Fall marks the beginning of a new hunting season and the opportunity for spot and stalk hunting. If you're unfamiliar with this technique, it means to literally "spot" your prey before it sees you and "stalk" it until you can get a close enough shot.
Spot stalking is one of the most exciting forms of hunting and a great opportunity for new, inexperienced hunters to gain valuable skills. They're able to quickly learn how to judge an animal, gain knowledge of their habitat and learn their patterns, all while building core hunting skills.
Spot and stalk hunting can be very rewarding compared to sitting stationary in a tree stand or ground blind. You benefit from being on the same level as the prey which can result in an adrenaline rush. You also have the opportunity to explore the area and learn to read the various animal signs all around you.
Be prepared with good hiking shoes and properly fitted clothing so you do not get hung up in the brush. Also, use high quality binoculars and spotting scopes. Dusk and dawn hours show more animal activity than any other time of day and good binoculars will add brightness during these times, giving you an extra half hour of prime spotting time on both sides of the day.
The hunt always begins by seeking a vantage point where you are able to scan with your spotting scope or binoculars. When you find the animal you're hoping to tag, the stalk begins. As the animal is looking in the opposite direction or dropping its head to eat, make your way from cover to cover, using trees and bushes to hide your movements. Move slow and quietly. Rushing the stalk is a very common mistake amongst hunters. Here are some other ways to ensure a successful stalk.
- Full camouflage
- Stay below the brush line, even if that means belly crawling
- Move slowly
- It simply can't be said enough: slow way, way down.
- Make your steps precise. Always aware of where your target is, keep a close eye on where you are placing your feet. Step lightly but precisely.
- Walk heel-to-toe, which means step on your heel and roll your foot to the toe. This gradually transfers your body weight.
- One great trick is to shed your boots and stalk in your socks for the final approach.
- Reduce your odor by bathing as often as possible with unscented soaps and avoid any unnatural scents like after-shave, chewing gum, or insect repellant.
- Stay downwind of the animal. Test the wind continually using thread, down, talcum powder, fine dust, or a lighter. If the wind starts blowing the wrong way, back off and try again later.
These quick tips will help you have a successful spot and stalk hunt. For information about spot and stalk or other hunting techniques, or to schedule a hunt give us a call at 405-HOG-WILD.