I have luck stalking and still hunting vs. a stand - bad luck. In 35 years of bowhunting I've killed one buck off the ground with a bow - the first one I ever killed! Can't even remember how many I've killed out of a stand.
Most of my hunting is done by stalking and I have been doing rather good.
I don't have the patient to sit in a stand for a long time, but I have all the patient in the world to slowly move on the ground to find and get close enough to an animal for a shot.
I have also taken a few bedded down.
My closest shot while stalking close enough was 6-7 yards at a mature buck feeding in a thick part of the woods.
That makes your blood boiling
Many fail at stalking because they don't have the patient to move slowly enough and stop, wait and stand totally still for a long time when it is needed.
When I was a kid I hunted a area that was also hunted by a guy who was a legendary spot and stalk guy with all of his kills coming off the ground, many times I would see him from my stand and watching him move through the woods was a thing of beauty. It would take him a good 15 minutes to go from be seeing him to him leaving my sight and there is no way I have that kind of patients to stalk at that speed.
Tried this a lot this year and found that with a compound it was hard for me to draw on them and put my pin on them fast enough to take a shot but I'm going to try it next year with my recurve. I find stalking a lot of fun so after some practice with my recurve I should be good to go
I've taken at least one buck stalking/still hunting from the ground for the last 5 years in a row with my best going 153" gross. It's a lot of fun but you have to learn it the hard way. Once you're good enough it is nice to be able to walk up and kill one, on their turf, on your terms. I like to be able to go to them vs. say I saw a good one but it wasn't in range.
All the stand hunting rules still apply, slow motion, obey the wind. These are my non-breakable stalking rules, it takes a lot of discipline to do them all and not slip up for a minute and cheat. If you use them you will succeed!
#1 Go slowly. Painfully slow when you have to. On one buck I took 45 min. to cover the last 30 yards. Once your at your spot covering 5 acres in a half day is too fast.
#2 Nearly no noise. Windy or post rain, damp ground days are a must. You can get by with some outside of 60 yards if it sounds natural. Make it a point to sound like a squirrel. Use a wind gust in the trees or a plane overhead to camo your noise.
#3 Stalk in a way to use the terrain to just peek your head over or to the side to check a spot where they'll already be in range and always think a deer is there.
#4 Never let them see your legs move! Use a log, grass, or creek bed to hide them.
#5 Go straight at them, side to side and weaving will get you caught.
#6 No eye to eye contact and keep your bow in front of one eye on the approach.
#7 Stalking bedded deer is low production. They will spot you more often than you spot them. If they're up and moving you have the advantage.
#8 A low top leather shoe with good grip even if they're wet, a boat shoe can work well. They have a ton of feel so you're not breaking a bunch of sticks and twigs with each step and you can tell how much pressure you're putting on the ground. They also force you to go slow. Emulate your foot movement like that of a cat. Sometimes you won't be able to take full steps. Foot up alongside your other leg, pause, look for a quiet spot to set it down. Always stop with your left foot forward for balance and ease of shooting if you get hung up.
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