Death From Above

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Still hunting is my favorite style of hunting.  I love moving and spotting game before they spot you.  Although difficult at times, this method of hunting provides the most exciting and enjoyable experience for me.

One tip I have learned from years of still hunting is to approach animals from above, when possible.  During afternoon hunts when animals typically are not moving and retreat to their bedding areas, I like to move through those bedding areas very slowly and carefully in a downhill direction.  Most animals will bed facing downhill and unless the terrain has unusual features such as rolling benches down a draw, the animals will almost always be facing downhill.  This allows the patient still hunter the opportunity to spot these bedded animals without being detected himself.

Of course, the wind direction needs to be considered when evaluating your downhill approach, but this technique can be very useful in virtually any downhill scenario from draws, mountainsides, ravines and ridges.  A slow and methodical pace with frequent pauses for glassing will many times lead to a great shot opportunity on bedded animals.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very good tip.  I have heard

Very good tip.  I have heard that the big guys like to keep the hill to their back, as sort of a protecting.  It would make sense to come in from above, so that you put yourself above the deer.


swisheroutdoors's picture

Another approach

After several attempts over the years to tag a nice buck on this mountain ridge my best friend and I tried another tactic.  We camped on top of the mountain.  We walked up that afternoon and spent the extremely cold night.  Expecting to hunt the bedded deer that always bedded down in this ravine we woke a daybreak and set off.  Good Plan that is until we slid down and alarmed them all.  LOL.  Then it was back to tracking in the snow.  Never did get a buck that year dang it. pebble kick...  And we had to hike back up to get our gear out.  Young and Dumb.

numbnutz's picture

Good stuff. I'd say close to

Good stuff. I'd say close to 90% of my sucessfull stalks on animal have been from an uphill aproach. Like you say the deer will usually bed up against a large rock or cliff wall facing down hill. when the wind is right it makes it pretty easy with a little patiance to make a good stalk and fling an arrow or fire your rifle without the deer even knowing you are there. Elk on the other hand is a different story I have found they don't nessicarily bed up against rock walls or cliffs but instead bed in thick cover in a herd so there are plenty of eyes keeping watch. In those cases it's better to come from down wind and hope you can sneak in. If hunting cows you can pick one on the outer fringes of the herd but the bulls I have seen will be surounded by cows and the will make it a bit harder. Again thanks for the tip.

Retired2hunt's picture

  I definitely agree with you


I definitely agree with you here on this approach... and I like your title to this tip!

You definitley have to be careful of the air current as cold air sinks towards the lowest spot taking your scent with it.  So your tip on ensuring the wind direction is in your favor is very important.

I have stalked and harvested many deer with this tip in mind.  I have yet to use it for my elk hunting but am definitely willing to give it a try.

Thanks for sharing this tip with us.




jaybe's picture

Speaking of the wind

Speaking of the wind direction, sometimes there is very little or no wind - especially in the morning. But even so, the morning sun will usually cause thermal air currents to rise uphill, so being above the animals early would give you a double advantage.

 Great tip - thanks.