Getting Started Stalking

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
DEER30
 
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Getting Started Stalking

Postby DEER30 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:26 am

I have blown more stalks than I can count over nearly 20 years of whitetail hunting, but every once in awhile I get a chance to tighten the score. A treestand or ground blind abush predator, I typically stalk a deer out of desperation or opportunity. I have described some of the things that have helped and hurt my success over the years at www.deer30outdoors.com/stalking-whitetails/ Please take a look and let me know of any of your tricks or trips that helped you be successful or spoiled your chances.

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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

Re: Getting Started Stalking

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:59 am

That's a well written article Randy. You about covered it all. I would only add that when you are stalking or stillhunting the worst thing you can do is put yourself under any kind of time constraint. That is BEGGING for something to go wrong, and heaven knows that even with the most well planned, unrushed stalk something will probably go wrong anyway!

The only other thing I would add is that when engaging in this type of a hunt it stands to reason that you must know your ground EXTREMELY well. Every little dip, rise, or gully can and will have a dramatic effect when you are on a stalk.

As you say, there are more productive ways to hunt, but they are not NEAR as thrilling as getting close to them on the ground! Over the past 8 years since I started hunting like this, I've pretty much given up treestands entirely, and will now maybe sit a natural ground blind for a few hours and then stillhunting my way to another one. I've become addicted!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

Re: Getting Started Stalking

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:55 pm

I had another observation on your posting. You say that most of your stalks are from opportunity or desperation and that you are primarly a stand hunter.

Now when one stand hunts, you obviously dress and gear up for a sedentary stand hunt. When you are stalking/stillhunting you really need to dress differently and use specific gear for that type of mobile hunt.

Let's just take footwear. If you are like most standhunters you most likely wear a heavy, Vibram lug soled boot with heavy insulation. You HAVE to. You're climbing trees, and your sitting still in cool/cold weather. Unfortunately that type of boot is probably the WORST thing one could wear for a stalk/stillhunt, where being quiet and able to "feel" the ground without looking to avoid stepping on twigs and branches (not to metion walking quietly through leaves) is paramount. You'd not even THINK of sitting in a tree all day with moccasin type footwear, so why not plan a day of stalking/stillhunting only where you DRESS for that type of hunt. Give it the same planning that you do a day long sit. You'll soon see how much more comfortable you are, and although this type of hunting is never "easy", at least you aren't starting out with a significant handicap. If it's not near or under freezing and reasonably dry, I wear high top Converse canvas sneakers a size or two larger than my normal footwear so I can wear a wicking sock and maybe a pair or two of wool socks. When it gets colder/wetter I wear Bean's Guide boot with the leather top, rubber moccasin sole, with Thinsulate. With these I can feel the ground quite well, and can even move reasonably quiet through dry leaves.

As far as your other gear goes, pare it down as much as you can. I can hunt all day like this with just a fanny pack, binoculars (in a Bino-Buddy harness strapped to me chest) a Mini-Catquiver over my shoulder and my recurve. Go light, and go quiet!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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

DEER30
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Re: Getting Started Stalking

Postby DEER30 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:27 pm

All good points woods walker. I only still hunt the National forest of VA or GA. Then I definately trade my unsupporting rubber boots of stand hunting for my 8" hikers. But my stalks typically result from watching deer from a stand moving away or out of range, or on the way to and from a stand where I may see a deer in a far field or creek bottom and make a stalk. So I already have all my stand hunting gear. If I can, I'll leave my pack, go after the deer, and come back for it, anything to lighten the load definately helps.

Your absolutely right about knowing the land. Most of my successful stalks have come on a Maryland farm that I have hunted for nearly 20 years. The others were in areas that I learned well from turkey hunting the previous spring. The challenge of getting close and being eye to eye is a rush!

thanks for taking the time to check out our site and your response. Drop by any time! :D

deerslayer333
 
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Re: Getting Started Stalking

Postby deerslayer333 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:28 pm

The only times I saw big bucks last year in my current spot on public ground was when I was on the ground. One time was a fluke because I left a piece to my climber at my other spot the night before and was forced to hunt from the ground and the other time it was deliberate and I almost got to arrow the biggest buck I have ever seen on the hoof still hunting into a known bedding area and this was a week after gun season if you can believe that. After those two encounters I am definately going to get down out of the tree this year and try my hand at more still hunting. Are there any tips anyone can share to a beginner stalker? I hunt in the rolling and heavily forested hills of Ohio just to give you guys an idea of the terrain.
One shot, one kill. Semper Fi.


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