I’ve spent more hours situated (uncomfortably most of the time) in a ground blind overlooking a pronghorn refreshment stand than I care to admit. It’s during those long, sweaty sits that your brain starts to wander. Personally, I kill those brain-numbing hours pondering my ground blind setup. I range the tank/pond to make sure I’m (at least typically) 30 to 35 yards from the tank/pond to give approaching goats a little room. I take pictures in the blind of where I place my cooler, spotting scope, Ozonics unit, bow hanger, etc. I want to allow maximum movement if I need it. I tinker with my window configuration – allowing just enough room to snake a lethal arrow through. I review previously taken pictures of how I blended my blind in on the outside. (Blending in a pronghorn ground blind when possible will up your odds of success greatly.) Basically, because of all this attention to detail, I have my ground blind pronghorn game down to an absolute meticulous science. Or so I thought.
As bowhunters it should be our goal to always be learning, always looking to improve, always looking for ways to make our time in the field more successful and enjoyable. After harvesting my 2015 pronghorn (look for the complete story on this hunt in our July 2016 issue of Bowhunting World) on August 15, I decided to take a good buddy to another hot spot I knew of the following day. The blind was already up and ready, but before we climbed in, he added an extra little touch. My bowhunting partner put an old fleece blanket on the dusty dirt floor. I laughed. I shouldn’t have.
That little addition will forever change how I hunt from a ground blind, and if you’re a serious ground fortress assassin, it will change how you hunt from them as well. Not only did the blanket cut down on noise, but we were able to take our shoes off, keep dust accumulation on our optics at bay and stretch out for a comfortable little nap. Most of all, it boosted our comfort, which in turn boosted overall morale inside the blind. This is a big deal when you’re sitting for 14- and 15-hour stints. Note: He killed his buck in the fourteenth hour on this hunt and temperatures inside the blind were over 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I will never hunt in a ground blind that I personally set up again without a fleece blanket lining the floor. It’s the little things that we learn and put into our hunting arsenal that continually make us better in the field.
Do you have any great ground blind tips? I’d love to hear them and possibly use them online or in our award-winning magazine. Send me an email, complete with your best ground blind tips, at firstname.lastname@example.org.