What is still hunting? Still-hunting combines the simple pleasure of walking in the woods with the thrill and discipline of being on a hunt, which we’ll call a perfected sneak. Because you might come upon your prey at any time, you must maintain constant attention and move slowly and cautiously enough so that an animal might mistake you for standing still.
It is like being on the last stage of a cautious hunt, but it goes on for hours instead of minutes. Still-hunting is appealing due to the sense of mystery that surrounds it.
Improve Your Still Hunting: 6 Essential Tips
Is it really hunting if a hunter sits 15 feet in the air and waits to ambush a deer? Yes, they are — I won’t argue with you there. However, if a hunter only does this kind of hunting, their deer hunting skill-set might be limited, leaving them open to missing out on one of the most exciting types of hunting available.
- Still-hunting is like learning to walk again. When you’re still looking, you won’t perform face-plants like when you were a toddler, but whenever you make contact with a deer, you’ll feel as if you have. Get back to taking tiny steps. Abandon your typical gait, which may have been walking for 20, 30, or 40 years. You’ll occasionally lift your foot and set it down almost on the same course. Learn to move through the woods like slime.
- Choose opportune times. This is something I can’t emphasize enough. Certain periods are more conducive to still-hunting than others. Expect deer to be distracted as they move to feed locations in the late afternoon. Get excited if light rain is moistening the forest floor; the woods will be incredibly quiet as a result of it. If it’s lightly snowing, you’ll be jumping up and down with joy. The woods will be quiet, and your bright orange isn’t as noticeable to deer in the snow.
- You need to focus. In a treestand, you may daydream because when a deer enters your view he is unlikely to discover you. In still-hunting, you must be much more cautious. Consider where each step of yours takes you and how it might appear in the eyes of a deer. That’s precisely the scenario when you’re in a treestand and take no steps at all. You must be extremely attentive to your body, how you hold your rifle or bow, how your clothing fits, and even what you touch. Don’t be distracted by more gear than you require—distractions will steal your attention.
- Realize that deer may be moving, too. Deer will frequently cross your field of vision, so keep an eye on the whole perimeter of the area visible to you at all times. You’ll spend more time sitting still than moving when you do it correctly. Perhaps that’s why it’s referred to as “still-hunting.”
- Use typography to your advantage. If you are near a streambed, make use of the sounds of the water to muffle your noises. If you’re on a seat, don’t stick your head out over the edge. Zig-zag in a zig-zag pattern instead, looking over the edge from time to time. When approaching the edge, use trees to conceal a view of the ground. You’ll be shocked at how often you see bedded deer when you approach them slowly.
- Keep the wind in your face. This is your top priority, but it’s far easier said than done. The good news is that you don’t have to face the wind directly. It can be as much as 90 degrees from your left or right, but if you can’t feel it on your cheek, deer will detect you and the game is up.
The Still-Hunting Technique
Still-hunting, or slip-hunting as it’s known in some circles, is the art of getting through the woods on foot and using all of your senses to approach an animal or put yourself in a position to allow it to come close.
The challenge is to spot a deer before it spots you. This implies that you must move so slowly that your overall movement resembles as little as a clock’s hour hand to the animals. It necessitates putting one foot in front of the other, then pausing for a minute before proceeding.
It requires constant attention to your silhouette. It also necessitates a Zen-like attitude and flowing with the woods in order for you to take advantage of what it offers. The majority of your time should be spent standing still rather than walking, but you should use your binoculars to examine the woods ahead of you. A pair of binoculars is your best weapon, and they should almost never leave your hands.
Still Hunting Advantage And Disadvantage
Still, there are various ways to move slowly through forests and pastures or across trails, hillsides, and mountain slopes. All of these procedures need patience and are most successful when performed from the downwind side. The animal must be completely unharmed and ignorant of the hunter’s presence.
- Provide the most efficient approaches for hunting big game animals, particularly in Canada, the Western United States, and Alaska, where a lot of searching and walking is required.
- The new terrain type for hunting allows hunters to find more active scrapes, wallows, tracks, rubs, and other indicators of game.
- Provide a chance to see the natural beauty of untamed woods and animal habitats.
- To fire an effective shot without being detected, you’ll need a high level of skill and maybe even some luck. Animals are alerted to movement.
- It’s important to exercise caution so that you don’t get mistaken for a game by other hunters.
Confluence Of Conditions
For optimum success still-hunting bucks, you’ll need the rut, recent rain, and wind at your back. The rut reduces a buck’s danger impulse by half a step. When hunting with a rifle, this second-long pause is frequently all that is required. (It’s far more difficult to do so with a bow, but it is possible.)
Because whitetails employ their ears like radar beacons, it’s nearly difficult to stalk one in a forest rife with dry leaves.