Living in Montana, I use several styles. In the open (pairie) terrain, I like to use spot-and-stalk. This is especially productive in antelope hunting, but works for mule deer and even white-tail once in a while. I use still hunting (which is really NOT still, but moving slowly) and also stand hunting a lot when in heavy cover, depending on the hunting conditions. If the ground is noisy with crunchy snow or leaves, I might just stay put, but if there's quiet footing, I'll be moving which I'll also do if it's windy. The deer can't hear as well and are less likely to move when it's windy, so you have to go to them.
The ten pointer that's in my avatar was killed last year in thick cover with very quiet footing (about 4 inches of snow). For that one I used a combination of still and stand hunting. The buck responded to a series of doe bleats and buck grunt calls about 10 minutes after I decided to stop moving and try some calling. It was less than 50 yards out and still coming straight at me when I shot him.
Where I live it is really open so most hunting is spot and stalk. Although in creek bottoms(which never have water in them,they must be left over from the great flood) stand hunting is most effective as still hunting is next to impossible. When I hunt in central Kansas it stand hunting in the am and pm, trying to catch deer moving, and drives during midday which have been the most productive of all methods.
Primarily tree stand hunt.. 90% of the time I am in thick wooded areas. Its easier for me to stay longer and be still in a comfy stand stuck up a tree. Plus you have increased vision over hunting off the ground while your in the woods..
Still hunting I do not have the patience for. I move to much to quick. If we had snow I would probably give still hunting a try a little more often. I am always in a leaf covered area.
I will hunt off the ground on the edges of fields at times. These are usually evening hunts or mornings that I got to the woods to late to go trekking through the woods. I usually hunt pretty high up the mountain and have to start my climb a good bit (1hr)before daylight. The lease that I hunt the landowner does not allow 4 wheelers in his woods. So we have to walk up from the fields below.
I used to do the slow walk thing, not slow enough to be called still hunting though but was never really productive and then switched to stand hunts just for more relaxation and absorbing the wild. I love stand hunting because you could watch animals without them even knowing you are there. I never did a deer drive and never will because it is just too unsafe for me.
I have never participated in a deer drive either:noalthough my cousin runs dogs with much sucess). I just started hunting last year and I either stand hunt(90% of the time) or I just walk through a wooded area behind the house and prop up on a tree and pick one or two off that are always hanging around in a corn field:biggrin:. I have even hunted off of a fold out ladder before. As I have stated in the past, what I do can hardly be called hunting because there are just so many deer around the house! I usually hit the stand just 45 mins before dark.:w00t:
I think I rely mainly on what feels best to me that day depending on wind direction and weather conditions, But I do all except Deer drives I agree with Timberghost I'll never pardticipate in a deer drive because I think they're too dangerous also.
You left out Tracking, Tracking is another method I like to resort to when the conditions are right.
I like to hunt off a ladder stand the most, just so i can see around, and feel i am in a good spot...Then i like the surprise of hunting on the ground, i just use a low backpackable cover around me and lean back on a tree
I mostly hunt from a box blind stand that I built myself I got one thats 4x4 an 10ft tall an another that is 5x5 an 12ft tall, I also have two climbing stands an a store bought ladder stand an three ladder stands I built. I also make my own brush ground blinds on fields. An use spot an stalk in large fields an power lines. We once an awhile do deer drives that is a fast an exciting way to hunt but I perfer the calm peaceful solitude of stand hunting.
Reason: My success rate has increased dramatically over still hunting. Put your time in scouting and set up stands downwind of doe bedding areas. Catch them sneaking in early AM and out late afternoon. Come Nov the does will bring some company. It's better to let the deer come to you but requires long periods of downtime...bring a book.
Exception: Good tracking snow, moderate rain or high winds will keep me on the ground and provide good conditions to still hunt into or cross wind. I tend to stay in the shadows and out of wide open areas where your movement is easily picked up by wary eyes.
I hunt from self climbers as high as the canopy will allow up to 35 Feet. I choose this because of scent and surprise. I don't like still hunting because it leaves too much impact on my areas here in Maryland (Heavy Hunting Pressure). I also seldom hunt the same area or tree twice within a 2-3 week period if at all possible. The last thing I want is the deer to become alarmed or to be able to pattern my movements. In my experience hunting mature bucks if you don't get him first time in your chance of success dramatically decreases each day after so I keep them guessing.
Here in west Michigan I almost always stand hunt. I get going too fast when I try to still hunt. I did get 2 does last year still hunting but that was because it was a small area (10 acres), there was deep snow and I knew they were bedding in there so my confidence was up. 2 bucks I shot were stand hunting. I do have good luck stalking corn fields during gun season if I can find any still standing.
Can someone please explain still hunting to me? I gather that you just walk around (slowly) looking for deer??? How the heck does this work? I hunt only from stands and still get spotted sometimes. Or is there something I am missing about still hunting?
A forum community dedicated to deer hunters and hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, gear, tips, tricks, optics, hunting, gunsmithing, reviews, reports, accessories, classifieds, and more!