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Normal Topic Complacency. (Read 1076 times)
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Complacency.
Oct 11th, 2019 at 6:58am
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I thought I'd write a little about some little mistakes lately while hunting. In all cases I thought, Yep, should have known better.
If anyone else has some they would like to share, feel free. I can't be the only muppet out there. Grin

the first of the mistakes was a week or so ago. A mate of mine is just getting into bowhunting. I had most of  a day off work so we could head away for an early morning hunt In Pureora. Some spots I hunted years ago. I did have to be home late afternoon though and this was on my mind as we headed for a spot that "always held animals."
there had been quite a bit of rain the days before, and we cut up a gutter heading for a ridge that ended in a face with a slip on it. Andy was leading and with the time constraints on us I was impatient to get to the slip as In my mind there was the best chance. With no sign on the ground around us, I slipped up to him and told him not to bother stalking through here, just move through quickly  until we got close to where I wanted to be.
Fifty meters later and I look to Andy's left and see a Hind and yearling just down off the ridge, barely 15 meters from him watching us pass as he's now more concentrated on getting a move on than looking for animals. Of course the instant I see them they crash off.
It occurred to me immediately, that if I had not of given that instruction to hurry up, we would most likely have had a very short day and been home with venison with plenty of time to spare.
We ended up at the slip, and watching a young hind just out of range for some time. Andy is determined to not take shots hes not 100% confident in, and so when she departed we talked about the distance and he had a shot at a stick where she had been standing, and nailed it. Neither of us was worried at not coming home with an animal, and he made the right call if not 100% sure of success. But I was just frustrated that my earlier actions had lost him a far easier opportunity.

The second had a happier ending, but I was lucky. I was out hunting with another friend and as we both wanted meat, we had rifles. We arrived at a clearing an hour before dark and here were 3 spikers hanging about on the bush edge 100 meters away. Of all the guns to be carrying, I had a 416 rigby with open sights.... Just because... and the wind was wrong to get closer.  TP wanted a pig. I wanted some venison, so we swapped rifles as I wanted to neck shoot one of these and a .270 with a scope was the sensible rifle to use in that circumstance.
I lay down and fired a careful shot. The deer collapsed like it should. TP said, those projectiles are hard- (TSX), we should wait a while because if you haven't hit that perfect it might get up. We waited and all seemed good though one leg still moved. Should have waited longer though, as no sooner than we had dropped down the hill and I looked up to see the deer stagger to its feet and crash into the trees with no time for me to get a shot.
Luckily it bled out and we found it 50 meters away. But it took some finding, maybe 15 minutes and we had to come really close before we spotted it. In that case it was over confidence on my part. 10 minutes longer sitting on the hill watching might well have saved 15 minutes searching for a deer.
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #1 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 8:17am
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Honesty!
Yep Iíve charged on through areas on my way to Ďhallowed groundsí and put up easy animals - always kick myself afterwards and vow and declare Iíll never do it again😂.... until next time.
  

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Re: Complacency.
Reply #2 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 11:58am
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How else you gonna do it - some areas are not productive enough to spend time in, so you boot it to the 'good' areas - and that really is how you should be doing it.

You'll lose some doing that, but you'll be surprised how many you will 'anchor' if you're a halfway decent shot as you'll catch them by surprise. A deer in the bush will pay attention to other noises around it, they make a surprising amount themselves - but they're not automatically gonna be alarmed at those noises - unless of course you're clanking or wearing tinfoil - and even then they'd stop to see what's coming.

I used to practice a lot for those occasions - one shot down the range to make sure your gun is shooting where it's supposed to be, then offhand shooting at various ranges out to fifty or seventy yards, giving yourself to the count of three to get your shot off. I dry fired my gun thousands of times doing that and fired hundreds of rounds down range at paper from a gun down position using that three count to close the bolt and get the shot off.
You will eventually get quite good at it and I only ever remember losing two deer to shoddy shooting - one a gut shot I knew I'd done, the other being a deer out of a mob I actually jumped over after I'd anchored it while chasing the mob to get a second one.
Came back - and that deer had got up and buggered off - never did find it.
My gun used to sit in my wardrobe and I'd haul that out constantly to dry-fire at the chimneys around the neighbourhood ...........
"What's all that 'clicking' going on in your bedroom ?"
"Nothing Mum."

I've chased deer that got the 'jump' on me, plus hinds that were barking and I got a few of them too - they don't expect it.
Got to be geared for it though - I had a 3x scope that had a good field of view and made it easy to pick up animals - or open sights - the scope being quicker to get on target.

And I've had my share of colossal co*k-up's - all part of the game.

