Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 85

Author John Childs with a tall and narrow whitetail buck he found while still-hunting heavy cover in Northern Idaho. ther. As I stood there scanning the area I caught movement in one of the openings in front of me. I watched as a nice 8-point buck came trotting up a trail, obviously cruising for does. He was exactly what I’d been look- ing for. I slowly raised my rifle and he stopped at the edge of the cover and I dropped him right there. What a way to rein- force the idea that moving slow really does work. When using this technique remember slow is key. Never take more than two or three steps at a time, and always pause at least a minute before moving again. I’ve stood in one spot as long as five minutes be- fore, just letting my eyes break the cover apart. It’s amazing, but deer often start popping out of the woodwork. Also, when using this tech- nique, make sure your body motion are just as slow and flu- id as your steps. Prey animals like deer are attuned to spotting movement. Any quick move- ment on your part, like swing- ing your binoculars up to your face is an instant give away. If you slowly raise your binocu- lars to your eyes, you’re much less likely to frighten any deer that may be close by. I always think it is akin to moving like a tortoise. Spot and Stalk Hunting Spot and stalk hunting can be a little different in this country. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this country is fairly dense with vegetation, but it’s also tim- ber country, so there are a lot of clear-cuts around. The nice thing about clear-cuts is they can create the optimal habitat for whitetails, as long as there is some cover nearby. The technique I use for spot and stalk is primarily glassing any cuts I find. You can often find vantage points that let you look at more than one cut. The cuts I find the most deer in are the ones that have some cover themselves like small to medi- um size Christmas trees, but especially if timber or heavy re-prod borders these cuts. This doesn’t mean I don’t find deer in some of the brand new open cuts. It’s surprising to see deer completely in the open when hunting such dense country, but they’re there. It’s certainly worth always looking the coun- try over with your binoculars because you will be surprised sometimes where you actually see deer. This last season my hunting partner and I were looking over one of these fairly new cuts. So new it hadn’t even been planted yet, but at 2:00 in the afternoon on a cold clear day, we found a nice 10-point buck courting a doe in the absolute middle. This particular spot had timber growing all the way around the perimeter, but was completely clear in the cut it- self. We spotted them from the bottom of the cut, and made a nice stalk to within 120 yards, and my partner Don was able to connect with this respect- able Idaho whitetail. In some parts of these moun- tains you’ll find some slopes that are a bit more open, espe- cially on south facing slopes. www.westernhuntingjournal.com 83