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"Stalking"

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by .38 Special, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I've stalked for many years. That's how I learned. Baiting is legal here but the guy I learned from when I was 10-12ish (who himself and his brother were 16 or 18 maybe). If you know the land and know the likely water and bedding areas you can just head there and pick up tracks. Killing meat does and small bucks is easy. Ive came home empty handed only a handful of times in 25+ years. A lot of that hunting was with handguns limited to 75-100 yards too.. Ive also stumbled upon some nice bucks but I feel like if you are hunting for a trophy buck that still hunting is better for that. They didn't get old and big by letting strange things sneak up on them in the woods.

    I hate sitting. I get to thinking about all the things a responsible adult would be doing. Splitting wood. Checking fence. Home projects. Etc. Bow hunting is the only exception. Usually it's not terribly cold and I set and read books on my phone or play chess and be patient. I haven't bow hunted in a while though. Probably 5 years or more. I never had any luck stalking with a bow. I can only recall 2 deer I killed that way
     
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  2. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    Location:
    Mississippi
    I like to stalk, but I also like to sit over a feeder from time to time. I think it’s good to have enough skills to have options.
     
  3. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    For my first 40 years or so of deer hunting on mostly public land, I stalked/still hunted almost exclusively, and to this day that's my preference. However, the property my wife and I bought about 5 years ago and will be retiring to is only 14 acres, and is a natural funnel, so not much opportunity to stalk/still hunt. Instead we set up several ladder stands and pit blinds and I have grown to enjoy the often long, quiet sits in nature. I should note I am a meat hunter and hunt to fill our deep freezer. That said, I do tend to do more stalking on the parcel when hunting gobblers which is very exciting.

    Be well and safe hunting folks
     
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  4. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Jul 5, 2007
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    Location:
    South Western, OK
    Same here. i prefer to jump deer and slowly follow their tracks in the snow: Killed numerous eastern deer that way. Here in Oklahoma snow is lacking so sometimes i still hunt. Most of my deer are killed from stands overlooking game trails, ponds or wheat fields.

    Hogs are shot under feeders or wherever else.
     
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  5. Offhand McFlan

    Offhand McFlan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2019
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    Location:
    Them Keystone Alleghenies
    I dont hunt... But in the past month I have probably gone in the woods 15 times and many of those times I found myself walking up on deer less than 100ft from me, closer to 50 feet. We just stood and stared at each other. I'd calmly sip my beer or take a drag of my cigarette and the deer would slowly start eating again. I have found myself in this scenario MANY times and many of those many times I was armed. All I had to do was calmly pull my gun out take aim and pull the trigger. I usually carry 357 or 45acp when in the woods so I'm sure in many cases I'd have to run after it for a ways, but as far as the stalking part goes it has never seemed difficult to find myself in a good position for shooting a deer at all and I've lived in several states. The deer aren't any more tame here than anywhere else I've lived.

    A few times I stone cold stared at deer I walked up on right in the eye without moving. After several minutes some of them actually took a few steps towards me.

    While a tree stand obviously gives a person a great vantage point for surveying, sighting and a longer shot....I feel I've never had a shortage of deer encounters while simply traipsing through the woods where I could probably have just pulled out whatever I was carrying at the time and popped one right in the neck or head. So I really dont get super excited or idealistic about treestands, scent masking, and all the etceteras of modern hunting. Ideal for ME would probably just to sit against a tree with a camo poncho and boonie hat on and not move much. I think my weapon of choice for deer hunting would be either a 357 with an 8" - 10" barrel or a light bolt gun in something like 6.5 Swede or Creed.
     
