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View Full Version : Stand hunting not for me!


taylorce1
May 10, 2006, 09:42 PM
I thought long and hard about hunting from stands and blinds before I chose to voice my opinion. I come from an area where not much stand or blind hunting is done. I went to TX on my first hog hunt the the second week in April and hunted from elevated and ground blinds. It was my first time on a high fenced ranch as well, so I guess I bought what you would call a canned hunt.

I really do like fair chase much better this just seemed like feeding a domesticated animal for me to shoot. The feeder would go off and all the animals would just start walking out to feed, except the sheep which never strayed far from the feeders at all. I asked about stalking for pigs and the guide told me that they didn't allow much of that because they had a problem with a couple of hunters getting in the cross hairs. I asked if anyone had gotten hurt, and they replied that nobody died.

I did shoot two pigs on my hunt and had the opportunity to take more but decided not to. I had a good time and was well taken care of on the ranch, but it just seemed more like shooting than hunting. I don't fault anyone who hunts from a blind or stand overlooking a feeder, I guess it is just a different style of hunting.

Southern TX does seem to be a more target rich environment, I had never seen so many deer in my life on and off of the ranch. In Colorado we are only allowed one big game animal per tag and there are a lot fewer animals to pick from so I tend to shoot the first animal I get the opportunity on. I can see where hunting from the blind would be an exercise in patience for me.

I would like to hunt some more pigs but in more of a style of hunt that I'm used to. I want to get down and crawl thought the brush and get within 50-100 yds before I take the shot during the day. Then when we went out at night to spotlight I wouldn't mind hunting from the blind at a trail or water hole, if it was a full moon I would probably still try the stalk.

I realize that the area you hunt in does dictate how you hunt. Just wanting some other hunters opinions on this hunting style. Which way do you prefer?

rnovi
May 10, 2006, 11:43 PM
Depends on why I'm hunting.

April 2007 I'm going to Texas to fill the freezer with 700#+ of hog meat. We do an annual family sausage making party and last year went through over 600# of hog, 100# of deer, and other meats. That's meat hunting and my goal is to whack a number of good, tasty hogs as quickly as possible in a week. Time is limited and I have a purpose for doing so.

Deer hunting? Free chase, all the way. It's far more enjoyable and there is a much greater sense of accomplishment in it. Plus, I'd much rather tromp around the wilderness than sit in a blind.

When I'm old and gray, sitting in a blind may be the only way I get to enjoy hunting though. I hope to have enough memories by then to not care.

gunslinger1911ACP
May 11, 2006, 08:36 AM
A good friend of mine has a 1200 acre ranch in South Texas (Carrizo Springs). He has to nearly beg his friends to make the 4 1/2 drive from Houston to take deer because they multiply like rabbits. Ditto for ferrel hogs. I was fortunate enough to fill three of my five annual tags last season. I don't know about other states, but Texas appears to be over-run with whitetail. Driving along I-10 between Houston and Ft. Stockton, I counted over 40 road-kill deer the week of Thanksgiving. Most of those were around Ozona. Shooting from a stand is a common practice here, and generally offers the hunter a greater number of potential shots. In the areas I've hunted, there are large flat dry fields, with moderate cover. I would imagine if I tried stalking around them, the deer would get spooked and split.

Wild Bill Bucks
May 11, 2006, 09:16 AM
When I was a young man, I used to stalk everything I hunted. I was successful most of the time and enjoyed it very much, but I was truly stalking, not just walking around through the woods with my rifle over my shoulder, hoping to spook something up, and try to get a quick shot.
After I reached about 45 years old, my knees give me to much trouble to be able to stalk very much, so I am pretty much stuck in a stand now days.
Either way is a good way to hunt, and is mostly a personal choice.

I will say that if you are stalking, and your not moving veeerrrryyy slowly, with your rifle at the ready, you are probably a bigger pain in the tail to other hunters around you than anything else.
I have had more than a few, so called hunters, clobbering through my hunting area, talking to each other, rifle on their shoulders, busting brush, and making more noise than a 5year old at a candy store. This is a real bummer, when you have taken the extra time and effort to get in your stand as quietly as possible, leaving as little scent as possible, and have sat on a numb butt for several hours to get a shot, and have on of these guys come stomping through. Heaven forbid if something jumps up, because it will sound like WWIII when they start shooting at a running deer.

