Tree stand or Ground blind?

With the late season upon us and another trip planned to So. West Iowa I have been looking at aerial map’s trying to figure out our tactics for the late season action. My brother (Pete) has drawn a late season muzzleloader tag and we will be heading down to Tails of the Hunt right after Christmas. As I will be behind the camera I have the time to figure out a plan and make suggestions. The best part of that is that I’m not the hunter so that means I don’t have to choose just make suggestions. Of course if my brother chooses his way and is wrong then I get to say I told you so! Always a highlight for me!!

Anyway as I put together my plan one of the things I look at is do we want to get in a stand or do we want to hunt from the ground. My filming partner Pat and I have had a great deal of success filming from both locations. The buck I shot in November of this year was taken from the ground and the attached picture show’s a 168″ buck that Pat took from the ground a few year’s ago.

The downside of hunting from the ground is the lack of visibility and the difficulty in getting a solid range. I missed twice this fall from the ground because I could not get the range. Your movement can be far more limited and you must watch your wind. The upside of hunting from the ground is you can pattern the deer and set up accordingly, and there is nothing more exciting than having a big buck walking in at 40 yards or less! On top of that as I’m now 51 years old my fear of 20′ high tree stands is far greater then when I was young. If I didn’t have a Hunter’s safety system vest I would not venture  into very many  these days.

But I do have an HSS vest and I know of several late season stands along the edge of the corn that can put us on good deer. I know if we hunt in a tree we can get away with more movement, our wind can be consistent, and it is far easier to get a solid range on a good buck. With my brother having a muzzleloader in his hands we know we are good to 175 yards and this certainly will help the cause as well. Anytime you are in the stand in Iowa you know a monster could step out and give you a chance at the buck of a lifetime!

So it comes down to what a guy is comfortable doing. Neither choice is nessarily wrong it is a matter of scouting and what will work for the specific situation. Luckily it isn’t my choice, so if Pete choose wrong I guess I get to say I told you so:)