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    While stalking/still hunting requires more skill and woodsmanship than sitting on a stand, it also requires more area. Many of folk's hunting land in the mid-west is 40 to 120 acre parcels. Even those larger have mixed woods and open fields. Many of these areas are small enough that deer position themselves so they can see anything entering, long before the stalk even starts. Then comes the reluctance to push a deer onto the neighbors to be shot. Sorry, even the best stalkers still "bump" deer. While I grew up stalking and still hunting for deer, I grew up hunting very large parcels of public hunting land where one could walk in a straight line all day and never cross a fence onto another property. It also hard the components that made stalking possible. Heavy cover with very few areas where even the deer could see for more than 200 yards. Add some wind and maybe some rain and it was a stalker's paradise......if you knew the area like the back of your hand. Spot and stalk meant maybe getting a few yards closer and maybe a better shot angle. If you spotted a deer, bedded or standing, it was close enough to shoot with a hi-powered rifle. Most of the time after opening day, the good bucks were way back, so it took a hour of stalking just to get to them. It also took a good half a day of a day to get them out by yourself.

    Hunting has changed, but much of it around here has to do with access to land and the size of the parcels one is able to hunt. Anything over 80 acres around here will have zero access unless you own it, are related to the owner, or it is public.
     
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  7. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    It rained today.
    That means a lot of leaves down, but theyll be quiet to step on.

    Super sneak mode enabled.

    Will stand hunt but if one beds down in the creekbottom, ill go after em
     
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  8. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Fwiw.....goofing around in the woods, may not alarm deer. They may not see you as a threat ( like all the other hikers that have bumbled past ).

    When you go sneaking around and come upon them, they tend to not like it.
     
  9. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I hunt a 17 acre thicket that also is the last cover along a creek.

    Crops down and deer movement from other areas is minimal to non existent.

    We stay out til pre rut, and even then are low pressure. So we sometimes get lucky and have scrapes/ rubs.

    Shot a 130" 9 pointer opening day. Notuing all morning so got down and did a painfully slow creep to where some old timber tops were ( thinking I could catch something bedded ) looping back to an oak flat I saw a decent deer on other side so snuck around and shot him. He was not bedded. But near the other thick spot. He had moved some and was almost invisible. Grey on grey tree, but Ive been at it a while. A lesser eye would have never seen him

    Amazing how when they stop moving they just fade away.

    Had a little 100" 8 bed by rhe creek in a blowdown. Thought I saw an ear at 80 or so yards. Or was it a squirrel tail? Didnt look right. Buddy got down and eased along the creek.....not a drive, but a wind bump.

    Dont scare em up, just let em get ip and ease off. Shot that one on the trot around 40 yards, thick stuff.....had a slot to get it through. Was 25 plus ft in my buds stand.
    I dont like that stand LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  10. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Farmer tore down fence row/ trees. 2 big piles. One below a fold 8n the field where deer came from other side to our thicket, cant be seen from the road.

    Told my bud to climb up on there, or hog a spot on the low side. He finally did one eve and blasted an old 10 pt at 20 yards. Deer oblivious to him ( 7 or 8 of em at the time).

    Learned that big trees work way better at hiding you. Seem to make you invisible, even if no cover and just perched on the side.

    But they suck to get steps or stands in. Chain extensions ugh.

    So smaller is easier, but then ya get busted more too. Think the solution is saddle hunting.

    I mention this because you can still hunt e your saddle gear on.
     
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  11. tbaum

    tbaum Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Stalking is great and is very rewarding. I'm getting older and really don't want to drag a deer out of the timber, so I use my tree stand shoot them in a corn field so I can get them with the tractor. It's unny as you get older how things weigh more than they used to.
     
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  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Standard models here, used,no box and no decent scope on top.....are around 900. RSI add 150 or so. Again, crap scope or nothing on top.

    Paid a K for my 4 digit w vert split rings and it aint mint. Think if they knew how collectible it was itd have been 1400.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  13. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I've tried a bunch of different methods, from sitting over feeders to doing the sneaky snake in thickets where any shot will be up close and personal. Still hunting and stalking are my favorites, but to be honest, I kill a lot more bucks sitting in a treestand over trails with several rubs and scrapes. One method that I have never had any luck at is rattling. I have rattled a little every year since I was 13 years old. That is nearly 57 years of rattling. I called in one spike. I've had more luck with a grunt and estrus bleat than rattling. A timed feeder is hard to beat when it comes to getting sausage meat.
     
