Blown stalks
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Beendare 16-Jan-22
JohnMC 16-Jan-22
Bou'bound 16-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 16-Jan-22
Scoot 16-Jan-22
Jaquomo 16-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 16-Jan-22
Wayne Helmick 16-Jan-22
Jaquomo 16-Jan-22
RK 16-Jan-22
Wayne Helmick 16-Jan-22
Rock 17-Jan-22
elkmtngear 17-Jan-22
groundhunter50 17-Jan-22
Cornpone 17-Jan-22
Panther Bone 17-Jan-22
smarba 17-Jan-22
Grey Ghost 17-Jan-22
nvgoat 17-Jan-22
nvgoat 17-Jan-22
TD 17-Jan-22
groundhunter50 17-Jan-22
Jaquomo 17-Jan-22
Beendare 17-Jan-22
TonyBear 17-Jan-22
bowhunter24 18-Jan-22
Beendare 19-Jan-22
Beendare 19-Jan-22
Shuteye 19-Jan-22
TD 20-Jan-22
LKH 20-Jan-22
Shuteye 21-Jan-22
From: Beendare
16-Jan-22
I just returned from a DIY desert mule deer and Coues deer hunt where I had multiple failed stalks.

I got a tune up on the huge disadvantage of a short range stickbow in wide open desert conditions…..and that I’m not nearly as limber in my 60’s as I was in my younger days. Its much harder to be stealthy creeping around on the desert floor, in fact I’m downright klutzy. I might have to take up Yoga!

With water puddles everywhere, Ambush was no longer an option. Getting 50yds was do-able…it was that extra 20 yds closer that proved to be the deal breaker.

Rant over. Its still a great feeling to spot deer in my 15’s, like opening a present on Christmas…..”There you are, got ya!” .

From: JohnMC
16-Jan-22
I did not have any failed stalks. I’ll trade you since I was at work and not hunting. That is hunt I want to do.

From: Bou'bound
16-Jan-22
none of us are what we used to be but we're better than we're gonna be

From: Grey Ghost
16-Jan-22
I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was. ;-)

Welcome to mule deer spot and stalk hunting. It's how I cut my teeth deer hunting with a bow. I used to love it, but like you, now it's more painful than anything. But I still do it.

Matt

From: Scoot
16-Jan-22
I hope this isn't a sidetrack Beendare, but i think it's relevant... i have a question for you guys who are longer in the tooth than me-- do you notice your balance getting worse as you age? I used to be a good athlete and I do well in that regard for almost being 50, but I think I can tell my balance isn't what it used to be.

In the last stalk I had on a muley I almost fell over a couple times when trying to make slow, careful steps. It was ridiculous!

From: Jaquomo
16-Jan-22
Did you try calling and/or rattling? Right now is the time for that in AZ, at this stage of the rut. Stalking down there, especially for Coues, is a supreme challenge. I've felt your pain.....

From: Grey Ghost
16-Jan-22
Scoot,

I'm 60, and I have noticed my balance isn't as good as it used to be. That could be because my center of gravity has shifted over the years, if you catch my drift. ;-)

I notice it a lot when I'm fishing in my small skiff. I used to walk around the open bow and rails, and crawl up on the poling platform like a monkey. Not so much any more. I have to be much more deliberate with my movements, or I'll end up in the water.

Matt

16-Jan-22
I stood up after glassing some elk last year in Colorado and immediately fell over and rolled down the mountain. My balance is horrible anymore and I'm only 53. I have trouble with stairs.

From: Jaquomo
16-Jan-22
I'm approaching 68 and definitely notice my balance slipping (pun intended). I have to be more careful in precarious places. Fell on the rocks when fishing this fall and lucky I wasn't hurt worse.

Its tough to accept because I used to be as nimble as Nureyev. But like most things that deteriorate with age, only so much we can do to counter it.

From: RK
16-Jan-22
Yea I’m pretty sure that as you accumulate birthdays your balance goes. I just turned 70 and notice, like GG, that I can’t scamper around the front deck on the boat as well and I won’t go on a casting platform without a rail on it. Heights bother me now more. I can’t sky dive anymore and depending on the pitch of a roof I either go or not. Big airplanes and helicopters don’t bother me yet

I think it’s just normal.

But don’t let it stop you from still going and doing or you are done !

16-Jan-22
Yeah, I had other factors involved. Lost 40 pounds due to prostate cancer so my blood pressure dropped and if I stood up too quick I would get dizzy. But despite all that, to answer Scoot's question, you can't do what you used to. Just adjust accordingly.

From: Rock
17-Jan-22
Dang and I thought it was just me that was noticing this.

From: elkmtngear
17-Jan-22
"I might have to take up Yoga"!

Seriously Bruce...doing a simple Yoga Stretch ("Sun Salutations") as a daily routine, has been a game changer for me.

Been doing it for about 3 years now before my daily treadmill run, my knees no longer pop, and my flexibility is as good or better than it has been in a long time (I just turned 60 last year). A young kid I ran into on my solo elk hunt this Year, was amazed at my age, told me I "move like a 20 year old".

