To ensure consistent bowhunting success, you must stay hidden from your quarry. You can sit as still as a statue, bathe with scent-free soaps, and wear camouflage head to toe, but if your blind or treestand doesn’t hide you, your quarry will spook.
These tips will help you stay hidden and boost your chances of success.
- Select a good tree. When choosing a tree for your stand, focus first on safety. That means picking a tree that’s healthy, sturdy and large enough to support you and your stand. Your choice should also have thick, gnarly bark. Tree species with thin, slick bark can be dangerous to climb. Ideally, the trunk hides your silhouette. A tree with branches above and behind you also provides cover and camouflage. And don’t forsake your safety harness!
- Get above your quarry. Place your treestand at heights that keep you above your quarry’s detection zone. Most species deal regularly with ground-based predators, so they’re less inclined to look upward unless hearing or seeing movements. You can place your stand as high as you desire, but sit no lower than 10 to 12 feet.
- Use foliage as a disguise. Attach small limbs to your stand with zip-ties, but ensure you leave shooting lanes and enough room to move quietly. Cedar, pine and spruce branches provide better cover than most hardwoods and softwoods because they hold their foliage and color longer.
Ground Blind Tips
- Pick a site with good cover. Place your blind among trees, shrubs or tall grass to naturally hide its position. Don’t set up your blind in the middle of a field.
- Set up the site before the season. Game animals avoid newly placed structures. Set up your blind weeks before your hunt so animals grow comfortable with its presence.
- “Brush in” the blind. Place leaves, small branches and other natural cover atop and against the blind to conceal it. This is called “brushing in” the blind.
- Open windows strategically. Open only the windows you need. The more windows you open, the more likely you’ll be detected. However, the fewer windows you open, the more restricted your shooting options become.
Camouflage yourself and your stand to prevent your quarry from seeing you. Be thorough. These efforts could make or break your hunt.
Consult your blind or treestand manufacturer if you have questions or concerns about their products. When you’re ready to buy, visit your local archery retailer to review all your options for blinds, treestands and other bowhunting equipment.