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Spot and stalk for beginners

beancounter

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Joined
Mar 1, 2016
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18
I am a midwest whitetail hunter so spot and stalk hunting is not in my dna. I have done one western hunt and learned I have a lot to learn. Anyway how do you experienced elk hunters approach your hunt? More specifically. ..

1. Does weapon influence what you bring for spotting equipment?
2. How do you identify glassing areas?
3. How much are you glassing vs hiking? Is it terrain dependent?
 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
17,185
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
I am a midwest whitetail hunter so spot and stalk hunting is not in my dna. I have done one western hunt and learned I have a lot to learn. Anyway how do you experienced elk hunters approach your hunt? More specifically. ..

1. Does weapon influence what you bring for spotting equipment?
2. How do you identify glassing areas?
3. How much are you glassing vs hiking? Is it terrain dependent?

1) No, but species does. I rarely bring a spotting scope for archery elk, but I wouldn't leave home without it for mule deer, or late season elk. For archery elk I typically fly with just 10x40 binos. Otherwise, I take a Leupold 25x spotter.

2) As high as I can get to see a lot of area, but yet it will allow me cover to leave the area to stalk an animal. Weather is a big influence also, i.e. shade, protection from wind, sun exposure when it's cold, angle of sun for glassing.

3) It really depends on species and terrain. When I archery hunted mule deer in the Rubies in Nevada, I would typically glass a long time from a given location, then hike a fair ways to the next glass location. If you're hunting the Missouri Breaks for elk, you might not go very far from glass locations because there is so much concealment with the terrain.
 

Jamen

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Joined
Oct 5, 2013
Messages
507
Location
North Dakota
I am like you bean counter a Midwest whitetail hunter. But some of my favorite hunts have been spot and stalk on whitetail in CRP grass. I have hunted in the badlands a few times I know that is a bit different than in the mountains but if I were going to the mountains id approach it the same way.

1) Weapon for me doesn't really influence me at all. Bring what you are use to and one for the area. If it is really wooded a high power scope may not be needed.

2) Glassing for me when in the badlands was the most important. This ties into your third bullet. If you are a good glasser you can eliminate a lot of wasted hiking. I like to pick a point that sticks out and you can see up and down different draws. Once I comb over an area for awhile and decide nothing is there or id like to look at different areas I reproach the new areas the same way. look for an area with the biggest vantage point.

One thing I have learned is you can look at an area from one angle move a hundred yards or so and you can see a whole new world while looking at the same area.

Lastly when I decide to make a move on an animal if its in CRP or out in the badlands I use the same tactics. If the animal is stationary and bedded down I go where they cant smell me first and then where they cant see me. Sometimes those stars don't align and you have to pick a route.

If the animal is on the move I look at what they are doing. Are they eating? drinking? being chased? All these factor into where I go and set up. If they are causally moving along eating if you look at the land you can predict where they will go. At that point I head for the best possible place to take a shot. The last thing you want to do is play catch up behind an animal that can travel a lot faster than you up vertical slopes.

Jamen
 

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