Is The Mobile Craze Worth All The Hype?

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The Roots Of Mobile Hunting

For the most part, whitetail hunting in the Southeast has always gone something like this…find a good spot where deer travel, feed, or go to bed, then hang a stand. It could be a tower stand, a homemade stand or a hang-on. And that stand is going to stay there – possibly for years – and will be hunted routinely throughout the entirety of the season. Sound familiar? If you grew up hunting with a dad or granddad, you’ve probably lived out this same scenario. And if you’re in your 30’s like me, and your dad still hunts, he probably still hunts the same way – just like mine does. But having gotten absolutely addicted to hunting at a later stage in life and being of a different generation, I like to pay attention to what others in my age group are doing in the deer woods. Enter Mobile Hunting. 

Technically, anytime a hunter decides to move a stand based off deer sightings, new sign or falling acorns, he or she has gone mobile. That’s been happening for as long as people have been hanging stands, but the push to proactively plan for a mobile strategy throughout the season is relatively new. And so is the way the industry has rallied around it. John Eberhart was hanging from a saddle, hunting only once in some locations around 30 years ago, but no one cared. So why does his book, Precision Bowhunting, hold so much weight now? Why are nearly 400,000 YouTube subscribers (at the time of this writing) drawn to watching the guys from The Hunting Public travel from location to location in search of new sign and new bucks?

The Rise of Mobile Hunting

I believe there was a shift that happened in recent years, and without social media, mobile hunting would have never gained the traction that it has. It was video evidence from DIY hunters, who successfully moved setups until they found success, that made believers out of the rest of us. And when we saw their success, we started buying gear and learning to read topo maps. We stopped leaving it up to the deer. We started asking the question, “If there were no deer there yesterday, should I really go back today?” Now, I’m not saying you should never hunt a location a second time just because you didn’t see anything on day one. If you’ve done your homework and know it’s got potential, then by all means, sit away. But if the acorns started falling two weeks ago and you’re now only seeing one or two does per sit over your food plot, it might be time to take a different approach and slink back into the timber – if for no other reason than to take a pair of binoculars and observe where the deer are going. That’s the beauty of being mobile. 

The Benefits of Mobile Hunting

When my dad called my saddle “a hammock or whatever it is,” I knew that I had embarked on something not well-understood by those who prefer to stick with what they’ve always done. And there’s nothing wrong with doing what you’ve always done, as long as the journey and the end results make you happy – AND you’re not trying to force others to do what you prefer. Hunting, for me, is all encompassing. It’s not about a trophy. It’s not about bragging rights. It’s not about letting that arrow fly. For me, it’s the whole process. It’s locating deer through the sign they leave behind or through certain terrain features that deer are prone to frequent. It’s finding the right tree to be in to catch them passing through naturally and unsuspecting. It’s using the skills that have been hard-earned through failure. Mobile hunting has given me just that – the whole hunting experience. If it makes you happy to go sit that stand that hasn’t moved in years over that same field edge where you may or may not see a buck step out, do it. And don’t care about what anyone thinks about that! It’s your hunt, it’s your adventure. But, if like me, you prefer new adventure, then you should definitely try going mobile. In the process of moving from location to location throughout the season, you’ll find that your woodsmanship skills will improve and you’ll learn more in one season about natural deer behavior than you would in five seasons sitting those same field edges. 

Not sure what type of mobile setup is right for you? Check out this article on mobile setups!


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