I was up hunting a few days ago and I ran into a couple of guys that had set up a pop-up ground blind. Although I’ve always preferred to make my own, it is kind of cool how you can just pop them up in a few minutes.
But there are a few things to consider when you’re setting yours up that will give you better odds of getting a shot.
First of all, think about setting up your ground blind well in advance of your hunt. Deer are very smart and curious. They will definitely know when something’s new in the neighborhood and until they have a chance to make sure it’s safe, they will be weary of it. The guys I ran into set theirs up that morning… bad idea.
Probably the most important factor to consider is where to set up. If you were smart and did some pre-season scouting, you should have a pretty good idea. A lot of hunters set up on the edge of a field where they know deer feed but it’s a bit different in the thick woods.
A spot where you have more than one opportunity is ideal. Don’t make the mistake of leaving yourself just one shooting lane. Try to imagine several scenarios of where the deer might come and set up so you can make a shot from a few angles. Consider a spot where deer may funnel through (a pinch point) as they are traveling from one spot to another.
Even if you have the most incredible spot on the planet, it’s not going to be productive if it sticks out like a sore thumb. The hunters I ran into the other day, well, you could have almost seen their blind from outer space. Look around at the natural landscape and dress it up with tree limbs, cattails and whatever else you can find to make it look natural.
Another thing to consider is the wind. Once again, all the rest of the details can be perfect and the wind will kill your hunt every time. This is another reason to set up your blind early. Spend some time making sure you are in a spot where you know what the wind’s doing so you don’t end up having to relocate. Also, make sure you have de-scented your blind before you drag it out into the woods. If you unwrap it at camp and haul it out, you can be sure that “fresh plastic” smell will stink up the woods for days. Take it out and let the air get to it for awhile.
Although not as critical as the wind, the sun can also play havoc if you’re in a location where it might glow like a light bulb. If you’re lit up too much, little things can alert deer like a glare off a rifle scope or barrel. Try not to highlight yourself. Another thing to remember is that your white face gives you away as well. Put on some face cammo or a mask.
One of the last things to consider is the time when you plan on slipping into your blind. Believe me, the forest sees everything and if you’re nonchalantly entering your blind when its light, you will be seen. Deer will be keen to putting a human element on your blind if they see you go in. Make sure you get there before it’s light and be stealthy and quiet when you do.
There are some definite advantages to having one of these neat little blinds and if you want to be able to move around a little, change position or even raise your weapon without being seen, they seem to be a great idea. Just make sure you get it all set up in advance and you’ll look like you’ve always been there.