Blind vs Walk and Stalk Hunting for Beginner


AH veteran
Jan 12, 2017
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Good day

I am new to the world of hunting, was taken last year by my father in law and somehow the bug bit me. After treating the symptoms of hunting fever by getting my hands on as many magazines, google searches etc. I now believe that it was a failed attempt and i am to far gone. All this being said i am planning a hunting trip for this year and for some reason i have an affinity to bow hunting.

Now my question is should a new bow hunter start out in a hide or just jump in the deep end of the hunting pool and walk and stalk?
You're likely to have more success in general hunting from a hide or blind. You're not moving and if you're in a proper hide/blind, you're also not seen. But this is a very general statement.

The game you're after may not move through the area you're in during the day. I have tree stands that I set over water when elk hunting here in Arizona. Sometimes it's effective and sometimes it's not. Elk will water sometimes during the day and other times only at night. Just setting out a blind in any given spot expecting to be successful just because you've seen sign of animals there isn't the best strategy.

Having said all that, walk&stalk is challenging. I'd rather be on the ground when elk hunting chasing their bugles. When I get close even if I don't get a shot, I feel like I've accomplished something.
There both very fun ways to hunt and both can be done through out a hunt. Each animal will differ in what will be better at any one time. As a new hunter you will need to learn many new skills for both.

For stalking you will need to learn how to move silently and pick out animals as you move. With the key picking up all small movements not whole animals. It could be a tail twitching the horns moving through the brush or many other things. It is a great way to hunt but will also teach you a lot about hunting. You will see more country and enjoy more of the hunt area also.

Then blind hunting can be as fun but takes great patience. You need to learn how to pick areas they get used daily to have the best luck. Water source or mineral licks are all good depending on the time of year. You need to learn how to set up a good blind or tree stand and learn when it is no good to be at that spot so you don't ruin it.

A good way for you to start I would say is be opened to both. As you stalk around you will come across spots that you may want to try a blind out. Stalking will show you many good place that blinds could work. You will also want to stay away from stalking those areas once you decide on a blind so you don't run game off that area.

The most important thing I can tell you is scent control and using the wind no matter which one you are doing. Most new guys have no idea how the wind will screw a hunt up. Hunt the wrong wind you will think there is no animals around or your in a bad spot when it could be you just spooked the game off before you even started hunting with them catching your scent.

Either way enjoy the time and if at all possible maybe do a guided hunt to start to learn some tricks from guys who hunt all the time. Plus keep asking questions as the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.
Thanks for the advice. Last year i tagged along on a hunt and learned quite a bit regarding wind and a while lot more. Yet i know that was scraping the service.

Definitely want to try my hand at walk and stalk. As to scent control i have no idea.
There is no magic item for scent control but many things to do that may just get you that extra few seconds to have a chance for a shot. The only one that is 100% is keep wind in your face. Then do your best to stay clean and keep odors off you and your cloth. Keep clothing as clean as you can and you what ever scent control you can get. Cover scent will help but never totally fool any animal. It all comes down to buying yourself as much time as you can before then pick up your scent.

Some animals have a better sense of smell some eye sight with the worst being the ones that have it both. LOL You will learn as you go and do your best to remember each lesson the bush gives you as they add up over time and make you a better hunter.
Do them both and see what you like. Phil is spot on.

I have a hard time sitting in a blind. All those years as a rifle hunter screw you up to be a bow hunter. I always want to make it happen.
I cause myself problems on walk and stalk by getting to damn close and the critters see me when I draw.
I'm still learning every time out.

Bill is spot on about scent control. Wind. They can't smell you up wind.

If you can find a local buddy or mentor that will help a lot. Otherwise, go bump around until you figure it out. Enjoy your time in the woods.
Welcome aboard. Does your father-in-law bow hunt? How successful is he? If he is a reasonably successful hunter, all of the resources to become a successful hunter yourself are at your finger tips. I would think that hunting out of a blind, hide or tree stand affords new hunters the best chance of success. Because you and your quarry are in such close proximity scent control is an absolute must. The wind as stated previously is your greatest enemy and your best friend at the same time. You need to use it to your advantage even while walking to your blind or hide. To me bow hunting is a lot more rewarding than hunting with a rifle. It is the pursuit, not the taking of the game that you will remember.
I did forget one important part since your a new bow hunter. Beside practicing shooting your bow at a target standing 20 0r 30 yds away. You must and I mean do all you can to practice shooting from your knees and off a chair in a blind. Also when drawing your bow there should be no need to have a lot of movement doing so. If you can pull it straight back with out a lot of movement it is set up to heavy for you. It takes time to learn how to shot right and draw a bow.
Shootist my father in law is a rifle person. Sees no point in "playing" around with a bow. But each to their own. Thanks billc will definitely practice on my knees and chair. Are there ways of practising stalking in the of season? There are no game close by and i dont think the public will be to happy if i start stalking people around town
The only way to practice stalking is finding a piece of bush you can use. Then you just practice on small game and such. They make special heads for shooting at small game also and it can be good fun doing that. Soft sole shoes are best and clothing that makes no noise when you rub up to it.
If available to you join a local club and start shooting Field and or 3D ... you will meet lots of new and interesting people .
Hi Elton,
You have being given very good tips and advises. Bow hutning is a very challenging and rewarding hunting method. After several years hunting, I still have an adrenalin explosión when drawing my bow infront of a buck.
I will suggest you to practice a lot with your bow on the bowrange. Try to push yourself and practice long distance shooting, so when you get to real hunting situation at 20 to 30 yards, you feel much more confortable. Pay special attention to your movements, and move slowly. Very important to study your game target and its anathomy for a good shot placement.
I will say, will be best for you to start from a blind and gradually get into the walk and stalk.
Good luck!!!
Thank you all for the great advice will most definitely use it all
Go for it sir! Look forward to you sharing pictures and hunt reports.
Can't wait. Been obsessing since the beginning of the year. Have a wishlist that consists of Impala, Warthog and Blue wildebeest. But if i just get one of them i will be happy
Thanks for the advice. Last year i tagged along on a hunt and learned quite a bit regarding wind and a while lot more. Yet i know that was scraping the service.

Definitely want to try my hand at walk and stalk. As to scent control i have no idea.
Wind my friend. The wind is a bow hunter's close friend
I bow hunt and hunt with a firearm and enjoy both. If I had to pick a hunting method for Africa it would be spot and stalk with a rifle. Last August I spent 10 wonderful days in the bushveld and only once was I able to stalk to within 30 yards of an animal. lf you can shoot your bow out to 70 yards you'll have a much better chance of success. Moving thru the bush with a bow would be a challenge in its own right, everything in the bushveld has thorns.
Some Solid advice already been given, as said a hide is probably a good starting point, to see how your setup perform on wild animal. Walk and Stalk is definitely more challenging but way more rewarding. However you might want to practice longer distance shots 30-50m to have success on African game.
Good luck with the practice and looking forward to see how it paid off?
I find both methods rewarding but walk and stalk just puts the cherry on the top for me. That being said i have spent many days in the bush walk and stalking without taking a single animal so its not as easy as it seems, this will challenge you!

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