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  • Being a Really Mobile Hunter - #8 "MOBILE MINUTE" FT. GREG STAGGS

    June 07, 2023 4 min read

    Being a Really Mobile Hunter  - #8 "MOBILE MINUTE" FT. GREG STAGGS

    Being a Really Mobile Hunter 

    By: Greg Staggs

    We mobile hunters are getting more detailed by the minute. We can identify thermal hubs from behind our computer monitors 1,000 miles away from the actual woods we’ll be hunting that fall. We give thought to not only wind direction these days, but wind SPEED. The direction a buck faces in his bed, and how that particular buck will approach it and his most likely travel pattern when he arises in the evening… Yes, we’re incredible at breaking things down on a micro level.

    A macro level? That’s a different ballgame. When I say “macro” … I’m thinking big. No, bigger than that. REALLY big. When’s the last time you hunted a new wildlife management area? How about a new state? How about several states away from your home stomping grounds? Scary to think about? Counting on it being real expensive? I’m going to encourage you to do something you’ve probably been asked to do half a dozen times at least, if not more: say yes. Say yes? Yep.

    You know that guy you became Facebook friends that shares the same hunting philosophy as you? He probably sent you a friend invite years ago… You comment on the same posts in the hunting groups, and after a year or two have probably exchanged a few PMs talking strategy and gear. We all have those guys we just “click” with – the ones that if we lived closer we could see ourselves being pretty darn good friends with. The kind you wouldn’t mind hanging out with.

    Greg and buddy John Mueller show off a pile of does shot on John's farm. Greg shot the largest doe of his life and a few minutes later arrowed another while John chipped in yet a third for the evening to help balance the herd. Greg and John became online friends back in the dial-up modem days when users listened to clicks and whistles when connecting to the internet.

    I’ve got a ton of online friends like that, and more often than not at some point they’ll usually say “Hey man, you oughta come hunt Ohio next year with me!” Or… you name it. I’ve had invites to Florida to Maine. From Louisiana all the way out to Montana. By really good folks. People that were sincere. And what do I almost always do? Thank them profusely and keep hunting the same patches of woods I do year after year. Why? Because it’s familiar. It’s … easy.

    How cool would it be to take nice buck from a different time zone? You’ve been studying all this micro strategy for a while now; put it to use on fresh ground. See if it REALLY works – or if it’s just location specific. What I bet you’ll find is a whitetail is a whitetail all over … and you’re good enough to match wits with him anywhere. But here’s the really cool thing about online friends… remember I said “think bigger”? What about hunting something new – something you don’t have where you live?

    Greg and Michael Hunsucker of Heartland Bowhunter with a doe he shot on Mike's property. Greg and Mike met in one of the early bowhunting forums and have been friends for nearly 20 years. 

    A couple years ago my oldest boy and I met up with a buddy and flew to New Hampshire to go black bear hunting with one of his friends. We went home empty-handed on that trip but it was a tremendous amount of fun, and we planned far enough ahead that the flights were only a couple hundred dollars. The tags were about the same price and we stayed at my buddy’s friend’s house. For less than $500 apiece we did something out of the ordinary. Something we’d never do on our own without connections.

    We’ve enjoyed going on an annual “turkey tour” for over a decade – long before the boys at THP on YouTube made it popular. I wrote a feature article about it in Petersen’s Bowhunting a few years ago and described it as “big adventures on a small budget”. That’s exactly what we strive to do with ALL our hunting trips to be honest. In thinking back to one of our most fun and memorable turkey trips, we headed west with not much more than a tent and a cooler. We camped in a national park just outside Chadron, NE and hunted there several days.

    On the way back we stopped at a friend’s house that I’d made years and years earlier online, and he graciously gave us the run of his property and even put us up in his fifth wheel while we were there. A couple days later we were in Kansas hunting several thousand acres and staying with a good friend of mine who I got to know through a trapping forum.

    Greg sits behind a bull elk he arrowed in Colorado, hunting with good friend TJ Ash -- otherwise known as "tacklebox" on bowhunting forums. Greg has hunted with TJ many times since they met online over a decade ago. 

    For the past three years, I’ve politely told a heckuva guy that I met in a saddle-hunting forum that it just wasn’t going to work out for us to come down to southern Louisiana and see his crawfish-farming operation first-hand; we just always had something going on at peak season. This year I messaged him and said “No more… we’re coming next year.” I mean… how often do you get a chance to go see thousands of wild crawfish harvested in a couple days? And my mouth is already watering at the thought of the crawfish boil we’re going to have before heading back!

    So here’s my advice to you… Don’t forget about the details that make you successful. Practicing shooting during the off-season can pay dividends. Paying attention to wind direction is incredibly important. But saying “yes” to opportunities that keep coming up to expand your hunting horizons can take you from being a mobile hunter in YOUR neck of the woods to being a REALLY mobile hunter.

    ABOUT: Greg Staggs is a frequent feature writer for Petersen’s Bowhunting among other magazines, and for many years he was the former back-page columnist for Inside Archery. His mobile-hunting videos are extremely popular on his YouTube channel, Staggs in the Wild, and you can read some of his past feature articles and numerous blogs at staggsinthewild.com.

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