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Blind vs. Tree Stand


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On public land I don't like to use anything that advertises the fact that I'm hunting in a particular spot.  I like to just use natural cover.  


Private land I like ladder stands because they are easy to get in and comfy.


Blinds are nice when the weather is rough but I don't like not being able to see what's going on all around me.   

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I hunt on a hill that doesn't have old mast on it, so a climber is out of the question.  I have been hunting a blind for the past three years and love it.  Keeps the bugs away and the inclement weather.


Unlike Rusty, I can turn my head all the way around and see out the three windowed sides of my blind.  It's 270°, which is more than enough area to scout.  I've had deer sneak up behind me, but they usually never notice me.  Turkey are too stupid to know there's anyone in the blind.


However, in the cold north woods of NH the pines are really thick as are the open fields.  I'm going to bring my climber up there with me next year to schlep up a tree to get a better view.  I hunt with a .30-06 up there, so that'll give me a great vantage point with a weapon that can reach out and whack deer at a distance.  Different kind of hunting up there, so it's good to have options.  I'll probably bring my small doghouse blind up with me too so my buddy's dad can hunt from it close to the car.

Edited by Haskell_Hunter

Sapere aude.


When you cannot measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory.

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If you have never hunted out of a stand I would try a blind first. As a new hunter you can get away with more movement without spooking anything. If you are going to buy a stand 

i would recommend a climber as it is portable and you can move around. Get one in the summer and practice with it before the season. I have both and use both depending on a bunch of different factors, sometimes I'm just elfin lazy. Also if going with a stand, always, always, always wear a harness and stay connected to the tree at all times. There ain't a buck in the woods that's worth dying for.

There is nothing more intolerant than a liberal preaching tolerance 

God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."


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For me, 


* Climber for public land (me and friends have had too many things stolen. I've learned the hard way to never leave anything out on public land, especially when it gets closer to 6-day - that includes blinds and ladder stands. Too many people, including some hunters themselves, feel they are entitled to take anything they find).


* Blind and ladder/lock-on stands for private land.


I second the earlier suggestions - if you plan on using a climber, practice with it first. And however you go up a tree, always use a harness. If using a climber, get a good tree rope with carabiner and learn how to use it - and always use it going up and down as well as when you are at the top. If you are using ladder or lock-on stand, get a good safety line and use it so you are hooked up at all times going up and down and at the top.

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I hate blinds but some guys love them.  The advantages are they conceal movement well and it's easy to get in and out of them quietly once you've got them set up.  They also help when the weather is bad.  The big negative is reduced visibility.  Even if you can look out all the windows you won't see as much as being 15-20 feet up in a stand.  Many times I've been up in a tree and seen deer 100 yards away..then I've been able to move and set up on those deer later.  But, I've also been 20 feet up when it's cold and windy and the tree is moving and wished I was in a blind.  Everything with hunting is a trade off.  

Edited by dlist777
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For me, it's all about the individual situation and location.  For example, the 3 best stands on one property I hunt are, in order, 1) a pop up blind we put up most years only 12 yards from the intersection of two trails, followed by 2) a natural ground blind that has some trees and camo burlap around it but which is on top of a granite boulder that acts like a tree stand it is so high above the forest floor.  The third is a hang on stand that is 25' high overlooking a clearcut and dense hemlocks below.  So each is different and each is the best situation for the ground they overlook.  

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I agree with most of the comments above. What's your comfort level? Climbers, fixed,ladders and blinds all good tools to have in your box of tricks!! Most important pay attention to the wind direction and your entry and exit! Good luck!!

Mathews Halon

United Bowhunters of NJ

NWTF - Tri County Longbeards

New Jersey Outdoor Alliance

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I noticed that the deer I hunt tend to look up in the trees most of the time, think I might try a new approach...digging holes


One of the reasons tree stands became so popular a couple decades ago is because they were relatively new other than hand-built wooden stands.  There were lots of articles written back then that deer were not used to looking up into trees, so you gained an advantage by using one.  Over time, just like anything else, deer learned to adapt and look up into trees.  So there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to stands.  Think wind direction and then go from there as to which type of stand to use in a given location.   

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If you are new AND in good physical shape, climbers are very good but remember that the terain, how far you need to hike to your spot, the amount of gear that you are going to be bringing with you as well and the fact that if you are lucky enough to harvest a deer, you will need to drag that out as well.  


We just started working with natural ground blinds.  We try to find a big downed tree with main branches that can be built upon with other downed limbs.  Fill in with other foliage as necessary and we also being some dark rope to bind some of it all together.  At the end of the day, it's less obvious to the walker by, more natural for the deer to get used to and if the spot is a bust you didn't spend to much money on it.  Besides, if you have kids or friends to help you, it's a pretty good time.


Below is a blind we did most of the work on over the summer and I adaprted to have more concealment for crossbow and gun with the kids.  If you do bring younger ones, more concealment is better.  We had deer within 8 yards a few times and they didn't know we were there.





Ground Blind Morning.jpg




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