rachunter

stalking/still hunting

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On 4/3/2017 at 7:16 PM, Core said:

I got within shooting range (bow) first day I ever hunted, alone, by just walking around looking for deer. Dumb luck.

I've tried to reproduce that many times since and I have spooked tons of deer and I only ever see them after they hear me and start running with one exception: I walked up on two deer who seemed as surprised to see me as I them. I couldn't get ready and they bolted.

So, I suck at it. Some things that work badly when still hunting:

1) Doing it in an area pressured so heavily there are no deer left (I've done this a LOT)
2) Doing it on a still day, no wind, and tons of fresh scrunchy leaves (lol I've tried this a lot, too)

 Few things on this.....

The wind! Many forget about it.  If I get sensed, but the wind isn't going to them.  I've seen them disregard the bit of noise or sight they saw.

3 things that help me.....

Windicator.  Talcum powder to see mild wind currents.

The other 2 things camo on you hands and face.  Get a long sleeve t shirt too incase it's real warm.   If not covering my cheeks with a full face hat, I use some black face paint.   When it's warm I use very light camo gloves.

I have one shiny gun I use sometimes.  It's a marlin 336 with scope.  I rub furniture wax on it, but don't rub it out.  Leave a dull sheen.

Learn how a buck uses wind in the rut.....

 

Far as 300 yard shots.  I've seen some 200-250.  They're not rare.  Yeah I see something, but I don't shoot.  I try to get closer.  I'm a kid, I like to play with my food.  I'm proud of how close I shoot a deer.  Not how many horns are on it. 

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9 hours ago, Buckmaster7600 said:

 

 


45 colt is almost a reloader only caliber if deer hunting is your plan with it. There are a few company's that load hot enough loads for deer but most are very weak and wouldn't be sufficient in my opinion. I love 45colts and have 2 carbines chambered in them, reloading for them is a blast because I can load them very soft to pretty extreme.


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It sounds like I need to take the 45 colt off my short list.    I don't reload, so factory ammo availability and cost are big concerns.   I will not consider the .35 rem, because three different friends of mine had misfires at a "buck of a lifetime" while attempting to fire those rimless cartridges from their T/C contenders.  I have no desire to join that crowd.   I will probably go with a 30/30, 44 mag, or .357 mag.   Any of those should provide plenty of punch in the 5 to 75 yard range, and should be tame enough for my daughters.        

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It sounds like I need to take the 45 colt off my short list.    I don't reload, so factory ammo availability and cost are big concerns.   I will not consider the .35 rem, because three different friends of mine had misfires at a "buck of a lifetime" while attempting to fire those rimless cartridges from their T/C contenders.  I have no desire to join that crowd.   I will probably go with a 30/30, 44 mag, or .357 mag.   Any of those should provide plenty of punch in the 5 to 75 yard range, and should be tame enough for my daughters.        

In a carbine especially if your kids are in consideration I would put 357 at the top. The can shoot 38special for practice and and around 22$ a box of 50 there isn't anything cheaper for a center fire rifle. Just stay away from the lighter weights for hunting and kill critters.

I don't know what your friends are doing wrong but I would be willing to bet it has more to do with the contenders than the 35rems.

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Not sure if you have your pistol permit or not.  However, many long island area ammo dealers won't sell pistol ammo to non-permit holders.  I heard several complaints from folks who visted the calverton range.

I think you'll do better with the 30-30.

 

However, a 85 or 100gr .243 is just as good as a 30-30.  The trick is to get the right bullets.  sometimes those "premium" bullets are meant for elk and not deer.

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10 hours ago, wolc123 said:

   I will not consider the .35 rem, because three different friends of mine had misfires at a "buck of a lifetime" while attempting to fire those rimless cartridges from their T/C contenders.  I have no desire to join that crowd.           

the problem was the gun tc contenders and older encores had weak springs.that where not strong enough when an aftermarket hammer extension was added.my first rifle was a marlin .35 rem  killed a few deer with no problem.i wish i never got rid of it.

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Not sure if you have your pistol permit or not.  However, many long island area ammo dealers won't sell pistol ammo to non-permit holders.  I heard several complaints from folks who visted the calverton range.

I think you'll do better with the 30-30.

 

However, a 85 or 100gr .243 is just as good as a 30-30.  The trick is to get the right bullets.  sometimes those "premium" bullets are meant for elk and not deer.

I don't think the ammo thing is an issue in upstate never had a problem. I have my permit but have never been asked except at Walmart and won't buy ammo from them anymore anyways.

I don't think there are any 243 bullets designed for elk, if I was going to shoot a 243 at a deer it would be with a premium Barnes bullet for the weight retention.

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The Adirondack, rainy/snowy weather, still-hunting rifle search is over for me.  I just ordered the Marlin 336, BL, 30/30.  It sure would have been nice last season in all that rain we had opening weekend.  My interest in lever rifles has increased since my younger daughter got a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas a few years ago.  She has not shot her eye out with it yet.  That open-sighted lever is a lot more fun to shoot than my older daughter's scoped Crossman 760 pump.  Hopefully, thousands of shots with the Red Ryder at cans will translate to some success with the Marlin on mountain bucks.  Maybe I will take the cutoff wheel and welder to the Red-Ryder and give it a Big Loop to make that cheap practice more realistic.              

