I've been doing a little still hunting when the conditions are good. I'm new to it and I'm interested in hearing tips and success stories. Let's hear them
Posts: 470 | From: IN | Registered: Dec 2008
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I've only tried it in high wind conditions...had one success but all other situations were typical of whitetail ground level encounters...close but no cigar. I'm hoping others who know more about being successful with this technique chime in. I will say that sight may be the most impossible sense to outwit the whitetail with and has been the demise of most of my ground level encounters so I'd recommend the best camo possible and a gillie suit if possible. I would keep in mind that some gillie materials are very easy to catch on twigs and brush so shop before you buy if you can.
Posts: 2584 | From: Tulsa, Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2008
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The closest encounters I've had with whitetails on the ground was when I was stationary. I have killed a few while still hunting. I usually still hunted after a rain or when it was fairly windy. I'm by no means an expert. I've hunted elk mule deer and whitetails, in my opinion whitetails are the toughest to stalk, at least for me.
around here most woods have been heavily logged and are grown up in saw briars, stic-tites etc and its very hard to sneak thru the woods and be quiet, need about a 20 mph wind and then you have to worry about the tops falling out of all the dead poplars trees that were killed by some kind of bug a few yrs ago..had a part of a top fall out and brush the front of my stand a couple yrs ago, talk about pucker factor. I had even looked and thought the area was safe.
It is challenging to still hunt in bur oak woods. Every few years I get a deer while sneaking around looking for a place to sit. I see a deer coming and hopefully I am in a situation where I can step into a tree cluster or have some other cover. A couple of times I got a deer with my back parked up tight to a larger tree, since no other cover was available. It is possible to do a Hill style swing draw without leaning away from the tree, but I would suggest practicing that before doing it cold, just like any other unconventional shot. Tonight I was between three 1 foot trees, I sat some, Nifty Seat, and I stood some. There were deer milling around and figured if I kept moving, I would for sure spook them. One lesser buck came into range, I tempted myself, but I changed my mind and let down.
Still hunting is what some might call a painfully slow endeavor.The slower the better.Use cover, shade,low spots and creek bottoms and background cover.I agree to not use dark camo.I notice hunters really stand out with dark camo.I like light background with branch and leaf overlay.I like to pin leaves on my clothes and especially on my Boonie style hat and outline of body.I wear a facemask.I like softer soles on my footwear.You can feel better with them and not snap as many twigs.Soft clothing is a must.
While still hunting its alot like standhunting most of the time.Because you have to go so slow and sit still alot.You have to see the game before it sees you.Make your movements slow like a sloth.You will see alot of wildlife when still hunting well.If your close to quirrels and other wildlife and thier pretty much not knowing you are thier and acting naturally you are doing well.
Stillhunting will put you in a different mindset and reality.I think it turns into a higher sense of things when into it.Its hard to explain.Its a primordial and spiritual thing.
Ofcourse conditions are paramount.A soft forest floor from rain,heavy dew or the right kind of snow is the ultimate.Some wind is nice.But having wind is not necassary.But it can help as more thing are moving like leaves, weeds and branches.So your movements don't stand out as much.It can help camouflage you own noise as well.I don't like a lot of wind and deer don't like it either.So thier typically not up and moving much.
Stillhunting while its raining lightly or misting or snowing lightly can be superb.You got good conditions on many fronts and the deer like to get out of their beds.Thats my experience.
Often a still hunt can turn into an ambush if you run into a really hot piece of turf and you can stand hunt.A still hunt can turn into a stalk as well.
You know you are always moving into the wind so nothing ahead of you knows your thier if they have not seen or heard you make tale tale human type sounds.Everything ahead of you is virgin.
Still hunting is good scouting as well for stand sites.You might see small nuances in the area you might otherwise miss to put you in closequarters for bow shots.
You will develop good balance and ease of movement when still hunting.I feel like bit of clown when I 1st start trying it till I get in a good groove and have a sense of my body thats unlike other sports.It can be an unusual demand on certain muscles.A certain degree of fitness will help
Stacy Grosscup killed some very nice bucks in West Virginia still hunting.He did it so slowly!Alot of traditional bowhunters are aware of him and this.He was a superb shot as well.
I prefer to shoot animals from the ground.The experience is more of a rush.Closing is difficult.Its very challenging!I have killed most my animals from the ground and a few while still hunting.I do hunt from the treestand though sometimes and thats how I started 30 years ago.
To be able to execute different types of shots is benificial and makes practice funner as well IMO.
Posts: 4904 | From: Lake Orion MI. | Registered: May 2006
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Walk little. Look much. Hunt angling to the wind. Deer smell upwind look down wind(generally, while bedded. Useless when dry unless windy. Binoculars are good for seeing through distant brush
-------------------- PBS Associate "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. Indeed my heritage is beautiful to me." Posts: 649 | From: Terre Haute, Indiana | Registered: Jul 2013
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You have received good information thus far. I will add pick a route where you would expect to intercept deer. And expect to start in a good spot.
If you are just randomly picking a place to start the odds will be against you. as far as starting in a good spot, do like what you would with stand hunting and sneak in early, let the woods settle then start hunting.
Basically what I am trying to get at is the more planning you put in the better chance for better results.
You'll live longer!
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I have gotten lucky on several occasions during dry quiet conditions while sneaking around. Middle of the day during the early rut. I think in every case the deer thought I was another deer and came running. This is hardly a normal thing. Once while tracking a deer that had been hit by a cp hunter with mechanical head in the shoulder, no penetration, late in the morning, I had a dandy buck come in within 15 yards and just stood there for about a minute looking around. With three of looking, I did not have my bow. What dominant buck would rush into three of us with two of them being cp kids that never shut up? So I left it behind. The shoulder hit deer was never recovered. Now when kids are stumbling all around looking for a mis-hit deer, I figure they may push other deer around. My luck, another rutting buck will run up to them. My wife had a wide 6 pointer, no brow tines, rush her Friday evening before she could get her Huntmore assembled, bow and quiver on the ground. She did not think that she had an opportunity to get her bow into action being so exposed. If she was only still hunting she would have been able to take a close shot. It hung around her within 10 to 20 yards for a long time. Later it came back, passed by her on the heavy cover side and hit a scrape 30 yards away, then came straight at her and angled until it was back behind the thick stick cover that she did not dare to shoot through.
Unless it is windy, or other covering conditions like wet ground, fog ,snow etc. are there, the chances are low and few in between. On public land you will only help or screw up other hunters. You either send deer their way or you chase them onto adjoining properties, when the place is not large. So, the chance to not making many friends with other hunters is likely there. If you hunt your own land or private land, you can do whatever you deem a good idea. On public land you can do what you want as well, but you will affect other hunters' chances more than you think. Especially the later in the season it gets and the deer smartened up some.
Posts: 889 | From: Boonville,Indiana | Registered: Feb 2005
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Last Sunday, after sundown, a tree stand hunter stopped and chatted. He bitched about everyone walking around that did not have tree stands. He was mad about people that have put tree stands in after the season started and he knew where everyone of them was and how far they were from the other tree stands, right to the exact tree. I said, "It sounds to me like you are the one who has been hiking all over the property." He got mad, called me an SOB and drove off.