View Full Version : pulley bows and stalking

November 15, 2009, 09:26 PM
A friend of a friend has gone"primitive" in his techniques for hunting whitetail - will only shoot a recurve using a "spot and stalk" technique. He gives us grief for shooting pulley bows. How on earth can you draw on a deer, hold the draw etc., without being seen? - hard enough from a treestand, How do you move on deer like that-other than usual considerations of wind,cover? I guess a lot is slow movement and anticipation of where they will be. He is even talking about ""napping" his own flint arrowheads.

Charles S
November 15, 2009, 09:36 PM
Sounds great... Have him walk to the lease. Tan the hide and make his own clothing. Make his own bow (Osage Orange trees work best) make his own shafts (dogwood and black locust work well) fletch his shafts and of course nap his arrow heads. Don't forget traditional knives are of course out... He needs to make his knives from either antlers or nap them from flint.

Once he fulfills all of those requirements then he is hunting traditionally.

Of course tradition would preclude returning to a house with central heat and air. Refrigeration is out of the question.

To answer the question, spot and stalk with a re-curve can be done. There are, however, much more productive methods to take game. If that is your interest than I am happy for you and will admire your skill and perseverance. I myself prefer a more modern bow.


November 15, 2009, 10:06 PM
the only way i have ever kill deer and elk is spot and stalk, with a bow or rifle, i dont have the attention span for stands :)

November 16, 2009, 11:40 AM
traditional archery is not a draw and hold situation. It is more like snap shooting. Think of it like throwing a baseball. If you are playing catch, you don't get out your range finder, cock your arm and hold it, then after careful consideration, let it go. You just look and throw - almost all in one motion.

Of course, that takes a lot of practice. I shot a 70# recurve for a lot of years, but I don't have the time anymore to keep in practice, so now shoot an Oneida Black Eagle.

Brian Pfleuger
November 16, 2009, 12:02 PM
A friend of a friend has gone"primitive" in his techniques for hunting whitetail - will only shoot a recurve using a "spot and stalk" technique. He gives us grief for shooting pulley bows.

Has your friend ever killed a whitetail deer this way?

I ask because, although it can be done, it is outside the skill level of 99.9% of hunters and shooters. Elk, well, maybe. Even they're tough, but it's a whole lot easier than whitetail. Elk just aren't as wary, generally.

Stalking to within recurve range of a mature whitetail deer is ridiculously difficult. Most hunters would have trouble stalking within easy rifle range.

November 16, 2009, 12:49 PM
I hunted blacktail deer for years with a recurve bow (Bear Kodiak 55 lb recurve, cedar arrows, broadheads, 31" draw), and even though it's difficult it's not impossible. Hunting in brushy areas, it's pretty straightforward, although not easy. You learn to move, learn to keep the wind in your face, learn to draw, anchor, and shoot all in a smooth, reflexive movement. When I moved to Nevada, I had to change tactics because there is little cover to use. Again, challenging but not impossible. But knapping your own braodheads and cutting/straightening/drying your own shafts is just too much (first time he swallows a shard or shivers a shaft and has to be operated on, he will likley quit the nonsense). I would tell him to get a life. Hunting is about harvesting game, not how you do it or what tools you use. There is no glory in using tools that were abandoned centuries ago in favor of more effective tools. And if thinks that's how the Indians hunted, tell him to do more research.

November 16, 2009, 12:59 PM
I have gotten within 30 yards of several deer. Usually it's in a open field with sage or scrub pine high enough that you can stay under it. Get an idea of which way the deer is moving and cut them off.

I would rather have a compound for this because you may be drawn for a while before the shot is available.

My hunting parter killed two deer with one shot doing this, with a bow.

I have gotten within 10 yards of a deer on the ground , but there was no way to draw without being detected.

Dr. A
November 16, 2009, 05:16 PM
I have spotted and stalked a few deer. I generally use a compound bow, but have used a recurve for the spot and stalk. I prefer them because of their ability to be drawn quickly. I'll be the first to admit I will take more game with a stand, but like the challenge of a stalk on occasion. That being said, the most common animal for me to get is a young inexperiened yearling I'm not wanting. For an experienced animal, the stand will certainly be more productive.

Spotting and stalking is something you learn. Drawing is usually only done behind the deer or when they have grown bored and looked away (as with younger animals.) It helps to be in a game rich area and to move very slowly in stocking feet.

November 16, 2009, 07:29 PM
Knapped flint broadheads may not be legal, either. Check state regs if going that route.

November 17, 2009, 01:01 AM
I just saw a show on the outdoor channel a couple of nights ago where Tred Barta shot a caribou using flint broadheads. Using a compound with carbon arrows and G5 broadheads is about as traditional as I get

November 17, 2009, 10:39 PM
I would think this style of hunting would be best in some kind of "ghillie suit", also stalking deer that are bedded, during high wind. And yes, he has killed deer, nothing of any size. I personally he is taking this too far however by compromising techniques and materials - meaning more wounded animals, not my cup of tea. Why not use a club? I also read that a flint edge can be sharper than surgical steel just very brittle. Those cavemen knew a good thing!

November 18, 2009, 12:32 PM
flint edge can be sharper than surgical steel

I know that to be true for obsidian, I would be surprised if it was true for flint. It also has to be done by someone who seriously knows what they are doing. Not only making the edges correctly, but keeping the balance so the point will shoot straight.

Ghille suits help for stationary camo - they do not magically mask movement, which is how most of us (OK, maybe just me) get busted.

November 18, 2009, 02:50 PM
Stalking, which some call still hunting, is a lost art. Hunting from elevated stands and ground blinds is much more productive for most of us, me included.

My family use to do a lot of still hunting for deer, w/ rifle and bow. Its not so much, "see a deer, now sneak up" as it it is move through known deer cover and one goes by in range.

I've killed exactly one deer from the ground w/ a bow, in thick cover, during severe high winds. It crossed a cow path as I was walking back to the truck.
I shed the stand and slipped down there and got a shot, which is contrary to the above but my story.

REcurve's are sufficient deer medicine, but the hunter needs to know his limitations. Range is greatly reduced. I cannot imagine flint heads being desirable over steel except for a stunt, and the deer deserves better than this. Many states require steel heads anyhow.

Watch some of the old Barry Wenzel bowhunting tapes, "Bowhuting October Whitetails, etc, a recurve/instinctive shooting can be deadly. Always wanted to, but could not practice enough to be efficient, and pulleys and sights make me a better shot w/ less practice. Also, I started having joint/tendon trouble from shooting year round.

All of this applies to whitetails, which is my only experience.

November 18, 2009, 05:07 PM
This is what I use, I like to become one with nature. :D


November 18, 2009, 05:24 PM
Where did you get it Eddie, Cabelas?

November 18, 2009, 05:46 PM
No actually I jumped Stanford mascot and took it.:D I just bedazzled it for extra cammo.:cool: