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Author Topic: Stalking Deer
DevinCarranza
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I am going on a hunting trip in a few weeks. Does anyone have any tips for getting close to deer in order to take an ethical shot with a bow?
Posts: 2 | From: Arizona | Registered: Sep 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roadkill
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That is a question worth volumes. In Arizona- For starters; Watch the wind, and the sun angle to start with. Find habitat, watch it from a distance and get a pattern if you can. Every thing else is details-all important details. I just came back from a hunt with my daughter-she and her husband sat across a canyon in cammo-they did not cover their faces-which shined like diamonds in a goats ax. Re-learned that lesson. There are many others here who will add details

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goodness of woodness, Semper Fidelis. Molon labe

Posts: 3036 | From: Nevada | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomMcDonald
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The wind is probably your biggest consideration. If you can hunt with the wind in your favour, i.e. blowing into your face, then that's half the battle. Noise, movement and lots of other unknowns will challenge you after the win.
Posts: 657 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
nineworlds9
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One thing it took me a little while to realize is many of us are self aware about body movement from the waist up, and don't realize that many a deer may be moving along head down while feeding, this gives them a whole other line of sight...

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62" Tall Tines Stickflinger
62" Wes Wallace Mentor
62" W&W Black Wolf+Kaya K2's
70" HHA Black Mamba #46

Horse Creek TAC, GA
TBOF

Posts: 7070 | From: Tallahassee, Florida | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dirtguy
Trad Bowhunter
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Your last words "ethical shot" are big. Understand that it is very difficult to get close enough to a mature deer to take a shot with trad gear. Then realize that by the time you are close enough, that deer may be too alert to take an ethical shot. An alert deer moves very fast and what seems like a decent shot in terms of distance and the deer's orientation to you may actually be a low percentage shot because of the alert state of the deer. I have stalked two deer to the point where I was within my effective range. Both were too alert for me to shoot. I watched both of them for a few minutes each. It was a great experience. One eventually circled down wind of me, got my scent, and blew out of there. The other did a slow mosey away from me. I din't shoot at either.
Posts: 814 | From: Connecticut | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roadkill
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I might add having hunted in your state-shine off any of your clothes or equipment is a give away.
Practice your shooting from kneeling to leaning, to up and downhill-you never know when your ethical shot will catch you
I had to kneel down to shoot my last javelina down bu Globe. Pay attention to your foot ware too. Walking boots are not stalking boots where you live. Wear them until the time....Consider changing into cheap water shoes from Walmart-slip a pair of thick socks over them for the final stalk. I would get the shoes almost too small so you get the max benefit of the feel of the thin soles-cacti must be avoided!

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goodness of woodness, Semper Fidelis. Molon labe

Posts: 3036 | From: Nevada | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
YosemiteSam
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If I had to choose, I'd let them come to me. But I rarely get to choose.

So much depends on your terrain & conditions. I can get away with a lot during the archery season but they're terribly unforgiving after the rifle opener. And stalking a grassy meadow or soft dirt is way easier than oak forest with dry leaves under foot.

Pick up GF Asbell's book on stalking and still hunting -- THE GROUND HUNTER'S BIBLE, I think is the title. Good stuff in there.

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"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

Posts: 584 | From: CA | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tajue17
Contributor 2017
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assuming your new with deer hunting I have a better idea much easier than trying to sneak up on a deer which can be done but it must be the hardest way to take a deer ethically,, in other words if you pull that off your pretty darn good!!

but for me the only times I ever stalked up on a deer which was only 2 times since 1986 is when the season was closed and I was out stumping,,,,, one of those times I was wearing a white T shirt and cargo shorts and started at 45yds and got to about 18 where i would of took the shot,,, seems once the season starts they don't let that happen too much.

I recommend watching them closely for a couple days from a spot that has decent sign already, you may get a shot there but if they dont come right in that day don't rush to move your stand or set up different and risk changing their entire pattern there by tromping around so don't go anywhere near where you are seeing them.....
watch them another day but now look over to where they are and figure out where you can move your stand to based on cover and most important wind direction then the 3rd day walk into that new spot from the opposite direction they come from and before the time they are expected and let them come to you,,, if it doesn't work repeat it!!

my experience is deer will stay on the same pattern and schedule until something spooks them,, important to always make a note about wind direction you will never out smart that big black nose..

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"Us vs Them"

Posts: 3120 | From: Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stumpkiller
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Keep your nose to the wind.

DO NOT make eye contact or stare (squint).

Move like cold molasses.

Only move when the deer's head is obstructed or facing fully away from you. A deer can detect movement (they have a 50° blind spot directly behind their head).

Stalking is double tough. Only once have I been able to successfully close in on a deer when bowhunting and get a successful shot. But nothing is more thrilling than trying! Even the almosts are memorable.

Years ago I set a goal of taking a buck while still-hunting and just that took five years! Had one walk up to me while I stood still.

When I go from my stand in the AM or to my stand in the PM I ground hunt. That was the once I pulled one off. I saw deer moving and closed up to where they passed in front of me. Nice big doe.

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Charlie P. ~~ _/)~~ A.B.C.C.

Bear Kodiak & K. Hunter, D. Palmer Hunter, Ben Pearson Hunter, Wing Presentation II & 3 Red Wing Hunters (LH & 2 RH), Browning Explorer, Cobra II & Wasp, Martin/Howatt Dream Catcher, Root Warrior, Shakespeare Necedah.

Posts: 3887 | From: Upstate NY | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pavan
Trad Bowhunter
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Out here in open wastelands of North West Iowa, it is a viable option at times. Deer like to hang around odd little bits of cover out in the middle of the common picked bean and corn fields. Terraces, fence rows, and creek bottoms. Deer use terrain shapes of high and low ground for cover. It helps to be able to take longer shots. More often than not with myself, it involves sneaking into a position and the the deer making a mistake when they move to a shot position. Same for still hunting, you and the deer simply cross paths or you see the deer, predict their movement and head them off at the pass. I have stalked into close range of deer, but for me, every time that I succeeded, the deer made the final move to give the shooting opportunity.

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Pavan

Posts: 5806 | From: Iowa | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron LaClair
Trad Bowhunter
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Some years ago I spotted a buck and a doe laying on the side of a hill about 1/4 mile from the road. I decided to make a stalk on them. I started walking toward them but not directly at them, more of an angle and I never looked at them.

They didn't know I had seen them so I wasn't a threat. Eventually, I got past them and out of their sight, then I doubled back to stalk in above and behind them.

When I got to the field they were in I took off my boots and very slowly wormed each foot under the sticks and leaves as I progressed. It was a very slow process and took a long time but I eventually got within range of the buck who with his nose to the wind was watching down the hill in front of him.

I put an arrow into him from my 82# osage self bow and today his 10pt rack looks down from the wall of my shop.

My stalking advice is... Keep your nose to the wind, take off you boots, and move very slowly.

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We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

Posts: 4985 | From: Potterville Michigan | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shankspony
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If you can spot the deer from a distance, then what works for me is Putting myself ahead of the deer if I can and letting them come to me, staying as still as possible while they do. Trying to set up ambushes in other words. The less movement you make in close proximity the better.
Posts: 201 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BAK
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Deer are not "loners", at least not usually. One thing I've found is do not become so fixated on the deer you are stalking so that you don't notice any others. You'll get busted and never know what happened.

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"May your blood trails be short and your drags all down hill."

Posts: 1064 | From: NE Iowa | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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