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The Official Ground Hunting Thread

Bama_Xander

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Feb 11, 2019
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1,223
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North Alabama
One thing saddle hunting has taught me is that sometimes you don’t need to get up in a tree. With the lighter set up, I don’t feel as bad not using it if the situation dictates it when I find the sign. I want to learn more about your ground hunting experiences to help me as I continue to grow in this area.

Feel free to post:
-Any advice you have on ground hunting
-Advantages/Disadvantages
-Gear you use to ground hunt (we all love gear)
-Success stories (kills or just good hunts/opportunities) from ground hunting
-How much you ground hunt on purpose or by the situation when you find the sign.

I know @Nutterbuster has been very successful this year from the ground. Please tag any other good ground hunters you know.
 

rhagenw

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May 4, 2020
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Before I got a saddle my mobile set up was a short 3 leg hunting seat or foam pad

Back cover is more important than front cover

Wind in the face and sun on the back

Stay alert and still

Clear the ground of debris and make sure you have a pocket to move around in

It’s really pretty simple
 

Aaronpaul14

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Nov 9, 2018
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67042
Before I got a saddle my mobile set up was a short 3 leg hunting seat or foam pad

Back cover is more important than front cover

Wind in the face and sun on the back

Stay alert and still

Clear the ground of debris and make sure you have a pocket to move around in

It’s really pretty simple
Curious reasoning for back cover... Aren’t you trying to set up for deer to come in front still?
 

Bama_Xander

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Feb 11, 2019
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North Alabama
I"ve ben out in the Ghost Blinds few times this year, once with my son. No deer, but I had turkeys walk by me at 15 feet....the day after the season ended...ugh..

Its setup in a littl indentation in the ridge side

View attachment 40152
Those ghost blinds are pretty cool. They seem like black magic at first.
 

Vtbow

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Mar 21, 2018
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Those ghost blinds are pretty cool. They seem like black magic at first.
They are great if the walk in is open and no overhanging branches or thick brush...otherwise they sound like a freight train coming through the woods.

Really is pretty amazing. I match it with a nif-t-seat so I can sit on really uneven ground no problem.
 

Weldabeast

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May 23, 2019
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Northeast Florida
I use the saddle gear to ground hunt also....find a good tree with cover, tether in, and wait. Rake away leaves around the base of the tree and u got quiet 360 shooting just like when u elevated... This oak flat didn't have any trees suitable for climbing..

Screenshot_20201122-102607_(1).png
 

Bama_Xander

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Feb 11, 2019
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North Alabama
I use the saddle gear to ground hunt also....find a good tree with cover, tether in, and wait. Rake away leaves around the base of the tree and u got quiet 360 shooting just like when u elevated... This oak flat didn't have any trees suitable for climbing..

View attachment 40153
I shot a doe last year like that saddled in on the ground. Snuck into these deer that were in a field feeding towards me. If I would have tried to climb, I would have been spotted, so I just hooked up at ground level for a comfy way to sit as they made their way to me.
 

Nutterbuster

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Oct 12, 2017
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Where the skys are so blue!
Feel free to post:

-Any advice you have on ground hunting

Forget hunting 360°. I like a big tree, bushes, palmettos, or (favorite) a fallen down tree behind me. Deer can and will sneak up behind you on the ground. You want cover and concealment

Big cover is better. Little twigs and bushes don't hide you. Tree trunks, palmettos, and logs will..

Be still. You can see 180° in front of you by just moving your eyes. That's what you're hunting. If i hear a noise that i have to move my body or crane my neck to investigate, i just ignore it.

You'll have more fun if you shoot the first deer you see. Deer allowed to linger on the ground WILL eventually spot or smell you. Or pin you you down. As soon as you see a deer, move into kill mode.


-Advantages

Safer. Cheaper. Easier. You're truly mobile and can hunt anywhere. Quicker and quieter setup. More comfortable. Easier to pee or take a crap. What you see is what you get. No climbing up and then realizing the area you thought was nice and open on the ground is now a clutter due to bushes or low limbs. You can quickly and quietly move positions if you're not exactly where you need to be.

Disadvantages

You're directly in the deer's line of sight. You can't get away with nearly as much movement. Hunting with a compound or recurve is much more difficult. You're more likely to get busted by lingering deer if they're within 50 yards.
-Gear you use to ground hunt (we all love gear)

A bucket. A 3 legged stool. A saddle. A waldrop pacseat. A jx3. A turkey vest. Whatever works. I bought a killsuit but honestly don't think it's worth it. I've messed with blinds but honestly don't think they're worth it. Just find some good back cover, clear out around your feet, get comfy, and be very very still and quiet.


-Success stories (kills or just good hunts/opportunities) from ground hunting

I first started hunting public from the ground because I was por. Couldnt afford the second "O". I got on a lot of deer, but got busted a lot. I got a hand climber. Then a saddle. Then this year went back to the ground and have killed something like 8 or 9 deer in public with a crossbow and muzzleloader. Less stress, more mobility, more lethality. Just a better experience.


-How much you ground hunt on purpose or by the situation when you find the sign.