Edited by wolc123
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I love my lever guns.

However,  when I got the gun wet.  There is nothing easier to clean inside and out than a bolt action rifle.  I could clean 4 or 5 bolt guns good for the same amount of time it take to get a marlin lever gun guts clean.  And, marlin is the easiest to clean.

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I had a 336 year ago and I don't remember it being that tough to clean.  I would usually take out the screw to remove the lever, then the bolt would come right out of the back.  It did not take much longer to clean than a bolt-action.  Just an extra minute or two to remove and reinstall that screw.   That also made it easy to bore-sight when I put a scope on it.   I just sighted thru the barrel on the bull and adjusted the crosshairs to the same point at 50 yards.  It only took a few shots to get it hitting right on after that.   

One thing is certain, this gun is going to get wet.  I will keep using my scoped Ruger M77  30/06 in dry, calm conditions.   It feels good to finally be ready to deer hunt in any type of weather conditions.  The weather was so crappy up there opening weekend that I came home early last year.  That is not going to happen again thanks to this new lever gun.    

Edited by wolc123

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I just checked out my youngest daughter's Red Ryder this morning for the loop modification.  As it turns out, the Chinese are using a plastic loop on the new ones, so that was a no-go.   I did find a metal big loop and big wood stock combo for it on-line for $40, so that will be here in about a week, which is a week earlier than the new Marlin arrives.  Now it looks like she will have a $65 Red Ryder instead of a $25 one.   I will trim the new stock to make the length of pull identical to the Marlin 336 BL.  It looks like the BB gun barrel length is exactly the same (at least that is metal).  The new metal "big loop" should get the overall weight a little closer.   While 30/30 ammo is relatively cheap and easy to get, it ain't close to BB's.   Also, from 25 yards, the Red-Ryder just puts them thru one side of a pop can, so we can often use them multiple times.   

I prefer that the kids and I do most of our target practicing with the BB guns for multiple reasons, the most important one being that the ammo is almost free.    Also, the noise of neighbors target-practicing with "real" firearms is a bit aggravating at times (especially when I am hunting).   I would prefer not to subject others to that aggravation.  I am hoping that the kick from the 30/30 will not be too much for my small-framed daughters.  The Marlin is a bit heavier than a Winchester 94, which should help with that, and it should not be too hard to locate lighter-recoiling rounds if necessary.  If both girls take to deer hunting, the other one will get a .243, which should recoil a lot less.  That, along with my 30/06 would give us (3) of the top (4) whitetail chamberings.  If momma decides she want's to get into it, I will get her a .270, and then we will have them all covered.                 

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On 3/22/2017 at 9:07 PM, Buckmaster7600 said:

 

 


I have closets full of deer rifles and I have yet to find a better gun for still hunting/tracking than a Remington pump. They shoot better than anything else freehand and you have a fast follow up.


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Ditto

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Regardless of which gun you choose It should feel perfect!  Easy acquisition of target, follow up, reload and how well you are with it should be key factors in choosing the proper weapon.  For me the 44 mag is perfect for up close and personal hunting.  Try the 5 second test.   Fire one round at a target nice and steady, then try to see how many follow up shots you can put on the target in the next 5 seconds.   Maybe we could do a challenge video?  See who the best marksman or woman is on huntinny.com!   Just for fun!  Sounds like a range day is in order! 
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On 1/2/2017 at 5:52 PM, rachunter said:

i've been reading about stalking deer for the past month.i'm not getting it if i follow the though of "if you think your moving slow slow down more" i'd never get anywhere.i have a few areas up in the adks i've been looking at on maps and Ariel photos,but it's going to have to wait until spring to do any leg work[2' of snow] so i'm limited to long island for now.anyway when you guys stalk what is your  usual process ? do you play the wind,walk a few steps and stop,how long do you stop if at all.i've been looking at a few swamp areas as well as a few high ridges to the sides of the swaps.i found a good gullie leading from a high spot to a swap while up there this fall,so i'll be working that area.but i'd like to have a few back up areas as well. 

i've been sitting in trees for the past 30yrs so this is all new for me.

 

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i see this thread got resurrected. regardless, i didn't notice this thread. that sling is the best sling i've ever owned. for deep woods or a heavy gun Slogan slings stay put and they give a touch so hiking a ways doesn't beat you up. I use their magnum sling to on my 12 or so lb varmint rifle being on the move for woodchucks. i've used others and they killed my shoulders.


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9 hours ago, dbHunterNY said:

i see this thread got resurrected. regardless, i didn't notice this thread. that sling is the best sling i've ever owned. for deep woods or a heavy gun Slogan slings stay put and they give a touch so hiking a ways doesn't beat you up. I use their magnum sling to on my 12 or so lb varmint rifle being on the move for woodchucks. i've used others and they killed my shoulders.

Ya I've been using the same two for years.I picked them up a hunting/fishing show when they first came out.I tried a claw last year and switched back after one hunt.I have one for my shotguns/muzzle loaders and one for rifles.

