How long should my ground blind be setup?

Archery season is getting close! I mean REAL close! As I’m writing this, opening day here in North Dakota is only 9 days away. I went out last night to check cameras and set up a ground blind and got thinking that it was getting too close to season to be doing this. The more I worked, the more I realized that this is almost perfect timing for getting my ground spots set up.

How long before my hunt should I get my ground blind set up?

If you asked me, “How long before my hunt should I get my ground blind set up?” I’d tell you 1-2 weeks. That should likely be a short enough period to still allow you to hunt the current pattern, while giving the deer enough time to get familiar with the blind. We all know deer movement patterns change quite often, and if I would have set the blinds I plan to hunt a month or more before season, sure the deer would be used to it, but who’s to say they’ll be on the same pattern by then?

Anybody who has done ground blind hunting also knows that it isn’t always easy to get set up. There’s the hike in, finding the spot, clearing the area, brushing it in, and clearing the shooting lanes. With the amount of labor and time involved in moving and setting up blinds, I want to have mine where the deer are. I was reassured that my timing and location was good when a doe walked up the trail while I was setting the blind, and that I got pictures of the buck I’m after just the night before almost an hour before sunset.

To argue the opinion that this timing is too close to my hunt, let’s put the numbers to it: From the time I put up the blind until archery opener, there will have been 232 hours for the deer to get acclimated to the blind, and 232 hours for me to deal with crazy anticipation and big antlers in my dreams!

by Curt Barnes

6 Responses to “How long should my ground blind be setup?”

  1. Scott Hall says:

    As a disabled hunter it’s not always easy for me to do the scouting and other things I need to do to get the information I need to set up my stand. I keep a notebook from season to season on deer movement, time of day, direction of travel, sex of the deer seen, etc. and with that I have been able to kind of guess where the best spot to put my ground blind might be. Standing crops or harvested fields are always an issue, as are acorn crops and other variables that change from year to year. I was however, unsure as to when was the best time to put up my blind so the deer could get used to it before the season started. Your article was very helpful to me. Thank you.

    • Thanks Scott! We appreciate the comment and the support. I’m impressed with your system of tracking using notebooks and watching the deer move over time. How do you go about making the determination? Just an educated guess or do you have some pretty solid data that indicates when/where they will be?

      Thanks again!

  2. Jamie LeRoy says:

    Thanks for the Artical. It helps me to feel confident that I did the right thing. I set my blind up two weeks before opening day. 20 yards froma salt lick that we set up in the spring. There were tons of fresh sign. There are trails that come in every direction to the lick and I have view of where every one leads into the open. If all goes well I will have a 10 to 20 yard shot at the most!

    • Jamie,

      Awesome! Glad the information has helped. That is exactly why we are doing what we are doing. We know everyone needs a second opinion sometimes. :) Good luck in the upcoming season. Hit us up on Facebook with any kills. We’d love to see them!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Eric says:

    I am thinking about buying a ground blind. The hard part is that I know it should be set out as early as possible. The problem that I have is even though I hunt private property I am not the only person that hunts it. I am afraid that it could “disappear”. So do you think that setting up a ground blind that day of the hunt is okay?

  4. Curt says:


    I’ve tried this a few times before, and keep in mind, this was only tested on my homegrown, North Dakota deer, and have had no success. I even tried it again this year because of a hot spot that we just found a couple days before opener. We set the blind up that morning, brushed it in great, probably better than we’ve ever brushed a blind in, and had two bucks show up and blow out of there, and actually not come back again.
    In my experience, it has not worked for archery, but for rifle hunting situations, I would imagine it would. Mostly because of the extra distance you can keep between yourself and the deer.
    Whatever you choose, enjoy yourself and I wish you success.

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