shooting position

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
tonybow
 
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shooting position

Postby tonybow » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:46 pm

Many of us have had both successes and failures while ground hunting. I'm wondering what body position you find most successful, as opposed to most "busted". I'll start by saying that my first deer on the ground was with me wearing a ghillie, sitting on a low turkey hunting stool. I've also had the experience, several times, where deer obviously saw me, but when I got down on all fours, they stayed around trying to figure out what I was. So, what position has given you the best, non-busted chances: sitting, standing, or kneeling?

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Jslotter
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby Jslotter » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:10 pm

For gun season, during a good still hunt, I will take a knee for a shot. Its second nature and gives me a steadier aim. Usually the deer are on their way out and 90% of the time stop to look back to figure what I am. Or, they are full bore coming my direction away from other hunters. But, when Im stationary, I like to bring a folding stool out and plant myself in some deadfall overlooking a ravine or a wide draw. Those are a few of my best tips for ground hunting.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:41 pm

Well when you are standing up, then you are giving the deer the best view of a "human". That's why I like to have some kind of background or cover around me when I stillhunt. But I have killed my share of deer while stillhunting and standing up. I like to think that it's because I used the cover and/or shadows to the best advantage......but then I also may have just been lucky! (That's where Steve Bartylla and I differ.....he says that he's so good, that luck doesn't play any role at all in his success..it's ALL skill..... :roll: )

That said, I do believe that kneeling will give you the best chance to not get busted while attempting a shot. When you are on your knees, you have eliminated about half of the human shape. That, and when you are on your knees, you are most likely not MOVING, which is probably what accounts for us getting busted most of the time anyway.

The importance masking of the human shape is also why I think the ghillie suit works so well. It doesn't mask the human form, it OBLITERATES it! And the headpiece I use with mine completely hides the head/shoulders, which I believe is what first gives us away anyway.

I seem to be more able to get a bow shot from the ground when I am kneeling of sitting than while standing, and I think it's because of those reason I stated.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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w4sar
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby w4sar » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:16 pm

I prefer to sit cross-legged on the ground leaning against a blowdown. The blowdown helps both to break up my outline as well as provide a shooting rest in the most probable direction the deer will approach. I usually sweep out the leaf litter from under me to help keep it quiet and if the ground is damp, slide a trash bag under my butt. One favored blowdown I use has given me four kills over the years.
David J. Snyder
Orange County, NC

tonybow
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby tonybow » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:58 pm

David, when you refer to using the blowdown as a shooting rest for the most probable direction the deer will be coming from, do you mean perpendicular to the blowdown, or parallel to it? I'm just thinking that you may not have many choices for a shooting rest if the tree is laying in a given position, so I am not clear as to what you mean.

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w4sar
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby w4sar » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:12 am

Tonybow-
My natural inclination is to shoot lefty, though I can shoot right-handed in a pinch, so I sit with the tree trunk along my right side. This allows me to rest the rifle on the trunk if the deer approaches along my right side. If the deer comes the other way, and if I can do it without getting spotted, I shift and rest my elbows on my knees.
David J. Snyder
Orange County, NC

SteveBartylla
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby SteveBartylla » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:57 pm

[
Woods Walker wrote: (That's where Steve Bartylla and I differ.....he says that he's so good, that luck doesn't play any role at all in his success..it's ALL skill..... :roll: )


And then from a thread you started before this one on an article I wrote: "Big Bucks Are In The Details"

Woods Walker wrote: Methinks the author may have a slight ego problem!


I'm certainly not attempting to start some foolish internet fight here, and you certainly are 100% entitled to your opinion. With that in mind, do you think it might be a remote possibility that you are reading WAY too much into one sentence in an entire article? I certainly have never and will never say what you wrote in that first line, be it in print, in seminars, on TV, talking to other hunters or in any other situation.

In that article, I was trying to make a dramatic point that, to far larger extent than most realize, we can often make our own luck. When I wrote "However, luck had no role in my hunt for that 164-inch 11 pointer," what I was really referring to was the ability to get off the shot, despite not even having my bow all the way up the tree when I spotted him about 100 yds away, coming in on a trot.

I was lucky in many ways. He could have come in 1 minute earlier, while I was still on the ground. A doe could have caught his attention. A small game hunter could have spooked him, on and on and on.

Trust me, I'm not some arrogant idiot that believes his own press clippings. The fact that many in this industry actually do believe their own hype is one of my biggest pet peeves. After all, they almost all hunt locations with all the odds stacked in their favor. Even I, hunting public land about 25% of season (was lucky enough to take a solid buck on public land last sat) and always doing my own scouting/stand work everywhere I go, have a tremendous advantage. This is my job and, outside of my family, my main focus each fall. So I can hunt waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy more than most other hunters. In other words, Though I'd like to believe I am pretty good at what I do, I better kill stuff. It's been my job for over 17 years now (not counting when I had a real job and would save vacation time and take leaves of absence each fall).

With that out of the way, to toss me 2 cents worth in on the question in this thread. The best way to shoot from the ground is the ways one practices. Get comfortable shooting from sitting, kneeling and standing and you can pull off all 3 as accurately as the others. That said, in general, sitting and kneeling offers a lower profile and tends to get one seen a little less and allows for a bit more movement.

