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First time still hunting

Old 11-30-2012, 05:31 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: South Carolina
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Default First time still hunting

So was 7:30 and hadnt seen or heard anything and was figured I wasnt because shot the day before and tracked for 3-4 hours all through that area looking for a deer I missed. So I decided Id give still hunting a try. We had a frost this morning so I had on my ski mask and gloves and it was starting to thaw so the wet ground would muffle my sounds. Also had the wind in my favor.

So I set off down an old logging road that runs through my swamp. Mix of cypress and oaks on both sides with some water in there. When I was looking for blood yesterday I saw tracks all around the water and tons of bedding areas so figured I would at least see something.

Didnt know anything about still hunting but did google it a few days ago and followed the tips they provided like only take 2-3 steps at a time then stop and look around and listen. Only thing is they didnt mention what type of gun to use or how to carry it. Do I keep it slung over my shoulder or do I hold it in hand ready to take aim if I see something. I made the mistake doing the later. It seems a wooden Browning lever action .270 with the largest scope probably ever made isnt the best gun to use because it weights close to 10 pounds.

I got about 300 yards in and heard a blow but no running. I have good hearing and immediately looked where it came from and saw a big gray face looking back at me. Now I began to realize the error in carrying that heavy ass gun. Had been about an hour of creeping around while holding that gun and I went to bring the gun up and could hardly hold the thing steady. Also doesnt have the best scope in the world on it as I took the good one off and put it on my .243. I scanned for the deer I saw with my eyes but couldnt find him with the scope. My arms were so tired from carrying that thing I had to lower the weapon and as soon I did a massive deer bolted across the road in front of me.

So first question. How do you carry your weapon when still hunting? And second question please recommend me something that doesnt weigh damn near 10 pounds? Also is a swamp a bad place to still hunt? Its really the only place I have on my land that you could still hunt and while its very quiet as you move around due to the wet ground its hard as hell to spot deer through all the trees. It was kind of exciting to actually get that close to a nice deer though before spooking him. If I had my 12 gauge with buckshot would have been an easy kill.

Last edited by Cypress32; 11-30-2012 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:42 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Promise land ,KY
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If you plan on doing a lot of stalking as we call the a you want somthing light with a heavy round. The theory is that when stalking, atleast around here, you ae not going to get a far shot but you are most likely going to be dealing with some brush in the way. I don't stalk muh because I mostly bow hunt but around here it is generally accepted that the best brush/stalking gun is a lever action 30-30. Heavy slow round to punch through brush and rapid reloading if you have to make a second shot.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:46 AM
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Location: Florence, SC
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Not much brush just big trees. Only thing that would punch through those would be a .50 cal shooting depleted uranium rounds.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:55 AM
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Your gun should be in your hands, not slung on your shoulder. Some guys carry with one hand, some with 2 in a "ready" position. Just get used to the motion required to bring the gun to your shoulder and get the sights aligned. Practice it with the clothes you will be wearing while hunting.

Any handy gun will be fine for still hunting. Scope should be set on the lowest power possible. If you have a fast pointing 12 ga, by all means use it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:56 AM
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"If I had my 12 gauge with buckshot would have been an easy kill."

A slug gun would certainly work.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:15 AM
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Use your binoculars. Often. The point of still hunting isn't to get a shot at a deer as it discovers you and bolts. The point is to see deer before they see you, and move into position for a good shot.

I never sling my rifle when still hunting. I rarely carry it in a two-handed ready position either. I often need one hand free, and carrying in a ready position would get ridiculously tiring. I am right handed and cradle the rifle in my left arm, muzzle pointing to my rear as an "extension" of my left forearm. My left hand is either cupped around the trigger guard or around the pistol grip. To relieve my left arm, I will carry the gun by the scope with my right hand, just kinda straight down by my side.

I usually still hunt with a scoped muzzleloader on 3x. On a doe day, I will hunt with my M1A Scout with red dot sight. Heavy gun also, but you can find a way to carry a heavy gun without too much fatigue.

How can you be stalking if you don't have a visual on a target?
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:29 AM
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As has already been said, a 30/30 lever action is a great little brush gun. It has been tried and proven for many years, as such. Swamps are a fine place to hunt, as the big boys will likely be hanging out there. I carry mine with my trigger hand on the stock, and the barrel cradled in the elbow of my other arm. This allows me to easily get it up to sight on my target. Scoped is usually best, with a low power scope, set to its lowest setting. This allows you to quickly get on target by just getting it in the cross hairs, and not having to worry about getting iron sights lined up. You could move even slower, when you are in the thick swamp cover you expect your quarry to be in. Take just one or two steps, always looking to where your next step will be. Stop, carefully looking in all directions. Carefully scrutinize anything that may look out of ordinary. Often the big boy will be watching you and see you long before you have any idea he is there. Always play the wind to your advantage and be as scent free as possible.

Here is an article that may help you some: http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2011/0..._gf_aa116503a/
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:39 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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I still hunt a good bit. And where I hunt, it is pretty thick. Lots of large trees. Swampy. Hollows. Creek bottoms. Under brush.

I have learned that it is almost impossible to move too slowly ! I find myself all too often not looking at every bit of what is out front before easing along some more. I try to use the shadows too cover my movements, keep the breeze in my face I figure is a must, and I stop often. I do not walk in a rythm, but rather a step or two as a time. Heal to toe, avoiding snapping twigs.

My shots are not going to be farther than 75 yards or so in this stuff. I carry a 444 Marlin "Guide". It is a tad heavy, but short and quick on the target. A plenty lethal for sure.

One piece of advice given to me on a squirrel hunt 50+ years ago I'll suggest. The man that substitued for my grandfather after grandpa died, Mr. Herman Goldman, taught me not to look the squirrel up in the tree, but to look for as he put it, "what ain't tree". That has served me very well ... a twitch, a horizontal line that is out of place, a curious lump, a solid blob among brush, twigs not wiggling in the wind, etc. Many times this technique has resulted in me seeing the deer before it knew I was in the area.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:01 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: South Carolina
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Originally Posted by 7.62NATO View Post
Use your binoculars. Often. The point of still hunting isn't to get a shot at a deer as it discovers you and bolts
Please recommend a good pair. I have a pair of 12x50 nikons that I can probably count the eyes on a fly 250 yards away but they are just too damn bulky to be practical for hunting. I think something like these were designed for people who fish flats and are looking for fish tailing a mile away, In fact several times this year I have been watching for deer and even when slowly scanning I spook deer as far away as 150 yards using them. Not to mention they are heavy. Whats something smaller and lightweight thats still good quality?

Last edited by Cypress32; 11-30-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: IndianaKY
Posts: 244

Left arm, sling wrapped, butt against my right shoulder, right hand free for optics or on rifle wrist.

I carry this: a 7x57mm Mauser with 1.5-4.5x20mm Nikon Monarch (keep set at 1.5) or a 12 ga with 1.65-5x36mm Nikon Slughunter
Attached Thumbnails First time still hunting-img_1422.jpg   First time still hunting-img_1432.jpg  

Last edited by Palehorse; 11-30-2012 at 08:58 AM.
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