When rifle hunting from a ground blind, it is easy to become overconfident. A lot of hunters spend the month prior to rifle season hunting with a bow. After a month of close encounters, maybe having a couple of shooter bucks stay just outside of bow range, it is easy to approach rifle season with a vengeance. Hunters get a boost of confidence knowing they can shoot a longer distance, as well as shoot multiple shots if needed. Even with this excessive confidence, hunters must still pay attention to the sights and sounds that come from hunting from a ground blind.
As with bowhunting, the hunter must always stay in a stealth mode. Even though a rifle can shoot a longer distance, the object is still to bring game in close and keep game in the area until the “right one” shows up. Some rifle hunters make the mistake of becoming what some call “lazy” when it comes to hunting in a ground blind. For example, looking for deer through a scope instead of binoculars. To be able to successfully look at multiple deer through a scope, the gun has to be outside of the window of the blind, waving back and forth like a white flag for all the deer to see. This is where the term “staying stealthy” comes into play. The correct way to view deer is through a good set of binoculars while staying as far back in the shadows of the blind as possible, this prevents any movement from being seen by wildlife. The same mistake is commonly made when hunters hear something. If a few crunch of the leaves happens, do not put your head out of the window to see what is going on. Slowly peak through the opening of the windows or by quietly lifting a flap to catch a sneak peek. Again, stay in stealth mode in all situations. This tactic will not only keep from spooking wildlife that are in sight, it may also keep the hunter from being spotted by an approaching animal that he may not have known was there.
Paying attention to one’s firearm can also prevent wildlife from spotting movement. A lot of firearms come with a stainless steel barrel and even though they look cool and hold up well in inclement weather, they’re also easily spotted by wildlife. This, too, can be prevented by temporarily placing camouflage tape or a darker colored tape on the shiny parts of the barrel. This type of tape will not harm the firearm once it is ready to be removed.
When rifle hunting in a ground blind, it is recommended to dress in Mossy Oak Eclipse which is a pattern specifically designed for hunting from a ground blind. Hunters should cover all parts of the body, especially the hands and face which are the most commonly moved parts of the body when hunting. Doing this breaks up the human outline so that silhouetting of the body from the outside of the blind is of no concern.