Deer Blinds or Ladder Tree Stands: Which Work Best for Deer Hunters?

By Marty Prokop

In a prior blog post Moses asked about deer hunting from ground blinds versus ladder style deer hunting tree stands and which worked better.

I have tried both ground blinds and ladder tree stands. I’ve had great deer hunting success using both.

Marty Prokop on Ladder-Style Deer Hunting Tree Stands

There are many brands of ladder tree stand available for deer hunting.

You can choose a single-person ladder tree stand, two-man ladder tree stand, tripod ladder tree stands, four-legged ladder tree stands and even fully enclosed shooting house ladder tree stands.

I prefer the larger platform, shooting and side rails and overall comfort of the two-man ladder tree stand. Personally, I feel safer using a two-man tree stand even though I deer hunt with one person in the tree stand.

A ladder tree stand is a little harder to conceal than a portable deer hunting tree stand. Try to place your deer hunting tree stand at least one month or longer, if you are able, prior to when you plan to deer hunt from it. Always check your state and local deer hunting regulations prior to placing any tree stands in your deer hunting area.

Marty Prokop Secret for Picking the Right Tree

Place your ladder tree stand so the ladder and tree stand platform are concealed by brush or small saplings but will still allow you to access the ladder safely.

I find a tree that is strong enough for my deer hunting tree stand with smaller trees clustered around it. I secure my deer hunting tree stand platform to the large tree in the center of the tree cluster. I position it so the smaller trees camouflage — or break up the visual pattern of — my deer hunting tree stand.

Use camouflage burlap or other camouflage material to drape your deer hunting platform. I actually make “walls” of camouflage material. My tree stand looks like it is a camouflage house without a roof.

The camouflaged walls help conceal movements when you are sitting in your tree stand and will provide a wind break. Make sure the material does not affect your ability to climb into your deer hunting tree stand safely.

If there are no tree clusters available, then I choose a tree with low hanging branches the tree stand platform can sit above. Having the platform of your ladder tree stand above some branches will help break up the outline of the platform when a deer looks up at the tree. Drape the shooting platform and the shooting rest with camouflage burlap for added concealment.

Ladder tree stands set up properly will allow you to sit longer and more comfortably, which could help you bag a big buck.

How Marty Prokop Uses Deer Hunting Blinds

Deer hunting blinds can be very effective tools in helping you tag a deer. Always consult your state and local hunting regulations to see if deer hunting from a deer blind is legal for your area.

In prior deer hunting seasons I constructed ground deer hunting blinds from vegetation and downed trees. Deer moved in fairly close to the blinds made of natural items found in the deer hunting woods. As a result, many deer were tagged from these homemade blinds.

During the most recent deer hunting season, I opted to try one of the pop-up style deer hunting blinds.

One nice feature about most pop-up deer hunting blinds is being totally sheltered from the elements. You can sit in rain, snow and windy conditions and stay warm and dry. The longer you are able to comfortably sit in one place, the more likely you are to tag a big buck deer.

There are many styles of pop-up deer hunting blinds on the market today.

Look for a deer hunting blind with a dark interior and scent-blocking liner. The dark interior helps shadow a hunter while sitting in the blind. The scent-blocking liner will help, but not totally prevent, human odor from contaminating the deer hunting area.

Choose a pop-up blind that has large, shoot-thru camouflage mesh windows. This will let you see deer as they approach and help conceal your movements inside the blind.

Whether using a portable deer hunting blind or building one from natural materials you find on your deer hunting land, always set up your deer hunting blind at least two months before deer hunting season begins. This allows deer in the area to become accustom to it, and they move about in more normal patterns providing you a chance at a perfect shot.

Marty Prokop’s Deer Hunting Blind Special Tip

Most pop-up deer hunting blinds I have researched give the option of using the shoot-through mesh to cover the window opening or having an open window.

This past deer hunting season I used both options. On certain days I would unzip the window and not place the camouflage mesh over the opening. On other days I would open the windows and cover them with the camouflage mesh.

Deer were spooked by the large black hole created by having the window open without the camouflage mesh. When the window openings were covered with the camouflage shoot-through mesh, I saw more deer at closer ranges.

Good Luck and Great Hunting.

Marty Prokop

About Marty Prokop

Deer hunting expert Marty Prokop reveals closely guarded deer hunting secrets on how to get deer every time. Get his Free Deer Hunting Tips Newsletter, free deer videos and free online deer hunting game at Free Deer Hunting

Marty Prokop has 24-years experience deer hunting, processing deer for deer hunters and venison sausage making .  Marty Prokop teaches deer hunting, hunter safety, deer processing and deer sausage making classes. Marty Prokop has processed 7,805 deer, field dressed 422 deer and made over 991,990 pounds of sausage, smoked meats and jerky. Marty Prokop worked with Minnesota DNR programs. His deer hunting videos are used in statewide advanced hunter education classes. Marty Prokop is a successful speaker, outdoor writer and published author.

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