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Thread: Bush stalking - not my best skill

  1. #1
    Member tikka 7/08's Avatar
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    Bush stalking - not my best skill

    Hi all,

    So I am a wee bit frustrated with my recent attempts at bush stalking, Was out in the rain sunday just gone, found some good sign, proceeded up this wee track following the fresh (ish) tracks.

    Up the hill about 500 meters (rather steep country I might add) when I decided given the shit conditions i doubt very much any animal is going to be up in the exposed hill side sitting in the rain and wind.

    Sat there for probably 20 minutes looking for any good spots in the lower ground i thought they might be hiding and proceeded back down the track...

    Here is the frustrating part, Between finding the tracks and following them up the hill to coming back down there is band new tracks heading back down ... Thinking the fucker was watching me having a good old laugh before coming out of his hiding place

    This has happened to me probably 3 times to me in this particular spot over the past few months. Get onto some really good fresh sign, find zip zero nudda.

    In short i think my bush stalking techniques leave a little something to be desired... think ill try a new approach and head back to this wee part of the track for first light on Friday and wait all day for them bastards to come back out so I can smash em over... (this is not really what i want to do, id like to develop my stalking techniques)

    We are talking about old logging tracks/plantations that have now re-generated into native scrub since being milled many years ago, its quite thick stuff, very steep terrain.

    My usual approcah is obviously not working very well as i continue to come out empty handed. Does anyone have any tips they might like to share...? I usually find fresh sign and follow the direction it was heading till i come across more. I would imagine i am just going around in circles doing this ....

    Help out a novice bush stalker ... hahaha
    pops and phillipgr like this.

  2. #2
    Gone But Not Forgotten Toby's Avatar
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    Set up a trail camera and find their movement patterns once you get the sorted then go up before the usual time the come out and wait, that should work.
    VIVA LA HOWA

  3. #3
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Watch the wind. Hunting with the wind from behind is pretty much a waste of time.
    Tread lightly, put the ball of your foot down first rather than your heel.
    Don't look at the trees, look through them.
    Don't look for a whole deer, look for part of a deer.
    Before you head out look at the map, try and work out where the deer might be, Shelter from the wind, food, water, cover, sunshine.

  4. #4
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    One thing that worked for me mate was comming up onto fresh sighn stop go to a knee and wait look listen, buy not moving your the quiet one. Then if you fell youve waited long enough really go as slow as you can while tracking them move ten meters stop look listen again and so on its worked for me.Good luck there will be plenty more good ideas to come on this thread im sure.

  5. #5
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Check the wind, check the wind, check the wind. I can't stress enough the importance of checking the wind. Clearly you are in an area with animals so you need to work out where they are going to and from, where they hunker down, where they cross ridges and streams, where the fodder is. Dawn and dusk will be most productive but that doesn't mean you won't find them at other times. It is coming up to the time that the hinds will start birthing so they will be about to (or will have already) push last years fawns (now young spikers) away from them and these young inexperienced deer will be away from mum for the first time and not as smart as older deer. Check around the heads of streams and good grazing areas. They won't be far away if there is fresh sign.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
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  6. #6
    Member tikka 7/08's Avatar
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    WOW excellent response already, and no piss taking yet hahaha,

    this particular area does not have a great deal of grazing pasture... if there is any grass type feed to be had its usually on the tracks and is very minimal, 3mx3m patches.

    checking the wind ... ok i usually do this with a common old bic lighter, just see what direction the flame goes, I usually try and keep this to a minimum due to the noise it makes.. i would have thought the noise if in a stalking situation would scare it off.

    Ok Rushy, so you mentioned figuring out where they travel to and from... It appears they often use the tracks already there, assume they do it because its just easier... without a trail cam (im too cheap to buy one) where would one look initally for spots they would use for sleeping etc? bottom of gullies in the shelter etc?

    Please excuse some of the dumb questions most of the hunting I usually do is across nice pasture on the edge's of bush (some may call this gentleman's hunting), Hardly ever do I bush stalk but this spot is nice and close to home so if I can learn afew things here might help out

  7. #7
    Gone But Not Forgotten Toby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tikka 7/08 View Post
    and no piss taking yet hahaha
    Rushy's slacking
    tikka 7/08 likes this.
    VIVA LA HOWA

  8. #8
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    Re: Bush stalking - not my best skill

    Persistance. And slow down. If you think your going slow enough go slower. Your in the right spot soon things will start clicking you will evolve and start knocken em ova. Dont over hunt the area and spookem off and usually after a good rain when things are fresh and the deer need a feed. Keep it up

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
    Member tikka 7/08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreepingDeath View Post
    Persistance. And slow down. If you think your going slow enough go slower. Your in the right spot soon things will start clicking you will evolve and start knocken em ova. Dont over hunt the area and spookem off and usually after a good rain when things are fresh and the deer need a feed. Keep it up

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
    okidoki, common theme thus far 'slow the fuck down and check the wind'

  10. #10
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Slow down, then slow down even more. If you think you're going slow, you're not slow enough.

