14 replies [Last post]
exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Preferred hunting methods and unexpected surprises

Just curious how everyone prefers to hunt and whether they feel competent or uncomfortable when terrain or other conditions forces you to hunt in a manner outside of your preffered methods.

For instance, how many of you guys show up thinking you're going to spot and stalk, but end up having to still hunt in big timber?  Or have you ever planned on hiking in to the roughest country, only to spend most of your time driving around and occasionally getting out and glassing?  How has your gear changed from when you first started hunting the Rockies?

Any other unexpected surprises that you fail to plan for?  


numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Great question! My prefered

Great question! My prefered hunting methods are spot and stalk and still hunting. I have on several hunts planned to spot and stalk only to be forced into still hunting due to other hunters in the  area(s) i wanted to hunt. The only style i struggle with is stand hunting, I have done it when factors make me, but i stuggle with sitting still for hours, thats probaly why i got a hunting blind to hide my movements. With my gear, I bring to camp whatever i think I'll need for the hunt like blind, binos, gps,  rangefinder and what ever weapon and ammo I'll need, then only take into the field what i need, for spot and stalk and still hunting my gear is the same. As far as unexpeted factors, I plan for the worst and hope for the best, i run possible situations through my mind and plan for as many as i can, the only ones that dampen my hunts are vehicle breakdowns cause I'm spending time fixing the problem instead of being in the woods hunting, I'm curious to see what others say.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4275
For me where I hunt is

For me where I hunt is usually dictated by what I am hunting with.  If I am packing my rifle I try and stay out of the dark timber and try and find myself a nice high vantage point to where I can see what is on the other hills and then I'll try the spot and stalk method.  Either that or if I am in a canyon that I can shoot across I'll just find myself a nice spot with a good view of the other side and then just sit and wait the animals out.  Now if I am packing my pistol I'll head for the dark timber and crawl through it if I know that there are animals in it.  I have taken a couple of elk that way and they never knew that I was there until the gun with boom. 

I also try and plan my hunt out the best that I can as far as where I plan on hunting.  Back in the days that I could hike back into the rough country I would plan it out and that is what I did.  It didn't matter if it was snowing, raining, or even if my hunting partner gave up the ship I would head back into the bad lands.  I made more than one hunt by myself because the other hunters in my group called me crazy for what I had planned, but I was usually successful.  There is one canyon I used to love to hunt in Utah that it took you 10 hours to hike from the top to the bottom and that was without taking very much time out to do anything else.  When ever I headed into that canyon I would tell the others that I should be out by dark the second day and I usually came out with a nice mulie when ever I took that hike.  Right now that hike would probably kill me. 

My worst time hunting was when my nephew blew up his truck.  I towed his truck and trailer into the nearest town where we picked up a flat bed trailer and then hauled the truck back home 200 miles.  We got back to his trailer just in time for some coffee and then to head up onto the hill into a snow storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in the next 12 hours.  I spent the whole hunt just driving around in my truck with all 4 wheels chained up. 

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
I generally prefer to spot

I generally prefer to spot and stalk. Whenever something new comes up I'm not uncomfortable and actually enjoy the new challenge but I do have to say my confidence level is lower till I get some time in to learn the new hunting style.

The only changes in my equipment over the years are better binoculars, and the use of a rangefinder has been a big help at times.

I have hunted most types of terrain now but I guess I'm the least comfortable in the dark timber where I can't see very far or even the sky sometimes. Maybe if I took up archery again I would like it more but with a rifle I prefer to see a little farther.

Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 04/01/2009
Posts: 109
Like alot of bowhunters, I

Like alot of bowhunters, I tend to hunt timber.  I essentially wonder around where there is alot of fresh elk sign and periodically hit cow calls or spike squeals until I get a response.  I only truly glass when I'm scouting, or at a good vantage point to see meadows or other mountains.

I know the old adage of elk feeding low early and then going high to bed in the timber at first light, but I can never seem to be in the right spot to intercept them.  I only know where they usually go about an hour after first light...

Until last year, I've never had the patience to sit on a game trail, wallow, or meadow for hours.  I can't explain it, but after about 45 minutes, I'm itching to walk again. 

For whatever reason last year, where I was hunting, the elk just were not cooperating at first.  I knew they were nearby due to the abundance of fresh sign and wallows, so I had to force myself to sit.  I used hunting magazines and playing with my gps to kill the time.  Even with this I couldn't do it for more than 7 hours (what do other guys do to pass the time?). 

With the exception of my first deer hunt in PA 15 years ago, all of my hunts have been in the rockies...so no major gear adjustments.


walkin's picture
Location: Camp David MD
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 176
Its nice to think back on my

Its nice to think back on my adventures west of the Mississippi,some of my favorites.  I enjoy stillhunting when the forest floor is quiet due to fresh snow, that is tops.  Spot and stalk is very challenging ,rewarding with luck and engaging, the thrill of the hunt seems to be stretched out and the enjoyment extended.  I get enough stand hunting around the house, it is definitely my 3rd choice. 

