How Many Of You Stillhunt?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
DeanoZ
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby DeanoZ » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:48 am

So Friday afternoon I conducted my first official still hunt!  Although i saw nothing, I have to say it was a success from several standpoints and for sure it was more exciting than sitting in the stand.  That feeling you get that just ahead of you awaits a possible shooter really get the blood flowing and heightens your senses!  If you recall in my previous posts my original plan was to still hunt in the rain Friday morning..well i nixed that plan and opted for an afternoon still hunt and stuck to the stream banks instead of hunting directly in the stream.  I did this for two reasons...1). Was still downpouring and VERY windy (20-30 mph sustained) and 2. That stream was now a raging river with all that rain, and I did not want to take a chance on losing my footing in rapids! But for the most part I hugged the banks of the river and took it very slow...just getting 20 yrds ito the woods took about a half hour!!!  but once I got used to the timing, sitting, watching , listening it was pretty neat.  All tolled I proabbly covered 200-250 yrds in a 3 hour hunt and while I saw know deer..i heard some in the distance that seemd to be going the other way.  I hunted the wind so i doubt they detected me, but I managed to snap a few twigs a long the way.  What i did come away with was a great stand spot of HUGE oaks and nice HUGE rub and a good crossing sight along the stream where all this sign seems to converge...oh and I think in a previous post I mentioned that within the first 350 yrds of enterign the woods a nice scrape.  So the deer are there, just a question of when their comign through.  So i'll set a cam up there this week and see what more I can learn.  I have a bunch nore questions so I'll post those seperately.  Looking forward to my next still hunt!

beagleman23
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby beagleman23 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:45 am

You'll eventually hit that payday and it will be a great reward.  Even though you did not see your intended quarry you saw fresh sign and new country which could lead to a new/alternate tree stand.

DeanoZ
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby DeanoZ » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:05 am

Yes agreed beagleman23, its somewhat puzzling though this area...its a long draw with a stream running through it..when i first map spotted it it looked interesting...then I scouted it and further north I saw plenty of sign and rubs...thought it was a great spot.  The trail cam confirmed it when I caught a nice 8 pointer cruising through..then I hunted it 3 times and aside from a couple does, nothing.  The area I still hunted is south of this..same draw and stream just a click south...it borders some ammo bunkers with grass fields around them which is where I suspect they are feeding..at least the does..and that scape just inisde the woods confirmed it.  But that hub is halfway between those two points and it did not dawn on me until i saw the area litterally scuffed up and the dirt scrapped away.  The oaks are huge in that one spot so there is no doubt there were tons of acorns falling in this one spot, and I suspect they are still knuding around in there looking for the last of the acorn mast.  The spot is frustrating me because I just know they are there, everything points to it, guess i just need to be more patient.
 
Ok so now I have a bunch of other questions regarding still hunting:
 
1.  Do you carry your bow knocked or unknocked w/ an Arrow?  For safety reasons and so as not to get hung up on nearby brush I started off unknocked...then tried knocked, felt uncomfortable and went back to unknocked.
 
2.  How many steps do you take between a stop and pause?  I tried to keep it to just 3-4 but found myself at times stopping in the open i.e. without a tree or brush behind me to break up my outline...so I basically kept doing the slow stalk to the next tree, shrub, bush I could hide behind.  Sometimes it was a few steps..other times it was 10-15 yrds
 
3.  When you stop do you take a knee, sit or stand?  I mixed it up...if there was a tree nearby I would lean up against it..if it was a small tree or a shrub I would kneel and if it was a fallen log with brush or limbs behind me to break up my outline I would sit on the log.
 
4.  When you stalk, do you crouch, stand erect..hands and knees?  Again i mixed it up here depending on the terrain, but for the most part I crouched and tried to keep my profile low...if I came upon taller brush I would stand erect.
 