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  14. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Used to rattle. Prerut only, started around 1990. Worked a couple yrs then nothing.

    When the guys next door start hammering antlers Oct 1.....every deer in the county goes deaf.
     
  15. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Grunt and doe bleat call. Starting next weekend. Wont leave the Jeep without em
     
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  16. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Dec 28, 2017
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    Location:
    Lee of Death Valley, ...where Tigers feed.
    Still Hunting... is.

    Everythin' else... is just shooting.




    GR
     
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  17. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Few yrs back, was in a stand, saw nothing after a few hrs.
    Got down to still hunt, did for an hr then spotted this guy up ahead, so made a little stalk.

    Not a monster but good enough for me.

    87794368_195094231811695_8479036062516117504_o.jpg
     
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  18. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Jun 10, 2006
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    I do some stalking every year. In my part of the world (MS/west TN) almost everyone hunts from a box stand. I prefer to be a bit more in touch with my environment. The best hunts I've ever had were generally while sitting in the weeds on the ground, or stalking them. I've watched bucks fight in front of me and had deer walk so close to me that I could reach out and snatch hair off them. I even stalked and killed one with my bow. Shot it at 12 yards.

    Complicating matters here is there are a large number of hardwood trees, so walking through the forest most days is prohibitively loud, no matter how quiet you try to be. I generally stalk during or after a rain, when the forest floor is damp and I can creep near total silence if I do my part right.

    You learn a lot more about your prey on the ground tracking them, running into them up close, than you ever would by hunting from a box alone. The box has it's place, but I need more than just sitting still in one spot all the time, plus you learn so much more about everything by being out there, stealthy, tracking, and actively hunting them. I'd encourage anyone who has the ability, to do so a few times a year.
     
  19. George P

    George P Member

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    Could be the difference in where you live - out West, bait, feeders, etc. get you arrested; you go out after Bambi in his backyard, not yours.
     
  20. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Location:
    Inside your brain
    Not strange. I’d do the same thing if there was more room to do so.
     
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  21. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Dec 28, 2017
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    2,403
    Location:
    Lee of Death Valley, ...where Tigers feed.
    A Liberal recently proclaimed, "Hunting - is Not a SPORT!"

    Which is correct.

    It is a Skill-set.




    GR
     
    Peakbagger46 likes this.
  22. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Jan 1, 2009
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    Stalker and spot/stalk hunter here, especially when I’m after mule deer. A nine mile day with1,800 vertical feet gained isn’t unusual. Not only is it great fun, I’m pretty successful.
     
  23. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I got a chance to practice my sneaking today. We had 4 days of rain earlier in the week so the leaves are super quite. Today I went to check cameras and took a recon to see if there was any fresh buck sign. I slipped within 25 yards of doe in her bed. I could have killed her with my pistol. Then when riding my ATV I rode by 3 in their beds, They just laid there and watched me pass. They better not do that in 2 weeks.
     
  24. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    May 31, 2008
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    Location:
    Flatlandistan
    I'm a quiet sitter, I had a spot that overlooked a large bowl and had a tree wider than me that I'd sit down against.

    I hunted eastern woodland and once your initial presence was gotten over, all sorts of interesting things came out and were there to see which you'd never see otherwise. I often got a deer, but the show even without a deer was worth it.
     
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  25. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
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    879
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    We have a elevated 4x8 box blind and I have another ground blind that is 3 pallets with limbs tied on them that I sit in and enjoy the quiet and peaceful time. I usually stand hunt until around 10, then stalk a little and have lunch, then stand hunt till dusk. I have better luck from a stand or the front porch but I see bigger bucks walking the creek bottom. The front porch usually produces 3 or 4 deer a year since it overlooks the garden spot
     
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