Can we talk about the last 100 yards?

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
So my skills continue to develop. I actually had time(irresponsible behavior) to archery hunt mule deer this fall. I made two trips of two days apiece, found a pile of deer, made numerous stalks, and had my feelings hurt by running an arrow through the brisket of a beautiful 4X4, finding it the next day, and watching it run away after stalking into 20 yards. :(
Over the last several years I have become a bit obsessed with mule deer. I have also been in nursing school for 22 months so my time to hunt has been limited. Very happy with my Fall so far. It could be better, but I have been within 100 yards of some amazing deer, and could easily have arrowed some smaller bucks. Finding deer and getting close isn't my problem, getting in tight is.
I would like to hear from more experienced spot and stalk hunters on how they handle the final stalk. That really tight zone from 100-60 yards is what I want to hear about.
Shoes?
Drop everything but a rangefinder?
When do you knock an arrow?
How do you deal with bedded deer?
I could go into detail about why I ask these questions, but if you have much experience you don't need to hear it.

Any insight is appreciated, Fatcamp.
 

Beendare

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
3,870
Location
In Traffic
I live for those stalks....though I wouldn't say I'm an expert by any means.

When you think your going slow...you have to go slower. When I get in a hurry is when I typically blow it.

Zero noise...socks, help with that.

Deer and elk can pattern your footsteps. When you hear a human walking vs a deer/ elk...you can tell the difference right?

It helps to know every single bush, tree, etc in between you and the quarry...and when glassing from a distance, pick a distinctive landmark you can get to for a shot. It always looks different when you get over there...and some areas are darn near impossible, for example...open sage. Some spots are more conducive to a stalk than others.

And some conditions are more conducive; Stalking a bedded buck in dry oak leaves is a lesson in futility. Pick your battles carefully.

Wind of course...they can smell you from 1/2 mile.

I love stalking hogs. Hogs have better eyesight than many give them credit but its their weakness Don't let them catch you moving. Of course they have a great sense of smell and excellent hearing. Still hogs are much easier to stalk on than deer...Hogs were made for bowhunters!

Its really common sense; only move when they have their head down, don't pattern your steps, use the wind and pick your battles wisely.

The good news is if you do everything right....many times they never knew what hit them....I've had hogs, Deer, Elk just stand there after the arrow blew through them. I've also missed shots [recurve-UGG] and had the animal look up quickly...in the other direction at the arrow....giving me time to knock another arrow and whack them.

About the most fun a guy can have with a bow is stalking on Hogs or Javalina...though those Javi's are some string jumpers.....

Just remember...sometimes those buggers will charge you....luckily deer don't do that.

..

....
 

Wellsdw

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
91
Location
Belews Creek NC
Wind. More the merrier. I don’t believe you can be quiet enough to beat them ears. But that wind seems to cover your noise. I’ve walked over rocks making all kinds of racket heading into scout elk, staring at them bedded and walked within 50 yards not trying to be quiet. It’s my belief wind is the equalizer. Granted it’s tough and you can’t always count on high winds. I try and time my stalks around when it will be the windiest
 
OP
F

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
One of my problems where I have been hunting is the way they bed. They stuff themselves down into some really tight holes that are impossible to glass. I think the wind tip might be key. Even if it takes a couple days, stalking them at first or last light while they are still up feeding in some wind might be my best bet.

My last night a couple weeks ago I got within 45 yards of two feeding bucks, a forkhorn and a really nice 2X3. The 2X3 was facing away and when I moved around to get above them they bedded. If I hadn't seen exactly where they laid down I never would have know they were there. Crawled to within 45 but got cold when the sun set behind the ridge, and when I went back for a coat they got up and it was all messed up. Ugh. Wind was at 15-20 that day, dropped to 0 when the sun dropped. It was a good opportunity. Should have stayed put.
 

Zspires94

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
48
Its really common sense; only move when they have their head down, don't pattern your steps, use the wind and pick your battles wisely.
To add to this, when their head is down make sure their eyes are covered. When a deer is “looking down” feeding they are actually still looking around as if their head is up. Their eyes rotate up in order to stay parallel with the ground so they can still spot a predator while feeding.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
F

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
All good advice so far.

I think footwear is a major point I could improve upon.

Also trying different method of carrying my rangefinder other than in the harness. Maybe just a loop of cord around my shoulder?

I really like the thoughts about picking my battles. That is solid.
 
OP
F

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
I think both are important.

I still have a tag and am trying to wrap my head around changing my speed and picking my battles. Lighter footwear and only carrying my rangefinder are a part of that.
Slow, light, efficient.
 

Ian Ketterman

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
75
Location
MO
I think both are important.

I still have a tag and am trying to wrap my head around changing my speed and picking my battles. Lighter footwear and only carrying my rangefinder are a part of that.
Slow, light, efficient.

I drop everything a hundred or 200 yards out. Put on some thickass socks and bring my rangefinder. Go slow.
 
OP
F

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
I've been watching South Cox videos on YouTube. That guy is a ninja.

Really liking the idea of dropping everything except how and rangefinder. Socks only scares me as we hunt in an area full of prickly pear. Guess that would really slow me down. :)
 

Ian Ketterman

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
75
Location
MO
I've been watching South Cox videos on YouTube. That guy is a ninja.

Really liking the idea of dropping everything except how and rangefinder. Socks only scares me as we hunt in an area full of prickly pear. Guess that would really slow me down. :)

I do Western Nebraska which is burrs and prickly pears galore. I wear 2 sets of big wool socks and watch like a hawk where my feet and hands go. Considered putting shoe soles between the socks.
 
OP
F

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
993
Location
Sodak
Maybe insoles pulled from footwear I put replacements in. Not a bad idea.

Hunt in a week. Better decide soon.
 

CApighunter

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
425
Alright, scenario for you guys. This was a stalk I blew on the archery opener here in CA. Watched him bed under the log on the tree line. Thick cover and a short ravine behind him. I had good wind blowing down hill and was able to close to 50 yards below him where I could only see the tips of his anters. Was planning on waiting for him to stand when the wind swirled and he blew out of there. Anything I should have done different? Pack and boots got dumped at 100ish yards away. F58B30BB-E0BD-4EBA-82D5-35A5D8FCB694.jpeg3FB61165-5C27-42E2-9FC7-50DE15C18F31.jpeg
 
Top