How do I want to hunt?
This is a stumbling block for many beginning hunters especially when they find themselves in a hunting situation on their first hunt that they don’t enjoy.
For some, the ideal hunt is a solitary affair – one hunter by him/herself. For others, hunting is about being part of a group, working together to achieve success. You decide what you want before you go.
We do suggest that, for your first few hunts, you try to team up with at least one experienced hunter to help show you the ropes. (For younger hunters, an adult supervisor is required by law of course.)
Here are some hunting methods you might consider.
Spot and Stalk
This method usually involves one hunter and maybe a partner to assist. Simply put, animals are spotted and then the hunter tries to sneak into position for their one-shot kill, without the animal learning of the hunter’s presence. For spotting, a hunter can observe their quarry early in the day as they sneak into their bedding areas and, after a period of time allowing the animals to settle down, will then try to stalk the animal in its bed. Another spot and stalk method involves tremendous stealth as the hunter sneaks around the woods and fields trying to find the animal before the animal learns of the hunters presence.
Sit and Wait (Stand Hunting)
As this might suggest, the hunter in this case, picks a spot, gets comfortable and waits for the animal(s) to wander by. The hunter may use a tree stand, a commercial blind which hides the hunter or a natural ground blind to disguise his/her presence.
This type of hunting usually requires some in-depth knowledge of the animal pursued and some good scouting. The hunter who sets up in an area that the animals do not use is not going to be successful. So, you have to learn about the animals, what they are doing, where they are moving and when they move during the day. The sit and wait method requires lots of patience.
Still huntingis a form of spot and stalk hunting where the hunter moves very slowly and cautiously through the woods, trying to find the quarry. Many hunters never get the hang of still hunting because they move too fast!
A good still hunter will spend far more time being still than he/she will move. In fact, proper still hunting requires you move only a few steps before stopping and closely checking all the area you can see. Binoculars are extremely valuable even in close cover.