One of the most difficult challenges in all of bowhunting is spot and stalk hunting. Hunters who really want to put their skills to the ultimate test can get down out of the deer stand. And get down on the deer’s level, trying to outwit every one of a deer’s senses. In many places, especially more open terrain, this might be the only way to effectively hunt. Whatever the case may be, here are a few tips to help you find more success while hunting spot and stalk!
Get Some Elevation.
One of the first things you have to do when spot and stalk hunting is to find the game you are after. You can do this by finding an elevated vantage point, like a ridge or a hill. From there you can scan the surrounding area, looking for any deer that you might be able to pursue.
Look for Fresh Tracks and Other Signs
When moving around, look for things like fresh tracks and other signs, such as rubs and droppings. When you are in an area with plenty of fresh sign, walk slowly, and stop often to scan your surroundings. This can help you key into where the deer are living and where you can find them. Always be ready, as you never know when a shot may present itself!
Always Be Aware of Wind Direction
No matter what kind of hunting you are doing, you should always be aware of the wind direction. This becomes even more important when you are spot and stalking deer, as these animals can easily catch your scent as you try and approach. Try to stay downwind of any animals or potential hunting areas at all times.
Move as Quietly as Possible
When you are hiking around, and especially as you are stalking in on an animal, avoid stepping on things like sticks or other things that could potentially make a noise and alert the animals to your presence. Even the slightest sounds will put deer on high alert, so avoid the sticks, leaves, and pinecones as much as possible. Many hunters will even take off their boots during their final approach on a deer in order to avoid accidentally stepping on anything and being able to feel everything under their feet as they move.
Be Patient and Stay Calm
One of the most important things about bowhunting, not just spot and stalk hunting, is to have patience with the pursuit and with yourself. The more patient you are in how you move and when you are stalking an animal, the better off you will be. Before, during, and after the shot, try to remain calm and collected. This will help you focus and be much more successful in the long run.
Bowhunting can already be a challenge, but you can easily take that to the next level by hunting spot and stalk style. While tough, by following these tips you can take that challenge head-on and go home with more meat for the freezer!