Don't see people doing that at the range anymore - they're all focused on tiny little groups from sandbags.

  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #3 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 12:54pm
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Earlier this year I took my nephew out hunting. I did my usual circuit, travelling fairly quick through the areas between my "go-to" spots. It was getting fairly late in the day as I worked thru one area and I thought to myself "I'm a bit weary and starting to make quite a bit of noise, not lifting my feet properly, we probably should stop for a break". I decided to stop in a more open area about 100m ahead - but spooked two deer before I got there...should have had a break before stalking that area!
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #4 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 6:53pm
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you sure raise a couple of interesting lines of thought there. Ive often had the feeling that moving in quickly has bought success because moving in slowly would give target more time to decide to flee.

And, waiting can produce a false impression, and is it not good policy in that if there is any question of the animal standing up again, then put a second shot into it.

I shot a thar , that flopped onto its back and slid like a sled down 20m meters on scree and just lay motionless for with all four legs pointing to the sky for 2 minutes as I observed it. On reaching it , it stood up and buggered of around the next little rocky bit, never to be seen again.  Smiley

  

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Re: Complacency.
Reply #5 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 7:24pm
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Not sure if its complacency or just rusty but getting back into deer stalking after a twenty year breather.
4 outings in the last six weeks, 7 deer seen, all within 100 yards.
All have seen me before I've seen them.
Every time its the same, on high alert for several hours, nothing
Then it's either concentrating on getting over an obstacle with out adding to my already long list of twinges that constantly tell me I'm to old for this or one more corner and I'm back at the bike and once even what the F... is that damn dog locked up for!!!!
Eventually I'll find a deer that's dumb enough to stand still for long enough   Huh
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #6 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 7:45pm
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headcase wrote on Oct 11th, 2019 at 6:53pm:
you sure raise a couple of interesting lines of thought there. Ive often had the feeling that moving in quickly has bought success because moving in slowly would give target more time to decide to flee.

And, waiting can produce a false impression, and is it not good policy in that if there is any question of the animal standing up again, then put a second shot into it.

I shot a thar , that flopped onto its back and slid like a sled down 20m meters on scree and just lay motionless for with all four legs pointing to the sky for 2 minutes as I observed it. On reaching it , it stood up and buggered of around the next little rocky bit, never to be seen again.† Smiley



Yeah sometimes you are buggered if you do, and buggered if you dont.
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #7 - Oct 11th, 2019 at 11:48pm
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When I was cyaniding possums I found I was walking on a lot of animals. I never bothered being quiet doing that and because I was mooching along steadily with a lot of stop/starting I figured I was moving like a browsing animal - and that they figured the same.
I never carried a gun doing that, so was able to just observe and seeing the shock those animals got when they realized I wasn't what they thought I was could be quite comical, even a bit sad at times.
When 'booting' it I'd often stop for a look and listen - and to look behind, and if I found a nice spot I'd sit and roll a f*g to suss the wind. Sometimes if the wind had swirled your scent down into a gully you'd get animals busting out of there - and you'll get some of those if your stars are aligned.
I'd also walk on animals while packing in and have had them pop their head out, and even run out to see what it is, so I had no pads on those straps so I could shoot with the pack on. I hardly ever carried heavy weights in, seldom over 20lb - even for three days.
For carrying out heavy loads I'd have slip on pads that slid over the straps.
I always camped high so was hunting straight out the sack and would catch animals as they moved onto the ridge tops early morning, then as mid-morning came around  I would move over the side and sidle the gully heads.
When the sun was high and it was warming up I'd find a spot and nod off - and I've been woken up when I've had animals almost trip over me - and I don't know if I ever got one of them.
When I got where I wanted to stalk, I'd slow it down - using ears and binoculars to listen for sound and study any movement. When you're not moving and have caught a deer unprepared, even if you haven't spotted it, they will often stand and you'll see the movement as their ear gives a flick, but mostly it was your ears that did the work.

Animals make co*k-ups too.

I'll never know how many animals I've walked past - probably hundreds, but hunting is about average's - you can only shoot the ones you see, so you put yourself in the place where you think your best chances are and you put in practice so you can do it.

Most my hunting is/was moderately steep bush where you can't see more than twenty/thirty, sometimes out to sixty yards, and once I found a productive spot I spent time and got to know that area.
I had a few such places I hunted for close to twenty years - got to know them pretty good and never saw another soul in there.

Haven't been to any of those places for close to forty years now - too far away and too much of a hike for me these days.

  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #8 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 6:44am
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headcase wrote on Oct 11th, 2019 at 6:53pm:
you sure raise a couple of interesting lines of thought there. Ive often had the feeling that moving in quickly has bought success because moving in slowly would give target more time to decide to flee.

