View Full Version : A miserable hunting day, but I wasn't suffering

December 6, 2011, 11:43 PM
Recently there have been some back and forth comments on styles of hunting and what constitutes "real hunting". Of the two opposing groups, one thinks that you need to do it the hard way or it isn't real hunting, and then there's the group I'm in where we hunt out of nice box blinds and feel no guilt about it. Well...today was dreary, 35 degrees, and had a 25 mph wind blowing right out of the North. I was in one of my box blinds, with the windows slid closed and the heater going and I was still freezing (though not miserable). I was sure thinking about all you really hard core hunters that might be out on an exposed ladder stand or sitting in the weeds, or God forbid...low crawling in the mud to look over a ridge. I remember the days that I used to be like that, and I wonder if I just got wussier or if I just got smarter. I'll go with smarter. And today, when I left the house to walk to the woods, my wife said "don't you DARE shoot a deer today". And she was right....:D

December 7, 2011, 01:06 AM
This is about as little decoration as I ever do with this Doublebull. I sit in a comfortable chair with a bottle propane heater. Black coat and hat and scratch where it itches. I have done my time in ladders and climbers. I just prefer this way now. I can sit in the blind from sun-up until noon with no problem. I would leave the climber or ladder by 10:30 most days. This keeps me in the woods longer. Just my choice.

December 7, 2011, 01:12 AM
While I enjoy hunting in the fields or woods where I have a full 360* view, when the weather is nasty, I don't have a problem sitting in a box blind to get out of the wind, rain or extreme cold.

December 7, 2011, 01:14 AM
I was sure thinking about all you really hard core hunters that might be out on an exposed ladder stand or sitting in the weeds, or God forbid...low crawling in the mud to look over a ridge. I remember the days that I used to be like that, and I wonder if I just got wussier or if I just got smarter. I'll go with smarter.

Although I am one of the sympathizers with the still hunting methods, I definitely prefer the way we do things out West: humping it through the mountains, trying to get into the animals*.

And, on the really cold, nasty, windy days... You would think that hauling yourself and your gear through those conditions, all over the mountains, would be miserable. But, it isn't. Getting the blood pumping can make a HUGE difference in how warm your feel.

I'll take the hard work and warm blood flow, over freezing in a comfortable chair. As I've said before... I've seen still hunting methods, and pursuit hunting methods. I respect both, but have my own preferences. :)

*(That's something some hunters from back East that I've been acquainted with can't seem to understand, either: We actually have to find the animals, and then figure out how to kill them. We can't just wait around, until they wander by. ;))

December 7, 2011, 01:57 AM
Our hunting groups are divided between the spot and stalk method vs sit and wait. The spot and stalk start at the top of the hills and work their way down the hills of northern Idaho. This group tagged 1 elk and 3 deer. The other group sits out above clear cuts at the top of the hills and sits and waits. They bagged 0 deer/elk. I guess this year at least, spot and stalk won out.

December 7, 2011, 05:25 AM
LOL, I took a pass this weekend, it was too cold. LOL

phil mcwilliam
December 7, 2011, 06:58 AM
To me there's nothing as good as stalking in the elements when out hunting. Rarely are you cold when moving & if you have the right gear its not that uncomfortable so long as your'e fit enough.
If I was out stalking on a cold morning with a 25 mph northerly wind, I'd be hiking the area(keeping warm) & looking for south facing valleys & areas where the deer would be hunkered down. I'd actually prefer it to be lightly raining to soften my stalk.
Of course I've had those days where you wished you hadn't left home, such as falling when crossing fast flowing rivers, sliding down a mountain slope thinking a shortcut but ending in a cliff, being caught out in blizzards & spending hours crawling through black-berry tunnels- but these are all good life experiences.
Im 47 years old & love being out hunting in the elements - plenty of time to sit in a comfortable chair at home in front of the TV/computer to reflect on adventures.

December 7, 2011, 09:11 AM
Sorry, DP

December 7, 2011, 09:20 AM
Can see where this ones going... I'll get my opine in early.

Have done a bit of both styles of hunting. Mostly here East but some out West with a few trips down South over the years.