I have no problem with a guy who is truly stalking game coming through my area,causing little noise and disruption, as he will stalk through in a little while and be away from me.

Just make sure when you stalk to keep this in mind.;)

Art Eatman
May 11, 2006, 09:45 AM
I was always a walking/stalking hunter, until my back and legs started getting old. We always had plenty of open territory, though, so someone like Wild Bill would never be bothered.

Some areas, you sit in some elevated spot--tree, man-made tower or on a bluff or hillside, or you won't see a deer. The brush can be way too thick.

Even on a walking-country ranch, I've seen thickets of mesquite, catclaw, cactus and blackthorn that are too thick to get through except by crawling--if you're stupid enough to do that. :) A stand, "Or else--no deer".

Some forms of hunting are more soul-satisfying, but there is no moral difference between styles. The way you hunt is dictated by the geography and vegetation--and the landowner. :)

Choices...

Art

Desertfox
May 11, 2006, 12:02 PM
Nice replys by the experts. I agree with the most of the above comments. I have been on stand too many times to mention when a self-proclaimed stalk hunter comes stomping thru with his gun on his shoulder.
I hunt in public access areas alot. I get on stand before daybreak whenever possible. I go as far away from the access point as possible and still be in a good hunting area. I hang a few orange ribbon tape markers on the trails around my stand to let "Stalk hunters" know I am in the climbing stand a few yards away.
If you stalk hunt, be aware of the other hunters in the woods who may be in a stand. Just because you don't choose to stand hunt, be kind enough to share the hunting area.
Try a climbing stand and a little scent control and you will be amazed at the increase in your success both in numbers and maturity of game. Motion is the easiest way to get caught by deer. Leaving a stink trail is number 2.

FirstFreedom
May 11, 2006, 12:34 PM
Desert, what kind of trees do your climbing stands work in? Mostly pine I would guess? Cuz where I hunt, it's mostly all oak, and they don't work for climbing stands. In the bottoms cottonwoods work though.

Also, have you ever tried using a horse or mule to get farther back in on the public lands?

And what all steps do you take for scent control?

taylorce1
May 11, 2006, 01:07 PM
Thanks for the replies. I like the stalk as I've said before, and I've had hunters chase off animals for me as well. Here in CO if you are hunting any season except bow you have to wear orange and it helps me in locating other hunters so I can stay out of their areas. Tree stands don't work where I hunt, there are not many trees in rolling sand hills and sage country to use a stand on.

The most I've ever been pi$$ed off by another hunter was during Pronghorn season two years ago. I had been crawling and duck walking for over an hour to get withing 500 yds of a buck and his doe. This A$$hole drives up and leans across the hood of his truck and shoots at the buck and misses. This guy didn't even attemp to get off the road before he took his shot. This type of situation is happening more and more where I hunt Pronghorns, most of it is private land and people are just shooting and dragging the animal off before the landowner catches them. The problem with road hunters is they are to lazy to ask permission to hunt, most of the landowners I know will let you hunt if you ask.

With the drought the last 5 years and bumper crops of new Pronghorns the landowners would like to see the herds thinned a bit. The Ranchers and Farmers have to reduce the number of cattle that they can produce each year because of the drought but we can't get DOW to increase the tags on Pronghorns to reduce their numbers. Most landowners would like to see every hunters tag filled but only if they ask permission to hunt first.

Wild Bill Bucks
May 11, 2006, 01:23 PM
Good point Taylor,
you should always get permission from land owners if you are going to hunt on his property. I'm from the same country that First Freedom is,lots of Oak
and Hickory, so most tree stands have to be put up prior to hunting.

Having other hunters in my area doesn't make me mad as much as it makes me nervous. It makes you have to really think a shot through before you take it, and sometimes, you don't have long to take an available shot.

Say Art, I just looked Terlingua up on my Google Earth. You are DIFFENITLEY out there in some wide open country. It would be neat to have a place that wide open to practice shooting. Doesn't look like there are to many trees out there, but sure have some good looking canyons.

