Contributors to this thread:
who's gotten good at the ground? i'm talking in the woods, no prefabbed blinds, just all natural stuff...
i set a good one this morning and can't wait to put it together (i hope)
Good luck, I've been doing it for years
Done it that way for years and years.
Good? No. Successful, yes, 3x. Frustrating but rewarding.
open to any succces tips if your willing to share ;)
Some simple ones to get you started... *Raise binos / rangefinder like game is watching you. Sometimes they are and you don't know it. *Two steps & stop avoids cadence while seeing between trees you couldn't before. *When approaching a knoll or high spot bend down lower than the peak as you get closer. Two steps and slowly peek over, then go around, not over the top.
How are you going to hunt on the ground ? Are you going to be sitting in the same few places all the time ?
Stay down wind, use a leaf suit. Comfortable chair are tree seat. Stay back off to the side of trails.20-30 yards. Few drop doe urine to stop them. Practice staying low and seated to shoot.
Archery ground hunting is the same as Spring Turkey season. I like to hunt on the edge of thickets. If there is big trees move when they’re head is behind the tree. Just like Turkey hunting you have to be ready to shoot before they get close. I think Deer are harder to kill than a Turkey from the ground because they can spot or smell you even if you don’t move.
There’s a guy out east somewhere that has a survival school. He was in outdoor life magazine in the late 80s. He is known as the man who can touch deer. His name is Tom Brown. I’ll see if I can get any info for you. I killed a couple of deer hunting the way he hunts. Very fatiguing
Found it Tom Brown JR tracking school
I have killed and witnessed over a hundred eastern whitetails and black bears killed from all natural ground blinds with stickbows. When I started tree stands were illegal and synthetic blinds like pop ups did not exist, neither did baiting. All trail and field edge hunting. I still hunt that way in many instances, generally on trails or food plots edges. Best way to hunt when conditions are right.
Funny how quickly we forget, at one time everybody hunted on the ground for the most part. That's how i learned.
I started out hunting on the ground, now i do both. Cover, cover cover....that's the key i prefer a spot that has enough understory to break things up and still have shooting lanes to be able to shoot. I simply haven't found it to be as difficult as everyone says.... Just sit still and know when to move...
I have shared this photo many times....just for an example. This little buck literally walked past me a couple feet away, i was able to get my cell out of my pocket, take my glove off, turn my phone on and get a pic before he got out of bow range. naturally very slowly and when he wasn't looking. And it was really open here, i was actually stillhunting at the time, saw him coming and tucked behind a tree. If you look at the bottom right of the pic you can see his tracks where he walked..
One more thing....i hunt with a longbow or recurve...if i can do it surely you compound guys that can draw and hold ought to be able to.
95% of the time I hunt from natural ground blinds. I wear a ghillie Boonie hat to break up my head n shoulder outline...its not necessary but I believe it helps. Move slow. Hunt the wind (when you can). Stay as clean as possible. Draw your bow when the deer is not looking your way or their view is obstructed by a tree or bush. Wear a face mask or camo paint. I try to keep the sun to my back as much as possible and stay in the shadows. Wear clothes that are not nosey. Clear away any debri in your blind.
ASAT leafy suit. Animals amaze me how well they know their home turf. They can be strolling along and if you are a new dark blob they have never seen. They will balk.
At the very least breakup the outline of your head and shoulders.
I purposely posed for this picture. Skylined and in the open. To see what many animals would see.
The ASAT leafy broke up my outline and didn’t blob out like traditional camo does.
Here is the ASAT sitting in ground brush
No dark blob
I wear an ASAT pull over long sleeve shirt. I wear that over whatever I'm wearing. Anything will work IF it helps you blend in..but I think ASAT is a good camo pattern.
I love to ground hunt. I have my "system". I have different seats I use, depending on terrain. It comes down to Quiet, everything, No Noise, No Movement, ... I use a crossbow, very effective I use a 3/4 guille at times I hunt hill country, I use my Millenium tree seat, love that seat. I like to be mobile My territory is big woods in the UP, or hill country SW Wis.
My dad was 6’5”. He would start out building a blind by digging a hole so he could sit flat on the ground. The blind above ground was minimal.
I hunt from the ground a lot with no blind. Blaze orange, camo, earthtone clothes,no face mask. Doesn't matter as long as the wind is right. Had this nice 140" 9 point come to 20 yards last week following a doe. She was about ten yards.
Clipped a couple of branches in a cedar tree, backed into it and sat on a small folding chair. Had this doe at 6 yds for about 10 minutes before she strolled on. Had 1/2 dozen various deer within 20 yds the same morning. Play the wind, and sit still. Hardest part of ground hunting with selfbows is getting to full draw when the deer are in shooting range.
I was kneeling behind that tree to get a shot.
I was kneeling behind that tree to get a shot.
My dad taught me how to sit on the ground when I was a kid tagging along with him. Cheated and killed a 161” 8 pt two years ago from a ground blind. Last year I couldn’t find a tree and didn’t want to tip the buck I was after off with a blind so I set up on the ground the night of the sit. Used a bush and a small oak tree for cover and killed a 175” 11pt that was 8.5 yrs old. Biggest thing is breaking up your outline and knowing when/how to move. Takes practice, I know when I was a kid, there were a lot of hard lessons and spooked deer so don’t get frustrated.
got it done on the ground yesterday!
he was 7 yds away before i let him walk past and drew while facing away... shot him at 20
Yep, pictures or it didn’t happen;)
Check out Whitetail Adrenaline.
