Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
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JPH
 
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Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby JPH » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:18 am

Okay, the subject line is a little misleading. I'm not about to give up treestands altogether, nor is ground hunting new to me. But in the past decade I have spent more and more time in trees and less time on the ground. This weekend, I decided to change that, in part on my own size-up of the conditions and in part on the advice of Woods Walker.

Iowa holds a 3 day antlerless, gun hunt on Thanksgiving weekend, which is ahead of the regular shotgun season. I'm not hunting the regular shotgun this year, so it's a great way to wrap up the season. I enjoy the low pressure "meat and management" mentality and it allows me to change up my hunting style for fun.

Anyway, the farm I have been hunting has a picked bean field dominating a high but very gentle, north to south, ridge. Brushy pasture and timber surrounds it on all sides and there is great concealment if you watch your movements. It is also a farm with an explosive deer population. The winds have been high as a low pressure cold front moves in. I did not feel like swaying in a skinny tree and waiting for the feeding does to possibly wonder into range where I would be forced to take a wobbly shot (believe me, I've been there a million times). Instead, I've spent my time glassing the field and circling the herd along the fence lines and then belly crawling my way into a sure shot with my ML. What a blast!

Friday morning found me watching a doe and fawn at 200 yards, safely downwind. I was able to crawl from cedar to cedar as they worked across the high point toward me. I managed to set myself up and make a nice shot at 70 yds and dropped the doe in her tracks. Saturday night was even more fun! I started by spotting a "doe" bedded in the middle of the field and low crawling all the way into the middle of the field before I realized it was actually a spike buck. When he rose to feed, he walked to within 15 yards of me three different times before I shooed him away. I then circled downwind of a small doe herd in the corner of the field. I again went into the dirt and used a slight slope to crawl to with 20 yards. It was getting dusky and the wind was really blowing so they had no idea I was there. I know I could've gotten closer but one of the bigger does offered me a perfect anchoring shot at her front shoulder. Since I did not feel like tracking a deer in the dark woods, I took it.

Talk about a way to bring some fun into a doe hunt! Again, not new to me or the style I intend to use all the time, but something I had missed. Thanks WW!

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:13 am

Glad it worked for you! I'm not saying that your experience will be the same, but I did not intend to abandon the trees entirely either, but after a season or so I did. Not with any real intent, I just seems to have worked out that way. If nothing else it's a heck of lot less complicated. Guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.......if you consider crawling through ditches and walking along in a state of suspended animation lazy!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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JPH
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby JPH » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:22 am

Woods Walker wrote:Guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.......if you consider crawling through ditches and walking along in a state of suspended animation lazy!


I know what you mean. There is a lot less overhead, but it is far from easy.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:40 am

But it sure a hell isn't BORING! ;)
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Jslotter
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby Jslotter » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:03 pm

Congrats JPH. Glad to know you found a new challenge. My opinion on hunting ground level is that there is no perfect way to do it. I hunt from the ground for gun season, and using the wind is key. I haven't mastered bowhunting from the ground yet. Other things like using cover and concealment to break up your outline is important also. Moving from one tree, dead timber, brush pile to the other. Trying to close that distance, silent as you can, as your adrenaline and carnal instinct take over. Thats the greatest rush ever...
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Deebz
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby Deebz » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:41 pm

I've been introduced to hunting from the ground with guns over the last couple of seasons... i still prefer trees for the bow, or at least a good ground blind as I don't have the patience to move slowly and quietly enough to get into bow range... The ground I've been lucky enough to get access to to gun hunt is basically huge open fields with ditches and levies running through it. We do a lot of spot and stalk type hunts. It's a totally different type of hunt when you can spot deer in a field and move unseen to get into position to try to take a shot...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:51 pm

"We do a lot of spot and stalk type hunts. It's a totally different type of hunt when you can spot deer in a field and move unseen to get into position to try to take a shot..."

You got that right Deebz! I actually pity anyone who's spent a lifetime hunting deer and never got one this way or even really tried it. They have no idea of what they're missing.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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SwampLife
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby SwampLife » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:28 pm

Blinds are for sissy's.

I use face paint and a loin cloth...

And a rock!



Seriously though, stalking is immensely entertaining but can be very unproductive if you are not VERY disciplined and good at reading deer body language.

Good job JPH.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

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JPH
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:52 pm

I hate blinds. Not that I won't use them. I have and I will again but I only use them if I have to.

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JPH
 
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Re: Woodsy, I came out of the tree stand!

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:50 pm

I've added making a ghillie suit to my off season project list by the way.

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