    Stop, stand, watch and listen regulary. Its amazing what you'll hear if you're still. Deer muching leaves, twigs snapping, birds sqawking, the brush of fur through bushes or the knock of an antler on wood.

    A piece of cotton taped to the end of your barrel is ideal for a wind indicator, and is silent.

    Travel through areas with no sign quickly, and slow down only when you hit fresh sign. You'll cover more ground this way.

    Look through the bush at different heights, ie climb onto a log, or get on hands and knees and look underneather the low scrub. Its amazing how often you'll pick up on a set of skinny brown legs but not see its body!

    Sunny faces-focus on them. You can hunt areas like this all hours of the day. If you hit a nice gut or "clearing" with fresh sign, sit tight for half an hour and watch.

    Follow trails, not only will you be more likely to hit a animal travelling, the trail is there because it is the "easiest" or most direct route.

    If the wind is swirling for you, it is swirling for the deer. Remember that.

    Hunting in the bush in shitty cold weather is often more productive than on a nice day.

    Get a low powered pair of binos, or a monocular (I used to carry a cheap 4x scope on a string round my neck, but then bought some 6x leupy yosemites for in the bush). Its surprising what you'll pick up using binos in the bush over your naked eye.

    If you "hear" or "see" a deer in the bush it can be pretty exciting. Be sure that you identify your target before closing the bolt and squeezing the trigger. You can't pull bullets back.

    Get out there, sitting on the computer or couch wont get you a deer. The more you're hunting, the more chances you'll get to see one or shoot one.

    Slow down.
    Tim, Dougie, Dazza and 3 others like this.

  11. #11
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    I'm afraid you need to get off the tracks, you don't normally find deer living on tracks or ridges. I would use tracks to get easy access to gullys and headwaters/basins (as also the deer will be), you can go really slowly but wind is better to get right. Go slow when you see fresh sign but make sure it is fresh, like hours old not days
    Being over gunned is under rated.

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  12. #12
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    When I have gone walking and i mean just walking about in the thick of it, I have spotted fresh signs of deer,
    .poo
    .tracks
    .hair were they have been rubbing or going under branches,even branches of trees have been used for a good old scratch
    .even were they have got over a branch on a track you sometimes see scuffs
    .then I looked signs were they have been eating and on what
    .also sun traps as some parts of the bush have good sun traps in the morning or evening.
    .swamp patches,water supply
    .It pays to sit tight out the way and not to make a sound
    .go slow and where you place your foot
    .make note of the wind before i go into an area.
    .and you might smell one near by - unless that was a mate who did a fart
    Mark on my GPS and look on the map at the start and head in. Also I mark down on a GPS any good signs. Remember tell your better half were your going,then we can ask her where you got that deer from

    And when I get my new scope I shall head in and not see a thing

    Don't do what a friend did with me which was he got out a cooker and did a cup of tea and then smoked a cig

  13. #13
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    lads have pretty much covered it all. just keep going back and back and back, get to know the area as best u can. you WILL find them its all about persistance. as far as the lighter trick, i just pluck abit of fabric off my swandri and let it go. it works and it is quiet. the thing with bush hunting as most know it that the wind is all over the place. try going out when there is a strong windblowing. less chance of it swirling in the gully and wind direction is easy to detect. the strong wind also masks the noise you make when moving about. good luck.

  14. #14
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    You will only get the piss taken out of ya if you ask smart intellegent question

  15. #15
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    I would have replied earlier but its a prick to post from my phone.
    Others have summed it up well above.
    Without knowing the area its pretty hard to be specific but preferred foods are not evenly spread out threw the forest or Regen
    Find a feed area, Grass, willow shoots, five finger, broad leaf, whitey-wood,caprosmas,tussocks, new shoots on fallen beach.
    My experience is only with red and fallow, fallow prefer grass reds are browsers but still graze grass.
    Stags of both species seem to prefer coarser feed late spring/summer.
    Bush stalking is percentage hunting. No better way to put it.
    Increase your percentage by finding the likely areas(feed and travel routes to feed) sounds like you have this bit sused.
    As others have said wind is your enemy. If hunting a gully with wind coming over the top it will swirl and eddy like hell, I go pretty dam quick if its up my arse till its not. Thick shit just make your way threw and as soon as it starts to open STOP and look! another 5 steps STOP and look!
    I often wonder how many deer have snuck of without me seeing them, they have the advantage if your moving.
    Keep going back(not every day).
    If you haven't been there much do a recon, forget hunting and work out where they are feeding/bedding.You might get onto one or not but will be better equipped to concentrate you efforts in the"high percentage" areas next time
    Try to stalk areas that give you a veiw,walking the tops of benches in the bush/heads of gullys where you can go slow and peer down into the bush,look above too but much easier to see from above and most animals dont expect danger from above.
    Neckshot and Matt2308 like this.
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