Ground hunting

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

Postby bmstaaf » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 am

I am going to get the book, windy days are paradise? I think that would be my best chance with to people deciding to sit at home. I hunt a 40 acre parcel and a 300 I know them both very well just from the past. What kind of camo? You guys use some does of 3d camo or will regular clothes work? The terrain of the land I hunt is mainly flat with a few creeks running through, it is located in the heart of an Apple orchard with thickets 360 degrees around. My access point is my only concern, we have been entering the same area for the last 20 years due to a creek crossing. I do have a canoe on the property and thinking I should cross the pond the creek feeds. I will post a map if I can find one to get more input if you guys don't mind. Just gotta figure out how to upload it in a small picture.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:46 am

As far as camo goes, IMO there's 3 things that whatever you wear should be of prime importance.....

Don't SHINE (use "fuzzy" fabrics, like fleece or my favorite, WOOL. Fuzzy fabrics defuse the light that hits it rather than reflects it back.)

Don't MAKE NOISE (again....fuzzy "soft" fabrics are the choice here.) A test I use to determine if a fabric is right is to rub two pieces of it together. Then I will take the end of a key or some other pointy object and I will scratch the fabic. If I (who has constant ringing in my ears), can hear any sound at all I don't buy it. If I can hear it in a store, you can bet everything you own that a deer in a quiet woods can sure as heck hear it!

If you do use a camo pattern get one that has a lot of contrast and large blotches to break up your outline. Don't worry about color. Deer really can't see it anyway. That said, as most of you know, I use a ghillie suit and believe me, it's VERY effective.

But I also stillhunt during firearm season, and I wear a blaze orange vest and a blaze orange bandana tied to my ghillie siut headpiece, and it seems to make no difference in my ability to get close to deer undetected. The important thing is to move VERY little, and when you do move, use the shadows and cover to your advantage.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Jslotter
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Jslotter » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:58 am

Like I said in my last post about clothing. Fleece or micros-suede is all I wear. Wool works very well too. At the hunting stores, I like to grab and feel jackets and any other article of clothing to hear if it makes any noise to the touch. If it does , no go. I will try them on also to make sure I can move my arms and legs freely without any noise. One thing I don't think that has been covered yet is footwear. I personally like wearing hiking boots. Leave the heavy snow boots home, unless you are hunting in deep snow, then yes, wear them, frostbite sucks. I know guys who wear tennis shoes. You will be surprised how you sneak thru the woods with light footwear. I also wear knee high rubber boots, they have a narrow sole, good tread, and work real well to walk thru the woods with less noise. If you have footwear that is light and comfortable, they should work fine.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Marc Anthony
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Marc Anthony » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:12 am

Man it's been a long time! Although I don't often post many things on the internet, It's been a while since I've posted here. First of all, "Hello" to everyone! I hope your 2011 year is going better than mine :-)

Did somebody say "Ground hunting"? I've been following the replys/comments and there is some very good info here on this board. I think my good friend Woods Walker has it down pat! Anyone interested in learning the art of ground hunting whitetails, take note when WW writes! He's been there and know's how to Get r done.

My only contribution here is to point out a few things that may be beneficial to the ground hunter. One is to not think along the lines of "stalking" so much but rather "picking a location". If you're under the notion of walking slowly through the woods, forget it, you'll get busted. I mention to all beginners to just find a good location where you would want to place a tree stand and hunt from that tree, but not in a stand. Lean next to a tree that is wider than your body and remain stationary until your deer arrives. If you see more action on the other side of the timber each time you hunt from that spot, then carefully and cautiously relocate. You also have the option to move a few hours into the hunt for better positioning, etc. The main difference here is you're not moving a tree stand with you each and every time you relocate! No clanking, better positioning, better posturing, etc.

3D camo is a must! Ghillie suits are almost mandatory. Like WW said, color isn't that important but remember, deer do see color, just not the same way we do. I'm afraid this next statement will get my head chopped off; but they do see UV and the shades of blue very well! They see red as brown or yellow, but don't get alarmed from it. Patterns are everything! break it up! I could go on and on, which isn't my intention, but just wanted to reiterate the fact that ground hunting has been kept in the closet far too long and is a viable and productive way to harvest whitetails.

It's also safe :-)
"A fool learns from his own mistake but a wiseman learns from a fool's mistake "

Robert0F
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Robert0F » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:35 am

I plan on hunting in a state park in PA with a rifle. I see that you use a bow (by your comments to the "walkabout" guy). I saw one youtube video where the guy was hunting midweek and said that there were no other hunters around. Sounds like a plan that I might use. Do you have any other advice? RF

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jonny5buck
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby jonny5buck » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:58 am

My expertise is more with close quarters bow hunting in parks, and picking apart heavily stomped woods.I am mostly a stand hunter but have knowledge and tactics for ground hunting and have stalked whitetails before.

