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  • “Mobile Minute” Ft. Greg Staggs - #1 Intro

    August 30, 2022 4 min read

    “Mobile Minute” Ft. Greg Staggs - #1 Intro

    “Mobile Minute” Mobile Hunting Stories and Tactics ft. Greg Staggs 

    By: Greg Staggs 

    Why The Mobile Minute? Well, as the young kids would say, I’ve been mobile hunting for a minute. Us older dudes? We’d say it’s been more than a minute… it’s been over 32 years straight now. For the past 15 years or so, I can’t recall a year that I didn’t put in over 100 sits in a season. That’s climbing up and down a tree every single time I walked into the woods. That’s being mobile.

    My hunting philosophy was born of necessity. I grew up in a region void of deer. Instead, my Dad introduced me to the outdoors through frogging and rabbit hunting. It wasn’t until college when I moved to Northeast Arkansas that I found myself in an area that contained a population of whitetails. I didn’t know any landowners. Honestly, the thought of hunting private land never crossed my mind; I seriously didn’t know people that hunted other people’s land. My family grew up poor, and if you wanted to do something outdoors in the woods, you did it on public land. That’s the way we all were growing up.

    I bought a steel V-bar climber my sophomore year of college, and I lugged that sucker in and out on every hunt. I would find a different tract of land and go hunt it for a change of scenery more than anything else; I had yet to learn about finding hot sign, travel corridors, transition areas, doe-bedding areas, or anything whitetail-related, really … much less leeward ridges, thermal hubs and how deer will bed with the wind to their backs facing a vantage point with a view. It’s no small wonder I didn’t see a deer that first year. I was a rabbit hunter, and I had a lot of education in front of me 

    But one thing about being mobile: You have the element of surprise as an advantage. Even today, 30-plus years later, I think it’s one of the strongest cases a hunter can make for moving to a different tree almost every day. Deer pattern us WAY quicker than we pattern them. There’s an old, oft-told analogy about a stranger coming in to your bedroom and moving a lamp and seeing how long it would take you to notice it, and there’s more than a bit of truth to that. Add to that not only sitting in the same tree every day, but walking the same entry and exit trails to GET to that tree, and … well, it doesn’t take long before your “hot” area goes cold.

    Like the insurance-company t.v. advertisement claims, when you’ve been around as long as I have, I’ve seen a thing or two. And done a thing or two. I eventually moved away from that steel climber to an aluminum hang-on and Cranford screw-in steps. I couldn’t tell you how many hundreds of sets I made with that combo. Though I haven’t used screw-in steps in years due to both discovering what I believe to be better methods of climbing a tree and their legality on most public lands these days, I can tell you that IF you are going to use screw-in steps, don’t even waste your time with other brands; their patented tapered screw really does produce two-finger starts in almost every tree in the woods.

    I hunted out of Summits for a few years afterwards, and finally started killing a few deer along the way. John Woller Sr., or “lab-coat guy” as he became famously known in his commercials, and his son took note and invited me to come tour their manufacturing plant in Alabama. To this day, there’s no denying the comfort of a Summit climber. But I was still looking to go lighter and become even more mobile. I discovered Lone Wolf’s cast-aluminum hand climbers and hang-ons and sticks and those served me well for over a decade and helped me put over a thousand inches of antler on the walls of the man-cave.

    Several years back, I began another chapter in my mobile-hunting story. Knowing my proclivity for walking in and hunting a different tree every single day, a good friend suggested I try a tree saddle; I took to it like a duck to water. I tinkered with a few different climbing systems and kept experimenting with various methods that would lighten my load, including the use of knaiders and swaiders, versa aiders and everything else imaginable. My current favorite way to climb a tree is by one-sticking and rappelling down at the end of a hunt is just plain freaking awesome – no matter how you reach hunting height. My complete hunting setup weighs less than nine pounds these days, not counting my bow.

    But for all the changes in HOW I hunt in the three-plus decades I’ve been at it, one thing has NEVER changed: I’m going to walk in and climb a tree each and every hunt with nothing pre-set or pre-hung before that day’s hunt. Because it’s a whole lot harder for a deer to pattern you if you’ve never been there before.

    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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