Hunting off the ground.

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
Mustachio
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Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:02 pm

Mustachio here. I have been hunting off the ground all my life and want to share my knowledge of ground hunting. I dont know where to start but I want to get the conversation started. Let's hear some tips/tactics you guys have used!


Rich M
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Rich M » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:48 am

I like to hunt off the ground when I know where the deer are coming from and can set up off-wind.

Sometimes the overhead limbs and such are too thick to see thru but you can see more from the ground.

Or it is going to be a one and done hunt, no sense making a project out of it when you can just go plunk yourself down between some cover and be in a good spot.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby thepennsylvanian » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:15 am

I have limited experience with this, but I have a specific area that I ground hunt. It's a 8 yard wide wind row separating two fields, its roughly 250 yards long. The wind row ends in an osage orange thicket that hosts a serious bedding area. With the right wind conditions I can glass this area from the opposite hillside and move in along the wind row when the deer begin to move out into the field. The wind row has quite a few trees usable for elevated hunting but you get picked off being skylined everytime. I was able to get within 20 yards of a nice 10 point this year that way, I also took a doe this way as well.
I enjoy the hunts i have from the ground, my problem is the patience it takes to move slow enough in situations where i dont know where the deer are. I have used ground tactics to take many axis deer in hawaii but I find it difficult to learn the best situations in PA. I know guys who only hunt from the ground and are killers, I'd like to get better at it, as being well rounded in tactics will only make you a better hunter.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby moog5050 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:43 am

Tried it last season for first time as I observed a target buck cut through a hedge row right before dark. There were no trees in the area. So I waited for right wind and sat in the brush with 2 cut shooting lanes. Sure enough, first sit I had a decent 2yr at 5 yds that I could have killed but not the buck I wanted. Tried again on next good wind and had another decent buck in range, but again, not the target (who passed that evening right under the stand where I observed the target earlier when he cut through hedge row - that said wind was wrong for stand). Win some, lose some, but it was a heck of a lot of fun being eyeball to eyeball with some bucks. Stayed seated and wore a leafy suit. Pretty sure I could have killed either. Definitely going to give it a whirl again this season.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:49 am

I can give an obvious hint that can be challenging.

Leave no ground scent where expected movement will be. I have often tried opening shooting lanes in tall grass and anything close to the deer trail should be left alone. Give a 3-5 yard buffer untouched.
If you have a defined deer trail it's pretty enjoyable to ground hunt. Meat hunting is very straightforward going for first good shot. And knowing the feeding area they are traveling to.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby ButtonBuckFever » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:07 am

I spent about my first five or more years bowhunting from the ground only. Probably the biggest challenge is drawing the bow back without getting busted. Concealment was never a big issue as long as there was cover. A small doe never really got me pumped up from a tree, but it's a different story on the ground. A lot of fun.

Dan's video hits the main points for me- draw early or when deer's eyes are out of sight; use cover (terrain for moving) and things you don't see will bite you.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:53 am

I hunted strictly from the ground for many years due to various reasons why I didn't feel comfortable going up trees. The two big things that I can think of right now that I think are most important are:
1- having good cover behind you is far more important than having cover in front. In fact most of the time my front was wide open.
2- Don't sit directly on the ground. First of all, you usually can't draw the bow and aim without the bottom hitting the ground or something. I found it best to get one of those three legged stools to sit on. They are actually pretty comfortable especially if you have something behind you to lean up against. They are a good height to be at, not too tall, not too short. They also allow you to move around easily to get into most any position to shoot from any direction without making a bunch of movement or noise.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby greenhorndave » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:16 am

From the all-time tactical thread near the top of the Deer Hunting forum...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29460-
——-
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:52 pm

ButtonBuckFever wrote:I spent about my first five or more years bowhunting from the ground only. Probably the biggest challenge is drawing the bow back without getting busted. Concealment was never a big issue as long as there was cover. A small doe never really got me pumped up from a tree, but it's a different story on the ground. A lot of fun.

Dan's video hits the main points for me- draw early or when deer's eyes are out of sight; use cover (terrain for moving) and things you don't see will bite you.

