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How to bush stalk KIWI style.
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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Elvis
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 7518
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:28 pm    Post subject: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

After having a great week stalking recently it occurred to me that the method I used/use may be of interest to others and if I can convey it correctly a learning aid for new hunters...a big ask but here goes anyway.

first up you cant drink whiskey from bottle of wine
if there is no deer in an area you are wasting your time and energy doing a full on stalk of barren ground,find an area where you have fresh sign eg poohs on the ground,foot prints/spoor,tree rubbing or evidence of grazing and THEN get into mouse mode

WIND is vital or fatal depending on your ability to read it,a red deer has been said to smell you from over a mile away,so hunting with a breeze blowing up ya jacksee is not going to be very productive (besides which those baked bean farts will linger longer) there are different ways to find/check the wind,wet your finger and hold it up to find which side gets cold,shave hair from behind your ears to feel breeze,powder puff pottle,piece of cotton tied to your barrel (Suz??? was this why your lot added feather to bow???) a quick flick of the trusty Bic flick..cigarette lighter to you non down unders, drop handfull of leaves or dust.
which ever method you use hunting into the wind is best as it keeps your scent away from quarry,you CAN hunt across the wind eg sidle around contour of land with a breeze blowing uphill(thermal breeze on sunny day will do this) but you will be scenting up area above you so eyes need to cover area infront and above you well,main area to find game will be below you,which leads nicely onto how to see game

I put up a poll on another forum recently to see how other people got a 100% positive ID of an animal (due to recent hunting accidents)
biggest % of guys use 3 or more things to do this.
personally I normally spot colour Im looking for/movement/horizontal solid line or something just "out of place"
which then gets double checked..and triple checked if ticking boxes at that stage
seeing head and neck of live animal doing LIVE animal things is MY PERSONAL final box to tick off.
with modern electronic callers getting better and good old cow horn magic in right hands sound is OUT as an ID factor...other than to start process of checking something out,that includes roaring/croaking/bugling and general moving around noises like brushes rustling ,foot falls or antler rattling
they are great to get your attention and focus it but not enough to tell what it is you are hearing...it could be a human..infact it is a human untill you can 100% tell otherwise..right thats enough on that one FOR NOW.

ok so we are walking along with wind right and some fresh deer sign on ground...but HOW are you walking????a heavy booted plod just wont do old chap...wont do at all
take a break from keyboard,go outside in bare feet and walk across ashfelt/tarseal/stoney road, you will find that you cant walk heel toe heel toe any more as it hurts Sad
so you will by default start to place your foot flat..well sort of flat,outside of foot touches first then rolls down till big toe hits,your foot is down then your weight goes to that foot and then and only then will back foot move and repeat sequence. same goe for crossing a river,each foot goes down and solidly grounded BEFORE other one moves
when Im in hot sign its 3 steps then stop and look..another 3 and look again etc etc etc if you in really hot sign and think you going too slow well Mates SLOW DOWN SOME MORE and then you are still going too fast.
deer live there all the time,if you sitting in lazy boy chair in your lounge reading a book or eating a han n cheese sammie and some one walzed into your house you would know it straight away wouldnt you????? same goes for a deer except they know if they not really alert they will get one way trip on back of ute.

k so we have
wind
walk slow
find area of sign

feeding area,sleeping/bedding area or moving between the two are main places to find your quarry
food is where you find it
bedding will be warm with light breeze to carry scent to bedded deer and be close to heavy cover...usually

down here downunder we have warm faces on North side of ridges being best bets as warmer = more plant growth and better bedding areas.


that will do for now...have a read and feel free to ask questions
and Ill have a think on what Ive missed
clothing and footwear come to mind.

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Elvis
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 7518
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:20 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

clothing,well if you have the $$$$$$ Swazi is really good stuff,made by a hunting man for hunters,tested and it works and lasts but as said it costs
me Im a cheap bugga and have a real mix n match wardrobe of polar fleece garments from all over the place,normally bought cheap by SWMBO on trade me auction site.
in warm weather its polyprop short tights (think above the knee long Johns) with rugby shorts over top..to protect/preserve modesty.
and usually a polyprop top or fleece Tshirt.
in colder weater we "layer up" eg keep adding layers till we warm enough and top it with a shell layer
if in the bush quietness is paramount so fleece is king.
back in the day it was the good old Swanni or Lambi woolen coat but now fleece wins out as its so much lighter and dries quicker.
a hat of some sort ,fleece gloves and a fleece neck warmer top off my list of cloths
boots are a personal thing,lace up rubber gumboots win hands down for me.
after years of sore red feet from hunting in leather boots my Brother got me onto Bullers and I havent looked back since,Ive got a reasonable pair of leather hunting boots and they do the odd day trip in hot weather but gummies are the shite in the bush,really easy to step quietly and they grip well so you dont spend half the day falling on ya bum and other half picking ya self up again.

