I've reluctantly made the transition from blind hunting spring turkeys to employing the same tactic for my fall whitetail hunts. Being a treestand hunter and a natural blind hunter at heart, I have resisted the urge to set up hub-style blinds for deer. Quite frankly for my style of hunting they seem excessive.
As of last fall, I've changed my tune on the topic. For instance, I'm a big proponent of hunting where the deer currently are and that may mean spending time in places like cattail sloughs that just aren't conducive to treestand hunting. That might also mean hiding myself away on the edge of a cornfield or alder thicket where ground blinds shine.
Hub-style blinds provide more options for the whitetail hunter, although the same blinds and accessories you've bought for turkey season may not carry over as well as you'd hope. Personally, I like relatively small blinds that are lightweight for turkey season. This is because I often carry small blinds in and engage them in a halfway attempt to run-and-gun with my bow. I need portability in the spring woods.
In the deer woods, though, I'll take big, cushy blinds that allow for plenty of undetected movement. Bigger blinds give a hunter a better chance of sitting in the back of the blind, deep in the shadows and avoiding detection from deer. This is crucial for getting into shooting position and then drawing.
Of course, unlike with turkeys, popping out a blind the day you plan to hunt deer is a bad idea. There is an inherent distrust built into whitetails when it comes to fresh blinds, so they should be set up well ahead of the season. If that's not an option, brush them in to the point where all you can see are a few black holes that represent shooting ports. After that, cozy up and get ready for a ground-level shot on unsuspecting deer.
Ameristep | Bone Collector Man Cave Blind
The Man Cave
is an obvious choice for whitetail bowhunters given its 88-inch shooting width and 82-inch ceiling. Such a wide area gives you the chance to shoot sitting or if you're a compound shooter, standing. This is a great option if you want to setup on the edge of a CRP field or maybe an early-season soybean field
where the difference between being able to stand and shoot, or not, makes all of the difference in filling your tag. Each Man Cave is covered in Realtree Xtra
Ameristep | Under Armour Carnage Blind
also offers the Carnage
, which they produced in partnership with industry powerhouse Under Armour
. The Carnage features a full 75-inches of shooting width and measures 67-inches tall. For those early season hunts when blinds can feel like ovens, the Carnage is designed with roof vents for much-appreciated ventilation. To reduce the chances of sharp-eyed bucks spotting your blind and boogering out of the area, each Carnage is covered in a 3D ghillie material, which breaks up the outline in a major way.
Barronet Blinds | Big Mike SuperTough
The SuperTough blind
draws its name from the double-layer, welded fabric that is used in its checkerboard construction. Combined with thicker, stiffer poles and extra reinforcement throughout, the materials and design of this blind make it an ideal choice for whitetail hunters looking to set up a blind and leave it for the season without worrying about any deleterious effects Mother Nature
might toss your way. Standing shooters or seated, traditional bow shooters will appreciate the 80-inch ceiling height of the SuperTough.
Big Dog Treestands | TSGB-300 Hub Ground Blind
Aside from the ability to avoid detection, one of the reasons I like hunting deer from ground blinds is that the larger models accommodate two hunters easily. Of course, there are plenty of times where hunting solo is the better option. In that case, a blind like the TSGB-300 Hub Ground Blind from Big Dog Treestands
is perfect with its feathery weight of 13 pounds and 60.5x60.5-inch footprint. The sewn-in inside pockets for gear storage and large wrap-around windows for better shooting opportunities are also great selling points of the TSGB-300.
Browning Hunting Blinds | Mirage
Certain situations in the deer woods do call for a portable option, such as when hunting deep in public land. A perfect blind for when portability matters is the Mirage from Browning Hunting Blinds
. The Mirage tips the scales at only 19 pounds, yet still offers a 66-inch ceiling height and actual shooting dimensions of 72 inches. Little details like the use of oversized No. 10 zippers and an included bow hanger make this blind even more of a winner.
Cabela's | Zonz 360 Ground Blind
Cabela's Zonz 360 Ground Blind
measures 72-inches tall by 82-inches wide, which is more than enough room to draw and shoot at passing bucks. At 18 pounds, the 360 is perfect for carrying into the deer woods and because it is constructed of carbon-enhanced, scent-blocking fabric and covered in Zonz camouflage, you can rest assured that deer will neither see nor smell you in this blind. Set up is a breeze thanks to the heavy-duty Spider-Hub technology, making this new blind a winner.
Code Blue | Camo Face Paint
Finding a black facemask that is actually designed for ground blind hunting is about as easy as finding a redeeming quality in Justin Beiber. Due to this connundrum, I almost always opt for face paint like the Face Paint from Code Blue
, which is actually deep black in color and completely glare-free and smudge-proof. I carry a tube with me at all times in case I lose a glove or forget a facemask during treestand hunting, and always use it when I sit in a ground blind...unless it's extremely cold.
HuntMore | 360º Chair
I've killed more turkeys and deer while seated in a 360º Chair from HuntMore
than any other chair. A couple of different options are available as far as height is concerned, and all are rock-solid, quiet and comfortable. Each chair features the ability to silently swivel 360 degrees
, is collapsible for transport, and boasts individually adjustable legs that are outfitted with Big Feet.
199 (16-inch chair)
Millennium Treestands | G100 Blind Chair
pretty much owns the market as far as comfortable seats are concerned, although you don't have to be airborne to enjoy them. New for 2014 is the G100 Blind Chair
, which utilizes Millennium's popular contoured tight sling seat. Each G100 is capable of swiveling 360 degrees and boasts individually adjustable legs for setting up on uneven ground. Lastly, this 7.5-pound blind chair is adjustable in height from 13 to 18 inches to ensure that all sizes of hunters will be comfortable throughout their hunts.
Primos | Double Bull Double Wide Door
At $522, the Primos Double Bull Double Wide Door
blind is not the cheapest on the market, but there is an old adage about getting what you pay for that applies here. With its Power Hub Framework
, lifetime warranty, and usage of cotton-poly canvas, this blind will outlast most of the competition a couple of times over. From hub to hub, the Double Wide measures 77 inches and true to its name, boasts a door that is large enough to allow for silent entry and exit no matter what size of hunter tries to squeeze through. This is sure to be appreciated by anyone who has shimmied their way, gracelessly, through lesser blind doors.