Art Eatman
May 11, 2006, 09:07 PM
wild Bill, my house is right in the center of

http://www.google.com/maps?q=terlingua,+texas&ll=29.356014,-103.590131&spn=0.006672,0.012802&t=k&hl=en

My nearest neighbor is some 300 yards to the east. After that, all neighbors are the other side of Terlingua Creek.

Fun playground.

:), Art

DobermansDoItGoofy
May 11, 2006, 10:37 PM
It depends on the stand ie. if it's a nice stand strategically located in a spot I've already checked out...where I anticipate a respectable buck will appear - well, I like it, especially if the stand is cutting the wind chill and allows me to scan the area thoroughly... On the other if the 'stand' is just a commercial tower above a 'feeding station' where the bucks are basically on a commercialized schedule to appear...and the 'no kill no pay' builders of the 'stand' are in constant radio contact to ensure that my buck is on its way...then it gets a bit outrageous. It's the difference between 'predicting where the deer will show and using a stand to take advantage' and 'baiting a commercial herd of deer'. There are stands and there are stands... I do like the feeling of seeing the deer out in the field at sunrise as the fog clears...
but I prefer the field and the deer and the stand to be wild!!! :cool:

oldbillthundercheif
May 11, 2006, 11:59 PM
They seriously set you up next to a feeder? That's just wrong if they were selling you a "hunt". I have some buddies in the midwest that plant "feed plots" to build up their deer quality, and even that seems a little wrong when the whole region is overpopulated with deer to begin with. They just have some weird fetish for huge antlers, I guess. I prefer to shoot animals because they are tastey.

rnovi, you seriously make 700 lbs. of boar-sausage every year? I am impressed. Can I file an application to become part of your family, or do you have to be born into it?

rnovi
May 12, 2006, 12:43 AM
Last year was 700#. Year before was some 650#. I'm betting that within in the next couple years the figure is going to be well over 1k.

We get around 25-40 people or so - everyone pitches in for the work. Big assembly line with some people cubing the meat, someone else feeding the mixer, someone else on the grinder (which has something like a 5 horse industrial motor on it...sick engineers I tell ya.) and ultimately two or three presses to fill the casings.

Funny part is, we're out of sausage within 6 months...

DobermansDoItGoofy
May 12, 2006, 09:55 PM
I exaggerate a bit ie. I wasn't exactly set above a feeder - but some sites with stands had too much of a 'harvesting' feel rather than a 'hunting' feel... felt more like a golf outing than a hunting outing... Hunting is a bit like church ie. it can be an experience where there's lots of people(too many people)showing off their wardrobes and new automobiles...or it can be a more private and communal/quiet experience. I was recently in London and passed by the Holland&Holland shop... There's something about $150,000 double rifles and $2000 safari wardrobes that boggles my mind; to me that's not 'hunting' - that's more along the lines of highly ritualized animal sacrifice... In the US I know folks who make a good living building deer plots - sometimes it's a very good thing, but sometimes it borders on baiting.
I don't mind a stand - and in fact I welcome it - if it's a place I've staked out and it's far off the beaten trail in a place where I am actually hunting. :rolleyes:

kingudaroad
May 22, 2006, 12:56 PM
I hunted a ranch in South Texas in January after the regular season was over.We had 53 tags issued by tpwd for land management.Five of us shot 13 deer the first morning.In all we shot 38 deer by the end of the weekend. All does and spikes. I must have seen over a hundred different deer. The meat is great!

Hunting is a priveledge regardless of stalk, stand, whatever. So much of it is dictated rather than chosen. If given a choice to hunt out of a blind or not hunt at all, show me where the blind is.

Mannlicher
May 22, 2006, 07:09 PM
as some others have said, I still hunt, or stand hunt depending on what game I am after, when during the season, what the terrain is where I am hunting, and other factors.
At heart, I will always be a stalker/ still hunter though. I don't always feel I am 'hunting' when sitting in a tree.