If one wanted to choose either side and argue which style of hunting was more 'like real hunting', it wouldn't take much to trash the other side.

Due to different terrain and local hunting laws, see the logic/reasons for both styles and can say I enjoy both styles. Although, when I was younger, it was harder for me to sit still(and less hunters) so stalk hunting was preferred. Course, it was a bit more difficult here in Ohio. No rifle season, only 7 days shotgun(or pistol), 5 days BP with a long bow season. So when stalking your game during one of the gun seasons, my shot was limited to 100yds or less, and , due to the thickness of brush, usually a lot less. Bow season range would be 40yds. or less.
That was back some years ago when there was a lot less hunters. Today, here in most parts of Ohio, as a rule, after the first few hours of opening day of gun season, the deer are just running for their lives. No patterns to their travel. Hell, by the end of the week, your subject to walk out to your hunting blind and a deer will be inside hiding.

Knowing that the size of most privately owned tracts of land here in the East don't remotely compare the size of most farms out West, couple the make up of the smaller tracts of land with the amount of hunters, its not hard to understand why people living here East mostly stand hunt while many out West stalk hunt. Five guys hunting a 100 acre tract versus five guys hunting 1000 acre tract...Big difference!

Hasn't happened here yet, hopefully it won't... but it bothers me to hear people blasting others ethical style of hunting. Before it gets to that, if you must, can I ask that for those that do the bashing on the stalk hunting with a rifle out West or the stand hunting done here in the East...at least have experience in hunting in both places so you'll have a clue what you're talking about.

Sorry about the 'off topic' rant.

phil mcwilliams,

You would have had a field day here in Ohio opening two days of shotgun season. I think we got 2-3 inchs of rain in 48hrs. :D
I did get a chance to do some quiet stalking and the rain gear(although a bit noisy getting through the thickets) came in handy.

December 7, 2011, 09:41 AM
Bunch of silliness if you ask me. I have hunted the Rocky Mountains for decades, some in Canada, more in North Carolina, about every way you can conceive of to do it.

I like all of it myself.

December 7, 2011, 10:10 AM
Early in the season is more miserable for us, its hot and plenty of blood suckers out there. Of course its December and last Saturday evening I needed my bug tamer anyway.

Late season to me means changing tactics, deer know where the permanent stands are and when people are on the club and sitting in them. Seldom do you see a buck and rarely is it a mature one during daylight on one of those stands. I change up and head for the thickest, nasiest, swampiest area I can find. I also have a fall back I haven't hunted since September.

Case in point, last Saturday evening, I sat in a swampy area I had been setting up for hogs for the first time. Had the shotgun and buckshot and ended up seeing 12 deer, mostly does and small bucks but one nice one out of scattergun range. Only one other deer was seen that evening, a yearling.

Hog Buster
December 7, 2011, 11:11 AM
In over 60 years of deer hunting I never remember killing anything on a windy, cold, rainy, miserable day. Ducks yes, deer no. The last few days have been just plain nasty. All I hunted for was a warm, dry place. Found one too..... At home in the den.....

Brian Pfleuger
December 7, 2011, 11:26 AM
It doesn't seem to me that most hunters CHOOSE their hunting style.

Spot and Stalk is pretty limited if your hunting area is 10 or 20, even 50 acres. Even with 200 acres, if you've got 10 deer per square mile, you're probably better off waiting where you know they go than trying to find them out in the woods somewhere at any given moment.

If you've got 20,000 acres of wide open prairie to cover, sitting in a stand might be a good way to waste your life.

Anyway, in these parts, we choose stand hunting by default. Like I said, Spot and Stalk makes for a short day on 20 acres.

December 7, 2011, 12:15 PM
I just started this little chat because I was cold to the bone last evening and started thinking (and smiling) about you hard core hunting guys. For years I did hunt the hard way. I've dragged dead deer for half a mile in deep and half frozen Louisiana mud, and I've had to chip my backside out of ice that had frozen me to the seat in a metal ladder stand. That was a lot more fun (or maybe just more tolerable) when I was in my 20's and 30's. Anyway...I'm really glad that I'm still hunting and enjoying it, and I do hunt the ladder stands or the thickets when the weather isn't so darn bad. Today the weather is glorious, and I'll be in the woods (in a box blind) this afternoon. I hope ya'll get to hunt and I wish you luck.

