DaveTOctober 15, 2009 at 6:45 pmPost count: 32
Hello all and I have started hunting allot this year on the ground. I do not care to use pop ups very much so have been building natural blinds. I hunt allot of public land and have found this to be a great way to get in deep and hunt without having to take a treestand in and back out.
I have read G. Fred’s book a number of times and this book actually got started on this path. I would like to hear any experiences or tips re: whitetails that you might want to share. Any other groundpounders out there?
I did hunt a couple times last year and missed my first shot last year from the ground from a natural blind. That got me hooked!
Danny KleeOctober 15, 2009 at 9:17 pmPost count: 90
I like hunting from the gorund too. In 1979 I fell from a warehouse at 45 feet and broke my back in four places. Today my back doesn’t bother be but 2 days before it rains my hips are quite painful from arthritis. Yeah I know, I’m lucky to be alive but in any event, I was hunting from a friend’s tree stand and the wind was blowing and the tree kept moving from front to back and side to side…talk about being white knuckled! I was to nervouse and didn’t have a good time so back on the ground I am.
I have a pop up blind from which I have seen a few white tails pass by but nothing to shoot at. Then my archery coach put me in a natural blind in a good ambush spot. I have seen quite a few deer but the problem is that my shooting lanes are poor from that spot. I need to down a few saplings. There are just to many of them and I don’t feel I can get off a good enough shot. But I’m like you…I am hooked on ground hunting, as a matter of fact I am about to go out right after I finish here. Wish me luck!
kingwouldbeMemberOctober 16, 2009 at 4:57 pmPost count: 244
Dave T, I don’t hunt whitetails, but I do 99% of my hunting on the ground, most of it spot and stock or still hunting.
There are a few “must”
#1 Move slow, move as slow as you can…… then cut that in half.
#2 You must see the deer first… so, if your looking at your feet your already busted.
#3 Only bears can move through the forest with out making noise, so…. you must learn to make noise that sounds like another animal, I try and sound like a deer moving through, I use bears feet to move quietly.
DaveTOctober 16, 2009 at 6:36 pmPost count: 32
I don’t think you can hit them any better than that!!
I have done allot of ground hunting for hogs and gotten a few this way. Also shot my first bear this year from the ground. I just always was programmed to think whitetail=treestand so I have not done a bunch of whitetail ground hunting until recently.
I did go this AM and saw nothing and going to be going all weekend so hopefully I will have a good tale to tell. I also just go a new Niff T Seat today so very excited to try it out. Thanks for the tips so far!
MontanaFordOctober 17, 2009 at 3:49 amPost count: 450
I’m not a big fan of elevated blinds of any type…treestands, “tree houses”, etc…Not my thing. I grew up hunting on the ground, and, although I’m not particularly quiet or stealthy, I still prefer it to being up in the air. Falling doesn’t hurt. The sudden STOP at the end does.
p.s. King…Nice buck.
David PetersenMemberOctober 17, 2009 at 3:14 pmPost count: 2749
One more vote to feet on the ground. I’ve never fallen off a tall building or out of a tree, but I did fly helicopters for a few years and am so thankful to have survived those bolt-buckets that I don’t push my luck with gravity any more than I have to these days. What I call brush blinds are a specialty with me. This elk season (month) I built 5 new ones and averaged 15 minutes each. For elk you just don’t need that much — shade overhead, brush or limbs behind to break up outline, and that’s about it, depending on level of comfort you want. Deer are more challenging for sure, but I’ve head great luck with very simple brush blinds even with Coues bucks, and they don’t come any more jumpy than that. I always carry some garden scissors, aka hand pruners, and a bit of kite string. Also a folding saw with a bone blade and a wood blade for trimming overhead limbs, etc. Usually I’m able to use the brush and limbs etc. I trim to clear a shooting lane to “build” my blind. Knee high in front is plenty. A piece of foam pad to sit on really facilitates makesshift blinds almost anywhere. I really enjoy the process of building these things and would never consider buying a hauling, sitting up and taking down, a commercial blind. Those things also absorb human odors and won’t fit in the really tight shady nooks that make the best locations. A tree stand ties you down too much, unless you put up half a dozen as a friend does. Very productive but too much money and work involves. My 2 scents. dave
HiramOctober 20, 2009 at 5:23 amPost count: 484
Yep I bought a blind and carried out once. No more! Sold it the next day. I’m tiring of the the tree stand thing also. The work spent and the logistics all add up to a lot of time scouting and hunting. I like to look at a topo and plot a course based on the wind and travel routes. Walk and sit, take my time, and use my Binos to see ahead before I move. I try to choose a large tree to stop behind. If I sit, I clear a standing spot for my feet. I try to stay above if possible. and always out of the line of sight. I limit movements while sitting and always have an arrow loose from the quiver. I keep my face covered and have silenced my Bow from tings and clicks. Pick a Day Pack that has silent straps when moving my shoulders. When the leaves fall and turn to Corn flakes, I walk to a single destination and set-up for the hunt in a blind described by Dave. I build mine a little higher though. These whitetails are really wary. I practice shooting from my knees alot.
