Still hunting tip

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
mauser06
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Still hunting tip

Unread postby mauser06 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:15 am

The last couple years I've been focusing on still hunting and if I have snow, tracking... whenever I have a gun in my hand...and I've even been doing it in archery season some.


Monday I had great conditions....the ground was very wet. Nice quiet walking. I was blowing deer out nearly out of view. Very frustrating and couldn't really figure out why they were blowing out so soon and how I was being busted so easily. Normally I get much closer before they blow out...felt like I was sneaking along well...


Tuesday, the ground froze. It was like walking on corn flakes. It was LOUD.


I had to walk painfully slow. But, that taught me a lesson. I need to move THAT slow regardless of ground conditions. I only came across 2 doe. I could have easily killed either of them. I'm pretty confident I didn't blow any deer out.



So my tip is....go out when the ground conditions are NOT favorable. Learn how slow you need to move to go undetected and move at that pace even if conditions are better.


It took me like 5 hours to cover a mile on Tuesday. Where as Monday I covered probably a half mile an hour. Had I been moving slower on Monday, my hunt would have likely been over quickly as I had a Biggun just me not a couple hundred yards into my hunt.


It's my favorite way to hunt.... especially after sitting in a stand for several weeks of archery hunting.


Tactics learned here play a big role. I spend my time focused on the top 1/3rd of the hill. Often I hunt above that....I like to be above the deer so they can't see me coming so easily...


When you are moving right, even if you do get picked off, I've noticed most times you have enough time to ID the deer and get shooting. They tend to stand up and look..or take off but only go a real short distance and stop to see what you were....when you're moving too fast the deer blow out and you typically can't even tell what they are let alone get a shot.


The noise isn't such a huge deal IMO. Stuff makes noise in the woods all day every day. The fast movement seems to alert them easier. SLOW quiet walking and you can get away with a lot most of the time.


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Mschmeiske
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby Mschmeiske » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:39 am

I don’t know if you do or not, but I know JoeRe mentioned wearing white too to blend in better. Goodluck!
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby walleyeralph » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:52 am

I to like 2 still hunt also, seemes like your doing everything right.Sometimes it just doesn't work out, they are bedded and are just on guard watching for danger to come, all day everyday.They are good at it.I hunt hilly terrain and ease up a hill and pick a tree to stand by when I get to the top. I look all over and stand there quite awhile and then a deer will bolt out..To me its quite a thrill to get a deer still hunting. Good luck.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby Wolfshead » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:12 am

You can also two-step walk.
Heel to toe or toe to heel, which ever you feel comfortable with
Heel crunch, toe crunch. Sounds like a four footed critter.
Walk in different cadences, step, step. Step, step, step.
Two to five steps at a time and pausing to look around
Try to sound like a deer
This has helped me come up on deer
And, like you said go slow
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Bigwoodslongbow
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby Bigwoodslongbow » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:09 am

mauser06 wrote:The last couple years I've been focusing on still hunting and if I have snow, tracking... whenever I have a gun in my hand...and I've even been doing it in archery season some.


Monday I had great conditions....the ground was very wet. Nice quiet walking. I was blowing deer out nearly out of view. Very frustrating and couldn't really figure out why they were blowing out so soon and how I was being busted so easily. Normally I get much closer before they blow out...felt like I was sneaking along well...


Tuesday, the ground froze. It was like walking on corn flakes. It was LOUD.


I had to walk painfully slow. But, that taught me a lesson. I need to move THAT slow regardless of ground conditions. I only came across 2 doe. I could have easily killed either of them. I'm pretty confident I didn't blow any deer out.



So my tip is....go out when the ground conditions are NOT favorable. Learn how slow you need to move to go undetected and move at that pace even if conditions are better.


It took me like 5 hours to cover a mile on Tuesday. Where as Monday I covered probably a half mile an hour. Had I been moving slower on Monday, my hunt would have likely been over quickly as I had a Biggun just me not a couple hundred yards into my hunt.


It's my favorite way to hunt.... especially after sitting in a stand for several weeks of archery hunting.


Tactics learned here play a big role. I spend my time focused on the top 1/3rd of the hill. Often I hunt above that....I like to be above the deer so they can't see me coming so easily...


When you are moving right, even if you do get picked off, I've noticed most times you have enough time to ID the deer and get shooting. They tend to stand up and look..or take off but only go a real short distance and stop to see what you were....when you're moving too fast the deer blow out and you typically can't even tell what they are let alone get a shot.


The noise isn't such a huge deal IMO. Stuff makes noise in the woods all day every day. The fast movement seems to alert them easier. SLOW quiet walking and you can get away with a lot most of the time.



I dissagree with u and I think most trackers will.
When its extremely loud I move fast dont worry about noise grunt and walk
U will never sneak up on a buck going slow when its loud if u grunt take ten steps stop grunt take ten steps and can make them think ur another deer.
Where I live tracking is number one way of hunting and everyone moves faster when the ground is louder.

Squirrels moves fast u want to take quick steps ans stop mimick a squirrel
Derr also make fast sounds on loud leaves going slow sounds very unnatural in louse conditions.