5.  If you snap a twig do you do anything to similate another animal as having made the noise?  I only had my grunt call, so if I made excessive noise I would get on the grunt tube.  I've heard tohers use turkey calls, snort/wheeze etc.

beagleman23
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby beagleman23 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:34 pm

I only took one deer with the bow while still hunting/stalking.  It was a 1 1/2 year old buck that came running to a long loud series on my bleat call.  Not that I didn't sucessfully get into shooting range of numerous does over the years but pass.  I am not totally comfortable spending a lot of time during bow season still hunting deer.  I usually stand hunt but use it during the mid-day times as scouting missions to check other areas as deer patterns change often.  When still hunting during bow season I try and slip quietly through 'good' areas pausing depending on my gut feeling either behind a log or a tree.  My still hunting is not as slow and tedious as the others who have responded.  I partiscipate much more during firearms season when I engage in a combination of still hunting, stalking and tracking as we usually have the benefit of snow.  I became fairly good at sorting out tracks at a young age while accompanying my father rabbit hunting w/o a dog on the snow.  I often sorted out a maze of tracks eventually finding where it was hiding.  I carried this over to deer hunting and use it not necessarily to track one particular deer but to find where they're bedding, feeding etc.  Then I slow down and use my binoculars quite a bit concentrating on these areas as opposed to just crawling though an area hoping a deer moves through at the same time.  In other words, I have developed an idea of where I might find deer based upon prior observations in relationship to current conditions.  Many will tell you that this is not still hunting which by strick definition is correct.  But it works for me and I shoot about 40% of my firearms deer this way.  I use binoculars extensively, almost away stop with my outline broken by a tree or log but do not spend the time on the ground like Woodswalker.  Camo is a must for me especially a white pattern for the snow.  I wear a snow fleece two piece outfit from Cabels that they no longer make.  I just bought a used one for my son from a friend that packed on a few pounds after quitting smoking.  If I make what I believe to be unexceptable noise I usually just freeze for a longer period of time until everything goes back to normal.  Many of the deer I see and most that I harvest in this manner are aware of an intrusion(me), they just haven't fled the area but I have been most sucessful in snowy semi-windy weather when I have got within 20-25 yards on totally unsuspecting deer.  Hope this helps and as always good luck.

Xplorer
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby Xplorer » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:53 am

Took my slug gun for a walk yesterday (what I refer to as still hunting). Really wish I would have read this thread 1st. No wonder I hardly see anything other that the "white flag". Learned more from this thread in the time that it took to read than any other single source.  Thanks for all the great info [:)]

DeanoZ
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:32 pm

I'll say this much...PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE...is the order of the day when it comes to still hunting, but I've learned so much about it from this thread alone!

vambo991
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby vambo991 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:07 pm

sure, sometimes in very foul weather, or with a pile of fresh snow. Also, during the rut I like to creep into thick brush ...wait a while... then raise a little hell with grunts and snorts and such. WW is right though, I go maybe 25-30  yards in an hour

Scot
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby Scot » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:11 am

I still hunt a lot with a rifle and muzzle loader.It is by far my favorite way to hunt.I advance through what I would call unproductive woods fairly quickly and put it in to super low gear when I am seeing area's that either show deer activity or that are obvious feeding or bedding area's.I shot a buck that I walked up on this year at about ten yards.A very exciting and gratifying way to hunt.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:39 pm

ORIGINAL: Scot

I still hunt a lot with a rifle and muzzle loader.It is by far my favorite way to hunt.I advance through what I would call unproductive woods fairly quickly and put it in to super low gear when I am seeing area's that either show deer activity or that are obvious feeding or bedding area's.I shot a buck that I walked up on this year at about ten yards.A very exciting and gratifying way to hunt.

 
You're sure right about that!  Getting that close undetected to a buck on the ground, and then killing him that way is something that must be experienced to fully appreciate.
It's like no other hunting experience that you'll ever have.
 
I used to dream of traveling to other places to hunt "exciting" game, but since I started stillhunting, I now have all the hunting excitement I'll ever need right in Illinois. What a rush it is!!!!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

RE: How Many Of You Stillhunt?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:50 pm

We have some newbies here, and I thought I'd dredge this thread up to see if there's anymore that practice this dying art.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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