RogueOctober 20, 2009 at 6:39 amPost count: 84
I bought a pop up blind for hunting speed goats, sat in it for two days and gave it to the kids to play in. Though I have not hunted whitetails I believe that if you look around about 3 times as much as you move it helps alot. In a natural blind make sure that your comfortable it limits movement.
The kite string is a great idea I will be adding that to my pack in the morning.
DaveTOctober 20, 2009 at 3:16 pmPost count: 32
Well….it’s been allot of fun so far. A real learning experience. I am hunting some fairly pressured deer on a local management area but have had a couple of good encounters this past weekend. Had a doe come into to feed on an oak flat but the wind was swirling a bit and I think she knew something was up. She was real nervous coming in as it was a real windy day. She looked my way and stared. While I don’t think she actually saw me she acted nervous and just walked the other way. This blind is my least favorite because of poor back cover so need to work on it more. She also walked in a way where she was staring right at me so that didn’t help.
The next evening had a small buck come into another blind right at dark. This is a good blind and has good back cover. He came in and looked in the general direction of the blind but then ignored it. He was not feeding and just moving through. Then I learned a good lesson. As he hit my final lane at 25 yards I bleated with my mouth to stop him. He stopped and I shot. It would have been perfect if he would have been standing there when the arrow got there! Since I stopped him he was alerted and staring in my direction. On the shot he ducked the shot and was gone. Ground Lesson #1: Do not shoot at an alerted deer or one staring in your direction. From a tree they cannot see the shot as well due to the angle but from the ground they can. At least at this distance they have enough time to get out of the way.
I am getting more comfortable now after the encounters and more confident as well. I think this might be the most important part of it all….you have to be confident. I do think that for my area I probably need to go ahead and really build up the blinds so I can just peek and shoot over it. Especially since I am in a feeding area and they can come in from any direction. Also I bring some gardening twine to tie up the blind when needed.
There is definately allot to learn which can only be learned by getting out there and making some of the common mistakes but I have found everyone’s tips very valuable.
SteertalkerOctober 20, 2009 at 6:36 pmPost count: 83
I’m assuming from your question that you are refering to hunting from a ground blind more so than still hunting. As far as still hunting, King summed it up pretty well.
I do all of my whitetail hunting in W. Texas where ground blinds or still hunting are the norm. When it comes to ground blinds I always try to situate them where they are in a crosswind position and depending on whether it will be a morning spot or evening spot I always situate the blind so that the sun is behind me and in the deers eyes whenever they look my way. Also, the more enclosed you can make the blind and blended with the natural vegetation the better off you will be.
Ed AshbyMemberOctober 20, 2009 at 9:53 pmPost count: 816
Stalking, all forms of it, are as good as hunting can get. Move S … L … O … W … L … Y; learn to ‘pussyfoot”; watch the wind; stay alert; THINK like a predator; resist the urge to shoot until the animal is well within your personal “zone” (that set of ranges where you hardly ever miss a shot). If you’re old, all busted up, can’t bend, creep and crawl any longer, and where safe to use, Gillie suits are a fantastic stalking aid.
DaveTOctober 20, 2009 at 11:21 pmPost count: 32
Brett…thanks for the tips. Dr. Ashby….I can’t argue with that and I will have to say still hunting for hogs and bears might just be my favorite thing to do. I actually got my first black bear this year while still hunting so I am hooked for sure!
I have not done allot of still hunting for whitetails so my original post is more natural ground blind related. However I sure won’t pass up the chance if in the right circumstances! I had a Ghillie along time ago and man was it ever hot…at least down in Georgia. It was a homemade kit but it was neat. I would be interested in getting one again at some point at least for my head or upper body. I did find it hard to shoot my bow with one on though.
Ed AshbyMemberOctober 20, 2009 at 11:38 pmPost count: 816
Dave, those are 2 of my most favorite animals to hunt. No doubt that pigs are numro uno for me. The animal I’d most like to take in all the world is the Giant Forrest Hog. Had a hunt lined up with some French bowhunting friends in the Ivory Coast, but 2 weeks before I was supposed to go the IC had the first of its last 5 govenrment overthrows! My friends had to flee the country.
I’ve always built up my own Gillie suits; done as a pancho on open netting. Not too hot if you wear shorts and tee shirt underneath. When it was really hot (but in a drier climate than Georgia) I’ve been know to soak my Gillie suit in water. Makes a pretty good evaporative cooler!
Where in Georgia do you live? I occasionally visit friends near LaGrange. HGope to do so again around Christmas, assuming I’m finished with the radiation treatments by then.
