Stalk or Stand?
Hunting with a bow can be quite challenging, which is why I love it so much. It tests your knowledge and your skill to the utmost, almost to the point of frustration. The two main techniques in hunting are using a stand in a tree, or while utilizing cover or natural terrain to stalk your game.
I have been shooting a bow since I was 6 years of age and hunting with my bow as soon as I was legal age (12) in my province of Alberta. So to do simple math I’m 39 years old now, which means I have spent 27 years hunting with my bow.
Now my question to you is in those 27 years, how many deer would you guess I have shot from a tree stand 10? 12? 15? Truth is only 1 that’s right I said 1. I prefer to hunt from the ground. I like to find a nice spot with some good back cover and wait. Don’t get me wrong I have tried the tree stand, and it frustrated me to no end when I would spot a deer and they would be 80-90 yards away and nothing I could do but watch cause I was stuck to one spot.
I will use last season for my example as it was a pretty good year. I have permission on some private land about 8-10 Km from my house. I spent the start of the season observing the deers habits. Once I thought I figured them out they would shift on me. I would think they were going left, they would go right. I finally figured out the pattern which coincided on the wind direction. I had determined that they would hop the fence on the south end when the wind was out of the west and start grazing on the grass in this field. So I set up in some tall grass and waited… Sure enough I heard the twang of the barbed wire fence 30 min into waiting. I poke my head up and ranged. She was 40 yards and closing. I drew back as she was quartering away at 25 yards and got up on my knees to sealed the deal with a arrow through the lungs. It was a unbelievable feeling to know I was just 25 yards away on even ground and filled the freezer.
As soon as the temperature dropped the habits changed once again. No longer would they graze the grass fields, they stuck to the trees. So I have spotted a few buck in this patch of trees in the past, and decided to make my way over to these trees and set up with some cover. As I approached I bumped a doe and drew on her but she went behind a bush turned and walked straight away from me with the bush in between us. After this encounter I found some trees to get cover and set up. Within a minute I spotted a buck walking in at about 250 yards. Within 5-10 min he was 48 yards, then 35 yards, then 28… He goes behind a bush, turns and walks right towards me. Still behind the bush I draw back and he comes out still walking towards me. I finally had to let the arrow fly at 10 yards. The arrow entered his chest and he didn’t make it 20 yards.
What a amazing hunt! I just wish I would have filmed the hunt because no one will ever believe how close I got to this buck! Now am I saying hunting from a tree stand is wrong? No, I’m just saying it’s not for me. I like the option to move around and set my self up, as I have had more success this way and feel it has created better opportunities for my hunting success.
What is your preference?