By Neal Torrey
This tip might sound outlandish, but as someone who prefers to hunt on the move rather than sitting and waiting, I’ve learned a unique way to sneak up on white-tailed deer.
When I lived in Wyoming, I found I was able to approach fairly close to elk herds from horseback. This works because they heard the sound of another quadruped approaching, not the two-legged stride of a man.
Of course, I couldn't approach to the point where the elk saw me clearly, but I could get close enough to dismount and position myself for a shot.
When I moved to Missouri, I wondered if the quadruped approach would work on deer. It does!
It took practice and some experimenting with my technique, but I’ve gotten close to many nice bucks over the years.
Get yourself a walking stick, about chin height, and practice walking through the leaves at a pace that sounds like a deer approaching.
That is, you make a four-beat sound with your feet and the staff, not an even-pace pattern like humans make.
Just think of the cadence a horse makes while walking: da-clump-da-clump and then stop every 30 to 40 yards, like a deer does to survey an area.
When you stalk the deer, try to keep some brush or trees between you and your target so it’s hard for them to distinguish you as a human. Then, the walking staff becomes a great rifle rest.
It sounds like I’m pulling your leg, but I’m not. It works!
I’ve taken four or five nice bucks using this technique, and am telling the truth, with my hand up!