I started ground hunting this year from my saddle and still carried my bolts in case I wanted to climb. Then I got a pacseat and just carried the saddle in my backpack. Now, I'm kinda at the point where if a deer needs to be hunted from a tree, I'd honestly be tempted to keep walking and find one I can kill from the ground.
 

Bama_Xander

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Feb 11, 2019
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North Alabama
You'll have more fun if you shoot the first deer you see.
Truer words have never been spoken.

I first started hunting public from the ground because I was por. Couldnt afford the second "O".
I thought it was a misspelling at first. Haha! Me and you both brother. Dad left when I was 7 so it was single mom with 3 kids. Wouldn’t have had Christmas most years without the Salvation Army. Fun story though, my mom was with me when I killed my first deer since I needed an adult and all my uncle’s were busy.

Now, I'm kinda at the point where if a deer needs to be hunted from a tree, I'd honestly be tempted to keep walking and find one I can kill from the ground.
I am thinking about just calling it and not take any climbing gear and ground hunt the rest of my hunting opportunities. Only way to get better at it is experience. I also think it will improve my game.

crossbow and muzzleloader.
It is doable with a vertical bow, but the crossbow or gun is very effective. I am sniffing the hickory creek kool-aid. Haven’t quite drank it yet.
 

Sipsey

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Dec 24, 2016
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577
Location
W. Alabama
I like a turkey chair and stake blind material. Killed a few this way with the crosssbow.
 

SaddleUpPartner!

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Jan 25, 2019
Messages
386
Location
Michigan
I made the mistake of forgetting my turkey chair. They are a game changer for ground hunting. Gets just off the ground just enough, has a good back rest, and is low enough to the ground to hide your profile. Nutter is 100% right, you get picked a lot more often or they freeze you.
 

Bowmanmike

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Dec 15, 2019
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I shot my first bow deer from the ground. I got lucky and saw the doe bed down. I kept a tree between her head and me and snuck to 20 yds.
I keep trying on the ground,but it is a lot harder to get away with anything. So true that you will get busted if deer walk by closely,they will smell you sooner or later.
Last year i set up on a bucket at the edge of a field in a honeysuckle bush. 20 mins after getting there a doe followed my trail in. She came up to 4 yds and sniffed where i first thought of entering the honeysuckle. She was there for a good 30 seconds and i couldn't move anything. Then she bounded of to 40 yds never giving me a good shot opportunity. But that was cool.
Her head looked giant i had not been that close to a living deer before.
I say give it a go,you can learn a ton hunting from the ground.
 

neonomad

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Sep 4, 2019
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592
I don’t yet have much to add other than my first attempt at a ground hunt this year went pretty well, an encouraging experience. It was a north to south stand of large white pines, maybe 30 yards wide 150 yards long, that runs perpendicular to a young hardwoods bedding area, soybeans to the east, thick brush to the west. Nice spot. Late October early morning I tiptoed up the middle of those pines in my fancy new ASAT leafy suit. I stopped about 50 yards shy of the end of the pines and waited. Within 15 minutes here comes a doe running directly at me with a young six point behind her. She got to two yards from me before veering off. The young buck stopped at ten yards, turned broadside, and hung out for about 30 seconds before slowly walking away, no hard spook. He passed back through that area a few minutes later and I could have shot him if I wanted to. Once that hunt was over there was no tree to climb down or gear to pack; I just walked away, knowing I’d be trying this more often.
 

kyler1945

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Dec 4, 2016
Messages
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Baton Rouge, La.
I’ve killed half my deer from the ground, most of those with a bow.

I climb a tree if it’s the right thing to do to maximize odds of killing a deer. It’s strange to me to think of hunting any other way. Same with weapon choice. I love archery as a hobby. I love bow hunting. Know what I love more? Killin deer. I’m hunting in the best spot using the best technique and hidey hole and weapon to get the job done.

I have a ghillie top that i tend to agree with nutter, is only useful if you have to have your profile out in the open with no front cover.

my favorite ground hunting setup is in a big blown down tree or branch. This is the only time camo patterns make sense to me - really white dead wood? Really dark dead wood? Brown leaves? Green leaves? I typically try to have a dark and light top with me to adjust to surrounding. I like to get IN the blowdown if possible, if not behind is fine.

If you’re going to bow hunt, be able to draw your bow on your knees, across your body, slowly, not aiming at your target, etc, and like was said above be able to hold for a long time. Drawing your bow is much more a part of the dance when you’re on the ground. I’d guess 90% of shots from a tree are within 20 seconds of drawing. I’d guess that 90% of ground shots are over 20 seconds after drawing.

if you know you’re setting up close to deer, and you’re anywhere near the rut, and you intend to clear the leaves away from your feet and break branches to set up, have your weapon ready. I’ve had bucks come in fast to investigate and got caught with my pants down multiple times.

wind currents act very different at ground level than they do at 20’. Don’t assume because you can hunt a spot from a tree you’ll have the same scent blast on the ground. The good news is making a change on the ground is easy.

sometimes when I ground hunt I lay down and take naps. It’s a problem.
 
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