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‘Nerves of Steel’
Ishmael on Scouting and Still Hunting Deer and Elk


Still hunting for big game requires a skill set, as in Boxing, Wrestling, other masculine sports. Being successful as a hunter takes, discipline, experience, hours upon hours of observations, if you are willing to put in the time. James's blog talks about being hunted in the environment he chooses to live in, hunting techniques I will discuss will work for defensive, as well as putting the crosshairs on your choice of game. Still hunting is just one type of technique used in your game bag, I begin by scouting a area I intend to hunt, game trails, bedding areas, feeding sites, migration routes.

Deer, Elk, have daily, and nocturnal habits, just as humans, Like the Deerslayer in Leatherstocking tales, Hawkeye started out a hunter, first, I will talk about procuring a haunch of venison. After scouting a place to hunt, the techniques varies, Still hunting is generally used in a area, new to the hunter, the idea is to use stealth to get close to your prey, is used primarily in the area of bedding sites. As a look out for trouble, deer have a readymade alarm system, birds and squirrels, in my area Stellar blue jays and Douglas tree squirrel. They will haze a predator, bobcat, coyote, sometimes a hunter, giving a bedded deer a heads up, that something, or someone, just came into their living room.

Deer and Elk make noise as all herbivores do, listen to locate. Elk are very vocal, and gregarious, Deer more small groups and individuals, very quiet, and nervous. Still hunting and shooting a buck in his bedding area, is the epitome of a great stalk. Deer like to stand up, feed, then lay back down, watched a very large buck for three days, stayed in small area, no more than one acre. Observed two hunters come within 20 yards of this buck one morning, walked right past his location, I doubt they had any idea how close they were. To kill this deer, I would need to trespass, watched just to learn, very stealthy buck, nerves of steel, never bolted, just held still.

When still hunting check the wind, stay in a crosswind or downwind, bedding areas are usually in thick timber, or somewhere with a vantage point. Look for movement, ear flick, tail twitch, tip of a antler, bodies if standing, will be concealed in brush, look for legs also. Uneven steps, no cadence to movement, take a hour to cover 50 yards, be patient, if you have spotted your quarry, remember there may be other bedded deer in route, once they know you are in the area they may bolt and panic the rest, move your hands or arms very slow, deer pick up movement quickly, deer dislike windy days, will bed in quiet areas, no interference for hearing.

If you get close to a bedded deer, remember that vitals are in a smaller kill zone. When hunting with a rifle I aim for the neck, hunting for meat only, with a bow, shoot a little lower for lungs, or you may over shoot, this is a really hard shot with a bow, I've used a cow elk call to get them to stand up. This is the basic way to start, you can practice stalking and still hunting year round, as I said, put in the time, you will be rewarded.

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IshmaelJanuary 26, 2017 1:22 PM UTC

Trump may allow silencers, doubtful but would be a game changer. Night vision goggles, cross bow, hollow out a potato, install on 22 barrel, just make sure no obstructions, practice, practice practice!
IshmaelJanuary 26, 2017 11:58 AM UTC

Yes Lazer, but, they would shut this blog down, and I would be arrested, watch " The Hunted," with Tommy Lee Jones, the wolf scene is bogus, if you came on to a wolf in a trap, they would bite your face off, if you tried to help!
LazerJanuary 26, 2017 9:48 AM UTC

Any tips on how to avoid getting caught while hunting in the suburbs and the city?