Ground Blind Great Option In Late RutBy Ted Peck - November 1, 2013
I wasn't hunting out of ground blinds much back in 1976 when Mickey Gilley penned this tune as part of the soundtrack for the movie Urban Cowboy. It would have worked for a movie called "Timber Cowboy" about a young hunter sitting 20 feet up in a treestand without a safety harness.
Not many hunters used safety harnesses in treestands back then. Thousands of fatal and near fatal injuries and a proactive stance by treestand manufacturers have helped educate hunters on the need to wear a harness when hunting above ground.
The majority of whitetail does are now carrying fawns in Wisconsin. But some are still coming into estrus as we ease into the back slope of the rut. This increases competition among bucks, in a situation akin to that old Gilley tune.
If you aren't scent free none of the other tools and toys of deer hunting matter. You're already in the end game and may not even know it. Many successful hunts start with a scent free shower and scent free clothes taken from at least two giant scent free bags, with the outer layer donned just prior to walking to the stand-after a final spritz of scent free spray.
The only time doe estrus scents will fool a wily whitetail is when does are actually in estrus. Using estrus scents outside this 7-10 day window puts monster bucks no longer lulled by rapture of the rut on full alert.
Experience teaches the best way to employ estrus scents are on a Doe-coy deer decoy while remaining scent free. Experience also teaches the importance of staying in the stand from before dawn until the close of shooting time-no easy task when perched on a 17 x 20 inch platform 20 feet up in an oak tree!
A ground blind is the optimum place to wait in ambush for a number of reasons. First and foremost ground blinds do a remarkable job of concealing both human scent and movement, two major causes of unsuccessful hunting trips.
Noise is something a hunter needs to work on. The ground blind's interior should be cleared of dry leaves, twigs and other impediments to silent operation. It's also a good idea to practice bringing the bow into a firing position without a sound long before the moment of truth arrives.
Not all noise is bad. A grunt call is a valuable tool in bringing that trophy into bow range. You might also consider a rattle bag or rattling horns. A ground blind is a great way to hide these buck sounds from real bucks.
Safety is the ultimate factor when considering a ground blind. The number of serious injuries from falling in a ground blind is on a par with the number of injuries from falling out of a recliner during a Packers game.
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift for the deer hunter in your life ? Nothing says "I love you and please stay out in the woods a little longer" more than a comfortable, portable ground blind.