December 7, 2011, 06:03 PM
As peetzakilla stated, spot and stalk is simply not an option when hunting smaller parcels of land, and especially in thick cover..
We have six guys hunting about 260 acres, if we all start moving around, we empty the deer into the neighbors land pretty fast. We don't have enclosed blinds or heaters, just small ground blinds built from branches and old pallets.

If I am out on a day when no one else is hunting, then I try a little still hunting. But I have an obligation to my hunting partners to not scare the deer off of their area if they are also hunting that day.

One of these years I may be able to get out west into the open country and do some real spot and stalk hunting.

And for the record, I've never had a miserable day hunting. Even when I was freezing my caboose off, or getting soaked to the bone in the rain. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever used "miserable" and "hunting" in the same sentence.;)

December 7, 2011, 11:51 PM
I'm old and falling apart so I walk a mile into our leased land on the tractor path (very hilly oak woods) up hills and down to get to my box blind and sit with my heater going, on my padded, rotating bar stool. We have 6 guys on 120 acres and you can't walk around without screwing up someone else's hunting. It's very relaxing. And my super heater with 25 gallon propane tank keeps it warm when it gets (some years) down to -20º F or even colder.... with a 25 mph wind. Here's some pics.... Wind was wrong this year but usually get or pass up a buck or two.

December 7, 2011, 11:56 PM
And a few more of my little "slice of Heaven" ......

December 8, 2011, 12:02 AM
I had some gif animations but can't make them work so never mind...:confused: Anyway here's the buck taken opening day about 100-150 yards from me by one of the guys..... I hunted Wyoming (near Devil's Tower) many years ago and "sat" on stand in the open (no blind). Got a decent muley right away the first morning. THEN I walked all over the land taking pictures LOL....

Hog Buster
December 8, 2011, 12:53 AM
Two things:

1) When you have briar bushes as big as the Louisiana Superdome everywhere, you don’t spot and stalk. The deer will hear you cussing the briars and will just laugh at you. While they can prance right thru them, you can’t. Use a tree stand, or stalk with a D-9 Caterpillar. And, don’t ever, ever kill one in the briars. It will turn out to be a rather memorable experience.

2) If you’ve never had a miserable day hunting, you haven’t hunted enough, it’s coming.

December 8, 2011, 01:01 PM
hogbuster, your comment on Lousiana briars brought back a memory. I'm all healed up now, but a year or two ago I saw a monster buck moving across a Louisiana right-of-way and I shot him just as he got to the northern edge. Hit him right in the heart, but he was one of those big old tough guys and he ran right into the big wall of briars and out the other side (50 yards of briars). I knew that he had gotten through because I could hear him splashing through the shallow slough on the other side of the briars. Then I heard him crash into the palmettos on the other side of the slough. Good news...he's down. Bad news...I know right where he is and that's bad - and the light is fading. I hate briars. I must've lost a pint of blood getting to him and getting him back to the road. Drag a while...recheck the compass...drag some more...recheck again...hope that last briar didn't hit an artery...drag some more. :D

Hog Buster
December 8, 2011, 03:39 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean. Last week I shot a doe for the freezer. Too far away for a head shot, so put one thru her vitals. She jumped about 4 feet high and I knew I was in trouble. Another hop and she was in the briars crashing around. We looked for her till dark thirty, then went home for a blood transfusion. Next morning, bright and early, we were back out looking. After another 2 hours of searching, by then a bloody mess in tattered clothes and running out of cuss words, we gave up.

A couple of days later, while checking my game camera, I noticed that the buzzards had found her. Not 30 yards from where I had shot her, in a briar bush that was two stories tall and covering as much area as a football field...... I overheard one buzzard tell another,” To hell with this, lets go kill something in the open.” and off they flew.

December 8, 2011, 05:15 PM
Maybe they make blaze orange (or camo?) LEATHER jackets and pants for you guys in Louisiana.... :D

December 8, 2011, 08:31 PM
Orange and black striped leathers???

Now theres a thought.

They would look like they played for the Cinncinatti Bengals. :eek::D