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Still Hunting

Every year that I’ve been out hunting I see more deer. Last year I even walked up on a coyote, who thanks to scent control, and moving slowly didn’t even acknowledge that I was there. He just kept on walking. The key to seeing more when you are out in the woods is still hunting.

It took me a long time to “learn” how to “Still Hunt”.  Not because it is difficult, but because it takes more patience than it sounds like. You have to force yourself to move slowly, and quietly.

In the big woods that I hunt, every time you take a step forward your view changes. You can now see around different trees, and can potentially see a deer. As you are moving I like to move 3 steps at most at once. This has a couple advantages, the first of which (counting) keeps me honest. Secondly, Deer most often take 3 steps when they are browsing food. This means that if a deer does hear me, then hopefully they think I’m another deer.

Each step as I put my foot down, my eyes are scanning the area around me. I’m also checking the ground for sign, and for things that are going to make noise when I step on them.

After the three steps, I take 30 seconds to scan the area, and see what has changed since my last scan.

Slowly, I gain ground. Its the best blend of staying in once place (and being quiet) and covering alot of ground (while being noisy and potentially scaring off deer).

Finally the last tip for still hunting is to look behind you. If you are good with your scent control, and are moving slowly and not making much noise, it is definitely possible to look backwards, and see a deer walking across the trail that you just cut.

Make it a goal of yours to start this season, and start seeing more wildlife, rather than bumping it before you see it.