Ground hunting

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
Robert0F
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Robert0F » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:13 am

I'm new to hunting and this is what will keep me home next winter: I don't want to do the wrong thing and mess up another guy's setup. I've been researching online, reading books (Still Hunting by Van Dyke - that's how I go t to this post), and I want to scout a park in the summer when I'm on vacation. I've seen YouTube videos of PA hunters, one where the guys seemed to be on a ridge overlooking their kill zone. That's what I have in mind as I don't have the funds to buy more equipment (like a tree stand). What would you advise? Thanks for any input. RF

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jonny5buck
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby jonny5buck » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:42 am

Robert0F- first off let me say thank you for having the consideration for other hunters and their time spent in the woods.Since you did state ''Parks'' i will say this ..each park being different size and terrain will have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Im not sure wether you plan on sitting and hunting with a bow or doing a walk and stalk?? big difference ..same with bow hunting and gun hunting,Imo the similarity is hunting deer: the weapons and effective range couldnt be much different!

I can tell you this ..i have seen it done properly ,and completely wrong,i will start with completely wrong-I park i used to hunt Kendall county Illinois- small acreage, under 20 acres-almost all oaks and mature woods bordering a river. Several people have taken decent bucks/from climber stands usually in the morning-The main reason??? ground guys would come and walk the entire set of woods in the early afternoon say 2:00 pm - they would walk the Entire woods even though by the sign in sheet you could clearly see several hunters signed in/ my biggest problem besides blowing the stand hunters hunts....is that these guys didnt play the wind....they only walked on the main trails...and it was obvious they were NOT experienced at what they were doing......they were hoping to kick up a deer and it stand long enough for a shot....they had no idea where the beds were,the park boundaries,and didnt care they would walk 10yds from someone who was already set up and waiting 22 ft up in a tree!

I ran into one guy who said he was doing a ''walkabout'' iasked what the hell is that?? he said he was walking the entire woods with the above mentioned goal-i explained i was setting up right here dont f -up my hunt and he left.When he returned 20 minutes later he sat on a log 25yds to my left....i waved ''im set up here remember??''...he waved and stayed...i got down and asked him ''why are you killing my hunt??'' ...he stated it was a park and not my land...i agreed and asked one more question....what do you plan on doing if a buck comes between me and you??? who gets the shot??? do you feel safe with me shooting at a deer when the arrow could pass thru it right in your direction????... Im set up w/sticks and stand on a tree right here where i told you iwas before you did your walkabout....who should be smart and move???---his answer-'''i quote...''I never really thought about if a deer came between us'''.......he didnt think out anything he was doing that day in my opinion....and had made enemies with a couple veteran hunters who he did the same thing to a few days earlier....common sense and respect left the building!

Done the right way-Another park in ILLINOIS- i have afew friends who hunt on the ground on buckets or small seats,they do play the wind.off of deer trails....and have had great success...the areas they choose offer no good trees to put a stand in...they are all tooo small...so they know when they set up they are not hunting by any stand hunters.-there simply isnt anywhere they COULD be set-up. Two younger guys i know,hunt primarily in the winter with Natural Gear snow came from head to toe...on white buckets....with white tape they apply to there bows..again no trees offer an advantage and everyone respects them because they like you stated dont want to set-up by a stand hunter..no more than a stand hunter wants to be too close to them. They hunt funnels,with small pine trees and open trails that offer easy shots,ambush spots where the wind is blowing in their face and the deer are always in front of them...they know what they are doing!

I have no problem with hunting on the ground..i have said this many many times before, it can be a great experience...and i have taken a few deer this way myself...i love seeing deer eye to eye it is a different rush...take your time,your respect and caring will take you in the right direction,hunting is a brotherhood....i respect you for wanting to do it right....good luck

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Ohio farms
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Ohio farms » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:43 pm

I have always wanted to try stillhunting, but the vast majority of my hunting is done on my property. I have 150 acres, but only 40 are woods.  My 40 abuts many hundreds of acres, but I don't venture out of my woods out of respect for my neighbors. We do have an agreement so that we can track wounded deer, but other than that we respect each other's property lines. On public land I would be concerned about interfering with others. I guess I will remain a tree stander. 
Keep life simple...if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:19 pm

40 acres? If you are stillhunting right, it'd take you several DAYS (at least) to stillhunt that much ground the right way. And if you ARE doing it the right way, once you were done you could start over again!

I rarely go more that 200 yards in a morning's or afternoon's stillhunt, and many times it less than that.

