After falling 20' while setting up a stand last summer my hunting strategies have changed, to say the least. While I used to thrive hunting from a lock on, ladder stand or climber, now I find myself being satisfied on the ground. Shocker, I know! While I am no stranger to ground hunting I used to do so without the constraints of a blind so I could move around, be aggressive, and find my own cover. However with limited mobility those days are long gone. So this year I already have 3 ground blinds set up. Yes, they are already out there and in position waiting on a last minute brush in. Why so early you ask? Here's why:
This doe has been coming to a protein feeder just out of frame for the last 6 months. Every day, every night, no issues. But something changed that has her on high alert; my ground blind. I placed it 35 yards in the woods nearly 24 hours before these photos from my Spypoint Link- Evo were taken and guess what she's staring directly at? You got it. She refused to eat from the feeder that day and didn't come back until nightfall. Deer are extremely observant, especially the older ones. They are highly aware of changes, even the subtle ones. If someone snuck in your house and moved your couch, your tv, and your recliner in the middle of the night would you notice? You bet you would. That's why when it comes to ground blinds the earlier you get them out the better. Most importantly make sure to take your time brushing them in. The less obvious the intrusion, and longer it's there the more used to it they will be by deer season. The last thing you want to get into on opening day is a staring contest.
Another major strategy change while hunting from the ground is the increased importance of scent control. You had better take it up a notch or just plan on enjoying the day watching young immature deer and squirrels. One thing I won't go in a ground blind without in my Ozonics. When it comes to scent control I don't take any shortcuts. If you are after the dominant buck on your property you can't afford to either. Having a careless entry and exit path, or being lazy with your scent control is the easiest way to ensure you'll have a nice quiet uneventful day in the woods.
Being eye level with your target buck is an adrenaline rush on the next level. It takes extra care, caution and preparation. What's he worth to you? It's an addiction all over again like you first experienced when bow hunting all together. Give it a try this fall.
Justin Lanclos- LABH Editor/ Founder