And, waiting can produce a false impression, and is it not good policy in that if there is any question of the animal standing up again, then put a second shot into it.

I shot a thar , that flopped onto its back and slid like a sled down 20m meters on scree and just lay motionless for with all four legs pointing to the sky for 2 minutes as I observed it. On reaching it , it stood up and buggered of around the next little rocky bit, never to be seen again.† Smiley



Was thinking about this again this morning, and in conjunction with SF's reply,  I think one of the big distinctions for me is that in the situation we were in, if we had rifles we would have been fine. I know I at least, following on behind would have got one of those deer. Also Im generally of the opinion that positive movement brings more success rather than over caution as well.
That being said you just can not afford to alert deer in any way with the bow. Just does not work! My experience is you get one movement. Bringing a gun up is fine, bringing a bow up and drawing is to much. With my bow especially, an arrow let go at a deer looking at you is a wasted effort. The mindset change when hunting with the bow has brought me more extreme close encounters- under 10 meters- than I ever had with rifle in hand.
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #9 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 9:07am
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Ill bet, bow hunting must be very exciting. The closest I could come to it with a rifle is hunting goats in scrub with .22 subs. Just for the hell of it. Was a challenge because they were always just there, 20 meters in front.

On reflection stalking into something at close quarters could also be calming, or focused to the point where is become a centering or meditative thing..
  

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Re: Complacency.
Reply #10 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 12:22pm
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Yeah, bow hunting would be a very different game, and I never really took that into consideration - I've never done it.
Looked up some Utube clips this morning and can see getting off a shot at an alerted/flighty or even a moving animal in tight, or even open bush would be very difficult if not impossible.
Would need an advanced calculator in your head to compute all that on a second by second basis.
Then there's flight time and drop and even the physical space/room, balance and 'stance' required to draw and release a bow which almost doesn't signify with a rifle.

Think I'll stick with a gun, at least I know how to use one of those - or I did once.

Should have looked at those clips before opening my 'yap'† Undecided

As for 'bush hunting', I always liked that, I liked the adrenalin kick when it all started to unravel and the 'bling' feeling when it worked out, the disappoinment and self questioning when it didn't - "Why didn't I ...... ?"† And all that would stay clear in my head and I could relive it for days, even weeks when it went wrong .......

When I got invited to hunt open grassland (farm), the shots were long, out to 4 and 500 yards and I was completely flummoxed. I liked seeing all the deer, but most you couldn't get any closer to as you were so exposed and I had no experience at shooting at those distances. My mate had no interest in getting closer, so in the three days we were there I never fired a shot, just contented myself watching my mate do all the work.
I also came away from there a little disappointed, I didn't get much of a buzz out of it and had some difficulty understanding what people got out of it..
I understand now that that is a whole nother game - my mate had all the gadgets that allowed him to do that, and he loved those gadgets - 'Geek' shooting, my son called it - and there was certainly a shitload of animals there.

We all move to a different drum† Smiley

  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #11 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 12:42pm
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I am wondering if in the last stages of a hunt with a bow, ones puls and breathing speeds up or slows down..
  

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Re: Complacency.
Reply #12 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 1:26pm
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I would imagine your sphincter tightens so you don't shit yourself with the excitement  Smiley
  
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Re: Complacency.
Reply #13 - Oct 14th, 2019 at 3:18pm
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Iíve only got goats so far with my bow and Iím still trying to bag a deer, Iíve got close but not close enough, itís a bit zen like to me, total concentration in a 360í direction. You never know whatís going to happen, you try to analyse each step, wind, all the other factors. I guess when it all comes together it becomes pretty special - my first goat was somewhat like that - pretty awesome feeling when you can get within 20 meters of a goat and it hasnít even cottoned on. Admittedly now itís become almost easy and Iíve got close enough to poke one in the arse with an arrow when it had its head buried into the base of a flax plant.
Deer? Not so successful. Itíll come but itís a steep curve from Goat to Deer in my opinion. Breathing control is definitely important as is your internal control - you have to master the calm thatís for sure. Policing can a bit like that - whilst everyone else is loosing their shit you have to remain calm and task orientated - easy to say, bloody hard to master but Iíd like to think itís one area Iím good at. (Black humour also helps)
  

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Re: Complacency.
Reply #14 - Oct 14th, 2019 at 6:49pm
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Had a slight moment a couple of months ago where I had just crossed a stream and was climbing the bank only about a metre high thinking must go back into ninja mode when I stand up only to see a deer arse sneaking away through the trees.
Another lesson learnt.
  

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