April 25, 2011
Question: I'm always in the wrong stand. When I move my stand, the deer come out on the opposite side of the field. Is there any way to get them to use the same trails every day? -- Mathew Birno, Saukville, Wis.
WHEN THE BUCKS SEEM TO KNOW YOUR NEXT MOVE
Mathew, I have run into this problem over the years too. We all have when hunting large feeding areas. There are two solutions. First, you can try to plant a small food plot of clover or brassicas in the corner of the field. That may pull deer to a more concentrated area near your stand. Second, you can hunt the field using a ground blind. That is a very good option. Often the deer will come out on different trails, but they end up in the same place on the field most every evening. It is definitely tough to hunt them using a treestand along the edge of the field, but it works very well to hunt them from a ground blind. Just get the blind up at least two weeks before you plan to hunt it.
The trick to hunting from ground blinds in the middle of a field is to make sure the blind is scentproof. Here's how to modify your blind so it holds your odors inside:
If the blind is made of fabric, cut pipe insulation into sections, split one side and slide them onto the perimeter of the windows so you can tuck plastic wrap into the inside of the foam tubes to create a barrier that keeps your scent inside the blind while still allowing you to see and shoot easily. Also, dig in the bottom of the blind so that the wind can't blow in from underneath and carry your scent out of the blind. In this way, you can literally have deer downwind of the blind and they won't know you are inside.
Also, blinds need to be kept very clean or you will introduce foreign odors. Always make sure when putting away your blind that it is completely dry so it won't mildew in storage. Keep it in a place that is free of offensive odors. In other words, the garage is a poor choice.
Finally, choose a blind that has a darkened interior so deer can't see into the blind. Similarly, open as few windows as necessary so that you introduce no extra light or create a "see-through" situation where a deer could spot your outline moving between two open windows.
A dedicated hunter I know feels you must wear a carbon suit for the blind to do the best job of controlling your scent. Dennis also believes you should vent the blind from time to time by opening an upwind and downwind window so that your bottled scent has a chance to escape at a time when there are no deer downwind. This keeps the blind from leaking concentrated scent at an inopportune time.
If you have never taken ground blinds seriously, you are missing a tool that can improve your odds for success when hunting food sources and locations where the wind is fickle. Good manufactured models aren't cheap, but they do represent an investment that will make you a more versatile and effective bowhunter.