View Full Version : Ground Blinds for Deer and Turkey

February 12, 2006, 06:25 PM
Folks I am getting a bit on in years and I am having a hard time climbing tree stands. I have been hunting a long time and realize their advantage but I am just not able anymore. My question, .... I want to try a ground blind. Does this way of hunting work well? Any recommendations? Any advice? I want to keep it simple. Thanks


February 12, 2006, 06:38 PM
My father turned 70 last year and he's been using one for about 2or3 years now. He lives to turkey hunt. I believe he got it at Cabela's. It comes in a zippered case and you take it out and literally toss in on the ground and it springs open. Pick up and place it and you are ready. hpg

February 13, 2006, 08:03 AM
Depends on the terrain and underbrush.

I use ground blinds alot, one called the Outhouse. It is inexpensive and packs around very easy, kind of tricky to learn how to pack it up again, do not through the directions away. The downside to this blind is the covering is nylon and snow slides off with a deer alarming swish.

I have another larger blind that packs well. I do not remember the name. It has a quieter covering, but the frame crosses on all sides and each side has three small windows. This on has a top opening that we sometimes use duck hunting.

My younger brother has a doghouse model he likes alot. He takes his young son with him all the time.

I have several permanent blinds on my property. They are mostly scrounges building materials. They are carpeted with sliding windows.

There are some places that I like to hunt that a tree stand is an advantage. It allows you to see over brush. Or watch both sides of a ridge. Pick your spots well and a ground blind is fine.

IMO a ground blind is a more comfortable hunt, particularly when the weather is inclement. I have come to hate cold rain, sleet, or snow melting all over me and my stuff. I can quietly move around, get a drink, eat a sandwich, turn on the heater, even use the pee can with out being easily seen.

February 13, 2006, 08:32 AM
I don't know about store-bought ground blinds, but my uncle has been hunting behind his house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge for well over 30 years (he's 74.) and he's never been up a tree. He is still getting his limit of deer every year by sitting on a stump surrounded by little cedar trees he keeps trimmed low enough to shoot over. He has a couple of spots set up and they all produce.


February 13, 2006, 09:30 AM
My double bull T-5 ground blind has produced deer and hogs numerous times.

It is a little difficult to set up in comparison to the toss and watch types. It is made of a canvas type material and is very quiet. It is lined in flat black so my movements inside are not seen. I can fit two 200lb plus guys sitting on folding chairs, a cooler, two bows or rifles, and a heater. Plenty of room to stretch out. It sets up great. It has the right shaped and well placed windows. All the windows have covering that is easily removed or shot thru.


I carried it to south Texas last fall and shot a nice 9 pointer at 35 yards.

February 13, 2006, 09:33 AM
This one works great for turkeys.


Packs easily and lightly into remote places, and if you can fold & unfold your car sunshade with the twist motion, then with a few tries, you can fold this one back up quickly. I put a few limbs draped over and around the base of it. Deer, however, see anything that is different and stay away, so this is more of a hindrance than a help for them in my view, vs. just sitting on the ground or in a chair. If using one for deer, I'd use a smaller one such as the "outhouse" blind (smaller than this "doghouse"), and cover it well with brush and leave it for a week or so before hunting (if possible) so the deer can get used to it. The doghouse size works well for one or two people, but not more - go to a bigger size for 3 more.

February 13, 2006, 09:42 AM
Ok there is a formula for ground blind use. It is called the 20-100 Rule.
I dont know if any of you know this one so, I am going to do my best to explain it.
First is the 20. If you set up your ground blind in dense cover or on a curvey trail and a deer cannot see it until he is within 20 yards he will no doubt be within your shooting range and he is already looking past your blind so he doesn't see the shape of it. That is the 20. It works!
The other is the 100. If a deer can see your ground blind from 100+ yards he can eliminate it as a danger and travel right to or past it. He sees it, it doesn't look like danger, he continues his course. That is the 100. It also works.

The areas between are where you run into trouble. If a deer rounds a corner and sees your ground blind at 45 yards, he may be alarmed and skirt you.

It all has to do with the way deer scan there surroundings.

February 13, 2006, 09:52 AM
Ground blinds, those sold by Cabalas, Bass Pro Shop, WalMart and others work fine. They work exceptionally well on ambushing turkeys or hogs.

For Turkeys in the conventional manner, locating, setting up and calling-a blind might be a hinderance to your mobility and interfear with the hunt.
Turkeys and hogs don;t seem to pay the blinds any attention, but I have found deer to be a different thing.

With deer, you set the blind up and they will see it from as far as you can see them. I first thought that the blind had UV bright inks in it which looks like a neon light to a deer but after treating it with UV killer and confirming with a black light the deer still would spot it. To overcome this problem I camo my ground blind with brush and limbs and this works really well. The deer still "see it" but they don;t pay it nearly as much attention.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2006, 10:25 AM
Critters--particularly turkey--survive in part from the ability of "pattern recognition". That is, seeing what changes might have occurred in the world of their daily movements. Anything different is Bad. Bad Things mean, "Leave now!"

A brush blind or box blind that's been left in the field becomes a natural part of everyday life. Animals get used to it and pay it no mind. I dunno. Maybeso a week or two and that New Thing becomes Always Been There.


February 13, 2006, 10:47 AM
For deer hunting, do the ground blinds have to be treated with a scent repellant? I always thought they had that "store" bought smell.