To be clear ur still going very slow but take ur few steps fast attemlpting to immitate a animal.

Trying to creep and slowly making noise is very unnatural.
Last edited by Bigwoodslongbow on Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bigwoodslongbow
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby Bigwoodslongbow » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:14 am

When its loud trick the deer
When its quite sneak the deer.

When loud u only slowdown when u get into a thicket or area u know there laying
Being loud and fast is good try to mimick a squirrel or a cruising buck by grunting.

Grunting and walking dosnt work late season though because there so sick of being harrassed bt other deer at that point.
Late season loud be a squirrel
Early season november ish loud be a cruising buck grunting.

To each is own but my resulsts increased drasticly when I stoped trying to be quite and slow in loud condistions.

I kearned this at the benoits seminar and Rodney elmor along with Hal blood will say the same thing.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby BorealBushMN » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:08 am

Keeping focused and scanning your surroundings are the biggest keys to successful still hunting, IMO. You need to see them before they see you. I've had so many times while walking full speed, brush busting my way back to a trail or road, where I suddenly see a deer just standing there watching this idiot human blow right on by. Then once you stop, they're gone! Then you stand there and cuss wishing you'd have been scanning the woods ahead of you better instead of looking at the ground. :doh: :naughty:

I pick and choose my walking cadence when still hunting. The lesson I seem to learn every year is to move a handful of steps then stop and scan the woods. Then when you're about to move again, scan the woods some more, then maybe one more time for good measure. If you're in areas with better visibility, you can cover more ground faster. But always scan the woods ahead. Bino's are key to still hunting, IMO. Even in thick woods. You can really see the depth of the forest ahead of you and possibly pick out that tail or ear flicker, or the horizontal line in a sea of vertical.

Seems that whenever I jump a deer that I don't get a crack at, it's because I didn't scan the woods ahead, or I'm day dreaming and not paying attention.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:54 pm

I think maybe different areas require different approaches. I have noticed that areas that have hogs, I feel that deer are more tolerable about loud noisy walking. I have jumped deer walking at a moderate pace. The problem I've had with this scenario is that when I bump them is going around a corner of heavy cover or over a hump in the landscape that prohibits a good view. What I should do is be ready on those occasions that I feel I'm coming to an area like that. Another thing, I was watching a doe feed the other day and some Chipmunks were noisy as can be in the leaves and the deer never once reacted to it. But a branch snapped (just a dead limb broken by wind) and it perked up real quick and scanned the area. As far as when the ground is frozen I've always had a hard time because the crunch my foot makes is not as sharp as the one a deer or other animal makes. I hope to get better at that one day.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby BBH1980 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:01 pm

mauser06 wrote:The last couple years I've been focusing on still hunting and if I have snow, tracking... whenever I have a gun in my hand...and I've even been doing it in archery season some.


Monday I had great conditions....the ground was very wet. Nice quiet walking. I was blowing deer out nearly out of view. Very frustrating and couldn't really figure out why they were blowing out so soon and how I was being busted so easily. Normally I get much closer before they blow out...felt like I was sneaking along well...


Tuesday, the ground froze. It was like walking on corn flakes. It was LOUD.


I had to walk painfully slow. But, that taught me a lesson. I need to move THAT slow regardless of ground conditions. I only came across 2 doe. I could have easily killed either of them. I'm pretty confident I didn't blow any deer out.



So my tip is....go out when the ground conditions are NOT favorable. Learn how slow you need to move to go undetected and move at that pace even if conditions are better.


It took me like 5 hours to cover a mile on Tuesday. Where as Monday I covered probably a half mile an hour. Had I been moving slower on Monday, my hunt would have likely been over quickly as I had a Biggun just me not a couple hundred yards into my hunt.


It's my favorite way to hunt.... especially after sitting in a stand for several weeks of archery hunting.


Tactics learned here play a big role. I spend my time focused on the top 1/3rd of the hill. Often I hunt above that....I like to be above the deer so they can't see me coming so easily...


When you are moving right, even if you do get picked off, I've noticed most times you have enough time to ID the deer and get shooting. They tend to stand up and look..or take off but only go a real short distance and stop to see what you were....when you're moving too fast the deer blow out and you typically can't even tell what they are let alone get a shot.


The noise isn't such a huge deal IMO. Stuff makes noise in the woods all day every day. The fast movement seems to alert them easier. SLOW quiet walking and you can get away with a lot most of the time.



It's funny. I started this exact thing this year with the exact thought.... Man this is a nice change after being in an archery stand all.year. The biggest thing I've found mirrors yours. Slow down....lol. Great advice !
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Sailfish_WC
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby Sailfish_WC » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:17 pm

Never done it but have read about it

I did read once time was move slow and when you think you’re slow enough....slow down some more.
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mauser06
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby mauser06 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:59 am

Bigwoodslongbow, I think the difference is the deer most guys are hunting aren't nearly as pressured as the ones I'm hunting. I've tried those tactics and I see tails. I quit carrying any sort of calls no matter how I'm hunting because I've seen numerous adverse reactions.



