Jared has been featured on the Rok Blog before, and for good reason. He has been successful on a wide variety of species with all weapon types. Jared is back and this time giving us the low down on his favorite type of hunting: Spot and Stalk. Take it away Jared.
My favorite type of hunting tactic is definitely spot-and-stalk. This type of hunting pits your wits against that of your prey more than any other style of hunting.
Finding a high vantage point that offers various views of Lord’s creation is a must! You must have quality optics. This subject has been covered at length here on Rokslide, so be sure and visit our Optics page for more articles. I’ve chosen Vortex optics as I think they are a great optic. My personal binoculars are either a 10 or 12 power while my spotting scope is 20-60x80mm which allows me to see those very distant areas.
Glassing animals is not always the easiest to do. Animals that are lying out in the clear wide open are generally pretty easy to find but there are times when they remain hidden fairly well. At first look, it may seem that there is no game in the immediate area but usually that isn’t true. Glassing requires patience and persistence. You will need to look for something that doesn’t belong with its surroundings. Often times I have spotted a buck or bull by catching a glimpse of an antler because of the glare caused by the sun. Look for things like lines that do not blend, an antler tip sticking out from the brush, a leg from visible from under a tree, the outline of an animal’s back, etc.
When glassing I like to come up with a system. The areas I generally look at first are those areas that are obvious bedding areas. Areas that offer shade are very important for obvious reasons. I like to look at ledges, cliffs, rocks, anything that offers shade throughout the day. I have seen numerous mule deer simply move around a rock throughout the day to stay in the shade and keep cool.
If I am having trouble locating animals, I set up a grid and move through each area of that grid so I don’t miss anything. This will ensure that you cover all the terrain and will also yield more animals than if you were just glassing randomly across the terrain. When I get frustrated or my eyes get tired I take a quick break; stretch, grab a quick snack or drink and then get back at it. It is amazing how much this can help you re-focus.
After finding an animal of your liking, you need to decide if it is in a good situation to carry out a stalk. Things to consider are wind direction and thermals, terrain, the animal’s behavior, your capability, and the time of day. Many stalks require a lot of time and patience and you may not have that option. We will get into that later.
My next blog will touch on the stalking process and options for getting in close. If you have any thoughts or questions, post them up in the comments section below.
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