on last trip I would find area with sign and follow any spoor present if wind was right or just wander along SLOWLY in direction of travel taking path of least resistance picking deer trail where possible.

rifles are again personal choice but for my money big n slow beats light and fast projectile wise (that said Ive hunted successfully with .223)
a good old .308 is still hard to beat.
but scopes are a different matter
your 4x16 ziess or 8x24 might be the ducks nuts out in open country where long shots from rest are the norm but in the scrub the lower the magnification the better wiht 4x being MOST you want and lower still is better.mine wear vari powers with 3x as lowest and other rifle a fixed 4x
tried mates smit n bender and it was plurry hopeless, even on lowest power the field of view was like peering down a drain pipe!!!!

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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 13609
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

All good teachings and advice Elvis. Anybody with an Army or similar background will understand and appreciate the need and value of moving slowly and carefully when moving through the bush.

Stalking and patrolling are almost the same thing in that you are searching for and closing with a quarry that you plan on taking in one way or another. In the case of a soldier it is to "kill or capture" the enemy, whereas when hunting the object is to deliver a quick humane kill that will provide maximum good quality meat. An animal that has been startled and takes off is in "fight or flight" mode and is pumping adrenaline through it's muscles, which makes the meat tough.

Fortunately, most animals are, as best we know, colour blind, so all the gucci camo gear is really wasted and in fact may put you in danger of not being seen by other hunters, hence the regulation to wear a certain percentage of blaze orange in many places. From memory, deer 'see' very differently than humans (or at least they see blue colours very easily), so whilst they are technically colour blind, you will shine like a beacon to them if you have had SWMBO wash your hunting clothes in the current crop of soaps and fabric softeners with the 'you beaut' UV brighteners and colour enhancers. Unfortunately it is these additives that will make your hunting clothes shine brightly (to a deer) like an ultraviolet light on a white shirt in a dark room.

Best Camo Pattern: One That Doesn’t Glow

Scientific Facts About How Deer See And Hear

It seems that 'ambush' hunting (sitting in a tree stand or blind) is becoming more common these days, but you will still have to move into position before you can hunt, so learning to stalk, or move through the bush, effectively is a skill you will need to master.

The way I was taught to patrol/stalk when in the Army was to move slowly (for example, most Special Forces soldiers will patrol a maximum of around 1000 metres a day, or even less in some cases) and avoid "crunchy" dead fall underfoot. It is surprising how far the sound of a cracking stick will travel in the bush. Whilst it is a 'natural' sound, it will also alert the mob "lookouts". If you are within close proximity of your quarry and want to go to ground or go prone (which really is almost mandatory), don't just drop down...lower your wee pink bum slowly.

Sudden quick movement is easily picked up, especially in peripheral vision, and critters have untold better vision than we homo sapiens. Even when you get down on ya belly you will still need to move slowly...even if it's only to get into a good 'fire position'. Also, remember...mobs of critters usually have 'lookouts' when they stop to feed, so whilst you are focusing on that amazing 136x136 head Confused there is a better than even money chance that there are two or three sets of eyes with outstanding vision watching out for him and ready to bark a warning.

Also, the upside to moving slowly through the bush is it conserves energy...you won't knock up as quickly...more energy to carry out that meat or trophy head.

Back to you Elvis...



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Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

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Elvis
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 7518
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

good stuff Mate and yeah its NATO blue for me over orange anyday,as a high % of fellas are red green colour blind so orange is a lighter shade to them ...so is a deers bum....
also in certain light conditions our most common quarry the "red deer" can pop out like bright orange,eg summer coat with sun hitting it.

one bit I forgot to mention is contours/height

when I first get to hunting area I generally suss out which is prevailing wind direction,lucky for me its usually across hill face,and start at whichever end is down wind,start climbing up a spur,mini ridge untill I hit feeding zone...now this takes a while to cotton onto but is HUGE benefit, deer will be feeding in an altitude "band" that may only be 20 mtrs/yards in height as thats where best growth is at that time of year,sometimes its more like 100-150mtrs wide but on my usual block closer to 50.
while plodding up chosen spur you are on lookout for spoor crossing spur,find it and start sidling around through the crappy gully heads,this is take away row for deer,as all the good stuff grows in here. hunting ridges it great for open ness and ease of walking but the deer arent there most of the time,they are down in the crappy,tangly,log jammed,bush lawyery, lovely tight stuff because thats where food is at,and the tighter it is the harder for man to sneak up on them.......they dont get old by being silly.

