Sitka Mountain Gear
How to stay still?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Starfire 01-Jan-20
Buffalo1 01-Jan-20
1boonr 01-Jan-20
Charlie Rehor 01-Jan-20
Jaquomo 01-Jan-20
sitO 01-Jan-20
Bou'bound 01-Jan-20
Whocares 01-Jan-20
franklin 01-Jan-20
cnelk 01-Jan-20
Scooby-doo 01-Jan-20
Scrappy 01-Jan-20
Two Feathers 01-Jan-20
WHOCARES 01-Jan-20
LBshooter 01-Jan-20
drycreek 01-Jan-20
Shuteye 01-Jan-20
lawdy 01-Jan-20
goyt 01-Jan-20
midwest 02-Jan-20
Starfire 02-Jan-20
goyt 02-Jan-20
Mike in CT 02-Jan-20
midwest 02-Jan-20
JohnMC 02-Jan-20
12yards 02-Jan-20
Cornpone 02-Jan-20
RT 02-Jan-20
tembow 02-Jan-20
bigdog21 02-Jan-20
bigdog21 02-Jan-20
bigdog21 02-Jan-20
bigdog21 02-Jan-20
SBH 02-Jan-20
btnbuck 02-Jan-20
Woods Walker 02-Jan-20
RD in WI 02-Jan-20
Candor 02-Jan-20
Brian M. 02-Jan-20
Meat Grinder 03-Jan-20
DanaC 03-Jan-20
Candor 03-Jan-20
ground hunter 03-Jan-20
Brotsky 03-Jan-20
TrapperKayak 03-Jan-20
mick 03-Jan-20
tonyo6302 07-Jan-20
From: Starfire
01-Jan-20
It's the end of the season here and reflecting back I think after 40 years of bowhunting my biggest problem is movement. I still get busted. A couple of time just by turning my head, which I always do too fast. I am starting to think its better just to sit eyes forward and not look around. What do you think? Better to move head and scan or sit still? Do you have any tips for sitting still?

From: Buffalo1
01-Jan-20
Several years ago I watch a fellow bowhunter that was insight of my stand. The two most noticeable movements of the hunter by was hands and head. That afternoon made me aware of covering both body part with gloves and head nets/camo paste. He was wider than the tree he was hunting out of which magnified his movements. Maybe these lessonsI learned may help you.

From: 1boonr
01-Jan-20
Stay out of the sun if possible. That magnifies every move. Big trees or trees with cover. Think about how many times they see you and you didn’t know it

01-Jan-20
I used to worry only about the 210 degrees in front of me but now with Nose Jammer I have to look 360 degrees. (Sorry I couldn’t resist making light of NJ)

Seriously, just move slowly but scan MORE often so you can pick up movement father away. The farther away you see movement the more time to have to get into position. After sitting a stand for a few sits I’ll usually have a pretty good idea where the deer are coming from and going to so I look to SPOTS. I still get caught from time to time (actually enjoy getting caught) but this has helped me. Good luck. C

From: Jaquomo
01-Jan-20
Smoke some weed or eat a half a THC brownie. Slows everything down and tunes you in to your surroundings. If you use Nose Jammer you will be able to "sense" them coming in behind you.

Or so I've heard....

From: sitO
01-Jan-20
Get 10-12 Deer-view mirrors and put them everywhere around you...it'll be kinda like the Matrix, you won't know where they're coming from, or which one is real...a true challenge!

Ya see Lou, somma these here fellas are just sittin over a pile-o-sadness...wind don't matter none

Really, your peripheral vision is your best friend...and your ears! If you hear movement your instinct is to whip your head around and look...break that habit.

From: Bou'bound
01-Jan-20
Be comfortable

Be warm.

Be still

Be ready to kill

From: Whocares
01-Jan-20
Head movement a common problem. When I sit off behind a hunter calling for him it's obvious how head movement can be like a rotating beacon. Wear a cap and mask or face paint. Most important move very slowly as if an elk or deer is staring at you at all times and use your eyes. Funny story - had a hunter once that had a large head and didn't wear a cap cuz he said he had a full head camo mask. Well he did. But the inside was solid white for some reason - suppose so you could use it in the winter. (he was from Texas). Set him up in the dark and got off behind him to call as it got light. And when it did I saw this white pumpkin rotating steadily! Had it inside out and told me he didn't realize it! We modified tactics!

