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Outdoor Briefs

OVERLOOKED OPPORTUNITY

Spot and stalk hunting
adds to experience

Spot and stalk hunting is probably the oldest style of hunting known to the modern day hunter, but sometimes this technique is depicted as a lesser choice. With today’s fast shooting bows and high-powered rifles, coupled with the use of laser range finders, the need to close distance on game may be viewed by some as being insignificant. But they would be wrong.

“Technology can never replace the woodsmanship skills that distinguish a hunter from one who simply hunts. There is a difference,” said Doug Nielsen, conservation education supervisor for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “A hunter learns all he can about the animal he intends to hunt and about the habitat in which it lives. He works on developing his ability to see game before it sees him, and he learns to sneak in close enough for a clean, quick kill.”

As the name implies, spot and stalk hunting refers to the practice of first spotting a game animal from a distance and then stalking to within close proximity before harvesting that animal.

The spotting portion of spot and stalk hunting is usually accomplished through a process known as glassing. Glassing for animals involves the use of optics such as a binocular for spotting animals. When glassing, look over a defined area, searching every detail in your field of view. Look for anything that looks out of place — a shape, a color, or a movement. It doesn’t hurt to repeat the process before moving on to another area, Nielsen said.

While a binocular may be used without one, a tripod does ensure a steadier field of view than a hand-held technique will. Because they hold the binocular steady, tripods also assist the hunter to detect subtle movement such as a twitching ear or flicking tail. In addition, tripods help to prevent fatigue.

Hunters blow their stalks for a variety of reasons, simply breaking a stick or crunching a pile of leaves is sometimes all it takes. A change in wind also can tip a deer off to your presence. Big game animals like to keep the wind and sun in their favor and always have a great escape plan. Just one hint that you are anywhere nearby and they are gone, often before you even know they were there.

There are some tricks that can help you get close to game. Scent blockers to cover your scent, oversized wool socks to slip over your boots to quiet your final approach and camouflage to break up your outline. These are just a few items that can help. If the stalk appears too risky, try waiting for circumstances to change. Patience is the key.

ANGLING

Beginning fly-tying class scheduled for Oct. 26

The Nevada Department of Wildlife will have a free fly-tying class for anyone interested in learning how to create his own fishing flies.

The class will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at the NDOW Las Vegas office, 4747 Vegas Drive. This hands-on class will give participants a basic knowledge of the materials, equipment and techniques needed to tie their own flies. Space is limited. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Monday. For more information and registration contact Ivy Santee at (702) 486-5127, ext. 3503.

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