  I love trying to tackle rough country, but is has on occasion gotten more than the best of me. How come we don't get younger?  I have attained pleasure and relaxation in driving around and  getting out the binos, something I don't do much of in Maryland.

My first hunt was in the Flat  Tops and we had nights of -20 and highs of 10 I have not needed that kind of clothing since, definetely dressing lighter and seeing warmer temps!

 The only unexpected surprises have been how big the country is without horses, and it shouldn't have been a surprise!

arrowflipper's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 579
Not sure

I'm not sure that I have a favorite method of hunting.  I've tried just about everything, from walking as fast as I can through the woods to sitting all day and not moving.  I love to still hunt in the timber.  I love to spot and stalk in the open here in the West.  And I can sit for hours in a treestand or on the ground.  I try to match my hunting method with what I think works best in any given environment.  I have been successful in many of the different methods, but that's what lots and lots of years does for you.  If I had to choose one method, I guess I'd go for the spot and stalk.  Or maybe sitting in a tree.  OR, maybe slinking through the woods quietly?  Did I forget sitting in front of a tree and watching out front?  Hey, lets do em all.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3750
I prefer spot and stalk

I prefer spot and stalk hunting along with still hunting.  I just cannot seem to sit in a tree stand for some reason.  With that said I do like to sit on a waterhole and hunt Antelope with my bow.  This year I think I am really gonna try and spot and stalk a antelope with my stick and string.  I will fall back on the blind and waterhole if it does not work out for me.  But for elk and deer I would much rather find them stalk them and then hopefully get off the all important shot.

Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
After spending the last 35 or

After spending the last 35 or so years hunting in Nevada & in other western states with similar types of habitat, I'm most comfortable with spot & stalk & still hunting in areas where I can see a horizon more that a half mile away.  The first time my buddies & I hunted the thick timber around Grangeville, Idaho for elk & whitetails, I swear we didn't get more than a couple hundred yards from the logging roads for the first 3 or 4 days.  The completely new habitat had us intimidated regardless of the maps we had.  Once we were more familiar with the country though, we got more comfortable and didn't spend as much time thinking about the term "Search & Rescue".

I've hunted with folks new to the great basin coming from back east that were just as "lost" with how to hunt the northern cold desert habitat.  I'm pretty sure that when I finally get to hunt whitetails in the eastern part of the country I'll have that deer in the headlights look once again.  It's part of the fun & I can't wait!  

BoneCollector's picture
Location: Ohio woods
Joined: 02/01/2011
Posts: 293
I normally bow hunt from a

I normally bow hunt from a tree stand in thick Ohio brush. Going out west and try a bit of everything for the first time this October. I can't wait. Reading and learning all I can from the veterans here at BGH. Big smile

Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
I have a multitude of

I have a multitude of treestands that I hunt out of for whitetails here in Michigan most of the time for our bow and rifle seasons.  However, just on a hunch the second week of our rifle season last year, I hunted on the ground one evening in a spot with fresh sign that I couldn't quite cover from my nearest stand.  I hadn't settled in under a big hemlock for more than about 20 minutes when I heard a commotion and here came a 6 pointer with his nose on the ground on what was evidentally a hot doe that had been through there before I had moved in for the evening.  He was a nice little buck and I needed meat for the freezer, so I stopped him on about the third grunt I gave with my mouth.  I popped him through the ribs and he ran about 35 yards and dropped less than five yards from that nearest stand.  I took the hindquarters off and hung the rest of the carcass up high enough right off the stand so the yotes couldn't get him overnight and backpacked that load in to camp, then went back the next morning and got the rest.  I got up in the stand for a minute when I got the second load and looked over to where I had shot and there is no way I would have seen the buck go through if I had been in it instead of on the ground!  It sure made the old saying of being in the right spot at the right time true!  I really prefer the open country of Wyoming nowadays hunting for mulies as it sort of spoils you when you can see many animals from a distance compared to the thick stuff I have hunted here at home since I started hunting deer in 1963.  Out there you can sit and move around from spot to spot in order to glass for hours to do the spot and stalk method from advantageous positions and it just suits me now that I'm a lot older and don't have the patience to sit all day in one spot like I did for decades hunting deer here in MI.  Hunting here in late November is sort of an anticlimax to the year after that hunt, but I still won't miss it, LOL!

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Bear hunting methods fire51791009/24/2010 15:40 pm
6 Point DoeJTapia201/29/2008 15:23 pm
big zombie buck?!!compaq4003/09/2013 08:10 am
Preferred method for taking muleysManOfTheFall1611/28/2010 14:37 pm
Colorado Unit 627Magjoe303/22/2010 10:52 am