Let me be clear...if you are MOVING deer when you stillhunt, then you're NOT doing it right. You slip in, and slip out. The LAST thing you want to do is alert the deer. In fact, when you do it right, the only deer that are "alerted" are the dead ones!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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bmstaaf
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby bmstaaf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:00 pm

Woods walker, I need a mentor seems like you have it down to an art. I have tried that 1 time and I was successful, to make a long story short a hunt was cut short by duck hunters near by. I decided to climb down and still hunt my way back just before sunset I found a down tree with the roots still holding dirt covering my shadow. Not two mins. Later I heard deer coming on my blind side, after a short wait a mature doe appeared 100 yards away, double lunged her. Question when scouting do you find these advantage points, plan out the area your going to cover prior to the hunt? It happened to be luck on my part I believe ended up finding the right spot and a deer came by. Also evertime I go out I do have your mentality telling myself there is a deer just out of site, that's why I can never leave the stand!

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Ohio farms
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Ohio farms » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:52 pm

Maybe I'll try it this year. I know that it should be like tree hunting with a stand every few feet. (analogy)
Keep life simple...if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

bmstaaf
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby bmstaaf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:28 pm

That 100 should have been 10 yards shot her with a bow. Do you follow trails? Stay off trails? Walk straight lines? Is it about knowing your land where to attack, what to use as natural covers? Sorry for picking the brain.

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Jslotter
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Jslotter » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:08 pm

Those are good questions BM. Let me share how I still hunt. I hunt land that has many logging roads. 1. Plan a route and areas where deer may be laying tight. I usually try to hit areas thick with brush, the kind of brush you wouldn't think about walking into. Find brushy draws and hillsides. 2. Find the route of least resistance. Using logging roads allow you to silently move with little noise and obstacles to contend with which can tip off bedded or unexpectedly traveling deer. Pick up your feet when you walk, don't drag you boots thru the leaves. Walk about 15-20 yards and stop, look, and listen for as long as it takes. Especially if you working near thick brush. Deer will sit tight and watch you go by if you just gaggle on by. I have seen that happen. If you are on land with no logging roads, keep scanning ahead for a path of least resistance, and take your time. 3. Walk into the wind. Walking with the wind will just blow your scent into the woods and the deer will be long gone before you get into the woods. 4. Keep your head on a swivel. If you are looking at the ground all the time, you wont see the deer. 5. Go light. carry with you what you need. I go with enough layers on to keep me warm and not overheat. You will get warm quick still hunting. Consider shedding a few layers of clothing during still hunting. I will pack a day bag either with clothes to put on in case if I find a spot to sit for awhile , and will face the cold during my sit, or use the bag to stow away clothes that will cause me to sweat my a55 off while traveling or still hunting. I wear mostly fleece or micro-suede garments. When the brush grabs onto it, it doesn't make all that racket that sounds like a cat fighting with a plastic shopping bag. 6. Carry equipment that you need. I usually take a back pack with a tow rope, bottle of water, flashlight, gutting knife, a few extra clothes, some extra ammunition, and marking tape. The lighter you go, the less energy you burn up and the less exhausting still hunting is. I hope this can help.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:32 pm

Jslotter pretty well covered it. The only point that I would again stress is....

YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR GROUND AS WELL IF NOT BETTER THAN THE DEER DO!

Yes, you can wander into a woods for the first time and if your stillhunting skills and techniques are soild you may very well get close enough to make a kill. But believe me, you are stacking the already low odds that you will get close enough for a shot even lower. Then there's also the fact that when you KNOW your woods, you also know of where in that woods you go to begin stillhunting on a given day based on your previous knowledge. Having an intimate knowledge of your woods is KEY to you finding where the deer are, and also to you seeing them before they see you. By this I mean of course the terrain and cover and how the deer use it, PLUS a working knowledge of the wind patterns, thermals, low areas that act as scent "sinks", and how the terrain affects the wind when it's gusting. In my scouting missions during the pre and post seasons, I carry colored smoke bombs for this very reason. I've amazed at what these things have taught me about the wind and thermals on ground that I thought I knew "like the back of my hand"!

Two final points.....

1. Be advised, this is NOT an easy way to hunt. Don't get me wrong, I see and get close to just as many deer as when I stand hunted, but the big difference is getting a SHOT. That's tough. Granted, I am extremely selective with my shots, and being on the ground with no shooting lanes reduces the shot opportunities even further. But the challenge and satisfaction I get from getting that close undetected and once in a while a good clean kill is like nothing else I've ever experienced in 43 years of deer hunting. It's such a rush that I don't want to hunt any other way now.

2. I would strongly advise anyone who wants to try hunting this way to get a copy of G.Fred Asbell's "Stalking And Stillhunting, The Ground Hunter's Bible".......

http://www.3riversarchery.com/Books+DVD ... oduct.html
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: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:42 pm

One more point (sorry for the wordiness!)......

Stillhunting can also INCREASE you available hunting days, because most hunters (especially treestand hunters) will stay out of the woods when it's windy and gusty. For me, I CRAVE those kind of days, because the wind will concentrate the deer in the wind protected areas, thereby reducing considerably the potential area where one might expect to see deer. (Again....."know your ground"!!!)
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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

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