Ground blind or tree stand? It’s a debate that every hunter has an opinion about. Some hunt what they’ve always hunted and what they’re used to. Others like to experiment with new stands or blinds to find what works best for them. We can’t tell you which is better—ground blind or tree stand—but we can give you a few advantages that both have to offer. Then it’s up to you to decide which type of equipment to use.
Pros for a Ground Blind
One of the biggest advantages of a ground blind is that it gets you out of the elements. Cold, rainy days can make for miserable hunting, but a ground blind shelters you from wind, rain, and snow and takes the bite out of cold weather. With a roof over your head and walls to keep you warmer, you’ll be able to stay out for longer, even when the weather chases other hunters out of the woods.
As an added bonus, you can use a heater inside the blind, although the exhaust and/or noise can be a dead giveaway for game animals. Not all blinds are designed to be used with heaters, so check with the manufacturer before doing so.
Another big advantage for ground blinds is that you can pack them just about anywhere. No good climbing trees in the area? No problem. Just pop a blind up and you’re ready to hunt deer grazing in an open field or near a waterhole surrounded by low brush. Ground blinds are quick and easy to relocate if the first spot turns out to be a dud.
Finally, ground blinds have an advantage over tree stands when it comes to safety. Since you’re already on the ground, there’s no risk of falling or of a tree stand failing. Being able to hunt from the ground is a deciding factor for hunters who have a fear of heights. Plus, when game animals walk by close enough to touch, you get a bigger adrenaline rush.
Pros for a Tree Stand
Just as ground blinds have their distinct advantages, so do tree stands. Sitting up high means that you can see for longer distances and from a better vantage point than in a ground blind. The increased viewing range gives you more time to anticipate and set up for the kill.
Another advantage of tree stand hunting is the scent factor. On the ground, you are nose level with the animal. Up in the trees, the animal is less likely to catch wind of your scent. In either situation, you should take precautions and set up with the wind in your favor, but hunting from the ground requires greater precautions than hunting from up high.
Which Is Better?
Which type of stand or blind equipment is better depends on where, what, and when you are hunting. The weather, the tree and leaf cover, the time of the season, and the terrain, among other factors, all play a part in determining which type of stand will work better for you. You can get busted in a ground blind just like you can get busted in a tree stand. What matters most is not the type of stand or blind but your knowledge of the animal, your timing, and how you play the conditions of the hunt (wind direction, stand placement, cover, etc.).
Choose what feels most comfortable to you. You might end up using a tree stand for bowhunting and a ground blind for rifle hunting, or vice versa. What matters most is that you are comfortable with your choice and able to enjoy the hunt.