I now use ground blinds exclusively. I go to great lengths to brush in the blinds. I have 2 blinds: Primos Bull Pen and Dark Horse. I also have the netting that goes over the top of the blind to which you can insert various types of brush. I dress in all black despite looking like a skinny ninja, pay attention to the wind direction, and leave most of the windows closed. No matter how well I think I brush my blind in, the deer almost always pick it out pretty quick and go on instant alert.
I've tuck the blind in a cabbage palm, in the palmettos, in the brush and entirely brushed it in to look like part of the landscape. They still seem to see it. I hunt public land and cannot put my blind out any earlier than the day before the hunt. I do not use the see through material over the front opening. The Bull Pen doesn't have it, but the Dark Horse does. Does anyone have any tips on how to do this better?
One vertical bush or tree trunk in front of that huge dark opening would go a long way to disguise the opening. Plus give you some cover to move/draw your bow before slowly sliding to the side of the bush for a shot. Honestly I'm surprised you're being picked off because that blind is really hidden well.
I have killed a couple mature bucks out of blinds and lots of turkeys and antelope. I will brush them in a little for deer but have never gone so crazy that you can't tell a blind is there. One suggestion I will throw out is, try putting in a place that the deer will see it at a distance (200 yards ish or more). I have noticed and have read they will spook on it more if when they first notice something is there that looks new or different from their normal surrounds if they are closer to it when they first see it.
The more I tried to hide my blinds, the more I got busted. I now stick them in the wide open so the deer can see them from a long distance. And I don't have any black window openings anymore. Deer don't like black holes in my experience. I have shoot-through camo mesh over every window. It helps to leave them out for a few weeks, but in your case you can't do that.
Remember, this is their living room. Wouldn't you notice if someone put a new chair in yours?
My advice would be, with all those trees figure out how to make a tree stand work for you. ;) I hunt out of blinds some because I live where sometimes there’s not a tree within half a mile of the deer but I hate blinds. I have one that’s been up 3.5 months now and the does still hate it.
3 years ago I fell 25' from a tree stand due to an unanticipated equipment failure. 3 months of hospitals and surgeries, and I'm still doing rehab to get everything working at 100%. I appreciate your thoughts, but I'm a ground hunter now. I used to put a ladder stand in the big white oak you can barely see behind the blind and had many successful hunts from that stand.
All of deer that busted me were within 50 yards and sometimes popped out within 20 yards. I tend to hunt funnels and travel corridors where I'm lucky to see 70-80 yards. I'm good out to 60 yards, but shooting at an alert deer at that yardage is a waste of an arrow-IMO. At the place in the picture I can see deer at 60 yards but don't have a shot until they get at 50 yards.
So, ground hunting is a new strategy that I'm trying to learn all I can.
Tough to use those big manmade types on deer unless they can be out awhile.Familiarity works,surprises don't. Try natural ground blinds.From your pic I think I could blend in quite easily with a few sticks,fronds,etc plus a facemask.
It was a hang on stand. I used a 4K ratchet strap as the primary strap to hold it to the tree. I used 2 straps-top and bottom. It broke as I was coming off the ladder onto the stand and as I was trying to hook up my harness.
Pre-preparing the site is a great idea. I have actually sat in the weeds and brush as a natural blind to some success simply because hiking my blind into some of the places I like to hunt is a huge pain. In those cases I take a turkey chair.
Those tent can get heavy to tote around but beats carrying a stand for me, nevermind the risk of climbing. Tents are great for scent control to. We've went to extremes to contain scent in ours... I like to set ours out in the back yard to air out before the season. A little weather also helps to minimize smell.
I can tell you a trick I used for antelope. I drove three T posts in the ground in a triangle, wrapped them with camo burlap a month before I hunted. The day I started hunting I replaced that with a DB blind. Goats never knew the difference. If you can’t do that, use the netting over the widows. I’ve shot trough it lots and never had it affect my shot placement.
I am lucky since I own 40 acres and live there. I set up a ground blind before the deer season and just leave it there until the end of January. The deer don't pay any attention to it and I have deer almost close enough to touch if I didn't have mesh in the windows. I can shoot broaheads right through the mesh and have done it many times with no problem.