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Ground hunting?

Old 11-23-2012, 01:15 PM
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Spike
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I do some ground hunting for whitetail and i was just wondering from anybody that does ground hunting have any tips?
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:32 PM
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I used to do alot of ground hunting but hunt mostly from the tree now. You need to make sure you keep your movements very slight, as well as find good cover. There is usually enough "natural brush" in the woods that you can make a good blind out of. My best luck was sitting in the corner of where a woods and fence row met and watch out into the field.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:41 PM
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What do you think the best time for hunting on the edge of a field and woods is in the morning or evening?
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:52 PM
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A few other tips I can think of would be to pay attention to the wind direction, try to find a natural funnel area and don't set up and skyline yourself on a hill.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kjohn2007
What do you think the best time for hunting on the edge of a field and woods is in the morning or evening?
It all depends on the wind. They will feed mornings and evenings.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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You use it to your own advantage,what I mean by that is you have better hearing and if you dont know already then you need to learn the sound of a squirrel walking on the ground compared to the sound of a deer. The only big disavantage I dont like your movement is much more noisier and noticable.not to mention you have better sight compared to that of a ground blind
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:08 PM
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Ground hunting all i do anymore. In best spot the deer over a three year period have let me know what background hides me. (We played peek a boo beginning of first year) Odd as it may seem i sit in a gap in their near horizon ,if i sit it right or left they get studying me. There is a steep dirt bank on overgrown field edge they don,t see me on too,staying low and crawling up it when wind is right through weeds on top i can see another field as well,took one out that way last year. Due to site no natural material blind. They didn,t come near when i used pop up blind.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:59 PM
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keep a grunt call handy, if you make alot of noise hit your grunt (or fawn bleat, fawns make a lot of noise. Use your binos, really scan your area before you move thru it. Try and stop beside of trees or blowdowns or in the shadows, drop down on one knee. Learn to walk without looking where you are stepping, try to be in scan mode as you move. Anytime you are coming around a corner or to the top of the ridge, just peek your head up and try to scan and glass before you walk on over it, this is your best chance to zero in on a deer whos unaware. As others stated be conscious of the wind.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:55 AM
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If you are still hunting, you don't need to walk with the wind in your face. You can walk cross-wind as well. Just don't walk in a down-wind direction. What I do is follow the sign as best I can as the wind allows, AND/OR walk with the sun at my back as the wind allows. Walking upwind is a waste of time if the deer sign is leading away from that direction. Walking with the sun to your back is awesome because it helps you see movement extremely well (I am hoping you know to look for movement or just "part" of a deer instead of looking for deer whilst hunting). If you turn around and look at your back trail with the sun beaming in your face, you will understand the other advantage you have over the deer because you are now squinting and struggling to see!

As others have said, use binoculars. Binoculars are like x-ray vision in the woods. You think you can see fine but when you use binoculars to look between trees you realize how much you are not seeing with the naked eye. And all it takes for a deer to blow is to see something out of place (your movement), and then they're all on high alert. Can't tell you how many times I didn't think there were deer in the area until I saw them between the trees with my binocs.

Walk carefully. This is the absolute hardest part of still hunting. Generally, and this is not always the case, you move at a snail's pace. Map your steps out in advance so you can use your eyes to scan as you walk, and walk either toe to heel or side to arch (so you can feel twigs under your feet before putting your weight down). Walking like this requires an extreme amount of balance and is much more physically demanding than walking at a brisk pace (so don't wear heavy layers for this, you'll get hot and tire more easily). Remember that with each step, new "windows" are opened between trees, which means you can see places you couldn't in the previous step, and critters in those places can see you.

You can still hunt when the leaves are dry but that is when it is hardest. Best to do it if the leaves are at least slightly wet (even from early morning dew or melted frost). If they are super dry, remember that you are not making as much noise as you think you are (as long as you are a putting down your feet carefully and very slowly).

If I have to cross an area without much cover and the leaves are really dry, I move quickly (by comparison) through it. But I try to sound like a deer when I do it. With each step I scrape my toe and land with my heel to replicate the sound of a four-legged critter taking one step, and I move in sets of three to five steps and I move at a deer's relaxed pace.

If at all possible, don't skyline yourself. If there isn't much choice in the matter, do as others have suggested and slowly, slowly crest your head over the hill. When you can start to see over, scan with binos. Then move ahead six inches and scan again. Repeat, and crouch or crawl as you proceed until you are safely over the hill.

Snoop and poop. If you find an area with some awesome sign and you can see good cover in the vicinity (where the deer might be bedded), you can always find a tree to sit against and wait to see if any deer come out. If you need cover, find natural cover that you don't need to rearrange (too noisy). I simply plop against a tree and have had deer come within 10 yards of me and not see me. I just don't move. And I also wear ASAT camo, which I believe is one of the few camos that actually breaks up your outline, but what do I know?? Not much when everything under the sun is Realtree or Mossy Oak, LOL!

Always assume there is a deer 100 yards away or closer. Still hunting can be grueling, and when you haven't seen deer in a few hours and are starting to get tired, that's when you can get lazy and make mistakes. Like going too fast, not scanning the area, breaking back to back to back twigs, etc. If you need to sit down and rest, do it! If you feel yourself getting lazy, scan for an area of good cover like a blowdown or a ditch, and make it your goal to get there quietly and rest. Take a nap...or whatever! But don't throw away your hours of hard work by getting sloppy!
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:19 AM
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I sit alot and when I'm still hunting, I'm constantly on the look for wind transition areas. I've used this for more than 35 years, frankly with great success. All the deer in my albums came from sitting in these wind transitions.

When in good deer country, and wanting to hunt from the ground, find that spot where the wind, on any given day, regardless of the direction it is coming from, suddenly and consistently shifts. This is generally caused by a geographic feature of some sort. The best wind transition areas cause the scent to be ping-ponged back and forth, up and out. They cover a small area, and you can easily walk through them without realizing your in one. Coincidenlty, many times you'll find your areas biggest rubs in these spots.

This past evening, while sitting in a wind transition, I had 11 deer, less than 30 yards, milling around in nearly a full circle around me, including 2 small buck, and I was smoking { they came in before I could butt it out }.
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