Tree vs. Blind Hunting
by Ryan Taylor
Many times people fail to make the correct decision when deciding to hunt whitetails on the ground or in the tree. There are many determining factors to consider when you have the options to do either one. Stand hunting is what many hunters prefer. They will tell you they live and die by the tree stand. Other hunters are such great artists that they can hide a blind by covering it up with leaves, branches, grasses, corn stalks, and even plain sticks. I guess you could say time plays an important role in choosing each hunting location.
For stand hunting, hunters typically stay between two and five hours. Very rarely do stand hunters stay in the stand all day long. Blind hunters tend to stay in the stand for a lengthier amount of time. Comfort plays a big role in stand hunting and blind hunting as well. You are able stretch out and get much more comfortable in a blind versus a tree stand where you can only stand up to stretch. Time also plays a role in set-up. Setting up a blind and then “brushing” it in takes some time and patience. Basically blending in is of optimum importance when blind hunting. Stand hunting, however, has become more and more popular as the years go by. They are quick to set up, and easy to use. Many hunters can have a stand up in a tree in a matter of minutes. Blending in is also important because a hunter will stick out if they are bigger round than the tree itself.
Some hunters believe on windy days you should stick to a blind or hunting house while others believe the higher you get in the tree the more likely your smell will stay high and travel away. When the winds are down or non-existent, those are the times many hunters love to be high in a tree. On these days, I don’t really care how cold it is, I want to be at a vantage point where I can see the most area or woods possible.
Many hunters also argue that successful bow hunting can’t be done on the ground. This is neither something I have been successful at nor something I enjoy doing. I have seen many deer while bow hunting on the ground, but have always had my luck run out before a shot could be taken. I’m sure we’ve all seen professional deer hunters on television who shoot big bucks and nice does from a blind. This never ceases to amaze me! Most of my bow hunting is done on stand. When winds are up and it’s still nice out, typically I’m stick to my stand when bow hunting.
Tree and ground hunting are two totally different vantage points while hunting whitetail deer. Both have some perks and both have some downfalls. Every hunter has to keep in mind what type of weapon they are using and what location they are going to be most successful at. Most hunters also forget that while their blind may be camouflaged to the gills, they still have to set it out way before the season starts if they plan on not brushing it in. Blinds are a nice addition to any hunter’s gear, but typically they make the hunter think about where to place the blind so that they aren’t too close to a trail or too far away. Stands on the other hand, allow more of a forgiveness factor when considering where to place them. Since you are up in the air and out of sight of deer, you have more room for error when it comes to trails and bedding areas being directly below you.
These days there are hundreds of professional hunters on television talking about deer smelling sense and wind direction. It is important for the deer hunter to know what the weather is going to be doing while they’re hunting. If you wash yourself in scent free soap, use scent free detergent for your clothes and spray yourself and your gear down with scent free spray before hunting, deer are going to miss your human scent more times than not. Every year there are hunters who spend hundreds of dollars in gadgets and high priced camo that are supposed to help them be scent free. Scent control is extremely important in either hunting condition; it just depends on how much you want to spend. Take into consideration your smell when blind hunting or stand hunting. Typically, if in a blind, you’re going to be able to control how much wind hits you and carries your smell away. However, it is important to remember that you should still use your scent control techniques. Stand hunting is different. You are in the element and the wind hits your directly. Therefore your smell gets carried away. However, your smell is on a higher plain than when you are on the ground. More times than not, if you are high enough in a tree, your smell will stay high and not be detected on the ground.
Considering the pros and cons of both of these hunting situations is important. Pick what’s best for you. If you have a lot of tree cover and wooded area, hunting in a stand may be just for you. If you have a lot of open area or foot plots, then hunting in a blind may be the best. Either way, just get out and enjoy hunting. Hunting is a sport that takes common sense. Use yours and you’ll be sure to pick the right tool to hunt with.