Tree stands vs. ground blinds: What’s the score?

I was surprised to see so many comments pertaining to last week’s column. I wrote about how I felt you had an advantage hunting from the ground. With most things in life, you can use numbers to support your findings

I knew there were serious tree stand hunters out there, but not to the extent realized this past week. I had mentioned that I felt ground hunting had advantages over stand hunting. You would think I had insulted someone’s mother or called their kid ugly. One guy went as far as to call me an idiot if I actually thought you were better off on the ground. I decided to sit down and score how they compare. Anyone can use this method based on their own style and experience. The comparison will be based on the five S’s: Shot, smell, sight, sound, and sneak. One point will be given to the best suited set for the job.

Your ability to shoot and hit game is the most important task of the hunter. For anyone who has hunted out of a stand before, it is apparent that the increased downward angle can make for a tricky shot. The kill zone of the animal becomes smaller the higher you go up. For bow hunters, you must shoot a bit differently to be accurate. You have to bend at the waist, to compensate for the angle. This maneuver can be easily forgotten. If you do forget, you will likely shoot over the animal or make a high shot. You can easily manage opening shooting lanes on the ground. While clearing away branches above the forest floor tends to be much harder. In most cases you will have to leave branches behind because of size or danger of removal. These shot barriers once again decrease your odds from a stand. For these reasons, I feel the ground hunter has easily won the first round.

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