Still-hunting is one of the most difficult methods of hunting available. But it’s effective once mastered. And it’s fun. Here are 10 tips that will help take your still-hunting game to the next level.
1. Use the right equipment. Don’t wear too many clothes. You’ll be moving, albeit slowly. Make sure you wear the right amount of clothes, and don’t pack too much bulky, heavy gear with you. Just take the essentials.
2. Move slow and still-hunt the entire day. Tell yourself you aren’t finishing a given area until the end of legal light. That will help you to slow down and go slower. If you move too fast, you’ll likely bump deer before you ever get a shot off.
3. Use shadows, terrain and weather to your advantage. Stick to cover. Use the shadows to your advantage. Use the terrain to your advantage. Study aerial and topo maps to plan out your routes. And don’t forget weather. Wind, rain and snow help conceal your movements when still-hunting.
4. Use the wind to your advantage. It’s cliché. But you have to keep tabs on the wind. It’s crucial, even when on the ground and your scent cone isn’t as big. Keep a wind checker on you and test it every five to 10 minutes.
5. Make noises sound natural. Because you will make noise. When you do, stop immediately. Don’t even twitch for at least five minutes. Look around to make sure the coast is clear before you begin moving again.
6. Glass often, know how to look for deer, stay ready and be prepared to make tough shots. Use your binos like your life depends on it. Don’t look for an entire deer, either. Glass for an antler tine, ear, nose or something else small. And stay poised for shot opportunities. You won’t always get that perfect shot. Don’t take a bad one, but you’ll likely have to take tougher (free-handed) shots than when hunting from stands or blinds.
7. Use the conditions to your advantage. Always be analyzing the situation to see how you can capitalize on whatever hand you’re dealt. That’s key. Learn how to adapt and make the best of whatever situation you’re in. This is extremely important if you want to have consistent success in the deer woods each season.
Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.