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Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

What Techniques Can You Use To Hunt Big Game?

There are four primary hunting techniques you can use to hunt big game animals:

  • Still-hunting
  • Stalking
  • Stand-hunting
  • Game drive

Young hunter proudly displays his kill

Still-Hunting

When still-hunting, you move slowly and quietly through an area, stopping often to watch and listen in hope that an animal will come into your view. Sometimes you see an animal, but it’s not close enough for a shot. In these situations, you may need to combine still-hunting with another hunting technique called stalking. Generally speaking, you are more likely to see game if you are still and the game is moving, than if you are moving and the game is still.

Stalking

Stalking is a slow, patient movement of the hunter into shooting position by following signs such as a track in the snow or by following the animal itself after it has been sighted. Just like still-hunting, stalking is best accomplished in an area where you can move quietly. It is helpful to have trees, shrubs, or grass to hide behind as you sneak up on the animal. Perhaps most important is wind direction. Always try to move into the wind, so the wind carries your sound and scent away from the animal. Beware: Stalking can be dangerous if there are several hunters stalking the same animal without knowing there are other hunters in the area.

Stand hunting
Stand-hunting

Stand-Hunting

In stand-hunting, you select a location where you can oversee an area used by game, and you stand (or sit) where an animal is expected to appear. Stands can be as simple as a spot behind a fallen log or rock or may be as elaborate as a tree stand. A tree stand is effective because it raises you and your scent off the ground. To be successful, the most important part about stand-hunting is the selection of a good location, such as the intersection of game trails or along a watering hole. Wind direction is important, too. Try to position your stand downwind from where you expect an animal to appear.

Game Drive

In a game drive, one or more hunters walks through an area pushing game towards other waiting hunters. Driving can be effective, but it can also be dangerous!

Game drive
Game drive

Remember: You’ve got hunters facing each other, looking for opportunities to shoot. You must all be alert and extremely careful.

The only way this method can be done safely is if all the hunters can see each other as they approach and if they are careful not to shoot if an animal is anywhere near another hunter. If you want to try this method, select an open area with good visibility, and wear plenty of hunter orange so you are easily seen. Select one person to act as leader, and follow that person’s instructions.

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White-tailed deer tracks
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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