I may be limited in giving advice to a rifle hunter espc. in a large set of woods ...general rule of thumb for ''park'' or Public ground hunting..would be to focus on midweek hunts for less pressure...this usually hold's true to say wed-thurs...sometimes guys will get a day off after a weekend ...so Fridays and Mondays are weekdays [in my experience]..that can also get some pressure....i can say this if hunting on the ground ..Dont get skylined....some guys that prefer higher ground [like a snipers nest]..can run into the same problems as bowhunters that go TOO high in atree....that being with no backdrop to break up your image....your silouhetted against the sky...that cant be good in any hunting situation-good luck i wish you the best![:)]

freak nasty 145
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby freak nasty 145 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:58 am

WW and Marc Anthony have dead nuts! I would love to go hunting with you guys any time. But i have ground hunted several times and more times than not ( alot more) i've been busted. The reason??? moving to fast!! scout your area it is vital. You should be doing this anyway. I like to find where i would put a stand, and use nature as a blind brush, branches, etc.... and don't move. If i'm stalking, i try to pre-plan my steps. I also try to walk on the balls of my feet not the heels like your are walking in the mall. Still so much to learn. I've yet to kill a deer with my bow stalking, i have with my gun but i won't stop till it happens.
"Any sportsman who can kill his deer without the tingling spine, the quick clutch at his heart, the delicious trembling of nerve fibers when the game is finally down, has no place in the deer woods." Lawrence R. Koller. (1948).

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:04 pm

Walking as quietly as possible is vital to not getting busted, along with moving little, and S L O W L Y when you do move.

The method I use to take a step is the reverse of how most all humans normally walk. When most folks walk they shift most all their weight from their back foot to their front foot, so that when the front foot is in the air, all the weight of the body is committed to it and that makes it all but impossible to walk quietly OR controlled in the woods.

What I do is to keep all my weight on my BACK foot (which is already on the ground), and then raise my front foot up while keeping the weight on the back foot. When you do this, you are basically balancing yourself on your rear leg. Bending the rear knee helps a bit in this, or at least it does me. Then I SLOWLY lower my front foot so that the outer edge of my foot slightly touches the ground first. With the sneakers I wear in the early/dry season (or the Bean Maine Hunting shoes I wear when it's cold/wet) I can then feel if I'm going to step on a twig or branch. Then I will gently lower my foot, rolling the rest of the foot down as I do so. It's only after this that I put the reat of the weight on the front foot.This also works well in dry leaves, and if the leaves are deep I will sometimes use my front foot to gently brush the leaves out of the way a bit before I commit the rest of my weight onto that foot. This works well because you can pick up that front foot at any time before you've put all your weight on it if you feel something that might make noise.

It takes a bit of practice, and doing leg strengthening excercises helps with your balance also. I've also read about some who use this method who practice Tai Chi (sp?) to improve their balance and strength. Strengthening the legs and torso is also helpful for the times when you are caught in mid stride and you have to freeze for a few minutes if you see or hear anything, or you THINK you see or hear anything! It also goes without saying that you should NOT be looking at your feet OR the ground when you do move. That needs to be planned out while you are stopped.

It takes time to move like this in the woods, and even more so when the woods are dry, but that's a GOOD thing IMO! You'll be surprised at how quietly you can walk, even on dry leaves. Try it!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:00 pm

I appreciate the compliments, but I'm just learning by trial and error like the rest of you! I do try and learn as much as I can from my mistakes, as they can be the best teacher.

I would also pass this on, as it may benefit those of you looking to try this form of hunting......

If you want to practice your stillhunting/stalking techiniques (walking quietly, moving slowly), here are 2 things that I've done....

1. If you have a buddy who's also wanting to do this, then you both go to a woodlot, enter it from different sides and practice "stalking" each other. Another variation on this that I've done many times, is to practice walking up on a buddy while he's sitting in a tree stand. I've "stalked" my one friend many times during bow season, and on several occasions, I sat down on the ground within 20 yards of his stand as he faced the other way and watched him for 10 minutes! I always ended my sit by telling him...."Boy, it's a good thing I wasn't a big buck!" [:D]

2. Hunt squirrels in the early season before deer starts. This is a GREAT way to practice, as once you get to the point where you can move through the woods and not only have the squirrels not flee from you, but they are actually going about their business mere feet from you unawares. When you can do this, then you are moving quietly and slowly enough that you are ready for deer. I call it, "moving at squirrel speed".

Anyone else try this? Maybe you have some other ideas or improvements on this.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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

freak nasty 145
 
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RE: Ground hunting

Postby freak nasty 145 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:57 am

I am going to try to do more stalking this bow seson. It going to be my goal this year to kill a deer while stalking with a bow. What a challenge!!
"Any sportsman who can kill his deer without the tingling spine, the quick clutch at his heart, the delicious trembling of nerve fibers when the game is finally down, has no place in the deer woods." Lawrence R. Koller. (1948).

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