Hunting blinds can be incredibly helpful, especially when you’re hunting an animal like a deer which has an outstanding sense of sight and smell, allowing it to spot you in the bushes. Unless you are an advanced hunter, using a blind is going to give you a huge advantage which will increase the number of shots you can take and the kills you get per season.
But having a blind isn’t enough to guarantee meat for your family each season, you need to know how to use the blind to maximize your performance. By following these tips, you’ll reduce the chance of the prey spotting you, giving you more time to shoot and a greater opportunity for a kill each time you go out.
Cover it with Brush
Although many blinds come with camouflage patterns, it’s still important to mix it into the environment to reduce its profile. Even the best blinds won’t match the surrounding nature perfectly, and for this reason, it’s important to add brush along the side and even the top of the blind.
By taking a small saw or set of pruners, you can cut up some small branches, twigs, and brush which you should lay across the blind in a natural manner. Doing this will help to reduce its profile so that an animal is less likely to look at it to try and spot a predator.
Be Careful of Your Scent
Sight isn’t the only sense you need to be careful about, deer and other animals have incredibly powerful noses which can smell you from hundreds of feet away, especially if you are upwind. When you go hunting you should avoid wearing any form of scent, whether it be cologne, moisturizer or even scented shampoo.
If you are serious about reducing your scent, you can buy scent hiding sprays from hunting stores which you should spray on yourself as well as your blind and any products you bring. These sprays cover your human scent and make it much more difficult for the animal to pick up your smell, giving you a greater opportunity of getting a shot off.
Reduce Your Movement
A blind should, well, keep you in the blind, but even with the best will in the world, quick movements will be spotted by deer and bears. Even when you are inside of the blind you should try to minimize your movement as much as possible so that you are less likely to be seen and to reduce the amount of noise that you produce.
By doing this, you won’t alert the animals of your presence, making it more likely that they will continue to walk through your shooting lane, giving you an opportunity to get a kill.
What separates the very best hunters from amateurs is the ability to stay in one place for a long time without moving or making a sound, letting the prey walk directly in front of you at a close distance. But to achieve that monk-like patience and stillness you must be comfortable.
If you have children or younger hunters with you, this might mean allowing them to play on their mobile phones or tablets, as long as they are below window level and are quiet. Bringing blankets, drinks, food, and a comfortable chair to sit in can also make a huge difference.
Although this might not seem as macho as you imagined hunting to be, the goal is to get the kill and being comfortable allows you to sit still for longer and have the patience that you need to have the opportunity to shoot.
Don’t Let the Animal Pattern You
Perhaps the biggest mistake that amateur hunters make in peak season is to let the animals pattern them. You should be able to understand the deer’s pattern, not the other way around. If they see you walking to and from a blind at the same time each day they are going to look directly at the blind or even alter their path completely.
To avoid this, you should try to get to the blind before the deer pass through, often before the sun rises, and leave after they are gone so they can’t see or smell you.