posted on May, 6 2011 @ 10:55 PM
Wow, some very good answers and info so far, I'm impressed. I'll add what I can, since hunting is my passion!
I started hunting as soon as I was legally able,which was 15 in the area I grew up. I dind't know any older people who hunted,so it was a long
learning curve for me. As someone else stated,patience is the hunters greatest asset,and also often the biggest challenge. I know it was for me,and
even now some 17 years later it's still a challenge. Patience means not just sitting in the woods waiting, but waiting quietly and motionless. It
took me while to learn what motionless means- I figured I was sitting still,what more could you do? Later on I began to realize that even if my body
was mostly still, my head was on a swivel and my hands would reach up unconciously to scratchan itch or whatever. It doesn't sound like a big deal,
but once you spend lots of time in the woods, you begin to realize how easily even tiny movements are spotted. Sometimes you spot a deer(or rabbit
etc) by the simple flicking of an ear. It's said that a deer has the vision of (approx) a human using 8x bino's. If I can pick up a flicking brown
ear with my humanvision, imagine what a deer or elk see's when you raise a hand to you face or turn your head quickly. Early on, I got busted time
and again because I made a small but sudden movement. Usually the deer that busted was never even seen by me until it was blowing and running away. I
can't count the times I cursed my carelessness in those early years.Actually, I still do it too often!
Depending on the terrain and landscape, stillhunting may or may not be effective. If the underbrush is heavy or there is a heavy leaflitter on the
forest floor, it is very challenging. I pick windy days to do this,and by moving only a step or two with a heavy gust of wind, you can make it work. I
killed a deer at 20 yards with my bow 2 years ago using this method.
A friend of mon who is far better at this than me uses and interesting technique. Realizing that moving through thick dry leaf litter cannot be
achieved quielty,he tryed something different. The area we hunted had lots of squirrels,and they make a distinctive sound as they forage for
food,quite different than a walking big game animal. He would mimick this sound by shuffling his feet thorugh the leaves in quick,short movements. He
would shuffle,pause,shuffleshuffle,pause, and so on. He was quite successful using this technique, but it takes lots of patience and concentration.
Another thing I learned from him was getting to my treestand in similar conditions. I used to sneal in as quielty as possible,but in those conditions
it still wasn't that quiet and it took a long time. So basically, you end up making a some noise(which a deer/elk/moose can hear for a looooong way)
for a prolonged period. He began experimenting with sprinting full bore to his stand. Noisy, but quick. Surprisingly, the deer showed up not long
after. Deer are spooky critters,and it's not unusual for them to suddenly streak through the woods,making all kinds of noise. They also settle down
quickly once the threat has passed. Therefore, it seems that the sounds of a quick run through the woods is not terribly upsetting to them,while the
sound of something slowly sneaking through the woods is more likley to make them wary/ Also, the sounds made by a biped like ourselves is distinctly
different than the sound of a qaudraped moving through the same area. It may be that when running, it sounds pretty much the same, just a bunch of
noise, so it doesn't sound so "human". Thats my theory anyway. It's something I'll only use when I have to travel hundred yards or so to my stand
or blind,and then get in position and get quiet.
Funnels are another key when hunting, and something I find more effective than watering holes. Of course the area's I hunt have plenty of water
sources,and in an arid area watering holes would no doubt be much more effective. For my area and others with ample water, funnels are great. Find any
spot where the cover narrows down to a kind of choke point. Often you'll find these at the transition between a woods and field,or two adjoining
woodlots. Animals like to keep to cover when they can, so these funnles will direct them to you if your set up there. A good funnel combined with
patience properly practiced will often lead to success!
Scouting is crucila if your unfamiliar with hunting or just with the area your hunting. If you can see the prey species of your choice out eating,
that's a big step in the right direction. Since I hunt primarily big game, I'm looking for deer,elk or moose out in farmers fields,in clear cuts,
seismic cuts and so on. Note the time. Next, I try to figure out where they go when it's time to get back to cover. Often they eat throughout the
night so this can be a challenge,as they are often bedded down by the time the sun comes up. One thing I'll do sometimes is let them see me at a
distance. Usually they'll run for cover,but if I'm not close they don't spook and scatter too much. I watch where they go,as this tells me where
they go to feel safe and hopefully where they are bedding. Once I know these two things, I can set my plan for ambush. I draw a little simple map of
the area and then monitor the prevailing winds in the area. Once I know where I want to be, I wait till the wind is in my favor and then make my move.
If the wind is going to be blowing from your back in your planned ambush spot,don't go. You can ruin a good spot by hunting it in the wrong wind
conditions. Once the deer bust you in a certain spot, they will often be wary of that same spot from then on. I've seen the same happen with
treestands. Contrary to popular belief,deer will look up! If you move and they bust you in your treestand,a mature deer will often give it a wide
I've ahd a great deal of success the last few years with a very simple method. I find my spot as outlined before,then I go in with a 5gal bucket with
lid,either wrapped in camo or painted dull green. I put a pad aon the lid to sit on,and I can put all sorts of gear and goodies inside. Once I find a
likely spot, I set down my bucket and take out my pruning shears. I clear out a little nook for me to sit,clipping any branches or little tree's that
will interfere with either my shot or drawing my bow. I set my bow on a holder to keep it upright,so minimal movement is needed to raise it. I try to
anticipate the area and direction the prey will come from. Then I look for a spot which the y game will pass where large trees or heavy brush will
block their view of me. If all goes well, I will draw my bow when they hit that spot. Hopefully, they will then pass in front of me shortly
thereafter,and I can take my shot!
As far as dressing game and taking care of the meat, there are a few options out there. However,there are several excellent youtube video's that show
it far better than I can explain it. Look for the gutless method of dressing game, and it should come up for you. It is the best method I have found
for someone who hunts alone or has to transport the meat some distance. No need to try and gut the animal and risk cutting into the intestines or
bladder,and you'll end up withe less waste weight to carry too. Anyway, I'll let someone else type for a bit,as I can get a bit carried away!