February 13, 2006, 12:22 PM
I have observed in Texas as well as most other southern states that permanet blinds are not ignored by the resident game animals, especially deer.:)
The first thing that the deer will do when he steps out into view of the blind is look at it:confused: and they will continue to occasionally take a look at it as they feed. They know its there, they know there is something dangerous about it since "after that big noise that made us all get the h$% out of there, ole buddy Fred, with the big horns, ant been seen." :eek: But, it hasn't done them any harm so they just keep a casual watch on it.:D

Art Eatman
February 13, 2006, 05:42 PM
Loggerhead: Whether ground or tower or in a tree, deer come to learn that a blind can be a place to avoid. So, relocate from time to time.

People can be their own worst enemy, though. Cigarette butts, peeing, small trash: All that scent comes to be associated with danger. Bad juju.

I've never used a box blind. I tend to go out before the season, cut a few bushes to put in a likely spot, and then use the blind a time or two during the season. Do this in several locations. It helps me to learn the country, where deer hang out and where they travel.


February 13, 2006, 06:24 PM
ART, in my experience the longer a blind is in place the less attention deer will give it. It is my opinion that the first day in a new location will be the best because the deer will not be expecting it and as long as it does not move, or smell-as you pointed out, they usually do not run from it.

By the way, I recently read a aritcle concerning some recent work done with human pee and the deer sense. The findings were that when a deer comes up on human urine in the natural environment he will smell it and be curious as he would the urine of any other "animal" but not panic in any way.

I have boxes, tripods, ladders and climbers on my place and seems to me that regardless they watch um but do not avoid um. This past fall I was in a ladder stand which had been in place for a couple of years, over a biologic plot with several deer in it, and once it got dark, two does stood within 15 steps of it and watched me lower my bow to the ground, stand up, turn around and step down to the first step before they ran.

For saintjb, I too am into those years(70) and I still climb trees but I also use the ground blind more and more. Another trick that I use, with regards to odor, I pulverize charcoal briquets (activate it) and put about a pound or two in the foot of a painty hose and put it in the pop-up blind container. Don;t know if it helps or not but think that it does. I also hang a couple in my camo cloths closet (ole lady still hasn't figured out where her panty hose went)

February 13, 2006, 06:29 PM
Out here in northern CA. we still don't use tree stands for rifle hunting. I have used ground blinds for a long time . I just make use of what ever is in the area that I hunt and build my blind a month or so before sessions usually in more than one place . They don't have to be elaborate . Just enough to mask your movement and break up your outline. A couple of old logs on the edge of a clear cut or a brush patch that you can crawl into do just fine . the best thing is you can leave them in place and hunt out of the year after year .don't have to pack them in or out . I make sure that I don't leave garbage in the area and don't use the bathroom around the blind .

February 13, 2006, 06:47 PM
I think for deer you need to leave the blind in place for a couple of months so they become accustomed to having it there. Turkeys detect movement and a pop up ground blind will fool them immediatly.

It always cracks me up when I see hunters trailering up their huge tower blinds the day before the season starts. That should keep the woods calm.:rolleyes:

February 13, 2006, 07:10 PM
Gotta watch the wind no matter how you hunt.

February 13, 2006, 10:18 PM
I've had alot of sucess hunting out of blinds... I use natural blinds or even fire wood that I've cut just leave it stacked were you hunt at the right height and the deer don't seem to notice it... plus they've gotten use to seeing and hearing you in their home... just have to make sure you do it well before season starts

Art Eatman
February 13, 2006, 11:22 PM
Loggerhead, as near as I can tell, if deer are regularly shot from one particular blind, the older, larger--and, I assume, smarter--bucks learn to avoid it. Does and little bucks pretty much wander any old where, as long as there's no obvious threat.

Of course, not all deer have read the book...

:), Art

Art Eatman
February 13, 2006, 11:27 PM
Loggerhead, as near as I can tell, if deer are regularly shot from one particular blind, the older, larger--and, I assume, smarter--bucks learn to avoid it. Does and little bucks pretty much wander any old where, as long as there's no obvious threat.

Of course, not all deer have read the book...

:), Art

February 14, 2006, 08:42 AM
I move my ground blind every day. Pre season I set up spots to put it up in.
I trim the limbs and I camo it in with natural foliage.
My most success comes in the first time setting up. I have, however taken two deer from the same location on 2 nights in a row and my buddy shot a doe the 3rd night. Same set up. Same location. Same ground blind.
Deer recognize the different things in the woods. You better be as scent free as possible and have numerous ground blind sites to set up in. I play the wind and I think it is a must.
I spray my ground blind with scent eliminator. I spray the screens on the windows with scent eliminator periodically while inside.
I have good success ground blind hunting. You can too if you use the 20-100 rule and camo in your blind with natural foliage.
Try it and show us the pic's. I know you will have some.

February 14, 2006, 08:57 AM
ART, I agree! That is why the first day of a location is usually the best.

In my part of the country most of the hunting is done on private land and over food plots so it is convenient to have permanent "stands." These stands, be they shooting houses or ladders are placed in such a manner as to utalize favorable wind conditions. It is effective because we have learned that deer move for two reasons, food and sex, and they will come, regardless of the risk. The big boys usually come last but they too will come.

I use my pop up, when the deer have became nocturnal for reasons of pressure or moon phase, to get off the food plots.