17-Jan-22
Scoot to answer your question, yes and I will be 72 shortly. I retired at 58, and at 62 started a more intense daily workout, when not hunting. Balance is a main issue, and took the advice from young spec ops persons, and got into a pool. 90 percent of my work out, including my 30 min run, is done in water. I incorporate both Yoga and Tai Chi in the water, to maintain balance.... The other 10 percent is free weights. The results have been amazing......

I also feel the posters pain,,,,, I gave up the recurve and went to a compound with 75 percent let off, at 66. For serious hunting, I had to consider, my accuracy and how I use to shoot,,,,,,,, I love to hunt, and do what you have to do

From: Cornpone
17-Jan-22
I'm going to be 77 in a few months and have noticed my balance deteriorating for the last several years. Just walking along in the woods, if I happen to snag my foot on something the chances of not catching myself, and going down, are about 50-50. Even just walking along leisurely, or even standing, I always seem to have a slight wobble. It's of great concern from a hunting aspect. I'm a dedicated tree-stander for deer and I can see down the road whereas that may be difficult. Neither my weight nor physical condition are and issue.

17-Jan-22
At 40 I get around great, but I can tell when fly fishing that I can’t skip and run across the creek as well as when I was in my twenties.

From: smarba
17-Jan-22
Considering our hearing tends to deteriorate as we age, and balance is related to our inner ear, I suspect there is a correlation. Exercises that require balance definitely help - I notice I'm less stable when I haven't done strength and/or jump exercises such as P90X.

That said, when stalking a quote from Born to Run regarding trail running definitely applies "when running rough trails and deciding whether to take 1 step or two...take 3". It's a LOT easier to keep your balance with very short shuffling steps than big steps. And with short steps if one foot ends up slipping or beginning to feel noisy it's easy to regroup and adjust. With a big step, you're committed to that foot and there's no turning back...

From: Grey Ghost
17-Jan-22
My wife and I just completed a 12 mile bike ride on moderately hilly terrain. While riding, I thought about this thread, then I recalled how I used to ride no-handed all the time. So, of course I had to prove to myself I could still do it. I can, but letting go of that second handle-bar took a lot more concentration and nerve than it used to. ;-(

Matt

From: nvgoat
17-Jan-22
To retain balance you need to practice balance.

Years ago I read a piece about an old man who practiced his balance every day by standing on one leg while he put on his socks, undies and pants. No extra time commitment so easy to do everytime. I find this helpful.

Check out this article especially the parts on CARs (controlled articular rotations). The leg movement is standing on one leg. Helps the joints as well as balance. Takes very little time. Great for first thing in the morning or before workout. https://journalofmountainhunting.com/five-steps-better-backpacking-prep-by-todd-bumgardner/

From: nvgoat
17-Jan-22
BTW, I do the leg CARs without hand support on the wall

From: TD
17-Jan-22
Hey Bruce! Do they bark at ya for 5 minutes when busted so as to really rub it in? =D

Yeah it's tough. I think it was The Duke who said it's even tougher when you're trad...... something like that.... heheheheh.... When you get in that close, unless you have some wind moving stuff around, I think getting drawn on deer is the toughest part. Gotta draw to shoot I'm told. Planets have to align. Seen the movie Dumb and Dumber? Soooo, what I'm saying is, you have a chance!

Balance slips a bit for sure, so to speak. Like stated above, exercises I never used to have to do help. For me worse yet was having to start wearing glasses a few years ago. First pair I got were progressives. Those sucked to put it kindly. I literally started having shooting issues right out of the gate, bow and shotgun. Missing easy stuff. Fought it for a year before getting some Oakleys (they do curved lens prescriptions) with single prescription and (until I had to read something) life was good again. Or almost. Problem now is all these glasses effect my depth perception, each differently.... walking by braille sometimes. Unintentional yoga...

Let me know how the yoga turns out! If nothing else I hear there is possibility of a bit more interesting company than in hunting camp. I mean, just tell me though..... don't need any Downward Dog pics...... =D

17-Jan-22
Good info hear,,,, My hero is Cameron Hanes,,,,, Keep Charging, is what he says

From: Jaquomo
17-Jan-22
Much of balance comes from the core, and that seems to be the part that goes faster with older folks. I can't bring myself to do yoga but my wife is an instructor and does an hour to 1.5 hour of yoga every day, then a long snowshoe ot mountain hike in the afternoon. Amazing balance, amazing shape.

I prefer our workout room with rock and roll, with kettlebells, weights, band resistance, step ups, and leg strength exercises. That, and hiking on uneven ground. I do pretty good on our hikes but she usually kicks my butt, and walks faster than me, but is a foot shorter.

From: Beendare
17-Jan-22
This thread went from ‘how to be a better stalker’ to ‘ I’m old and not very flexible too’ real quick. Grin

I do a lot of the same weight lifting stuff; bench, military, etc as Ive done since my 20’s….a change is definitely in order. My question; should I be trading my Kuiu Ascents for Lululemon?

