Ground hunting

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Lockdown
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:57 am

Good stuff Marshbuster. I’m with you on the ground hunting. So many guys are missing out just because they’ve never done it so they keep picking trees. Pretty sure over half of my “good” spots are ground sets.

I killed from the ground with my bow in 2011, 2013 (one spot and stalk mulie and one late season whitetail standing on a limb 4’ off the ground... close enough :D ), 2015, and 2016. Gun kill from the ground last year. Technically 2016 too but I was on a dirt mound so that one doesn’t really count.

If a guy doesn’t have any ground sets chances are he’s missing out on something somewhere...


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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby hunter_mike » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:59 am

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby strutnrut716 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:21 am

Welcome Marshbuster !! Thanks for your stories !
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby wolverinebuckman » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:15 am

Lockdown wrote:Good stuff Marshbuster.

I killed from the ground with my bow in 2011, 2013 (one spot and stalk mulie...


With all these ground hunts, there have got to be some great stories to be told here…
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=44753
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Marshbuster89 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:24 am

Lol there definitely are....almost every single one of my hunts are extremely dramatic haha!

Work was pretty busy today, but I replayed a lot of my hunts in my head.

No doubt scouting year round is the number one best thing you can do. So far since Jan 1 I've logged about 85-90 hrs on foot...less than normal for me, but it's been a crazy busy year so far. Scout the other hunters and the sign they leave behind. Most really good spots/core areas produce year in and year out. Just because you killed a 140" in there one year doesn't mean there isn't going to be a 160" there this year. The dominant buck in the area will move in and take the best spot(s). Also, just because it might only be a 125 doesn't mean he isn't dominant. Maybe he's an old warrior past his prime. Maybe that's the caliber of deer in that area. You always need to comsider that. Maybe the pressure in that area prevents most bucks from ever really getting mature. If it's mature bucks you're after, you need to scout and hunt mature bucks. You can't just scout and hunt deer. A mature whitetail buck, especially on public, is a totally different animal. Yeah, you'll get lucky here and there if you're hunting "deer" in the right time of the year, but you won't be consistent. Find that big buck sign and figure out what those bucks in your area prefer to call their bedroom. Then find every spot like that in your area.

You need to make mistakes. A lot of them. And you can't mope around and feel sorry for yourself over it, you need to learn from it. Making mistakes in the field is a huge tool that I believe a lot of hunters fail to fully use to their advantage. Don't get gunshy, get smart.

If you're going to hunt from the ground, you need to become the cover. Mossy oak obsession doesn't not blend into canary grass and brush....ive seen hunters from far off trying to pull this one off and they look like a black bear from a distance. On the other side of the spectrum, don't disturb the area too much. I personally don't stick branches in the ground but I know some of you do and that's fine, but I think if you plan on coming back to that spot again that season, that disturbance is enough to make the deer in that area reroute. That's the doorway leading out of their bedroom. Say your bedroom is connected to your bathroom and you have your towel hanging up in the same spot every day and then one day it's laying on your toilet. You're going to notice it immediately...and be freaked out a little. Dan has talked a lot about this. I truly believe the mature animals in that area will notice it...maybe not that night, but maybe the next morning or night. Don't get me wrong tho, I'll break a few branches to clear up a shooting lane or 2, but I try to minimize it as much as possible. I don't use a blind (like just a screen in front of me) or anything just because I like to be as light and quiet as possible and to me that defeats the purpose of being mobile, but to each there own

When it comes to the bow, there's some things I do that help. I almost always bring small tree hook (the $0.79 ones) to hand my bow right at the base of a tree. I've also used the clamp-on type stand that target shooters use. They attach to the bottom limb...they don't work in all terrain tho. I also do not keep my quiver on...too much crap to try moving in thick cover at the moment of truth. I do, however, always have at least 1 other arrow out of the quiver and either leaning up against something or laying on the ground for a quick follow up shot. This saved my hunt once after a complete miss. PRACTICE SHOOTING FROM ON YOUR KNEES OR BACK OR CHAIR. Practice laying on your belly in the prime position and then slowly rise up to draw you bow. Also add in a 50 yd belly crawl into that before riding up and drawing back. You aren't going to be standing...well, most of the time you're not Lol. Practice how it will actually be like when you're hunting.

Use terrain to your advantage. If you see them crossing a certain ditch every day, figure out a way to get right in that thing and set up downwind of the trail. Hide behind slowdowns, trees, dogwood, in standing corn, cattails, old farm equipment, etc. I'll always find something to hide in/behind instead of "making" cover.