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While it's up again when you guys hunt up in the ADK'S do you hunt the same area or move around? I found a decent area last year but think I over hunted it.I scored a bunch of topo maps and was thinking of moving around a little more this year.

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 Best bet is to find a few places you can hunt, some high ridges with good views, pinch points, food sources and especially doe.  Starting high up and working down the mountain is a great way to hunt!  The more places you have to choose from the better your chances just don't get crazy 3-5 spots is more than enough to start.  You can hunt the same area just change locations, it keeps the deer guessing.  I will sometimes hunt the same area but I think changing your location is more productive and helps change the view keeping it interesting.  (Personally I like to roam a bit covering about a half mile to about 3 for a full day hunt.)  This usually consists of finding a morning spot, calling, waiting for at least the first hour or so, more if I like the spot.  Then I will move at least a few hundred yards or more to another location and repeat.  After calling I usually wait at least 25 minutes for the deer to come in.  No reaction or sound and I might leave after the 25 min and repeat making a loop towards the road so I am somewhere near an exit by dark.  ( I don't like being more than a half mile deep in the dark as sometimes night navigation can be a pain in the but! )  I pack food and extra clothes for sitting so I don't have to leave the woods till dark. 

Best part about going slow is reading every piece of sign possible.  When you find what appears to be a good spot ask yourself why that's so.  You will find other similar spots after and understand why it attracts deer.  Like rivers as a food source (Beechnuts) along with swamps as cover and ridges as possible bedding areas.  Large doe groups as key rut lures.  Most of all if you do not see deer or sign, hunt another location until you do start seeing them or at least sign of there presence.  No point in hunting locations deer are not seen at least a few times while scouting or hunting.  I love reading sign but those cams are excellent for scouting when placed properly and can save valuable hunting time if used well.  They also give you much better info than my sign reading ability.

Sorry so long, hope some of this helps. 

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8 hours ago, rachunter said:

While it's up again when you guys hunt up in the ADK'S do you hunt the same area or move around? I found a decent area last year but think I over hunted it.I scored a bunch of topo maps and was thinking of moving around a little more this year.

For me it is a little of both.  Over the last (6) years I have been hunting mostly the same 500 or so acres.  The first couple years, there was another hunter who worked that area pretty hard.   He hunted it the whole season from opening day of archery thru the end of gun.  He would never sit in a spot for long and was almost constantly moving.  Unfortunately, he passed away while he was way too young, and I only got to hunt with him one time.

On that hunt, he dropped me off in a spot up along a ridge, and then went back and still-hunted thru the swampy area down below.   The plan nearly worked, but the deer that walked slowly by me, just 10 yards away, was a mature doe and they are "off-limits" up there during gun season.  The most important thing I learned on that hunt was where the doe hang out, and that has been the key to my killing a couple of bucks in the years since.

I have been going up there on 3-4 day hunts, 2-3 times a year.  I always keep an eye on the weather, and hunt the area depending on the wind, trying not to spook those does.  Each of the bucks that I killed was on his way to check up on them, when I happened to be sitting in a comfortable chair in the right place at the right time.  The chair that I use now is the hammock-style that straps to a tree.  It has a single pedestal, is very easy to carry, and offers a full 360 degree around shooting ability.  I killed my first and largest buck up there from one of those cheap folding camp chairs.  It was comfortable, but a real PIA to carry and only allowed about 45 degrees around of shooting.

I have yet to see a mature buck, while still-hunting between spots, but have "passed" a handful of small ones, and I did manage to kill a doe that way during the early ML season.  The full-sized, scoped, bolt-action, 30/06 rifle, that has been my primary weapon and killed both of my bucks up there, is less than ideal for still-hunting.  That situation should improve a bit with the two Marlin lever-actions that I will be using this season (one standard model with 3-9x scope, and the other an open-sighted compact version).      

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Best advantage of hunting the same location is you pick up on the patterns used.  Often different deer will use the same or similar pattern year after year making them much easier to spot and identify. 

Had this location in Indian Lake I hunted for years, always got busted by this one doe at the same location just before dark.  One year I went after her with the bow (about 5 years after she  busted me in the one location, it was a great spot but she would bust me EVERY dam time!)  She had to go!  I had the perfect setup, wind in my favor, years since she busted me, no chance I would not get her I told myself!  Well she now had extra help and busted me again from about 15 yards in thick cover, so much for not getting busted!  She had my number and was given a pass after that incident.  Sometimes even the "perfect" setup can get detected with a slight change of wind when hunting on there level.  Learned how valuable being up off the ground is yet I still prefer ground level hunting, advantage them but it's much more thrilling!  I did hunt the area one more time after that and dragged a tree stand the mile plus back to the area but got lucky with my first buck that year and never actually hunted the stand.  DEC also saw my buck on the truck and followed me to my stand looking for bait, explained to them I do not bait, after taking down the stand I followed them out for my first and only ticket!  (Forgot to put in the date on my first buck!)  Lesson learned!  Now I fill the tag before I gut if its not to close to sun set like last year.  (I filled out the tag at the road in the dark last year.)

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