There are plenty of myths about hunting and plenty of factual information available for someone willing to research the topic. As a matter of fact, there is so much factual information it can be hard to sort through. In some cases, one person might present the way they were taught to hunt as “the only” way to do something, because it works for them even though others might achieve the same goal using other means.
Because of the amount of information available, some is considered to be absolutely true, other information has been utterly debunked but persists as a myth which has been handed down through the generations. This can make the idea of hunting confusing or intimidating for newcomers. Even an experienced hunter who has only used rifles and shotguns can become confused when they decide to try hunting with a bow. A bow can effectively hunt turkey, boar, or bear, as a myth debunked, but for this article deer are going to be the example even though the concepts apply to other game.
Confusion and Myth about Bowhunting
One of the confusing aspects concerning bow hunting is whether a tree stand or ground blind is the better option. Neither is really “better” than the other, it depends on your hunting style and the area you're hunting. Each system has its pros and cons, according to what will work best for your goals on each hunting trip. Hunters understand this concept as being different than the myth people who don't hunt believe, but not every hunting trip has the goal of bringing home freshly harvested deer meat.
A hunter enjoys watching the deer and studying their habits, and enjoys being outdoors in nature as much as the actual hunt. A talented hunter studies the herd of deer and decides on a particular one to take if the situation turns out to be ideal. The ideal situation returns to the discussion of blinds versus tree stands.
Types of Blinds Used For Bowhunting
Hunting blinds are ground cover used to hide the hunter. It can be a site the hunter sets up behind a natural dead-fall, or can be a store bought camouflaged tent style structure which blends in with the surrounding landscape. Alternatively, it can be a mix of natural dead wood available in the forest with ropes, tarps, and stakes to hold it together and provide cover for the hunter. One aspect the blind needs is that it is comfortable to sit in, with some form of a roof to protect against weather while having an accessible opening to shoot from.
Using a Blind For Bowhunting
Bowhunting blinds are different from what someone with a rifle might use. The first difference is that a rifle hunter has a much further range, so their blind doesn't have to be quite as discreet as what a bowhunter uses. Setting up at 30 meters from a deer trail is much different than setting up at 130 meters. Such a statement isn't meant to take away from the talents and skills of the rifle hunter, but only points out how there are different approaches to hunting a deer according to the chosen weapon.
The blind for a bow hunter has to be covered against the weather, invisible to the deer, and tall enough to maintain proper form when taking the shot. The trail leading to the blind has to come from the opposite direction from where the deer graze, and scents must be covered. More important toward use of a blind is how it must be set up before deer hunting season so the deer recognize it as part of the landscape instead of something out of the ordinary.
Advantages of a Tree Stand For Bowhunting
A tree stand circumvents the problems of a blind in that it can, if set up right, be directly in the deer path. A tree stand can potentially put you within a 3-meter shot at the deer, if you know how to use it. Aiming the bow itself is different when shooting down from a stand, and the target area of the deer is more well-defined. A tree stand is closer to the deer trail, meaning the hunter has to be more dedicated towards not leaving any smell which may trigger the deer's flight instinct, and requires sitting still for much longer, but eventually provides a closer shot which can't miss assuming proper training about shooting from a height.
Additional Consideration: Price and Practicality
Without fail, the ground blind is going to be less expensive than a tree stand. The concept applies to both time and money. A store-bought blind can be set up in a day, a month before hunting season to allow the deer to accommodate its presence. A tree stand is more expensive, has to be set up much earlier in the year, and requires additional safety gear to strap in and use the device safely.
Final Thoughts about Blinds and Tree Stands
Blinds are easier, more comfortable, and less expensive than a tree stand. In some areas, deer or other game will become accustomed to your blind and walk right by as part of their daily routine. Deer who are used to deep wilderness areas can be a bit more sketchy, they will be gone if they see you first. In such cases, a tree stand is likely the better option. More important is you enjoy the time you spend in the deer's lair, follow all local laws and hunting safety regulations, and learn deer behavioral patterns each year while tracking their trails and preparing the hunt.
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