Desertfox
May 23, 2006, 04:55 AM
FirstFreedom,
To reply, I use my climbing stand in many different ways. I hung my climber on a Mesquite tree in San Angelo and my feet were 4 feet off the ground. Shot a nice buck first morning with a bow at 32 yards.
I climbed up a Cottonwood tree with the noisy fall leaves dancing in a slight breeze 25 feet above the trail below.
I climb oak trees quite a bit due to the fact that they put them oak trees right above the acorns on the ground. I have to adjust when I get up in the tree due to the narrowing of many oak trees from base to first branch.
The versatility of the climbing stand I carry is why I carry it. The comfort is the other reason. I can sit for hours in comfort with no back pain or legs going to sleep.
I have used a horse to get deep into a hunting woods once. I was so worried about the horse, I couldn't relax. My own problem I guess.
As far as scent control, I am a lunatic.
I shower with scent eliminating body soap. I dry off with a towel that was washed in scent eliminating detergent. I put on underwear and sox washed in the same. I put on coveralls. I drive to the deer woods. I get out of my truck and take my scent free clothes out of my scent free bag. I get dressed in the field and I put on my rubber boots. Spray from head to toe with scent killer. I put on my leafy suit and spray again. I take my vanilla extract out and swirl it around in my mouth to mask mouth odor. I am now ready to go hunting. I spray my bow and quiver with scent killer if it is archery.
I have had great success being as scent free as possible and being as still for as long as possible.
Told ya, I am a lunatic about scent control.

Wild Bill Bucks
June 6, 2006, 09:41 AM
I shower with scent eliminating body soap. I dry off with a towel that was washed in scent eliminating detergent. I put on underwear and sox washed in the same. I put on coveralls. I drive to the deer woods. I get out of my truck and take my scent free clothes out of my scent free bag. I get dressed in the field and I put on my rubber boots. Spray from head to toe with scent killer. I put on my leafy suit and spray again. I take my vanilla extract out and swirl it around in my mouth to mask mouth odor. I am now ready to go hunting. I spray my bow and quiver with scent killer if it is archery.
I have had great success being as scent free as possible and being as still for as long as possible.
Told ya, I am a lunatic about scent control.
__________________

Did that for years, right before I smoked my first cigarette.:D

I kill just as many deer now, as I did then, but I do play the wind a WHOLE lot.

I spent a lot of money on all the scent products and finally figured out, that it has more to do with playing the wind than anything else.
I still use some products for my boots and stand area, but not nearly as anal about it as I used to be.:D

22-rimfire
June 6, 2006, 09:13 PM
I like having hunters walk around during the day. It tends to move the deer a bit... right to me.

I am not crazy about tree stands. I sometimes get sleepy hunting and falling out of a tree stand is not an option. I will sacrifice a chance at any deer not to risk being injured. A deer isn't worth be paralyzed or risking a back injury. Now, a really big stand.... may consider that. But I would still have one of those uncomfortable harnesses on.

Eghad
June 6, 2006, 11:02 PM
I've seen thickets of mesquite, catclaw, cactus and blackthorn

what we call a wait a minute bush if you try to go in em.

because...

wait a minute Im hung up..lol

swampdog
June 8, 2006, 07:49 PM
I stand hunt and still hunt. Of the two methods, I guess I get more "satisfaction" from still hunting, but the deer I've killed from stands taste just as good. Which method I choose on any given day depends on where I'm hunting, who I'm hunting with, if anyone, weather and just how I happen to feel that day.

I agree with another poster who mentioned using other hunters to move deer to him. I usually stand hunt on public land. It's also safer. If I want to still hunt public land, I either go way back, real early or hunt during the week.

I have a climbing stand and 2 strap on stands. If I take the climber, I have a definite tree I'm headed to. My 2 strap ons have "hung around" the same cutover for the past 3 seasons.

Even when I still hunt I usually have 8 to 12 screw in, lag type steps with me. I've shot quite a few deer sitting on a limb 20' foot up in a tree I just happened to like. It's not the most comfortable method but the tree steps are much more portable than a climbing stand. I've rigged fairly comfortable "seats" out of body harness webbing in the forks of trees. I'm careful to always tie off, too. This is definitely not the safest method. Lately I've been using this method more and more and leaving the climber at home.
I saw a Trophyline "Tree Saddle" at Outdoor World the other day. It looks like it would fit right into my style of hunting. Has anyone here tried one?

The older I get the more I still hunt. I might have the steps in my bag, but many days, that's where they stay. There's something about ghosting through the woods and taking an unaware deer at close range. Your standing there at 30 or 40 feet and the deer's still eating. You know you did something right. That's why they invented a lever action .35, aint it?