Deer hunters have been arguing over this for a century. Which is better — treestands or ground blinds? Some say stands, while others pick the latter. The true answer? Probably neither. Let’s dive in and look at some pros and cons for each and then analyze which, if any, is superior.
Deer Hunting from Treestands
This is actually my preferred method of deer hunting. But that doesn’t make it better. It just means I personally enjoy it more. Some pros and cons follow.
- Thermals are more to your advantage when you’re elevated.
- You can choose the height you need to be.
- Mobile stands, such as lightweight lock-on models, allow you to pick from more locations.
- You’re more exposed and more likely to pay attention.
- Your scent starts out up in the air, which is good if deer are nearby.
- It puts you out of a deer’s line of sight.
- Stands allow you to have nearly 360 degrees of viewing capabilities.
- Shots are at downward angles, which is safer.
- You’re able to see much farther distances.
- Stands allow you to see down into thicker early successional growth.
- You need a tree to hang one.
- Steeper shot angles make kill zones smaller.
- Elevated shots mean a less chance of a good blood trail without an exit wound.
- Less room to move around.
- Not good for those with injuries and health issues.
- Higher risk of injury due to a fall.
- No protection from the wind.
- Some models can be heavy and loud to hang up.
- It’s much harder to move locations on the fly.
- Trimming shooting lanes can be a pain.
- Comfort comes at a premium for stands, while blinds allow for a butt-soothing chair.
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Deer Hunting from Ground Blinds
Some hunters hunt solely from ground blinds. That’s okay if it works for you. I hunt more from treestands, but I’ve done some deer hunting — and deer killing — from ground blinds, too. Here are some things for and against this method of hunting.
- Ground blinds are fairly mobile.
- You don’t need a tree.
- You’re more concealed.
- More room to move around.
- Great for those who aren’t as mobile.
- Less risk of an injury.
- More protection from the wind.
- Kill zones are larger since you’re at ground level and not elevated.
- Your wind generally stays at ground level.
- Thermals are more likely to carry your scent toward deer.
- You’re in a deer’s line of sight.
- You can’t see as far.
- You usually only have 90 degrees of viewing capabilities since three windows will/should be closed.
- Thicker cover becomes more of a problem with a blind.
- Shots are generally on a flat plane, which isn’t as safe.
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Finding the Middle Ground
At the end of the day, there is no winner, per se. There’s only choosing the right one for the specific situation you find yourself in. Stands are better most of the time. But there will be instances where a ground blind is superior. There’s no need to rehash when one is better than the other. I think we covered that in the pros and cons sections above. The takeaway — be proficient with both options and be able to recognize when to implement them.
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