Congrats. You will be hooked now.
Great stuff Pyrannah! I killed my first several deer off the ground but with a shotgun;)
Last several deer I've taken have been while I'm sitting on the ground. Still use a couple of ladder stands in certain spots, but I like being at ground level much better. Once you get use to it, you'll wonder why in the world you didn't start hunting this way long ago. More comfort, more flexibility, way more warmer on the ground than up in a tree when a cold north wind is blowing, don't have to worry about falling. We use permanent natural brush/ stick blinds that are located in the same spots each year, so its just a matter of sprucing them up a bit with some new sticks and brush. I also brush in some old artificial dark green Xmas tree stems in certain spots. Learned that tip from an article that Uncle Barry W. wrote at one time. The best thing I can say is get a copy of G. Fred Asbells book on ground hunting. Lots of good info in there on hunting from the ground and building natural ground blinds. We try and set them up for a 20 yd shot (don't want to be too close) and of course wind direction is the main factor on whether or not a certain spot is huntable that day. My son just recently took a nice buck at 15 yds from our natural ground blind. Perfect double lung shot, it did not go far. And another thing, at ground level you're more apt to get a double lung pass through than from a elevated tree stand angled shot.
BK, I like your approach. I rarely hunt from the ground and when I do it is generally from a pop up blind. Would like to do it more often and without the blind.
Curious what people are using for a seat when ground hunting and not using a blind?
Wvbowhunter I use a folding camp stool
Folding camp stools for me too. Been a long time since I got up in a tree. I like natural blinds but also have a couple pop-ups. In the natural blinds I often use a couple Elk Mountain Slip "umbrellas" to block the sides or part of the front, but I can still shoot over them.
WV Years ago I was pinned down by a cow elk with in shooting range. And as most of us know there is always a tree covering their vitals when it happens. After having been down on both of my knees, my circulation in my legs started to stiffen me up. By crunch time, I was barely able to move to get a quick shot off. I thought that there has to be a better way. A buddy of mine told me to make a "T" stool. I asked him WTH is that? Just take a 2x4 cut to your desired height and put a 1 x 6 across one end to sit on. Glue it up good at the joint, add a couple of screws, then attach two "Corner L" brackets under the joint for added strength. So I did. I put a 4' strap on it to carry over my shoulder. The 90 degree angle of the stool rides very nice under your day pack or fanny pack. You can shoot a bow very easily while its still on your shoulder or I can have it off of my shoulder in seconds and be sitting on it to shoot , anywhere, and the ground doesn't have to be level. The only points of ground contact are the 2x4 and your 2 feet. Works great up against a tree for back support if you're sitting for a while. I keep one in each of our ground blinds or if I'm roaming, I carry one on my shoulder. I use old ratchet strap material for the shoulder strap. I'm average height so I cut the 2x4 to 18" and add the 1x6 cut to about 19". You can turn while sitting on them plus you have a solid foundation when leaning in any direction to get a shot. No, they are not your favorite recliner, but work great in any hunting situation. And you will only have about $4 invested in making one plus your time of putting one together. Manufacturers Disclaimer states: that if you raise one foot off of the ground while sitting on one to release gas, you may tip over.
Not easy drawing back but love it! Nice to be able to walk the woods find a spot and just need a 3 pound stool and a pair of shears to trim branches in the way.
That’s interesting BK.
Spike, I am a minimalist when it comes to hunting gear. The freedom with very little added weight interests me. Not to mention the thrill of being eye level.
Funny part is, when I was in high school and a little bit later on, I hunted a lot from the ground and have several kills that way. Not really sure why I got away from it.
I hunt from the ground often. I kill deer every year off the ground. With trad bows and compounds.
The biggest tip I can give you for ground hunting is use the sun to help you. If it’s open enough to keep the sun in their eyes when looking for you, as long as you have a little cover you’ll be fine.
If not, wear good camo and move at the right time. You’ll get it.
I rattled and called tonight off the ground and got busted by a buck.
Did you have a decoy out? I have better luck calling on the ground with a pair of Montana decoys to distract them.
i suspect your rattling gave him the ability to pinpoint the exact location.. he didn't see deer and focused on you?
just a thought
it's damn exciting on the ground though
Back drop means everything. However always give yourself shooting lanes in the back drop deer come in behind more than a guy ever thinks being on the ground. Camo not that important wools of fall color patterns broken up by like colored vest. Make your move when you can but movement will get ya if the wind didnt! Also iv found i may try to get closer to a crossing or trail as deer go by thru out the day. Iv burned myself so many times doing it just to have a big buck in range of my last set up. This last week in wisco was nuts as i did it numerous times. Ground game awsome. But i need to find a super lite pakable climber so i dont make a move quick!
I've been hunting on the ground so long that Thornton's camera was in focus when I started!
I had a really close and successful ground hunt back a few weeks ago in mid October in SW PA. I knew bucks were traveling along this cut lane going around the perimeter of an overgrown field so I tucked in the brush along the edge with a stiff North wind in my face. I had hunted that morning in a tree and watched a buck bed in the thick stuff. So I settled in that evening and grunted about 6:30 and minutes later this nice young 10 pt with a kicker strolled by at 5 yards! I wasn't even brushed in all that well. Had a good backdrop directly behind me and a big log in front of me. I had opportunities to grab the bow and could have gotten a shot off. He is not my target buck though but boy was it fun!
I started bowhunting before portable stands (excluding "Baker style) and compound bows. I followed the trends for years and found my way back to stickbows at 35 yo and back to the ground at 50. Life is a journey.