Skip to main content

Tree Stand Vs. Ground Blind: What's Best for Whitetail?

Tree Stand Vs. Ground Blind: What's Best for Whitetail?

TREE STAND vs. Ground Blind

Ground blinds encourage sloppy hunting.

There. I've said it.

Comfy blinds make hunters believe they can get away with a lot of things they shouldn't be doing – like playing video games, eating excessively, and napping. (OK, I'll admit I envy the napping.) Stools creak, bows and rifles clunk against sidewalls and frames, and arrows catch on, well, everything in the blind.

Sure, tree stands are more demanding to hunt from. First, you've got to squelch your inner chicken and climb into the thing, often in the dark and up frosty steps or pegs. Then, you've got to sit still and be quiet – skills that seem to have been root-canaled from most of the "hunters" who prefer blinds. You've got to stay warm, and you've got to minimize your scent. And if you don't pay attention, a tree stand – or rather, the sudden lack of one beneath your feet – can hurt you badly or kill you.


Nothing puts you right into the heart of the whitetail woods like a tree stand. Unhampered by walls, you perch in the light of dawn as the world comes alive around you. Hanging above the forest floor, you hear, feel, and see far more than if confined to a blind, and when an opportunity presents, you're more mobile and adaptable to various shot presentations. Instead of being encapsulated in a container, you become one with the woods.


When a big buck filters past, you don't have to keep withdrawing your gun barrel or arrow from one porthole and stuffing it out through the next porthole in an attempt to get a shot. Plus, when hunting with a rifle, the elevation a tree stand provides gives you a far better field of fire, enabling you to see into hollows and over shrubbery that would be blind spots from a...uh...blind.

-Joseph Von Benedikt

Tree stand vs. GROUND BLIND

When you tell a non-hunter about the dangers of hunting, bear attacks and firearms accidents immediately come to mind, but never would they imagine that tree stands account for far more accidents than the others combined. Yes, tree stands are effective to hunt from, but if proper procedures and best practices aren't followed, climbing up into a tree does come with elevated risks. And though I hunt out of tree stands, and always wear a full body harness, I am much happier – and statistically safer – when my feet are planted firmly on the ground.

Safety aside, I like ground blinds for other reasons. If I want to check out a new area, or move spots during the day, it is simple and quick to pack up and move. Not so simple and quick with tree stands; they are often challenging to set up, take down, and transport.


The worst part of a tree stand is finding the perfect spot to hunt as well as finding the perfect tree – both are relatively easy to find separately but seldom do the two coincide. Lee Lakoski, noted whitetail hunter, once told me he first finds the perfect tree then bulldozes a clearing around it for a food plot. With a ground blind, you can essentially set up anywhere game is found, opening up far more choices.

I have no illusions that being high up completely shields me from a deer's nose. Any serious hunters feel devices like Ozonics, while they can work in tree stands, work better in the confined space of a ground blind.

Final point in favor of ground blinds: taking someone new hunting. A newbie can enjoy the experience more and learn considerably faster while sitting next to a mentor who can instruct, teach, and, ultimately, tell them when and what to shoot as they build their skill set.


-Mike Schoby

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future. The Best New Deer Hunting Technology Accessories

The Best New Deer Hunting Technology

Jeff Johnston - May 15, 2020

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future.

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020 Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Mastering this art form can bring more big bucks to your treestand.The Science of Calling in Whitetails Whitetail

The Science of Calling in Whitetails

Jeff Johnston

Mastering this art form can bring more big bucks to your treestand.

Follow Craig Boddington's pursuit for an elusive Coues deer south of the border!A Coues Deer Hunt in Mexico Whitetail

A Coues Deer Hunt in Mexico

Craig Boddington - September 12, 2018

Follow Craig Boddington's pursuit for an elusive Coues deer south of the border!

There's much more to killing massive whitetails than being lucky. 5 Principles To Kill Giant Bucks Whitetail

5 Principles To Kill Giant Bucks

Jeff Johnston

There's much more to killing massive whitetails than being lucky.

August is the perfect time to ensure your deer stands are secure and ready.September Is Coming: Now Is the Time to Check Your Treestands Whitetail

September Is Coming: Now Is the Time to Check Your Treestands

Jeff Johnston

August is the perfect time to ensure your deer stands are secure and ready.

See More Whitetail

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now