Bow Hunting Whitetails: The Ground Game

By far the most popular method of bow hunting deer is from a tree stand or elevated Redneck blind. It has been the preferred technique of bowhunters across the country for decades and will probably remain that way. An increasingly popular method for taking whitetails is bow hunting whitetails from the ground using a pop-up blind placed along trails or food plots. Pop-up blinds can easily be erected and moved to a new location, concealing movement and making hunting in bad weather with kids more enjoyable.

I have hunted from treestands for more than 30 years. I regularly used ground blinds but felt confined and unable to make a move if need be. In the last several years I have tweaked some of my hunting methods when chasing whitetails. I prefer to hunt from the ground without a blind especially early. Many of you reading this may think I am crazy because bow hunting from the ground without a blind is extremely difficult, but achieving success from the ground is possible and gives you a rush as you drawback on a target buck at eye level. Not much on this earth compares to getting to full draw on the ground on a mature whitetail.

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The advantage of bow hunting from the ground without a blind is that it allows you to hunt where sometimes you can’t go with a treestand set. Many times, those places such as thickets, early-season hedgerows, cut-overs, and even destination feeding areas where deer are most concentrated can be taken advantage of. The key is to always remember that effective kill range is going to be inside of 40 yards, and at ground level, your kill angle will be larger than from a stand. In any situation where hunting from the ground is an option, you must play the wind even more wisely and make sure that your setup doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Breaking up your outline falls into the same camp as wearing camo that matches your terrain, but instead of trying to mask your head, arms, and legs, you are trying to mask the shape of your body mainly. Here is how you do not want to hunt from the ground: sit in sparse vegetation with no ground cover when you expect to shoot deer relatively close to you. Any “blob” sitting on the ground gets noticed by a whitetail instantly. Do not sit against a fence post unless you are hunting with a rifle and you expect your target to be at least 100 yards out. Instead, increase your chances of success deer hunting by sitting at the base of a large tree, broken up stump, or even a small dirt pile/hill that is at least as tall as the top of your head while sitting and at least as wide as your shoulders. This completely breaks down your silhouette and makes you vanish into the object you are sitting in front of, especially since you will have on your camo cloths, gloves and face paint.

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