Some good comments on Stalking. I love my TrophyBlend scents but I still play the wind. While I'm out and about i'm always scanning to see movement from vegetation for the wind direction. I am very familiar with the G.M.U I hunt so when I prepare to stalk into a Canyon, draw, etc. I check the wind to see if I can use it to my advantage. The last buck I killed..not only did I use it to blow my scent away from the buck But I used the rustling sound of the bushes, vegetation from the blowing wind to mask my movement. When the wind and noise picked up, I moved...SLOWLY. When the wind died down....I STOPPED. This is when I have already spotted my target critter and I'm on the actual Stalk. When I know that I'm in Bow range, usually by ranging the animal or a nearby bush...I automatically turn sideways. By turning sideways you are presenting a smaller profile to the animal to spot. Slow movements only, this includes ranging or any type of bow movements. No sudden movements. I shoot right handed so I have my bow in my left hand. I have the left side of the body toward the animal with my bow in my left hand. I take small side steps "crabbing" my way toward my target. I never roll my feet. I try to step level so that my body weight is dispersed throughout my entire foot and not to one part of my foot like if I was normally walking and rolling my feet. Try and plan your path to the animal before you take the steps. I prefer to take my boots off when I'm getting ready for the kill to get in closer but I have these little small Cacti all over the place where I hunt and they usually end up embedded in my foot or ankles. If I come across some dried vegetation i will try to sweep it to the side without actually stepping on it. I prefer to go around it if possible. We have this plant here in Eastern Washington that is really wide, like 3 feet wide but they only grow about 5 inches high roughly. During the summers months...they dry up and are really noisy if you step on them. So I try to stay clear of them. I slowly make my way toward the animal sideways with my bow already at the ready with a arrow on the rest. I try to keep the bow at least waist high. I like to use the bow to also block my profile and have actually ranged animals right in front of me with the bow blocking my face and place the range finder up against the bows riser to help with stabilization while ranging the animal. I'm usually getting buck fever at this time and I'm a little shaky. If you shoot down toward a animal always bend at the waist. If you don't, It can affect your draw. I'm a armpit shooter. I like to shoot low on Muley's. I follow the front leg up about 2-3 inches pass the belly up and shoot. If the buck tries to drop...I get lung. If he stay's at the same spot..I get heart. It's works great for me. I've never hunted Whitetails so I don't know if would be similar. I've been told that WT's love to jump strings. I do use scents and have had on several occasions deer actually single file trot by me at 10 feet and not wind me while stalking. I just keep the bow up to block my face and not move. Use high ground whenever you can for glassing. Sit down and glass by grid so you don't try to skip a spot. You can always cover more land with glasses than by foot. Take it slow because your target could possibly be feet away. I know I'm missing something else.(brain fart).:o
When your arm gets tired from holding the bow at the ready. Try to lean the bow against your waist by leaning a little if possible. If need be...Stop the stalk and slowly switch hands to get some blood flowing. When your arms feels better switch back to your shooter position and stalk sideways. If you stalk in chest first it might be too late if the deer spot you. You would need to turn sideways and lift the bow up. You might as well be at the ready before going in. just my 2 cents.
Good stuff! I think it is a heavier cover here, but some of the stuff should work. Glassing is probably out for me in most cases but not all. I can't believe you can stand in the open holding a bow while ranging deer and they not run off. I see a need for a tree branch shaped bow. LOL
another thing as far as scent goes. as long as your playing the wind,you can get by with alot of "no-no's". i'm a smoker and i stop and puff a Marlboro when my knees and ankles are worn n achy from the stalk. just last night on public land i took a seat on a log and hung my bow w an arrow knocked in arms reach and lit up. light breeze blowing from S to N. it was public land along the river w the river 30 yds to the N and a tall grass field to the S. as i was puffing away,a fork horn walked up along side the E side of me from the S. i slowly put my hand in front of my face. he turned and walked straight at me. he stopped and it looked like was wanting to jump the log. if he would've,he literally would have been in my lap. he was close enough that i could've spit in his eye. i guess he decided not to jump the log. he turned and walked 10yds away to sniff the scrape that i just pee'd in and wandered off,none the wiser.
But,this is public land just outside city limits. it goes back to what DS said about the things they smell and hear daily. this spot is directy across the rd from the state police post so i could probably sound like a siren in the woods and still get deer. lol.
some guys i know take a turkey call with them and if they make more noise than they think necessary,they'll cluck w the call a couple times. a squirrel call would work just as well. pay real close to the sounds you hear in the woods. alot of the noise goes unnoticed. theres always critters making noise,walnuts or apples falling,dead limbs being broken by the wind and crashing to the ground. being absolutely silent is not imperative. keep the noice to a minimum and you'll be fine. its the strange,unfamiliar sounds that spook the deer most. like if you bump your bow on your stand. metal to metal,wrappers from snacks,etc.
Google the Benoits. some brothers from Hutch's neck of the woods. Maine,New Hampshire,somewhere up that way. i read a couple articles about them and their techniques and thats what peaked my interest in stalking/still hunting. gather all the info you can and practice. its a test of your abilities for sure. i cant sit very long in a stand w/o wanting to go find the deer. its my prefered method. sorry for being long winded. spot n stalk is SO much fun. i get excited thinking about it.
here you go,Mark.
Thanks! I'll pick up a squirrel and turkey call for cover noises.
I have thought of bringing a tree limb with leaves in the blind with me to shake while I have to make noise like opening a zipper, peeing in an empty bottle, rolling up the windows and so on.