Skip to main content Skip to main content

Vary Your Stalking Speed

Vary Your Stalking Speed

Many bowhunters believe that they should always stalk slowly. This is not true. A skillful foot hunter varies his stalking speed to get close to animals. A fast, aggressive approach is often better than a slow approach, especially on a long-distance stalk.

I have lost count of the times I've seen archers blow stalks by timidly tiptoeing after game. Even from several hundred yards, they follow the old formula of "take a step, and then wait two." This might work in a small, rain-soaked whitetail woodlot, but big country requires big moves. Otherwise, animals like elk and mule deer might shift position or the wind might switch long before the bowhunter arrives.


Here's a good rule of thumb for stalking: Outside of 150 yards, you should go as fast as possible -- even trotting or running -- if you can stay downwind and out of sight behind foliage or solid ground. From there, slow down no more than you think is required to keep from being seen or heard.


On an average stalk, a good hunter only slows to a creep during the last 75 or 100 yards. At times, when you're close, you might need to kneel or stand motionless for more than an hour between steps. In summary, the best bowhunters vary their stalking speed to match the circumstances.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing-Stick Attachment Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing-Stick Attachment Options

The array of ultra-strong, easy-to-use, light and quiet aftermarket stick attachment options has never been more creative and compelling. The noisier, heavier, harder-to-conveniently-wrap-on-your-sticks metal buckle and strap is anathema for today's mobile hunter.

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

Bear Archery's newest bows - Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and fast.

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now