Author: Clint Casper
GLASSING….We've all read about, heard about it AND probably watched it happen on a hunting television show, or YouTube series online. An animal is spotted, the bowhunter watches him bed for the day and then swiftly and deliberately sneaks in, on a well thought out stalk and makes a perfect shot! Sounds simple, right? Well, unfortunately it's not always that easy AND sometimes glassing can be downright tough, especially if you're not using the right techniques AND correlating it with your plans for the final step - The Stalk!
Here's a few pointers on glassing and stalking that I've personally learned from trial and error, failed attempts and even a few successful bowhunts - to help you out!
In order to effectively glass I'm constantly looking for the master vantage points that allow me to cover the most country in one glassing session. Usually these spots will be on peaks, or close to them where I can glass in multiple directions to cover a magnitude of drainages, basins, hillsides etc. Its very important to mark these spots out using the OnX Hunt app, or Google Earth before your hunt so you have a plan of where to glass from.
GET COMFORTABLE! I'm going to repeat this one, GET COMFORTABLE! Glassing can be long, tough and at times downright miserable. Make sure you're using some type of lightweight blowup seat (Klymit is the one I use currently) your camp pillow, or piece of clothing to sit on. This will allow you to glass more efficiently AND stay on the glass longer. The name of the game is to let the glass be your legs and do the work for you. Staying comfortable will make this task easier than ever before!
Take a break from time to time!
I'll make this short and sweet. DON'T burn your eyes out and force yourself to never take a break. Get off the glass, stretch, eat a snack, or even take a quick 10 minute snooze. This gives your eyes time to refocus and your brain time to think about something other than looking for an ear flicker, or an antler tip.
Use your binoculars on a tripod first!
This is personal preference here, but regardless I absolutely love covering country with my Maven binoculars on a tripod right out of the gate. The field of view is better AND this let's you cover more ground, faster, in search of game. I also love having both eyes completely open, which seems to not fatigue me as quickly. Once I find my target animal I'll then switch to the spotter and watch his every move!
We've found our target animal. Hes in a good spot for a stalk. Now it's time to plan the attack! Here's how I use my glass to plan my approach.
Let the glass make your stalk!
Patience is the key when planning a well thought out stalk. So what i like to do is plan a stalk in my head and then trace my approach with the glass to make sure it's a route that will work for me! Using your glass as your feet and "walking" through the stalk will allow you to make sure this stalk will go as plan and no steep cliffs, rock slides etc are going to block you.
Take a picture through your scope and mark points of the stalk route!
I cant stress how important it is to take photos before you head out on your stalk for reference points! This allows you to mark out your stalk (I use the OnX Hunt app and pin drop my route as well) which will keep you on track AND drastically reduce the chances of you getting turned around, or not knowing exactly which rock or trees your buck is behind etc etc. Trust me, this is a life saver!!!
Use the glass to mark other animals!
Before your stalk it is imperative that YOU know where all of the other animals are before you leave. Make note of all of them! Glass the shadows, the trees, the thickets around your target buck, AND your approach! Any animals in your path, or close to it, while on your stalk could be very detrimental to your success. There is nothing worse than a fork horn buck blowing up your stalk on a giant, right at the end, because you failed to know he was there in the first place. Been there, done that...don't be THAT guy if you can help it!
Don't stop glassing on the stalk!
Glassing is extremely important during the stalk and I cant stress that enough. I glass every few yards to make sure I haven't missed an animal nearby, or to check on my target animal etc. Glassing along the stalk will also slow you down, which is a good thing during a stalk because a fast paced stalk usually doesn't end well. AND it will keep you focused on the task at hand, which is to effectively sneak in on an unsuspecting buck or bull.
All in all, glassing and stalking go hand in hand. We must remember to use both in conjunction with one another and we will see more success on future hunts! Good luck and stay safe out there.
For more information on spot and stalking, listen to the East Meets West Hunt podcast with Clint Casper below!
Save 20% off of the onX Hunt app by using the code EMW at checkout.
Get a free gift with any full price Maven optics order - special code is in each podcast intro.