November 04, 2010
For good shots in stalking situations, you need critters to stand. So, what should you do if a deer, elk, caribou, antelope, or bighorn sheep continues to lie in its bed after you sneak close?
After many years of stalking bedded game like mule deer, I am convinced the only answer is to wait. JUST WAIT! Sooner or later, your target will stand to stretch or feed. Let the animal do this on its own. Draw your bow only after the animal drops its head to feed or stares directly away.
I hear bowhunters and professional guides spin all sorts of solutions for bedded game. Toss a rock beyond the animal. Blow a predator call. Rustle your feet to make a little noise.
I say no, no, no! Why risk scaring the target and blowing it out of its bed? Why put the critter on high alert? Just be patient, and eventually the animal will stand.
What's the rush? You spent all that time getting close to a great animal. You should wait -- even if it takes several hours. The result will be a good shot at a relaxed, completely unaware target.