Good luck all and sorry about the rant. As I wrote, arrogance in this industry is a pet peeve of mine.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:35 pm

Steve: I was simply taking you at your word...or words as the case may be. It DID come off as sounding pretty arrogant, and as you just stated the industry is full of arrogancy. But thank you for explaining yourself, and in fact we BOTH agree now that you ( and everyone else that hunts) were/was lucky in that as you say,

"I was lucky in many ways. He could have come in 1 minute earlier, while I was still on the ground. A doe could have caught his attention. A small game hunter could have spooked him, on and on and on."

That's pretty much what I said in my response to that article, and a lot of other people agreed with me, so right or wrong that WAS the impression you gave.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8767

I also said that other than that first comment, I did agree with everything else you wrote, especially the part about us making our own luck.That is VERY true. And I also give you credit for coming on here and addressing this. That is rare, but appreciated, as there have only been a few D&DH writers that have been active on these forums.

Best of luck to you! (No pun intended! ;) )
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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

SteveBartylla
 
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Re: shooting position

Postby SteveBartylla » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:43 am

Woods Walker, we actually agreed the entire time that luck played a role. I was merely trying to grab people's attention with that line and get them to read the rest of the article. It's merely a writing technique I use once in a great while. I make what seems like an outlandish statement to steal readers’ full attention and then use the article to explain what I really meant. By the end of the article I assumed readers would understand what I meant and not take that one line so literally. I suppose this is the spot to discuss the old saying about assuming. I guess that's the risk of using that technique. It obviously did get your attention, though :D

Since this thread is dead, I'll jump back up on my soap box and explain why the arrogance factor in the industry drives me so nuts. Let’s forget about high fence hunts that do occur. Frankly, it's been my experience that the majority of "experts/hunting celebs" don't hunt kill pens. Also, there is a huge difference between a high fence and a kill pen. I've never hunted either. In my role, I can't or it would destroy all credibility as a how to "expert," but I do have 0 ethical issues with large high fence operations. I can even live with kill pens, but don’t pretend shooting something in a kill pen is hunting, because it isn’t. That’s merely killing.

The typical hunts for most "experts/hunting celebs" are with outfitters and they are free hunts. The outfitter gives a free hunt to Mr X in hopes of getting promotions and booking more clients. With all the magazines and TV shows out there, killing a 140" buck does next to nothing for them. To grab the audience's interest enough to pay attention to where Mr X is hunting, it better be a 160+.

At the same time, this hunt is costing the outfitter $$$$. They are giving up a hunting slot (say $2500), their guide's time ($500), meals and lodging for him and his cameraman ($500). A spit ball number is that having Mr X there is costing them about $3500 and they get nothing out of it if he doesn't kill a great buck. Now, the outfitters I work as a consultant for don't do this (I swear), and I'm sure there are others as well, but I do know of many outfitters that stack the odds by setting aside their best area for Mr X and having it setup well in advance of his arrival. So, Mr X climbs up the stand already set, shoots the buck they have patterned for him, tells a bunch of BS about how they patterned/setup on this great buck and then moves on to the next outfitter.

Does it always work out that well? No, in fact more often than not it takes days to pull it off. Still, outside of endure the elements and making the shot, most do little else to kill that buck.

Now, take it a step further. As mentioned in the previous post, I still spend about 25% of season on public lands and I always set myself up everywhere. Toss in a few small family farms I hunt and I would even go so far as to say up to 50% of the hunting I do is on places just like most others hunt. That sounds somewhat impressive. Still, the 50% of the rest of the places I hunt are nothing short of amazing. Yeah, when I go to Alberta I do my own scouting and setups (not because I believe I am better than the guides, but because that's what I love doing). Still, it's REALLY easy to look smart there. Same thing with where I hunt when I go to MO, IA, MN and IL.

This year I just started managing a one piece, 1500 acre farm in IL. In fact, the only tags I have left to fill this season are IL bow doe tags (got 16 out of 25 full so far, thank God for their Feed the Hungry program) and a IL buck shotgun tag. I filled my IL buck bow tag with the biggest 8 on the property. Again, I scouted all the stands and did the work myself.

Does that sound impressive? In my mind, it really doesn’t. This is my job. I better be able to do it, particularly when one considers all the time I have spent on that property, as well as running the 30 scouting cameras they set me up with. It's like saying a plumber is impressive for fixing a leaky pipe. That plumber better be able to. If not, they should find a new profession. Now, that guy that's been a plumber for 35 yrs (apprentice for 18 -the number of years I hunted before entering the industry- and full time for 17) better be good and able to teach others a trick or two, but it really isn't impressive that he can fix a pipe, is it? It's expected that he can.

That's my view of the entire situation. Those of us that have been given "expert" or "hunting celebs" tags better kill stuff, just as the plumber better fix my pipes. That isn't impressive. You want impressive, look at the active military, cops, firefighters, the better teachers, nurses and so on. That's impressive, not people that are blessed enough to get paid to enjoy their passion and kill deer.

OK, I'm done with my soap box hoping :lol: I just figured it sort of fit in the discussion.

Leaving for IL in the morning. So, I doubt I'll be back around for a long while. Enjoy this time of year. It will be over before we know it and be back to waiting for fall.


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