Pairing the right equipment with your ground blind
Crossbows are perfect for someone unable to draw back a compound bow. The same goes for ground blinds when someone is unable to climb. They each have more benefits than some people realize. When my daughter got to the age, she wanted to find out what deer hunting was all about, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to take her to the woods with me and teach her everything I knew about hunting. But she was only 5, anybody that has a 5-year-old knows exactly what I mean. I didn’t want to tell her no but at the same time there was no way she was climbing up a ladder stand or sitting still long enough to see any deer.
I went to the local outdoor supply store and picked up a ground blind. I sprayed it down with scent free spray and left it sitting outside for a few days. I studied an overview of my property and picked the perfect place to set it up. After setting it up and brushing it in we were ready to hunt. That evening we packed a small backpack with some crayons, snacks, and hot chocolate. She was able to move around and keep herself content till the golden hour. Once some deer started to funnel out in front of us, I knew she was hooked, and I know I made a great decision with the ground blind.
PERFECT FOR EVERYBODY
Ground blinds are not only perfect for kids they are literally perfect for anybody that wants to hunt. There are several reasons you may be unable to hunt from a tree, maybe it’s due to an injury or you’re unable to climb a tree anymore. Maybe you’re afraid of heights or you want someone to guide you through your first hunt. None of these matters when it comes to hunting from a ground blind. They are also a perfect way to introduce someone new to the great sport of hunting.
When I started to teach a friend the craft of bowhunting we started out with a crossbow and ground blind.
Why might you ask? Because there is a lot that can go wrong from a tree stand as well as using a compound. In my opinion it was better to take him to the woods and have him fall in love with the sport then he could hunt however he wanted. The ground blind allowed us both to hunt together and discuss important things like when to take the shot without spooking any deer. The crossbow took a lot of the error that could go wrong from shooting a compound bow, letting him make the perfect shot on a nice doe.
PERFECT FOR EVERY LOCATION
Ground blinds can be taken down and set up in less than 5 minutes. They can also be hunted from anywhere. No trees? No problem. When hunting I want to be where the deer want to be naturally. In the rolling agricultural landscape that I hunt in it is mostly made up of small blocks of timber and creeks scattered across the land- scape. I have found some of my best hunting spots to be in the man-made waterways that snake through a lot of the corn fields. Any other method of hunting would not be practical in this scenario.
Another scenario that a ground blind is the best method to hunt from is a CRP buffer stirp next to a picked field. I like to find how the deer are using the area by using my Moultrie Mobile Edge cell cameras. Once I have a good understanding I set up a ground blind brushed into the CRP 20 yards off the trail. They brush in incredibly well and can give you the perfect shot.
THE RIGHT CROSSBOW
There are several companies on the market making crossbows and they will all work from a ground blind. With that said, when selecting a crossbow there are some better choices on the market than others for ground blinds. I personally use Barnett crossbows. They are accurate, fast, and affordable. I have used several different ones over the years but as of recently I have kept with the Barnett TS380, up until this year. It was silent, fast, light, and had an adjustable stock which was perfect for my daughter. This year I am making the switch to the Barnett Hyper Raptor. After shooting one at the ATA show this year, I knew I needed this crossbow. Shooting at 410 feet per second and only having a 7 ¼ inch axle to axle width when cocked I knew it would be perfect for a ground blind. This makes it a breeze to move when needed for the perfect shot. Either crossbow is a great choice for everyone to learn and hunt with, and my daughter learned to shoot with a Barnett at 6 years old.
THE RIGHT BLIND
Just like crossbows there are several companies that are making ground blinds. Most soft sided ground blinds will work for hunting but there are a few things I would look for when purchasing a new ground blind. Let’s start with one of my favorite new things to come along in the ground blind game: see through fabric. The fabric allows you to see 270 degrees from inside the blind with no windows open, but from the outside it looks as if the blind is all closed keeping you concealed. This is a great new feature that I have come to love in my TIdeWe ground blind.
Next up is silent zippers. It never fails that the deer will show up at the window that’s not open preventing you from taking a shot. So, you need to be able to slide it open without spooking anything.
Lastly, I look at the closure system and rods that hold the blind up. I say this because we get lots of high winds in my area of the country as well as our fair share of snow. The last thing I want to have to worry about is my blind collapsing because of snow or the wind ripping thru a window causing the blind to flip over, especially when heading in to hunt an hour before sunup the morning of a hunt. My TIdeWe ground blind is built like a tank and can with stand being in the elements all season long.
THE MUST HAVE GEAR
There are some pieces of gear that I will not head to the ground blind without. These things in my opinion are must haves for everyone hunting from a ground blind.
Let’s start with the BOG Deathgrip tripod. Lightweight, rock solid, and fully adjustable to any hunter’s height, what’s not to love. This is the perfect tripod for kids or anyone that is unable to balance or hold a crossbow. I have also found it to be a great tool myself for helping steady my nerves when a big buck comes in. It is also great for gun hunting and scouting with a spotting scope.
Next up is an Ozonics unit. The scent game is an important game to play in the whitetail world since they live and die by their nose. With an Ozonics unit and a good blind location I can hunt almost any wind I want to, as long as I can access it without bumping deer.
Remember to hang your Ozonics unit over the window that is open so that your scent stream gets mixed with the ozone pumping out. Another quick tip about Ozonics units is that I like to hang my Ozonics HR500 in my ground blind and run a few cycles before each season.
This ensures that all scent is out before heading to the timber.
The last two things I want to cover are a portable heater and comfortable chair. Let’s start with the heater, I have a portable vent free Buddy Heater. I have found this to be one of the best investments I made when the weather changes, especially in the late season. This little heater is odorless and runs off little propane bottles. It is just enough heat to keep me comfortable on those all day sits over a food source waiting on my target buck to show up.
When it comes to chairs there are two main companies that come to mind. BOG and TideWe. Let’s start with BOG, the company that makes the tripod. They also make a chair with a built in Deathgrip, the BOG Chair- pod. This thing is awesome. It eliminates the need for a tripod and the chair can silently rotate 360 degrees and is fully adjustable. BOG also makes several other very comfortable silent ground blind chairs if you’re in the market I would give them a look. Tidewe also makes several ground blind chairs but the one I like the most is the heated ground blind chair. Just like a heated vest or jacket works TideWe has a heated ground blind chair that does the same thing, keeping you warm on those cold hunts.
TO WRAP IT ALL UP
Just like I stated at the beginning, crossbows and ground blinds just make sense. They are perfect for everyone from the most experienced hunter to the first-time hunter. They can let you hunt from any location with a deadly accurate, fast bow. Thus giving you the maximum opportunity to harvest your trophy. This year my daughter will spend as much time as needed to punch her first tag behind her crossbow in a ground blind with me and I couldn’t be more excited.