It is alot of fun! Getting your bow drawn is defiantly one of the hardest things. Especially when the deer is coming in head on or quartering to like in Dans last video with the doe on the ground. One thing I do is wait for the deer to get past me before I draw. Getting a quartering away shot. But I put myself in those situations to where Im having the deer walk past me. Not at me. Deer may have wider than a 180 degree field of view in front of them but that 180 degrees is all they pay attention to. If a deer gets past me and im behind that line of sight then i know Im good to draw. Of course situations vary but it can work in many of them. Good luck out there!
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:06 pm

Grizzlyadam wrote:I hunted strictly from the ground for many years due to various reasons why I didn't feel comfortable going up trees. The two big things that I can think of right now that I think are most important are:
1- having good cover behind you is far more important than having cover in front. In fact most of the time my front was wide open.
2- Don't sit directly on the ground. First of all, you usually can't draw the bow and aim without the bottom hitting the ground or something. I found it best to get one of those three legged stools to sit on. They are actually pretty comfortable especially if you have something behind you to lean up against. They are a good height to be at, not too tall, not too short. They also allow you to move around easily to get into most any position to shoot from any direction without making a bunch of movement or noise.

I Completely agree. You wouldnt think so but hay bales are great cover. Its wide open out front and you feel exposed as but the haybale is making such good backcover that it doesnt matter. I have a fairly cheap three legged chair that I dubbed the kill chair. I feel exactly the same about those chairs. Did you ever incorporate a bow stand? Like the ones that you can slide your bottom limb into and lean the bow forward freestanding. I do so that I can keep the bow in ready position. Cheers!
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:28 pm

thepennsylvanian wrote:I have limited experience with this, but I have a specific area that I ground hunt. It's a 8 yard wide wind row separating two fields, its roughly 250 yards long. The wind row ends in an osage orange thicket that hosts a serious bedding area. With the right wind conditions I can glass this area from the opposite hillside and move in along the wind row when the deer begin to move out into the field. The wind row has quite a few trees usable for elevated hunting but you get picked off being skylined everytime. I was able to get within 20 yards of a nice 10 point this year that way, I also took a doe this way as well.
I enjoy the hunts i have from the ground, my problem is the patience it takes to move slow enough in situations where i dont know where the deer are. I have used ground tactics to take many axis deer in hawaii but I find it difficult to learn the best situations in PA. I know guys who only hunt from the ground and are killers, I'd like to get better at it, as being well rounded in tactics will only make you a better hunter.

Oh yeah! Have to love a good spot and stalk mission. Are the killers you know spot and stalk guys or are the type to sit and wait? Spotting and stalking is not one of my strengths because it doesn't suit the land I hunt very well. I've done it but im wildly unsuccessful with it. The sitting and waiting game is what I have to do where I hunt.
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:36 pm

moog5050 wrote:Tried it last season for first time as I observed a target buck cut through a hedge row right before dark. There were no trees in the area. So I waited for right wind and sat in the brush with 2 cut shooting lanes. Sure enough, first sit I had a decent 2yr at 5 yds that I could have killed but not the buck I wanted. Tried again on next good wind and had another decent buck in range, but again, not the target (who passed that evening right under the stand where I observed the target earlier when he cut through hedge row - that said wind was wrong for stand). Win some, lose some, but it was a heck of a lot of fun being eyeball to eyeball with some bucks. Stayed seated and wore a leafy suit. Pretty sure I could have killed either. Definitely going to give it a whirl again this season.

Thats awesome! Being that close to a deer on the ground is exhilarating. The back cover is so important when you have deer close like that. I also like to get in a position where i dont have too many shooting lanes like you did. If you have alot of shooting lanes it probably means you're not hid well enough! Good luck next year!
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby Mustachio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:12 pm

greenhorndave wrote:From the all-time tactical thread near the top of the Deer Hunting forum...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29460-

Sorry man in new to all of this. I did search for a thread but I couldnt find one. I'm doing my best
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greenhorndave
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Re: Hunting off the ground.

Unread postby greenhorndave » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:12 pm

Mustachio wrote:
greenhorndave wrote:From the all-time tactical thread near the top of the Deer Hunting forum...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29460-

Sorry man in new to all of this. I did search for a thread but I couldnt find one. I'm doing my best

It’s totally cool! :D 8-)

Just putting that out there in case you hadn’t seen it.

We don’t get all snooty about people starting new threads. Anything that generates good information is good.

And welcome!
——-
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