Ive been stalking deer for 4 decades with a bow- love it. Honest assesment- I’m not very good at it. I did shoot an 80”+ Coues last year with my recurve…so its not all bad- grin

My all trad strategy is going to be more of a trad optional thing in tough conditions. Nothing wrong with a compound in those impossible situations.

Ive had a couple guys ask about these desert hunts. I like them but be advised; the deer density is typically much less. Finding pockets is even more important in the desert. I love 15’s on a tripod at daylight and dusk. Ive scanned with my 10x Swaros…nuthin…then scanned again with my 15x Meoptas and picked up multiple Coues deer on the same hillsides. Hand holding binos has limitations.

Calling works. My buddy has killed 2 really nice Coues bucks in the last 2 years with his Black widow recurve calling. He is one of the best deer hunters Ive ever seen. He adapts. He never picked up his recurve on our last hunt in those tough conditions.

Im also nursing that Plantar Faciatis so that didnt help in that country strewn with softball and head sized rocks.

.

From: TonyBear
17-Jan-22
Some of my best falls were in my 20s and 30s while bowhunting walking to or from the stand in the dark but also while skiing, during martial arts training or soccer. When I was in my 40s they started to hurt, in 50s don't want to fall. In 60's fall more often but generally not as hard as I am moving slower, taking less chances. That damn trip to the garbage can during winter snowmelt or the parking lot at church gets me every time. I think the last time I had a few Olympic judges scoring my antics.(The Russian judge score me lower than the rest).

I heard once as a rule of thumb stalking 1/10 mile in an hour was a good pace in cover. Less than that while in the open.

The older I get the slower I go, been quite a while since I snuck up on one without tripping over something or snapping a few branches, rolling over an ankle, etc. That said, hit the tip of the elbow on the bow arm last time I fell on the ice and it's affecting my shooting. Any exercises a guy should try??

From: bowhunter24
18-Jan-22
Heck, I bet Paul never falls!!!

From: Beendare
19-Jan-22
I've been part of stalks with some of the best deer hunters I've ever seen. They have incredible patience.

Spotting for them through my 15s, they are in no hurry. My one buddy took a solid 4 hours plus to go around the mountain -1 hour, then 3 hours one foot at a time to creep in the 200 yds to get a shot on that buck. It exhausting just to watch them.

Part of my problem, besides my size 15's and being a big inflexible guy- I tend to go too fast.

From: Beendare
19-Jan-22
My other downfall thats popped up in the last few years is Cramping.

I made a pretty good stalk on a decent buck last year and he decided to get up and move. I was rushing to get into shooting position on my knees....and my hammy locked up tight as a drum- I couldn't have drawn my recurve if my life depended on it.

Now I include Cytomax on every hunt- or try to...its the only thing that has helped me.

From: Shuteye
19-Jan-22
The first stalk I ever tried was when I was a kid. I had a Bear recurve that I saved money all Summer to buy. I shot every day and made my own arrows. Used Bear Razor Head broadheads with insert. I was in a tree and saw a buck chasing a doe and they crossed a fence covered with honey suckle about 100 yards away. Then I saw another buck following them. Then I saw another coming through the standing asparagus. It was tall and brown and all you could see was antlers. I decided to get down from the walnut tree and go to where they were crossing. Then I saw another buck coming and had to sneak closer. The buck crossed the honey suckle and out into the cut corn field where all the others had gone. I stayed low and got to the crossing and stood up. The buck stopped and turned perfectly broadside. I was at full draw and let the arrow go. When the buck took off I could see feathers sticking out right behind his front shoulder. He went about 30 yards and started to wobble. He went down and I had my first 10 point buck with bow and arrow. It was a 52 yard shot, the farmer that let me hunt there was as happy as I was. That was 64 years ago and I can remember it like it was yesterday. Back then you could only kill one deer a year and it was bucks only. I killed my first doe on the same farm the first year they allowed doe hunting and it field dressed 162 pounds. There were huge does since they had never been hunted. Now a 130 pound doe is considered big. I couldn't climb that tree today if my life depended on it and have blown some stalks since then.

From: TD
20-Jan-22
Shuteye..... they say you always remember your first......

From: LKH
20-Jan-22
I killed my first muley in MT at about 8 feet as it rose from its bed. It was a small 3 point and I was tickled.

What made it possible was using my recurve like a cane to allow me to very slowly push the dry grass down with my feet. Try taking a cane/stick on these stalks. It will allow you to move much slower, helps the balance issue, and prevents falls.

From: Shuteye
21-Jan-22
I did learn many years ago that you can kill deer in standing corn if you wait for a strong windy day. Put the wind in your face and move slowly. I have killed deer four corn rows away. Back in the day it was late when they cut corn but now they cut corn earlier in the year. Have blown a few stalks in the standing corn but have killed enough to make it worth while. Around here the deer live in the standing corn until it is picked.

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