Haley uses the cover to stay hidden en route to a closer vantage point. She checks the area with the naked eye first to locate her landmarks and survey a broad area for other deer she may have missed.
“Spot” is the first part of the equation. Haley glasses a swath of likely looking mule deer habitat and finds a bedded buck that warrants a closer look. She makes a mental note of several landmarks in relation to the buck’s position.
Once in position, Haley takes a good, long look at the buck. When field judging mule deer you want to look for a combination of mass, width and height. Once this is determined you can make your move to get in closer.
Haley begins the stalk, checking often to make sure the buck hasn’t moved. Here, she is careful to keep her body concealed behind cover and just pokes her head out for a peek. Hunters should also pay constant attention to the wind.
Haley chooses the quietest route to the buck, avoiding downed sticks and leaves that can alert the deer to her presence. Patience is the key when making a stalk. Many hunters move too quickly and bust their hunt.
Utilizing the topography is the key to staying concealed. Here, Haley stays low behind the crest of the ridge and makes sure that the buck is looking elsewhere before continuing her approach.
To close the last of the distance before getting into shooting position, Haley must hit the ground, holding her rifle in one hand while she inches along on her hands and knees.