read

There is no doubt that blind hunting can be the most tedious and mind-numbing form of western hunting. If you are anything like me, the first and last few hours of daylight are full of suspense and hope while the rest of the day you question if you would have better success with a different technique. This is why I always choose to have a good book when hunting from a blind. It is a quiet way to give your mind a break from the monotony of a lack of midday activity, but it also allows you to listen and quickly and quietly be ready if an animal were to move into your position midday.

Bring snacks and drinks

Whether hunting from a blind in 100-degree temperatures near a water hole or below freezing temperatures on an active food source, it is crucial to have some snacks and drinks to get you by. Though your body may not be undergoing as much physical exertion, the mental game needs to be solid and proper food and beverages will help you stay focused longer. They also help you fight the urge to leave and return, which could spook game along your travel to and from your setup.

Bring a urinal or similar

Whenever you eat or drink, other bodily functions often go along with it. One of these functions is having to urinate. As mentioned before, whenever I am in a hunting blind, I try to stay throughout the day to increase my chances of harvesting an animal, especially when hunting with a bow at close range. To overcome the need to leave the blind to urinate, which will be unnecessary movement and unnecessary sounds and, ultimately, leave my scent on the ground, I always pack a bottle or urinal to do my business. For ladies, fear not; there are male and female urinals available. Being able to stay hydrated, but not have to urinate is a challenge for many people's bodies, so plan accordingly.

Keep your windows closed

When hunting out of a blind, visibility is often an issue. Not only are you set up on the ground, but you are also in a structure that has limited windows to see out of. Limited visibility is not something you are used to when hunting, so it can be tempting to open up all windows to get the most visibility. I encourage you to open up only half of the winds at a time, all on one side of the blind. This is the best strategy because opening up half of the windows still gives you a sizable black background if an animal looks inside your blind. This black background will hide your movements, making them not as susceptible to being caught by your prey. If you have the windows in front and behind you open, an animal can see movement through the blind — even when you are trying to move slowly. When hunting, open the windows to the upwind side of your blind so you can see the area where you will have the highest chance of being undetected.

Set up downwind

As you know, as a hunter, the wind can be your number one enemy when hunting animals whose primary instinct is to trust their noses for survival. There is no exception when hunting from a blind. Always plan your entrance and your exits to a blind setup based upon the cover and the wind direction and always set up downwind of the waterhole, food source or trail that you are hunting over. This will help you go unsuspected to the animals you are hunting and increase your harvest chance.

Blind hunting can be an excellent strategy in your back pocket for any species whether you are hunting with a bow or a gun. I always like to have it as an option when I need to sit near a water hole during a hot part of a season, when trying to sit near a food source in the wide open and whenever the weather is trying to tell me to stay in my sleeping bag. It shelters you from the elements and gives you a place to have hidden movements and scent control while getting you out into the wilderness to chase animals. Though it is not the glamorous hunting style you see the most on social media, it can be successful. The next time you are considering hunting, consider packing a blind in your rig so that if the opportunity arises to use it, you have it. Setup and patience are keys to success when hunting from a blind.


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