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Thread: How slow is too slow?

  1. #1

    How slow is too slow?

    Everything I read or am told about stalking says you should move and walk as slowly as you possibly can. I do when out stalking and have had some success getting close to deer, I mainly stalk conifer plantations moving through rides and clearings. When moving as slowly and carefully as possible it takes a long time to cover an area of ground.

    So my question is this, are you as well to decide that you are going to stalk a small area of a large plantation and move very slowly through it on the chance that something will walk out in front of you. Or, are you better to move at a steady pace, but with care, along open areas you have already glassed in order to cover more of the ground and improve your chances of seeing a deer. Then move very slowly when moving into other clearings, bends etc where you haven't been able to glass? I know the feild crafts used will depend on any given situation but I'm interested to hear your opinions.

    I'm off stalking for a few days tomorrow so I can put any advice into practice!

    There's no such thing as a stupid question.

  2. #2
    Walk very slowly and into the wind if you can, peeping round all corners etc, if there are deer on the ground movement will soon drive them away from you. They then know where you are and will be watching for your next approach.


  3. #3
    One of the patches I stalk has a track running the length of it almost like a spine. On a map this path is probably a couple of K's long and on any given stalking day I will probably at most cover about 400m of it's length. Covering that 400m has been known to take 4 hours; and I sometimes think I'm going too fast. Especially when I see a white arse bounding off through the wood.
    I don't think you can stalk too slowly.
    "Walk a little, look a lot" and "slowly slowly catchy monkey" only got to be sayings because they're true.
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  4. #4
    It's one of those classic paradox's isn't it. Do you cover ground and give yourself away, or stay covert and hope they come to you. There is no doubt in my (limited) experience that movement is the biggest give away. Most times when I spot deer it is because they move, and therefore there can be no doubt that they will spot you the same way. Sitting still or moving painfully slowly is when most people will have their 'close encounters'. I'm sure many of us have had that experience of deer coming within feet of you whilst you remain still. They can't work out what you are, and the alarm only goes up if they get down wind and catch a wiff of stalker!

    I guess the driver to cover ground is the same as sitting in a highseat in many ways... you get an itchy backside and start wondering if elsewhere would be better. Going slow, like staying still, is a bit of a leap of faith.... you have to have faith the deer are there, and I guess faith comes through experience and knowledge of the ground.

    Maybe cover the ground first of all, get to know where the deer are, then take it s-l-o-w!


  5. #5
    Account Suspended
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    Jan 2010
    North Yorkshire
    My advice would be you cant walk slow enough in any situation one step forward 3 steps back at the slowest possible pace you can muster, and also look from where you have left as i have had beasts step out within 3 yards behind me.
    Nothing lost going slow but everything to loose at a fast pace

    Try to cover your hands and face as much as you can and forget this B*LL***t about camo just wear drab clothing grey being the best as they cant distinguish grey but they do pick up on movement and noise exceptionally quickly and a dam site quicker than you can spot one.

    another point to keep in mind if your stalking woodland like blanket spruce keep well into the parameter tree line rather than taking the easy approach down the the centre of rides, keeping into the side breaks your profile
    Last edited by Mannlicher_Stu; 10-07-2010 at 20:29.

  6. #6
    It was put to me stalk slow and then slower still, I guess thats why its stalking not walking

  7. #7
    I often have to slow myself down,especially when walking on a slight incline,I find myself starting to breathe heavily so i stop.At the end of the day if my heart rate is up i will not be able to take a steady shot.I practically walk toe to heel and still stop after a few steps and look and listen

  8. #8
    So far in the return posts its all walk slow mmmmmmm.
    Wheres the observation thats what it is all about, if your walking your not observing, if you don't use the the equipment that you have such as ,binos you'll have no requirement to walk anywhere, observe ,observe ,observe not walk, walk ,walk ,the success only comes when you can find deer , the opportune moments can come along when you have all the wind, cover and anything else you need right , that you do walk on to a deer they don't happen all to often.

  9. #9
    I have always hunted at a fairly fast pace,in order to cover more ground (find game)and stopped often to glass!
    I have never had as much success when i dont cover a lot of ground!
    there may not be any deer in a small area that your consentrating in !
    field craft is more important,wind in your face,glass often,slow down and check rides and trails!
    walk as quiet as possible!

    best of luck!


  10. #10
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
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    I've always been told that the key to a successful stalk is who sees who first; if you see the deer first then you have to make a mistake, if the deer sees you first the deer has to make a mistake.

    Once the deer has seen you the odds of a successful stalk drop dramatically - oh, unless it's one of those yearlings that clearly needs to be removed from the gene pool as it's own inquisitiveness overtakes the fear and it walks right up to you.

    I'd endorse Widows Son; observe more and move less. I can think of many occasions where careful observation has resulted in a successful stalk - maybe you just catch sight of a twitching ear or the point of an antler - but I can recall more clearly the times I've kicked myself for wanting to get to a 'favourite spot' and bumped deer by not glassing properly. Look, look, then look some more, then before you move, look again

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

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