Both treestands and ground blinds are effective means of hunting whitetails. Each has merits along with a few downsides that will factor into your hunt. Ideally, you are able to utilize both methods when most appropriate to increase your chances at a successful hunt.
Treestands have a higher risk factor than ground blinds. Accidents occur every year and serious injuries are a threat from the elevated perch. You can minimize the risk with a full body harness to keep you safely strapped to the tree. Ground blinds keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and are a very safe alternative for those who do not enjoy heights.
Ground blinds work in favor of mobility. They are easy to pack and move to new hunting areas. This works well when you hunt new areas and don’t have the deer patterned well. Treestands are more difficult to relocate but they do work very well when you know the travel routes and have a good setup. They require more time to find the ideal tree, create shooting lanes and get everything set. Once the treestand is established however, it becomes a very effective tool.
The treestand wins when it comes to concealment. The elevated position removes you from line of sight. Deer are looking at the ground and on a level plane where they find food while identifying predators and danger. They spend little time scanning upward in the treetops. The concealment factor is the primary reason many hunters prefer treestands over ground blinds. Most ground blinds are camouflage but deer well still notice the appearance of a new blind unless you really brush it in. When you setup on the ground, pull natural materials from the surrounding area to give an extra layer of concealment.
Shooting from the ground is much easier than from a tree. You can take a comfortable stance and the shot is level from the ground. Shooting from a tree creates a sharp angle and in some cases, an uncomfortable position. Practicing in advance from a tree can be important. It takes some time to really get your shot down and figure out comfortable and safe positions to draw and lean into your shot.
While both methods are effective, the treestand provides the best concealment and is the more popular choice. Hunting from the ground does increase flexibility, comfort and provides an easier shot in many situations. Having access to treestands and blinds will make you a more versatile hunter.