Treestand vs. Ground Blind: Unveiling the Superior Option for Hunters

One thing I love about hunting is its diversity - there's no single "right" way to do it.

Growing up in Oklahoma, it's all about perching in a treestand overlooking a food plot or a trail. Surprisingly, I've never experienced a deer drive, which is more common up in the northeast.

But there are times when I prefer to hunker down in a ground blind, especially when I'm blending in with the scrub brush.

It's a bit presumptuous to claim there's a one-size-fits-all approach to deer hunting. Personally, I've found that treestands excel in certain situations, while ground blinds shine in others.

So, let's dive into when to use each method.

Treestand Benefits

  • Out Of Immediate Line Of Sight Of The Deer
  • Your Subtle Moves Are Less Likely To Get Spotted
  • Better Visibility
  • Makes Your Scent Harder To Detect
  • You Have More Time To Prepare For The Shot
  • Your Bolt Has A Backstop

I've been a treestand hunter for ages. From tagging along with my dad in a two-man ladder stand as a kid, to using a climber stand on public land, and more recently, bagging a deer from my dad's tripod stand this season.

Despite not being a big fan of heights, I've got a soft spot for treestands. Why? Well, deer are more tuned into ground-level threats, not so much the trees. So, your subtle movements up there usually go unnoticed.

Plus, being up high gives you a killer view. You spot those deer coming from a mile away, most of the time at least. We've all had those moments when a deer seemingly pops up out of nowhere right beneath us!

And let's not forget, being elevated means your shot has a built-in backstop - the ground. Less chance of a lost bolt, too.

But hey, as much as I love treestands, they're not the be-all and end-all. They've got their drawbacks, no doubt about it.

Treestand Drawbacks

  • Risk Of Falling
  • Can Be A Pain To Set Up
  • Need A Tree Large Enough To Support The Stand, And Hunter
  • Exposed To The Elements
  • No Walls To Hide Your Movement

I've had my fair share of close calls while climbing into my stand. Slip-ups, missed rungs on the ladder—thankfully, I've never taken a tumble (knock on wood), but the risk is always there. Sure, I slap on a safety harness sometimes, but even with that, a fall can be dicey.

Back when I was a kid, I was more of a hindrance than a help when it came to hanging stands with my dad. Now, as a grown-up, I get why he'd come back from those outings all worn out and frustrated. Finding the perfect tree, hauling the stand up there, securing it, and trimming branches—it's rarely a walk in the park.

I'll never forget that one chilly evening I set out to hunt as a cold front rolled in. I just knew the change in weather would have the deer on the move. But after about half an hour in the stand, it hit me—I hadn't dressed warm enough for that biting wind and dropping temps. Sure, a treestand offers a killer field of view, but when it comes to weather protection, you're outta luck.

Then there was that other time I was up in the stand, and outta nowhere, a pack of dogs snuck up behind me, catching me off guard. No time to get set for a shot, and by the time I reached for my crossbow, the oldest doe had spotted me, sounded the alarm, and they were gone like a flash. No walls mean you're exposed to the elements, and the deer? Well, they see every move you make when there's nothing to hide behind.

So yeah, treestands definitely have their downsides, which is why for many hunters, ground blinds are often the way to go.

Ground Blind Benefits

  • More Comfortable
  • Best For Introducing Kids To Hunting
  • Easier To Set Up
  • More Mobile (Kind Of)
  • Set Up In a Variety Of Environments

As the years go by, I find myself leaning more towards comfort, and let me tell you, chilling in a ground blind beats any treestand I've ever perched in. Why? Well, most ground blinds offer enough space for a comfy lawn chair or at least some leg-stretching room.

Those walls aren't just for show either—they're like your shield against the elements. Wind, rain, cold—you name it, they've got you covered, keeping you cozy for longer so you can outlast that elusive big buck.

I'm a big believer that ground blinds are the bee's knees for introducing kids to hunting. They can wiggle around, stay snug, and not spook every deer within a mile radius. Even though my daughter's more into duck hunting, I took her deer hunting with me when she was little, and you bet we chilled in a ground blind.

Setting up and moving ground blinds? Piece of cake compared to treestands, in my book. Sure, you might have to fiddle with guy wires and tent stakes, but it's peanuts compared to the hassle of hoisting a treestand into place.

And let's not forget the versatility. You can plunk a ground blind down just about anywhere—woods, wheat fields, you name it. Personally, I'm all about setting one up along the edge of a clearing—it's primo.

But hey, let's keep it real. Ground blinds aren't all sunshine and rainbows. For many hunters, the drawbacks outweigh the perks.

Ground Blind Drawbacks

  • Rarely Blend In
  • Loud
  • Poor Visibility
  • No Backstop For Your Arrow
  • Keeps Your Scent At Ground Level

When I plopped my ground blind down in that wheat field, let me tell you, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Honestly, I haven't come across a ground blind yet that didn't look a tad out of place. But fear not, there are ways to tackle this issue.

One trick is to set it up a good month or two before your hunting plans kick in. Gives the critters time to get acquainted with the blind, so it's not like a red flag waving in their faces. Another savvy move is to blend it in with some local flora. I'm talking making it look like a natural thicket, not just a pile of twigs.

Now, maybe it's just me, but every ground blind I've been in? Loud. Whether it's the zipper, the Velcro, or a clumsy bump, there's always some noise that ain't exactly music to a deer's ears. Trust me, I've had my fair share of spooked deer moments, like the time I accidentally thwacked my blind with my arrow while loading up.

Being down low in a blind with walls around you? Yeah, it's like wearing blinders. Deer have a knack for sneaking up on you. But hey, those walls do come in handy when you need to make a move for your crossbow.

Let's talk about misses, shall we? It happens to the best of us. And when you miss from a ground blind, good luck finding that arrow. It's like a game of hide and seek with a tiny metal stick buried in the ground. A metal detector might be your best bet.

Oh, and don't forget about scent. Your odor's right at deer nose level in a blind, so they'll sniff you out quicker than you can say "gotcha." But truth be told, whether you're in a tree stand or a blind, masking your scent? It's a tough nut to crack.

Final Shots: Treestand Vs. Ground Blind

Treestands and ground blinds have their advantages and disadvantages. As hunters, it’s up to us to know when each tool will help us the most and which is best left at home.

Treestands work best in mature woods, not thickets, while ground blinds aren’t limited to one area. However, the advantages of being above eye level often outweigh being on the ground.

Best of luck to whichever one you use while in the field! If you’re like me, you own both and use them in various ways.

Author BIO: Sam Jacobs, an avid outdoorsman from rural Oklahoma and a lead writer at, shares his passion for hunting, fishing, and outdoor adventures.