I screw up so many times a year that it's not even funny. Even if it's little stuff. Try to make the best out of it and learn from it. All the above stuff is what I tell myself. I'm not telling you to do it that way at all, but just hope it helps someone else. The way I type probably make me seem like I have no personality and am arrogant, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I just don't like typing on my phone, but I love talking about deer lol. I'm pretty quiet and humble about my hunting and I also have not will not measure my bucks antlers or enter them in a book....because I don't freaking care! I usually don't talk about my bucks or show pictures unless someone asks...i hate feeling like I'm bragging. I'm happy with them and that's all that matters. I couldn't care less if I get a "boy he could've used one more year" or "dang you've gotta get that officially scored and put in the books!"...worry about yourself, not me lol. Some people around here around my area say there's foul play with all of my bucks. I just sit back and take it in...haters gonna hate lol. It doesn't bother me anymore. I always offer to take them to the gut piles but no-one will take me up on that lol. I know how.much worl i put into every season and my close friends do as well. I have no shame in any of my kills. Other guys in the area call me an expert, and that pisses me off waaay more than being called a violator! I am NOT and will NEVER BE an expert. I absolutely hate that. An expert means you have nothing left to learn..and that means you will never get beat. I lobe getting my handed to me by a big buck!!! Good for him! Who the heck am I that thinks I can come in here and kill the biggest buck in the marsh?! Arrogance and Confidence are 2 different things. Arrogance is having your nose up in the air, overlooking everything. Confidence is having your nose to the ground, looking for all the clues you can....with your brows tilted in a fashion of a hungry, hunting wolf...because you know you're onto something good. Be confident, but never let that confidence turn into arrogance. :naughty:

How bad do you want it?! All the work before the hunt will answer that.
How bad do you want it?
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Billdogge! » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:01 am

Good stuff!
Get in the woods and hunt!
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby john1984 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:10 am

Thanks for thee info marshbuster. You are definitely a great hunter.

I like not having to haul around all them straps, tethers, harnesses,clips ,belts,ropes,sticks, stand and a pack.

I currently don't own a hang on, but if I did , I'd want Dans latest protype.

I know JoeRe says he don't hunt from the ground unless he can view at least 50 yards in most directions. Dan says in a lot of situations its "too thick to hunt from the ground" cuz you need some elevation to shoot OVER the thick stuff.

Marshbuster89, have you ever shot through some vegetation in order to put thee arrow in the buck???
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Octang » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:45 am

I'm enjoying this thread. I scouted out a spot this past month that I want to hunt next fall but a ground hunt is the only viable approach. I am looking forward to it, it will be my first ground hunt since the mid 1990s!
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby yungbuck » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:04 pm

Man this thread is on fire with great bucks and info. I just found a really awesome spot on public that has no huntable trees but great looking buck beds and honestly this thread came at a perfect time for me! Plus considering I hunt out of a tree stand 100% of the time it's great to hear you can get it done with a bow on the ground!
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:19 pm

Love this thread. There are plenty of places I really think it could work well in my area. How to best film is always the challenge for me. Thanks for sharing your tips and successes!
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Emrah » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:57 pm

Loving this thread too. As a guy who really doesn't like sitting in tree stands, seeing this amount of success gives me hope!

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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Lockdown » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:37 pm

Marshbuster89 wrote:If you're going to hunt from the ground, you need to become the cover. Mossy oak obsession doesn't not blend into canary grass and brush....ive seen hunters from far off trying to pull this one off and they look like a black bear from a distance. On the other side of the spectrum, don't disturb the area too much. I personally don't stick branches in the ground but I know some of you do and that's fine, but I think if you plan on coming back to that spot again that season, that disturbance is enough to make the deer in that area reroute. That's the doorway leading out of their bedroom. Say your bedroom is connected to your bathroom and you have your towel hanging up in the same spot every day and then one day it's laying on your toilet. You're going to notice it immediately...and be freaked out a little. Dan has talked a lot about this. I truly believe the mature animals in that area will notice it...maybe not that night, but maybe the next morning or night. Don't get me wrong tho, I'll break a few branches to clear up a shooting lane or 2, but I try to minimize it as much as possible. I don't use a blind (like just a screen in front of me) or anything just because I like to be as light and quiet as possible and to me that defeats the purpose of being mobile, but to each there own


THIS!!

