Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 84

TECHNIQUE Four Techniques There are four basic techniques for hunting these deer, each very effective. Still-hunting 82 WESTERN HUNTING JOURNAL cover, spot and stalk, rattling, and stand hunting are the pri- mary ways these animals are hunted. My favorite way to hunt them is to combine all four into an amalgamation of one tech- nique. I’m going to break down the techniques in how they are generally employed. Still-hunting Still-hunting cover is one of the most widely used techniques out West, and is certainly one of my favorites. The first thing to understand about hunting whitetails in the mountains of Northern Idaho, Washington and Montana is they don’t have the densities of animals that live along the river bottoms of the west, or eastern part of our country. While I’ve had days hunting up in these mountains where I’ve seen over 20 animals a day, this is the exception, not photo we would do four or five of these calling sequences spaced about five minutes apart. He’d also told me that each sequence was going to get little less in- tense, which is exactly what he did. We would rattle each spot for 15 to 20 minutes, and then planned on moving a quarter mile or so, and set up again. Af- ter the fourth calling sequence, I watched as a small 8-point buck stepped out into the lane closest to me. He stood still for a moment looking around, and then stepped into the timber on the other side of the lane. I’d had plenty of time to shoot, but it wasn’t a buck I was really in- terested in taking. Regardless, it was exciting to know we rattled in a buck on our very first call- ing sequence of the morning. When Kaboth and I met back up after this first round of calling, he told me he’d seen the buck step out on his side just af- ter he finished his second set of rattling. The buck had come out about 40 yards from him, and then had kind of lollygagged his way through a couple of open- ings, and eventually made his way over to where I was stand- ing at the end of the fourth rat- tling set. Typical Northern Idaho terrain: a mixture of timber and clear-cuts interspersed with some natural openings on south-facing slopes. the rule. I’ve seen as few as three to five deer a day, so den- sities are fairly low. Add to these lower densities the cover they live in, and you have a recipe for some elusive deer. This is one of the reasons that still-hunting can be so effective. By moving slowly through the woods you are cov- ering ground, which has the po- tential of running into more an- imals than if you take a stand. The biggest thing to re- member is to really slow down when still-hunting. It’s import- ant to move very slowly while breaking apart the cover you’re moving through with your eyes. Quick movements do not work! Because the cover is fairly dense these deer have a much better chance at seeing you before you see them. This of- ten means you won’t see them at all, because they are pretty good at making themselves scarce when someone is noisy or moves quickly through their home ground. When still-hunt- ing with people who haven’t done this much, I spend as much time as possible in trying to teach them to slow down. My advice is to make each of your movements slowly fluid, and look more with your eyes than your head. I remember when I actu- ally learned the exact how of this technique many years ago. I’d been hunting after a fresh snowstorm and when the weather had cleared four inc ́܁͹܁䁽)ѡɽչ́$ѥչд)ѡɽ՝ѡչ$݅)͕ЁȰЁ́$)ݽɭ݅䁉ѽ݅ɑ)Ս$݅́хѱ䁙)ȁɅ́ɽͥ)ݸɅ́ɽɱȁѡ)丁Qȁݕɔ٥ͱ)٥Ё$х݅ͻe)͕ѡ$Ѽͱ)݅䁑ݸ͕ѡЁe)ɕ)9Ёѕȁѡаش)ѡɽ՝ѥЁх)ٕȰхȁݼѕ)ѡхѥȁ)єȁݼ͕ɍѡ)ٕȁݥѠ䁕̰$ѕ)Ѐɑ́݅)QЁ饹Ё́͡)eЁٕ͕и!)ܰ$Ёٕȸ$݅ѕ)Ёٕ͡ȁѼ)ѡ͔ٕȸ$ͱݱ)٥́ɔЁ)ѕȁЁՍ)Ёх͵)̸%Ё݅́ЁѡЁЁ$)ɕ镐$݅́Ѽͽѡ)ɥѡЁɹ$e)͕ȰЁѡɽ՝ѡ)ѕɹ$ͅ܁ЀȰ)䁍٥)ͱ܁݅́ɕͥЁ)ѥɅє)1єѡЁѕɹ$݅)٥ѡɽ՝ѡͅ)ٕȰЁѼ)ɕѡЁ)ݡɔ$ձ͕ͱѱ䁙ȴ