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Humans have an atavistic urge to hunt. We have been hunting since time immemorial. Over the years, hunters have refined their techniques and advancements in science have brought in a plethora of effective tools and accessories.
Hunting is extremely popular in the United States. During the hunting season, the woods throng with hunters armed with a variety of tools to bag their chosen prey.
The weapons used range from different kinds of firearms, bows and even spears! But as always, the prey is wary of humans. Even the slightest hint of human presence will spook it away.
Early humans used a variety of techniques to mask their presence. They used camouflage and learned to track the prey downwind. The modern hunters though have a variety of options to stalk prey unnoticed.
Ground blinds and tree stands are some of the most popular options that are used today. They are one of the most important accessories a hunter can have. They allow the hunter to remain undetected until the prey reaches a gun or bow range.
While hunting whitetails in the woods, the hunter ascertains the path that the animals usually take. A tree stand or a ground blind is setup. The hunter waits well camouflaged for the prey to approach within range.
Ground blind and tree stands are invaluable accessories to a hunter. But it is not always possible to carry them both during a hunt. This guide will list out the pros and cons of both to help you decide what to take for your next hunt.
A ground blind is an artificial cover, somewhat like a mini tent. It conceals the hunter and the structure itself is made with camouflage fabric. They, however, need to be set up in such a way that it blends in with the surrounding. It has windows to spot and shoot prey.
Tree stands can get you above the deer’s line of sight. They are firmly fixed to a sturdy tree near the prey’s path and concealed using camo. A hunter can perch comfortably and wait until the prey approaches.
How well do they conceal?
Both these accessories if set up well are great for concealing the hunter. In the case of a ground blind, it is necessary to blend it in with the surroundings. If the prey senses something amiss, it will get spooked.
In the case of a tree stand, it is above the line of sight of most herbivores. They hardly look up. Even then, the perch should be well camouflaged. A camo tarp will be very handy.
Do they affect mobility?
For bowhunters, a tree stand may sometimes severely affect mobility. Hang on and climbing tree stands offer good mobility while ladder stands are stifling.
The ground blind scores somewhat better when it comes to mobility. But the little windows provided can be restricting sometimes. But since it is set up on the ground, it provides much better balance and stability.
Is shot-making easy?
When it comes to shot-making, both have their own limitations. In tree stands, the branches and leaves affecting the line of sight must be cleared. This can negatively affect concealment. The perch should be stable and secure for good balance while taking a shot.
Ground blinds have windows all around. But the hunter usually keeps only one or two windows to spot and shoot the prey. Too many open windows will affect the concealment. The fewer windows kept open will restrict your shot-making options.
Which is more expensive?
Basic tree stands along with the climbing ladder will cost you around $100. Basic ground blinds can be had for about $50. The basic models, however, are smaller with low ceilings. The roomier ones are more expensive.
As always, the best ones of both the accessories do not come cheap.
Is it comfortable?
With advances in science, materials like zero-gravity seats and memory foam have increased the comfort factor in tree stands by several notches. Many hunters will be glad to get off their perch after a day's hunt though.
The ground blinds provide a lot of legroom and allow you to stretch your limbs occasionally. They also protect you in bad weather and some of the large ones even allow you to stand!
Which is more effective?
Experienced hunters have different strategies for different conditions. A tree stand is invaluable while hunting in wooded areas with plenty of trees and bushes. It is impossible to set up a ground blind in wooded areas without altering the surroundings.
If you are hunting in the plains, the ground blind rules! It offers concealment and camouflage. You can hunt in comfort without worrying about falling off! Many hunting-related accidents are due to falls from tree stands!
Though this guide delves on the pros and cons of ground blinds and tree stands, both have their applications. With this guide, you can decide on which one to take for your next hunting expedition.