Set Up in Front, Not Behind

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

For so many years I can't remember, I always thought the best way to hide was to sit behind something. I went out of my way to find low brush or even clear a path through brush so I could set up behind it and not be seen by animals coming in and still have a path to shoot through. Did it work? Yep, but more often than not, the only way I was going to get a shot was to either stand and shoot over the brush or move out to the side and shoot around it. And in so doing, the movement was always detected by whatever it was coming in.

I have since learned to make my ambush from in front.  I like to find some bushes or some trees that I can snuggle up into with a wide open view in front.  One thing I am always looking for is enough foliage behind me to completely block out all light coming through which might silhouette me.  With the backdrop and some good camo, I can actually move more than when I was trying to stand or sneak out to the side.  I have an open shooting lane in all directions and my movement, if slow, is less detectable than you might think.

I sit with my shotgun/rifle in a ready-to-shoot position so it takes little or no movement to have it up to my shoulder. And for those times that things happen so quickly that you don't have time to get the gun into position, I've found that being in the open with no obstructions in front lets you snap the gun up and get a shot off before the animal/bird has a chance to react.

I take a small folding stool to keep my behind up off the ground and give myself a little more stability.  I set it up in front of a huge tree or a batch of bushes and I'm comfortable for an extended period of time.  Setting up behind bushes and not having a backrest is killer on the back and you'll tend to move much more quickly.  Always set up as comfortable as possible so you aren't constantly moving to relieve the pain.  I always make sure I have a backrest and a place to dig my heels in.  I not only want to be comfortable, I want to be in a good shooting stance when the moment of truth arrives.

Set up in front, get as comfortable as possible, have your gun in a ready position and sit still.


ndemiter's picture

this is a great tip. so many

this is a great tip. so many times i find myself setting up behind something out of habit, even though i've learned this lesson a dozen times. thanks for the reminder, it helps hearing it from somebody else too.

unfortunately, even this morning i was turkey hunting and was guilty of this. i guess it doesn't matter because all i've found this year have been jakes... and since gas is too expensive, i havn't been able to make it to my honey hole.

oh, the life of a young married couple. sometimes i wouldn't trade it for the world, other times i'd trade it for one good day of huntin!

Deer Slayer's picture

This is a great tip. I

This is a great tip. I remember when I first started and my dad wanted to make me a ground blind. He said I would sit at the base of this tree then he started stacking all kinds of sticks, logs , deadfalls behind the tree. I said don't you need to put those out in front? He asked how I would be able to shoot then? He told me what matters most is breaking up your outline and blending into your surroundings. I shot my first buck and a few doe form that groundblind we made. So, yes, great tip and thanks for sharing.

numbnutz's picture

Good tip, i used to sit

Good tip, i used to sit behind small shrubs or rocks to hide, but then learned to sit in front and it does work, i even do this while archery hunting, you just have tp pick your spot on when to draw your bow. Thanks for sharing

hunter25's picture

A good tip here and

A good tip here and apparently one we are all using. I think the desire at first to get behind something just gives us the feeling of being more sneaky. But more often than not we end up blocking our own view as much as that of the animal we are hunting. BEing able to move and get the shot is the most important thing of all just like you said.

Thanks for the tip and good examples in using it.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Yes, you are absolutely

Yes, you are absolutely right. The most important thing is to have a good backdrop to break up your silhouette. As long as your backdrop is good it's just like having brush in front of you except you don't have to try and shoot through it. Great tip.

jaybe's picture

Great tip, flipper! That's

Great tip, flipper! That's one that my dad taught me when I first started hunting, and it has served me well over the years. One of my best stands was a little "niche" in front of two pine trees that had grown close together. There was a small "indentation" between them into which I could back my seat into and not only have the background cover, but also a few pine branches coming out beside me - not enough to block my movements or vision, but enough to completely break up my outline from either side.

Here's a tip for you. As you get older (you are getting older, I assume) trade in that small folding stool for a "bag chair". I have one that doesn't have arms to get in the way, it is green (good color) and the bag has a strap that slings right over my shoulder. With one of these, you never have to be concerned about having a backrest and it will allow you many more options when you are looking for the perfect background cover to sit in front of.

Good Luck!


arrowflipper's picture

tell me more

Hey Jaybe, tell me more about the bag chair.  Where do you get them?  How big are they?  Do you carry them into the woods?

And yes, I am getting a little bit older...... just about ready ta hit a pair of 6's.

groovy mike's picture

Getting comfortable is essential if you want to sit still.

ArrowFlipper – Getting comfortable is essential if you want to sit still.        

 And we all know that sitting still lets you hide better than if you move.  I still like to hide behind something but I have learned that it is also important to have something behind you.  If you are sky-lined you will NOT see deer!  My most productive stand is sitting almost in the open – I’m behind about a 1 foot rise, but I have a rise behind me that lets my camo blend in just like you said.  I usually put a little ground blind up in front of my but that is pretty low and I don’t know as it does much good. 

I’m sure that the camo and the rise behind me are doing more good to hide me from deer than anything in front of me.