From: franklin
01-Jan-20
Don`t drink any coffee before going out....I did that a few times because I was afraid of napping in the tree and I was like a crack addict in my stand...lol

I scan with my eyes as far as I can without moving my head. I try to use my ears and determine which sounds are "deer like" vs squirrels etc before trying to look. If you think a deer is coming in behind you resist the urge to spin around, slowly peek until you make eye contact on the deer. I wear gloves and some form of a headcovering no matter what time of year.

From: cnelk
01-Jan-20
Leave your phone in the truck

From: Scooby-doo
01-Jan-20
Be warm and comfortable, use your ears a lot. You can tell most times if something is coming whether its a deer or not. Also make sure you have good back cover and where light colored camo in big blocky patterns, most stuff out there makes ya look like a dark blob! Shawn

From: Scrappy
01-Jan-20
I had a big buck bust me one time while I was asleep. Woke up in a haze and thought to myself that looks like a giant set of antlers staring at me. When I moved to grab the binoculars I confirmed it was a giant set of antlers staring at me at 40 yards when he blew out of there.

Two questions I still have never been able to answer. One how did that buck see me while I was sleeping and two is did he just walk under my stand while I was sleeping. I can only guess that I was snoring for him to find me and Murphy's law says yes he walked under me.

Moral of the story is you can even get busted while being still.

From: Two Feathers
01-Jan-20
I repeat over and over to myself "Be still, sit still, don't move". It's hard to do.

From: WHOCARES
01-Jan-20
Don't talk so much either. :)

From: LBshooter
01-Jan-20
I have been busted more times this year than most, drives me crazy. It's cause I'm moving checking behind or to the side to see if anything is coming. However, I wear nothing but ASAT camo and I can tell you that deer second guess themselves when they look at me, they re not sure of what they are seeing. Got caught by a mature doe a few weeks back during shotgun, saw me moving plain as day from 40 yards, and she's didn't blow out, her last mistake in life. This camo confuses deer and it gives Ample time for you to cover your mistake. Won't wear anything else ASAT is the best. Santa brought me a brand new leafy suit, looking forward to wearing it.

From: drycreek
01-Jan-20
I use a blind in some form or another to keep them from seeing me. Even in a ladder stand I always have military style camo netting behind me and partly on the sides. I know that limits my shooting but it works for me.

From: Shuteye
01-Jan-20
A blind with mesh in the windows will you allow you to move all you want. You can drink coffee, eat a snack or take a leak in a bottle. Only have a few of the windows open. When I hunt from a tree I always pick a large tree so I am not silhouetted and you still have to move very slowly. Quick movement is the problem but you can move slowly and it won't spook deer. Turkeys however can see your eyes blink it seems. BTW I even have a small propane heater in my ground blind and have had deer that I could almost touch them and not be noticed.

From: lawdy
01-Jan-20
Most of the time, I get out after working. I usually fall asleep and many times I wake up with a deer or bear near me if I rig up a brush blind near a run or apple tree. The only thing that moves on me if I stay awake is my head, slowly. I find I can draw on a deer very close if I do it in very slow motion. If the deer is looking away, I grip and rip as I shoot instinctive. I woke up one time and had a bear 20 feet away tearing up an anthill. I watched him for quite a while until he ambled down the ridge. It was a warm fall day, I had been gigging with the band every night and I was beat, so I laid down in a little depression and snoozed. I sleep like a baby in the woods.

From: goyt
01-Jan-20
I try to set the stand so that I can shoot sitting if I have to in the direction that I expect to get a shot. I wear a hood if weather permits plus a balaclava and a cap. The hood does a great job of putting my face in shadow plus I think that I can turn my head w/o the hood moving so deer can not see the movement from the back or sides. I wear gloves but try to keep my hands in pockets so that I do not move them. I carry a thick seat pad so I do not move much to get more comfortable. I sit most of the time and try to scan what I can w/o moving my shoulders or trunk. If deer come from a blind side or from behind it is possible to pick up my bow and shoot once they pass because I am in their blind spot. I use to try and watch 360 degrees but I fear that I was alerting a lot of deer. Now I am surprised how deer are just there sometimes w/o seeing them coming. I miss some shot opportunities so there are trade-offs.

From: midwest
02-Jan-20
I slowly scan constantly for movement so I'm ready before they get in range. Sitting still and having a deer get in close before you see it, you are usually screwed because now you can't move unless you have good cover or some good wind to cover your sound and movement.

Like Charlie, once I see deer coming from certain areas around my location, I start to check those areas more often.

From: Starfire
02-Jan-20
Thanks guys, some good advise. LBShooter "I have been busted more times this year than most, drives me crazy" That is how I feel this year and why I started this thread. Buffalo1 - I did skip camo face paint this year. Maybe I need to go back to it. I thought wearing a balaclava would keep my face concealed, but I am still a pasty white Norwegian and it can't hurt.