It's funny you use the bathroom and towel analogy. I've thought a lot about what you mentioned above... manipulating brush in their bedroom. I've pulled off same day double bull sets with my wife twice (one gun one bow) and with a buddy once. None of the kills were mine, and granted none of them were mature deer and we weren't tight up against bedding. But if you think about it, how many different places will a deer enter the food or ag field? Possibly a dozen? maybe more? They don't know exactly what every branch and bush looks like on those trails. There are too many for them to memorize them all. And I think that's why I've gotten away with what I have. That said, a mature buck WILL know every leaf and twig on the few trails that leave his favorite bedding areas. That's where he spends all his time!! Its my belief that a pop up tight to mature buck bedding will NOT work. I wouldn't even want to place one in the spring and leave it. I wouln't want to risk him abandoning that bedding. Close to food? Sure. But not up against his bedroom door. Even with my experiences with them near food, the "blob effect" is hard to get around.

I have done same day natural sets where I've stuck branches in the ground near buck bedding, but try not to. More so others don't key in on my spots. I typically have everything ready to go in the spring. I make sure I have shooting lanes and clear the sticks where I need to stand/sit. Some of the thicker areas require a mid summer check. I know we like to stay out and leave it be as long as possible, but if its the difference of summer growth preventing a hunt, I'll go in. It's that or nothing so it's worth a shot for me.

Moral of the story is you don't need THAT MUCH cover to hide yourself. You don't need a blind! When I shot my 2011 buck (dressed 190 but had a busted up less than spectacular rack) I simply knelt beside one of the big trees in this picture. I nipped a few lanes, cleared the ground, and was in business. Same day set. I've shared some of these pics before so sorry for the repeat.
Image
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Especially regarding your comment about people looking like a black bear, that is so true. Most camo patterns are far too dark for ground hunting. When i hunt in dry cattails I use my tan carhartt jacket and bibs. Its the closest thing I've got and it worked on a public land doe in January 2017. So that's my new go to. Here's a two year old I let walk by before I shot the doe.
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Here's a look back at my hiding spot after I shot the doe. She was probably a tick under 10 yards.
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If you've got solid colors on that's fine as long as you're broken up a little bit. JoeRE is a VERY respected ground hunter on here and he wears strait whites when snow is on the ground. You don't need a pattern to hide. It's all about when you move.



If you want to become proficient on the ground you just have to go for it. Plan it out as best as you can and DO IT. Like marshbuster said don't be afraid to screw up and WHEN you do, ask yourself why. Figure out what happened and make the necessary adjustments to prevent that mistake from happening again. I'm willing to set up in spots that I think MIGHT work. Some I even consider low odds but I'm in the game. If I don't know for sure, I give it my best effort and... **DRUM ROLL** ... I LEARN. You just might surprise yourself with how easy it can be.
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Lockdown » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:39 pm

bowhunter15 wrote:Love this thread. There are plenty of places I really think it could work well in my area. How to best film is always the challenge for me. Thanks for sharing your tips and successes!


I struggled with that too. I had to forego some of my sets because of it. Some I strapped my camera arm to a tree beside me but even then its tough. They do make tripod attachments for camera arms but I didn't have one. Still wouldn't be easy due to all the extra movement that is required.
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Marshbuster89 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:46 pm

Amen Lockdown! You've got it! Most of my camo is 10 years old and faded. I know a lot of spots I've been successful in, the guys who came along to help drag said "how the heck did you hide in THAT?!?!" My answer is usually that I'm able to focus enough to not move at all even if my legs are screaming and that I had confidence I could pull it off (even if I myself wasn't quite sure at the time of set-up, I just tell myself "this WILL work so don't change your mind!!").

Like lockdown said, just go for it! Don't be afraid to take chances, Lord-willing, you'll have plenty More! Believe in your set ups and believe in your game plan. No set is a bad set if you take something away from it
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Re: Ground hunting

Unread postby Lockdown » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:48 pm

Marshbuster89 wrote:Amen Lockdown! You've got it! Most of my camo is 10 years old and faded. I know a lot of spots I've been successful in, the guys who came along to help drag said "how the heck did you hide in THAT?!?!" My answer is usually that I'm able to focus enough to not move at all even if my legs are screaming and that I had confidence I could pull it off (even if I myself wasn't quite sure at the time of set-up, I just tell myself "this WILL work so don't change your mind!!").

Like lockdown said, just go for it! Don't be afraid to take chances, Lord-willing, you'll have plenty More! Believe in your set ups and believe in your game plan. No set is a bad set if you take something away from it


Couldn't agree more. You don't learn squat sitting in the background.

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