The “thrill of the chase” is one of the primary reasons cited by most hunters when asked why they enjoy hunting so much. Many of those that hunt to satisfy their natural instinct to pursue prey are reluctant to consider hunting from a blind. Others feel that a hunting blind would give them an unfair advantage in the field, and therefore would be less sporting. These are the biggest reasons that some hunters choose not to use blinds, but are these arguments really valid?
Much of the “thrill of the chase” comes from locating game and then getting close enough for a clean shot. Proper scouting is just as important, if not more so, when hunting from a blind. Getting into the field early and often before opening day is important because it gives the hunter the opportunity to identify the habits of the game being pursued. Deer hunters, for example, will scout for sign to help them determine the number of deer in an area, what time of the day they are active, and what trails are most actively used by bucks.
A hunting blind is only as good as its location. Once the local game population’s habits have been identified, the hunter has to pick the location to place his blind to give him the best opportunity to ambush his prey. Ideally, a stand should not only conceal the hunter’s movements, but should also be placed in such a way as to lessen the likelihood that wind currents could give away the hunters position to his game.
The chosen position should also be easily accessible to the hunter, even in the dark. There is nothing worse than heading into the field just before sunrise on opening morning of deer season, only to realize that you can’t find your way to your blind in the pre-dawn hours. All the extra walking is likely to result in pushing all the deer from the area. While neighboring hunters might appreciate it, you’ll likely discover that you’ve wasted months of careful preparations.
So hunting from a blind still satisfies the need for the “thrill of the chase,” but isn’t it true that hunting from a blind gives the hunter an unfair advantage? Not at all! Animals are very aware of their environments. A poorly placed or constructed blind does more harm than good. Even placing a blind too early or too late can cause the game you’re hunting to change its habits. The hunter has to take into account the type of land being hunted on, and do his best to make the blind fit into the landscape so that the change goes unnoticed by the animals.
Whether or not to hunt from a blind is an individual decision. A well-placed blind takes a lot of work and preparation, making for a much more thrilling hunt than simply stalking prey. Imagine the thrill after months of preparation, when the monster buck that you’ve been pursuing steps into view before your blind. There’s nothing more exciting!