From: goyt
02-Jan-20
Midwest, I do the same thing. I just limit my scanning to < 180 degree most of the time. Sometimes I get screwed. I had a buck get within 25 yards of me on 10/17/2019 in the direction that I was scanning. The thick cover may have been a factor. I got my bow in my hand and shot him before he went 2 yards more. That time it worked out. Sometimes it doesn't. I certainly would love to see every deer at a distance and get on my feet with bow in hand before they get near. A good percentage of the time I do. I have stopped trying to cover 360 degrees all of the time. If I hear something or a doe walks by from behind I slowly reposition and watch that way for awhile. I am sure you do some of the same.

From: Mike in CT
02-Jan-20
Starfire,

Lots of great advice; I start with a few basics; pick a large tree where it's diameter is wider than I am and also I look for such a tree with a lot of trees around it to further mitigate against my being sky lined.

I have a great set of binos and I am constantly scanning in front and to the sides of me so that I can pick up movement well in advance and get myself ready to shoot. I alternate between sitting and standing and when I get up it's after my scanning hasn't shown anything and I haven't heard any movement in back of me. I do still stand very s-l-o-w-l-y.....and then continue to glass in front and to the sides and listen for movement from behind.

When deer are coming I have the bow in front of me, ready to draw and I feel this helps block or at least confuse my image to deer (provided you keep the bow very still of course). Finally, I wait until the deer either turns its head away or is passing behind a tree to come to full draw.

Hope this helps too!

From: midwest
02-Jan-20
For sure, goyt. You can't scan 360 all day. I sill get caught with my pants down plenty...lol.

From: JohnMC
02-Jan-20
I doubt you are getting bust so much because of your movements as you are picking the wrong trees to sit up it. Set up 20-30 yards off the trail or trails you expect deer to come on. I think cover behind you is important to break up your silhouette. If you pick a lone tree that has little to no limbs hide you that is a issue. When setting up a stand before season or in the early season think about the cover you will have in Nov and beyond when the leaves fall from the tree. If you regular get busted in a stand find a better place to hang it. It might be the next tree only a few yards away.

From: 12yards
02-Jan-20
I have my limitations. I'm a bit ADHD in my old age. I have a hard time sitting perfectly still. It's who I am. I'm going to get busted occasionally because of it. I just accept it hoping i'll see them before they see me.

From: Cornpone
02-Jan-20
I, as many, tend to move my head too fast. You head movement is ~170*. What I started doing is count the seconds through this 170*. If you do it in less than ~30 seconds you're doing it too fast.

From: RT
02-Jan-20
I might add stand height to the list but as said, with enough cover. I get high up as possible while maintaining good shot angles. The main issue higher up is tree swing when it's windy. Cold and windy cuts effective range in half.

From: tembow
02-Jan-20

tembow's embedded Photo
tembow's embedded Photo
Use one of these huge edge

From: bigdog21
02-Jan-20
get a strap to go around the tree just about waist high then stick brush small tree branches in it on both sides will help hide you from behind and break up your out line. if you cut branches when still green bost the leaf's will turn brown and stay on the branch just like a duck blind.

From: bigdog21
02-Jan-20

bigdog21's embedded Photo
bigdog21's embedded Photo
Bad River Outdoors has everything needed to brush in tree stands

From: bigdog21
02-Jan-20

bigdog21's embedded Photo
bigdog21's embedded Photo

From: bigdog21
02-Jan-20

bigdog21's embedded Photo
bigdog21's embedded Photo
from bad river these attach to stand .and on climbers you can brush in before you climb then move them around when you get up there

From: SBH
02-Jan-20
Had a fellow bowsiter hike me into his spot and send me up his tree. Once I got in and all set I look down to see him at the base of the tree....., he said, and I'll never forget.....

"ok, you good?"

Me: "yep"

Buddy says "Good. You sit your ass in this tree and don't move. I'm serious. DO NOT MOVE. You know that feeling when you took some pain pills and had a couple beers? That kind of sit still. Sit still. They will come from your right off the ridge and walk behind you. You move and they'll be gone before you knew they were there."

I killed that night and should have doubled. I often tell myself that when I get in a tree now.

Something about the pain pills and beer that worked for me:)

From: btnbuck
02-Jan-20
I'm lucky to have pretty good ears still {except the ringing). I read on my phone a lot when it's warm enough. It keeps me from moving too much and I usually hear them coming. Sometimes critters just appear close to me. Getting a shot can be interesting sometimes when they're that close though.

