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.


Popular Videos

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Bowhunter team member Rudy Bachraty gets his chance to take an elk with Cross Mountain Outfitters of Colorado.

Kentucky Bowfishing Competition

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells has a friendly bowfishing competition with members of the Muzzy Bowfishing team on Kentucky Lake.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

See more Popular Videos

More How-To

How-To

How To Increase Your Bowhunting Success Rate

Joe Bell

If you want to improve your success rate and notch more tags, avoid these common errors.

How-To

How to Quick-Tune Your Traditional Bow

Fred Eichler - August 01, 2018

A perfectly tuned arrow out of a perfectly tuned bow will give you more penetration, even out...

How-To

The Best Bear Bait for Bowhunting

Tony J. Peterson - September 04, 2018

In areas with lots of competition, it's best to entice bruins with an assortment of the good...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×