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PaulS
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Joined: Feb 18, 2006
Posts: 3542
Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Wow! All this knowledge is being handed out for free, and it's good information! If we were sitting in a hotel meeting room we'd be paying $150 for the same stuff.

Don't wear blue of any color! Deer see in the blue to UV range and you stand out to a deer the same way blaze orange does for us. Deer see reds, oranges and yellows as brown and tan - pretty much the whole area is brown and tan except for flowers which reflect UV and blue light. (food stands out in their world.

I have never been able to walk quietly so I eith pick a spot that has good cover or go real slow and spend a lot more time crouched than walking. I must sound pretty much like a bear when I move in thick stuff. It doesn't keep me from getting an animal but the animal has to really want to die for me.

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Elvis
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Posts: 7518
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Paul...I stood and had conversation with a deer at less than 10 yards the other week wearing Tshirt just like my Mate is wearing here, blue works for human vision which is why it is SAFER BY FAR than orange.


if you are bush stalking correctly you should be seeing deer and introducing it to some of Mr Noslers finest BEFORE it sees you no matter what you are wearing.



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PaulS
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Posts: 3542
Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Hey Elvis,
You are right about "should" be shooting before the deer sees you but I need all the advantages I can get.
I don't like wearing the blaze orange but it is mandated by hunting regs here. My strong belief is that the orange is seen by hunters who only shoot at things they see or sounds they hear. I liked it better when I could use good colors that blended with the terrain and other "hunters" would not even know you were there until you spoke to them. Those days are gone forever unless you are bow hunting. I read where a game warden had his horse shot out from under him by a "hunter" who noticed it because of the orange blanket it was wearing. A friend of mine who lived on Cougar mountain lost a milk cow to a hunter. The cow was dressed in blaze orange every hunting season. If some guys can see it or hear it move it has to be a deer. Sad

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:30 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Conclusion: deer down under don't spend enough time in school to learn the colour blue...
in the rest of the world however...

Smile


have you tried to walk backwards so deer might think you're leaving?


and orange cows make great trophees!
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:59 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

you guys are missing the point
in interests of SAFETY we over here have said "too faarkin bad if deer see it...its far safer as HUMANS WILL SEE IT"
as said before something like 10% of fellas CANT SEE orange as they are red/green colour blind
one of my good hunting mates is and let me tell you it is plurry frustrating trying to point out a brown rabbit in green grass...brown coming into red spectrum means its just another shade he CANNOT see green shit on red meat (as they found out trying to train him as meat inspector)

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:47 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Elvis, maybe these thermal things might be a good thing for your mate. The price is easely forgotten when it offers a long wanted solution to a problem.
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Toadlet
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

I agree with my dad on the blue shirts they do stick out like doggies danglies for us Kiwis and so much safer. I also have to say the blaze pink does wunders as well I have got a pink shirt from stoney creek and that sticks out like doggies dangly bits as well. So if you want to change up your colours from Orange try the pink or blue
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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

I wonder what they might think here when I would go hunting in a pink shirt... I think I have to be very careful not to bent over to much...
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

Aloysius wrote:
I wonder what they might think here when I would go hunting in a pink shirt... I think I have to be very careful not to bent over to much...

Hi thweety, big boy. Wink Scratch Confused wtf Shocked Shocked Embarassed Mad

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

No one ever mentions the eyes. Most animals including birds react to the predators eyes. Ever watch those horse whisperer trainers? One thing they do to calm a horse down and make him curious and want to inspect you is the trainer keeps is back turned to the horse (as if not paying attention). That's the sense they have. Good idea to keep your eyes hidden (not with sunglasses, which make your eyes seem bigger) but a camo netting or some kind of hat that keeps your eyes out of sight to them.

Another thing I've observed is animals also know if your stalking or just walking along. Predators do the same thing, if they're stalking they are always hiding behind something, or dropping to the ground, they're not walking in (stalking mode) where they can be seen. We as humans out hunting deer look like we're stalking all the time, because we're trying to walk quietly and if an animal sees you doing that then they know you're stalking and they're going to get behind something quick. You have to walk like you're just a lumberman or backpacker out in the woods like they're used to seeing, not paying attention and just doin business as usual. If they see you in a normal mode they'll relax and go on with their normal business too. You probably see more deer in the off-season and that's probably why. It's a good idea to be quiet but you have to choose your path and target area before hand and know when to get into position for stalking so they don't know your stalking.


Suz

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: How to bush stalk KIWI style. Reply with quote

So it is not a bad idea at all to walk backwards... Smile

might use the portable phone in selfi-mode as aid.
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