Whitetail hunters—together with myself—like consolation. Positive, we would courageous frigid temps or hike miles at midnight by way of a swamp, however not after spending 1000’s on looking clothes, insulated boots, and ultra-comfortable tree saddles. These items aren’t unhealthy, and I personally don’t hit the woods with out them, however they are often obstacles for achievement within the whitetail woods. Identical to looking with the identical ways or the identical stands season after season will possible lead you to the identical outcomes.
I’m fairly positive because of this a variety of hunters both neglect or underutilize still-hunting. It forces us to alter plans, assume strategically about our each transfer, and put ourselves in susceptible positions to make pictures. To not point out, it breaks a variety of beliefs the whitetail business claims as gospel. Briefly, it may be uncomfortable. And when you may not punch your tag whereas still-hunting, there are many the reason why you need to add it to your technique this fall. Listed below are a couple of:
Bust the Lull Fable
Deer simply aren’t shifting, it’s too scorching, and so on., and so on. These and loads of different lame excuses have stored a variety of hunters at house and much more deer alive. They’re additionally removed from true. A buddy and I spent 5 days looking a brand new piece of floor final season. I made a decision to still-hunt, whereas he arrange in what he assumed had been nice meals locations or journey corridors. They could have been, had been it not for the looking stress. On the finish of the week, he ended up seeing a lone fawn and wrote off that WMA with a few of these excuses I discussed earlier. On the flip facet, I had a number of deer sightings day-after-day, which ultimately led to a run-in with a pleasant buck and a cooler filled with meat.
This isn’t a testomony to my looking expertise and possibly has extra to do with luck, however I do assume it says quite a bit about our assumptions about deer motion. Nonetheless looking is a good way to dispel these myths, particularly on pressured floor. A variety of the encounters I had on this hunt occurred at noon, even in smoldering, early-season temps. If I had been hanging in a saddle, as a substitute of still-hunting, I most likely would’ve had the same expertise as my pal. Nonetheless-hunting has its setbacks. It leaves you susceptible to deer selecting you out within the timber, nevertheless it does mean you can slip into their territory when looking stress forces them deeper within the cowl.
Find New Spots
Historic spots the place we’ve had success are lethal. However not in the best way you may assume. They’ll provide the false hope that you simply’re positive to have the same expertise, solely to show that historical past doesn’t all the time repeat itself. After all, there are exceptions to this, however if you need new success, you’ll have to search out new spots. And what higher option to discover new spots than still-hunting by way of an space?
As an alternative of throwing a dart on the map and organising blind, go for a floor assault. Positive, you may run the chance of bumping a buck, nevertheless it could possibly be a good time to check out the bump-and-dump method so many hunters tout as of late. In spite of everything, you most likely weren’t going to see that buck in your previous stand anyway.
Hone Your Stealth
Tree stands can disguise a variety of our shortcomings, however nothing will expose them sooner than looking from the bottom. When you must draw on a deer whereas still-hunting, you study rapidly what you may and might’t get away with. Studying when and the way to attract on deer whereas they’re in bow vary and at eye degree will translate to your tree stand hunts and make you a savvier hunter total.
I’m not speaking about carbon fiber climbing sticks and fanny packs. Profitable whitetail looking calls for a sure degree of self-discipline. You’ll must get severe about stand entry, taking part in the wind, and scouting should you’re concentrating on a giant buck.
However taking looking too severely can result in resentment, burnout, and an unrealistic degree of stress that almost all of us aren’t able to dealing with. In spite of everything, we’re chasing deer, not performing coronary heart surgical procedure.
In a earlier article, I discussed a current still-hunt that ended with my tag round a doe. I’d do this hunt ten instances over. If arrowing a doe from the bottom doesn’t get your coronary heart pumping, it may be time to reevaluate your expectations. In case you’re in a stoop otherwise you’re simply not seeing deer, still-hunting can (and most frequently does) get you in entrance of deer, provide you with intel for future hunts, and even make your time within the woods gratifying.
Don’t take this as a manifesto to ditch your tree saddle or still-hunt anytime you don’t really feel like placing hours on the stand. These hours are essential and result in crammed tags. However should you haven’t added still-hunting to your toolbelt, then you need to consider that as a gap in your whitetail sport. Who is aware of, you may even have enjoyable.
Characteristic picture by way of Matt Hansen.