One of the most important keys when finding a location for a ground blind is scouting. Most hunters will spend countless hours trying to find the right signs that shout “place a ground blind here!” Places such as feeding areas, bedding areas and travel routes are the most sought after areas to place a ground blind. It is very important to find places where deer movement is consistent. However, when scouting for a location to place one’s ground blind, finding deer sign is not the only thing hunters should be looking for.
One of the most important factors hunters should look for is a good entry and exit route for getting to the blind. Putting a lot of work into setting a blind up before the season and scouting for the best deer sign is useless if getting to and from the blind is going to spook deer out of the area before the hunt even begins.
Once an area has been selected for hunting out of a ground blind, the next step is finding the best way to get to and from the blind quickly, quietly and without spooking deer. Hunters should find dried up creek beds, old logging roads and even old fence rows that provide a natural travel route. If this is not an option or if wanting to make an even stealthier approach, hunters can go as far as to clean out a pathway before hunting.
Mossy Oak’s Cuz Strickland likes to take along a rake when preparing an entry and exit route so that he can clear out all of the leaves, sticks, vines and anything else that can not only make noise, but can also be a trip hazard when walking in the dark. Cuz even goes as far as taking a weed eater along to help knock down brush before raking leaves. Once a quiet travel route has been prepared, use the rake to also clean out all of the leaves in the area where the ground blind will actually be sitting. This is done in order to stay quiet when it is time to hunt. Having nothing but dirt in the bottom of the blind allows the hunter to make adjustments to stay comfortable as well as to move around quietly when a shot opportunity presents itself.
Setting up a ground blind is also a great time to clear shooting lanes. Using the pruning saw, chainsaw, weed eater or rake, clear all possible obstacles that could be in the way when a shot opportunity is presented. Any overhanging branches on trees, brush or small trees need to be removed from the shooting lane well before hunting. This not only clears the way for an arrow or bullet to fly through the air, but by doing this well ahead of hunting season, it allows time for any human scent that is left behind to leave the area.