I did sneak up on a good group Saturday. Similar conditions. Crunchy frozen snow. Due to ground conditions, I couldn't take painfully slow steps....so my steps were loud.

I got within 30-40yds of a doe, 2 yearlings and I believe 2 buck.

I was taking a couple steps at a time at a varied pace. I slipped right into them.



The habitat was tough. 15yo or so select cut. Big trees with a high count of 4-6" saplings...with tree tops...and boulders. Visibility was good but not good lol.

As they filed through from behind a boulder, I swore the 3rd deer had a decent white rack. The next was a 5" dark horned spike. After that window, it was tough to ID them and keep track of them....the buck(s) began to push the doe a bit....15mins or so I found mom and her yearlings...seems like the buck(s) left after being rejected.


Learning as I go. But I'd say hunting pressured deer and hunting deer in Maine or the Adirondacks etc is a little different as far as what deer tolerate.

Another difference is the number of deer. Usually I come upon more than 1 deer...a lot of times when I get busted looking for a buck or getting positioned for a shot, it's deer I didn't see that get me.



Still hunting on bare ground and over snow is different too...a lot of times I don't have snow...and picking deer out without snow isn't easy....I think that's another factor where moving extremely slow helps. Seeing them before they see you is huge. I find that when I'm moving really slow, if I do bump them, it's a soft bump where they might just stand up or stand up and run a real short distance. When they are blowing out hard, long before I saw them, I'm moving too fast.

Seems that I can get away with a little noise....but if they catch the movement or scents theyre gone.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby treeroot » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:28 am

Going out and purposely still hunting isn't something I do very often. But usually every hunt I'm still hunting sort of the last few hundred yards. This year a took it a bit further and used still hunting to scout/ cover new ground trying to get back into the game. What I found seeming to work at least on doe was a heal toe walk through the crusty snow, so two steps kind of sound like four steps. 8-10 steps I would stop and scan. What i need to get better at is reading tracks. I can get mixed up following a big doe track and not realize it for several hundred yards. I wasn't tracking per say because I was working the tracks backwards like I would when scouting trying to find bedding.

I think more full on still hunting/ tracking will be in my future. My biggest issue is time seems to move really fast/ I might be going to slow.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:33 am

treeroot wrote:Going out and purposely still hunting isn't something I do very often. But usually every hunt I'm still hunting sort of the last few hundred yards. This year a took it a bit further and used still hunting to scout/ cover new ground trying to get back into the game. What I found seeming to work at least on doe was a heal toe walk through the crusty snow, so two steps kind of sound like four steps. 8-10 steps I would stop and scan. What i need to get better at is reading tracks. I can get mixed up following a big doe track and not realize it for several hundred yards. I wasn't tracking per say because I was working the tracks backwards like I would when scouting trying to find bedding.

I think more full on still hunting/ tracking will be in my future. My biggest issue is time seems to move really fast/ I might be going to slow.

I hear you. I do ok with the steps and animal-like movement. Got in close on a few occasions doing that. The downside is the amount of time it can take.
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby tundra@1 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:10 pm

I hear what you are saying, but my partner and I do things differently, however, we are hunting bigger tracks of woods. This past week with the ML, it was almost impossible, since we were dealing with so much snow, it pretty well killed our tactics, simply because we could not get around and it was hard, to even, step off a road, using snow shoes, or not, and they slow you down and are noisy.......

also closing in at 70 years of age, the heavy snow, takes a toll. But when conditions are right, we drive a ton of roads, and look for tracks, and then get going after them. I do very little sneak and peak in the larger tracks of woods. The buck is moving and a lot of times, he is hard to catch up too, so we dog them fairly fast, and slow down, as the sign, shows us we are getting closer....

The buck will start to play cat and mouse with you, as when he knows he is being followed. One trick that has worked for us, is one of us, drops way back and off to the side. now to do this, you have to know the woods, or be comfortable not worrying about where you are. we see bucks all the time, that take the tracker for a walk, than flank out, and go back around. now he gets caught, by the other guy...... of course again we are using long range weapons, so with the gun is one thing, a bow would be another.

we had a pretty good week, even with the conditions. we saw 11 does, and 2 bucks, and one buck we should have gotten, but that is why its hunting. that may not seem like much to most here, but it was to us, in our area. the buck was a nice six with about a 15 inch spread..................

now back down, I will still hunt heavy grasses, with the bow, and I need good winds, that muffle noise etc, and the right conditions. a lot of swamps down here are still not frozen, and I hate that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Re: Still hunting tip

Unread postby AndreSaavedra » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:06 am

Have seen more deer this year and got a nice size buck while still hunting with a gun. One thing that I do this year is I put my rifle on my back and consider my binoculars my weapon. If you are doing it correctly you will have plenty of time to get the rifle out. It's all about using your biggest advantage which is range of sight. I have also switched to using solid colors for my clothing as to give the motion a lesser footprint. Still hunting with a gun is by far my favorite way to hunt, Just my 2 cents.


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