Hunting Strategies – Glassing and Stalking


Glassing and stalking is one of the most exciting, but difficult, deer hunting techniques because it pits the hunter’s ability against the razor sharp instincts of the whitetail deer.

Essentially, the stalking hunter moves through the woods slowly, stopping often to glass for deer; then moving slowly forward again and stopping to glass for deer.


Many sportsmen who like to be active prefer this method of hunting because they are always on the move, and they see a lot more of the natural world while they stalk through the woods looking for deer. The glass and stalk hunter is also seldom bored because he is always moving, glassing and studying new terrain ahead for deer.

The Art of Glassing and Stalking

The art of glassing and stalking is called the quintessence of deer hunting, meaning that it is the pure essence of what deer hunting should be. The hunter enters the domain of the whitetail deer and pits his ability against the instincts of the deer.

glassart.jpgThis is what deer hunting is all about. Though technology and civilization have somewhat altered the natural man, his natural instinct to hunt is still within. And in the deer woods, the highest technology becomes simply another tool, and the hunt reverts back to the primeval contest of hunter and hunted, each carrying out his role in the cycle of nature. And there is no other hunting method that captures the drama and excitement of the hunt as glassing and stalking a wiley buck.

Best Locations

The glass and stalk hunter should choose a location that is best suited for undetected movement. Open areas with very little cover should be avoided because the probability is low that a hunter will be able to move through such an open area and get close to the deer without being seen. And with glass and stalk hunting, the main object is to see the deer before it sees you.

A large area of unbroken dense cover is not good for glassing and stalking, either. The benefit of the spotting glasses is negated because the cover is too thick to see into, and the deer will usually see or hear a hunter before he sees them.

The ideal glass and stalk area will be semi-open. There will be small openings that can be glassed for deer, but with enough trees or brush pockets that the hunter can move through to break up his outline and hide his human form.



Rolling terrain is ideal for glass and stalk hunting. Low timbered ridges and dense creek bottoms are ideal because each contains enough cover to conceal the hunter, but are open enough to allow him to search the terrain ahead. Each ridge/gully contains its own mini-ecosystem which can be entered by the glass and stalk hunter and studied for deer.

Dressing for the stalk

Proper clothing is essential for fluid movement when glass and stalk hunting. The hunter who can flow through the woods and avoid jerking, awkward movement has the best chance to avoid detection by the deer.

Boots that are heavy enough to keep your feet warm, but not so bulky as to create heavy stumbling movement, are essential. Likewise, outer clothing should be adequate to keep you warm, but not so bulky that it restricts fluid movement. Remember, you’ll be moving around quite a bit, so the cold will not affect you as much as the stand hunter who must bundle up to ward off hypothermia.

Also, plan to wear a cap with a bill on it to keep the sun out of your eyes so that you can better see deer in the shade. And wear gloves that are adequate to keep your hands warm, but not so bulky that you fumble with your binoculars. In bitter cold weather, experienced hunters often place chemical heating pads in their boots to keep their feet warm. They also place hand warmers in coat pockets to keep their hands warm.


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