DaveTOctober 21, 2009 at 1:24 amPost count: 32
Dr. Ashby…..good idea on the Ghillie. Hunting the Ivory Coast sounds exotic :shock:! Nothing like the possibility of a coup d’état to add some excitement. I live in North GA (Canton) a couple hours or so northeast from the LaGrange area.
Take care and wishing you a speedy recovery on your radiation treatments.
William WarrenMemberOctober 27, 2009 at 2:28 amPost count: 1384
I hunted from portable stands for years and always harvested deer from them. It is just in the placement that makes the difference. But the older I got the less I wanted to go to all the trouble and now I hunt exclusively from the ground, often with no blind. I like to stalk my blind on my way to it and many opportunities have come before I ever got to my blind. I’ve crossed paths with so many deer just slipping around but unfortunately there are not many places you can do that anymore without fear of meeting other hunters and disturbing their hunt or worse. Once gun season starts it is pretty much over for the stalking. Your actually safer in a treestand.
Another ground technique is rattling. I have killed 2 bucks by rattling them into range. There is nothing more exciting. You have to pay attention and it is best if you can see the buck beforehand and be ready. You can put the antlers down and use a grunt tube to bring him on in.
rayborbonOctober 27, 2009 at 2:51 amPost count: 298
Whitetails are sneaky critters. Damn quiet too.
I’d still hunt them and or try to ambush them traveling to and from food sources. I have yet to take a whitetail but I did get a shot off last year with my bow. Too far away.
I agree that you should wait until they are within your “will not miss” range. Then you’ll be set.
The hardest time will be when the ground is frozen and loud. I see no remedy for this problem.
PatrickMemberOctober 27, 2009 at 2:28 pmPost count: 1148
rayborbon wrote: Whitetails are sneaky critters. Damn quiet too.
Sure are. Although my son has hunted with me numerous times, this is his first year hunting. He didn’t realize, until HE started hunting, that those really loud animals he usually hears are typically little those “pesky” little squirrels, and not deer. He was shocked at how quiet deer are when they come in. Some things you only learn from experience. LOL
BertOctober 27, 2009 at 2:45 pmPost count: 164
It is not true out here in the Pacific NW that we ground hunt wearing wetsuits and shooting fiberglass fisharrows at the local blacktails- most of the time!
Serious tool for everthing woodsy is a Gerber/Fiskar brush axe- best 40 bucks I spent after falling in a blackberry patch on a hillside and laboriously macheting my way out with a 4″ hunting knife- could have been worse- we have lovely plants up here called “Devil’s Club” that are murderously thorny. Elk run right through them and even eat certain parts- don’t ask me!
kingwouldbeMemberOctober 27, 2009 at 6:53 pmPost count: 244
HalfaHun wrote: It is not true out here in the Pacific NW that we ground hunt wearing wetsuits and shooting fiberglass fisharrows at the local blacktails- most of the time!
Are you sure, sounds like an episode of SEE HUNT LOL
I been there, pretty wet my friend.
Chris SheltonOctober 28, 2009 at 12:09 amPost count: 679
Patrick wrote: He didn’t realize, until HE started hunting, that those really loud animals he usually hears are typically little those “pesky” little squirrels, and not deer.
what about those noisy chipmunks!!! When hunting squirrels I think a big old fox squirrel or something is coming and it is a tiny little chipmunk, lol.
Anyway, I have hunted exclusively from the ground untill this year, tree stands have there benifits no dought, but there is nothing like getting close on the ground, getting close in a tree is almost definant. But getting within the animals proximity on there own terf is almost magical.
When I was 15 years old, I took my first steps into the deep woods that cover the steep mountains of western Maryland, chasing grouse and squirrels!! That first day into the woods as a traditional archer turned out to be my first traditional bow harvest! Old whitetail buck from the ground at 22 yards, perfect quartering away shot. If a noisy 15 year old boy can do it, you can surely do it. Hope to seal the deal again this year. Public land is always undefiant, never a garentee. Here is a picture, I dont have that crazy hair anymore, lol!
bogmonster243October 31, 2009 at 2:04 amPost count: 2
Lots of good advice here. My personal gear is a three-legged folding stool, a handful of plastic zip-ties, pruning shears and a small folding saw. I generally try to locate a deadfall for a ground blind because they usually don’t require alot of work to blind in. I am a firm believer that ground hunting is by far the most exciting and possibly most effective manner of bowhunting. Once you are proficient at it, I think you can pretty much hunt anything. My experience is limited to public land whitetails, but they are some incredibley nervous critters. One tip, instead of trying to grunt at a deer to stop it, hang a scent wick of your favorite brand a few feet upwind of the trail in your shooting lane. Alot of times this can result in a nice quartering away shot.
Good luck and wishing a speedy recovery to Dr.Ashby.
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