From: Woods Walker
02-Jan-20
Tips for sitting still? Most of it's mental. You have to discipline yourself to only move ANY part of your body only when you have to. When you're not moving YOU have the advantage. As soon as you move you now risk being seen by eyes that you didn't know where there. You are hunting animals in their "house", not yours. Just like you know every nook, cranny and shadow of the rooms you spend the most time in so does a deer in theirs. You must see THEM first. If they spot you by your movement the game is over. When you see them first, then you have the advantage.

Once you realize this then you will find it easier to PLAN your movements and then S L O W L Y execute them. This starts with moving the eyes first in the direction that you want to see. When you've done this as far as you can then you VERY slowly start moving your head, and not all at once in the direction you want to see but by very small increments. Once the head has moved as far as you can, then start with the shoulders/upper torso. When you've checked the view on that side of your body, then S L O W L Y reverse the process to the other side. Repeat as necessary until you see game.

In a tree this really shouldn't be a big deal, because you are sitting and comfortable. I mostly ground hunt via stillhunting now and controlling yourself as described above is 10X more intense as I also scan all around me in slow motion with binoculars as well as the naked eye.....which is why I do it and love it so much.

Oh...and leave the phone, books, games and other distractions at home or in your vehicle where they belong. You're hunting an animal who's very existence depends on how alert it is. Hunt like yours depends on it also and not just killing time until the deer comes by.

From: RD in WI
02-Jan-20
I orient my stand so I am looking in the direction that I expect the game to approach from and so I can shoot to my right (left-handed) without any extra moment. If I hear something approach from the wrong direction, I resist the urge to look - this keeps my movement to a minimum.

From: Candor
02-Jan-20
I hunt in pine plantations where there is little cover. If I cannot find a cedar growing close to a pine then I always climb to the canopy. I carry artificial branches on my climber and I use them to break up my outline. Shadows, as pointed out above, are key. But when it is cloudy it does not help as much. It is certainly tough in some sets.

I find it easier to get away with movement if I lean against the tree the majority of the time. Plus it gets my profile much lower to the tree.

From: Brian M.
02-Jan-20
I think the biggest factor is comfort. If you're not comfortable, you fidget. And put your wallet in your pack, coat pocket or anywhere you're not sitting on it. Scan with eyes, not head, and listen intently. Sometimes I close my eyes, it seems to help my hearing acuity.

From: Meat Grinder
03-Jan-20
Lots of good advise here. A couple of things that are important to my ability to sit still are 1) Being warm, dry and comfortable, and 2) Being as well-rested as possible. If I'm fighting to stay awake, I fidget like crazy.

From: DanaC
03-Jan-20
Take a course in meditation.

From: Candor
03-Jan-20
There, I fixed it for you Dana:

"Take a course in medication."

only kidding. I agree with learning to relax your mind and you will be more comfortable, hear better and see better. When I bonefish i see so many more fish when I relax my mind and do not look intently for them. My mind relaxed picks up on so much more. Learning to meditate has been a game changer for my ability to focus when I need to focus and chill when I need to be less intense and sleep better at night.

03-Jan-20
I put on my Heater Body Suit, tuck in and sleep,,,,,,,,,,,,, I kid you not,,,,,,,,,,, its my nature to be lazy, and it pays off bowhunting/////////

But I am 70 now.... young guys today are too wired. Lots of pressures on them, social media etc...................... they are more successful today, but in a lot of ways, hard to break away for a short hunt, without still being all cranked up

I think its a mental thing. Boubound said it best

From: Brotsky
03-Jan-20
If you're too cold to move it's easy to sit still :-)

From: TrapperKayak
03-Jan-20

TrapperKayak's embedded Photo
TrapperKayak's embedded Photo
A sure way to remain still....

From: mick
03-Jan-20
I think as one gets older and your hearing gets worse, it`s easier to get busted by a quick head snap. To me, I don`t think I hear the deer like I did years ago. So I`ve had more times getting busted as a deer got close and saw/heard nothing, and all of a sudden there`s a noise behind me and it startles me and causes me to quickly snap my head around. No different then if someone jumps out behind a door and says boo, one jumps. My buck I took this past fall busted me as it came from behind me and was suddenly 20 yds away and I snapped my head way to fast. Then next 5 min. was a stare down,head bobbing deal before he relaxed enough and started to move.

From: tonyo6302
07-Jan-20
I nail a orange hat and a camo long sleeve shirt all year on my ladder stands. The wind makes the shirt move all the time.

. . .. .. .

. . . .. .

I get away with a lot of movement. The deer usually ignore me due to the shirt flapping in the wind all year.

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