Use these tips to make an effective deer blind in a cedar tree.
I live in the Ozarks where I bow hunt on several small properties that range in size from 10 to 20 acres. Several of these properties contain groups of cedar trees, which I used to think were a curse. But that thought soon diminished after I harvested two deer in fairly short order from a cedar tree blind. I quickly learned that cedar trees can be highly effective bowhunting blinds.
There are three reasons why cedars make good hunting blinds: Their shape, their color, and their natural scent-blocking properties.
Use the conical shape to your advantage
Cedars appear very dense from the outside, but they can be quite roomy inside. By removing a few branches, you can create a comfortable hunting blind with adequate room to maneuver your bow. Use the branches you cut off for your openingto adjust other limbs on the tree for more space rather than making additional cuts.If you need additional cover, cut off smaller branches and position them in overhead branches. But it’s not just cedar’s shape that makes them great deer cover.
Evergreen trees = natural camouflage
Cedars are evergreen trees, and evergreens have some features that are highly advantageous to hunters. The needle-like leaves on cedar trees retain their green color throughout the year. The leaves make for great camouflage, and they will help you stay concealed within the thick foliage of the cedar during the winter months. The thicker the cover, the more concealed you are. Cedar leaves also shed water away from the base of the tree, providing a dry place to hunt.
Cedar’s has natural scent-blocking properties
Any hunter knows the #1 factor that can make or break a successful hunt is scent elimination. Cedar trees have an oil that can help to mask human scent. As you settle into your cedar blind, break open some small twigs to expose the oil. When I used this trick while hunting from a cedar blind on a relatively calm day, a doe stood less than 10 feet away from me. The scent from the cedar oil prevented the doe from catching wind of me, and it allowed me to harvest a buck just moments later.
Find the perfect position
Just like real estate, location is everything. Try to find a cedar tree that backs up to other cedars or some type of natural cover that will channel deer in front of your location. Pick a cedar near the fringes of deer paths. You’ll be able to easily slip in and out of the area you are hunting in without spooking nearby deer. After all, jumping a deer you’ve worked so hard to get would ruin your day.
If you think a thick stand of cedar trees has your pre-season scouting foiled, think again. Be creative and use the aforementioned tips to your advantage. You might just make lemonade out of lemons.
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