Should I stay or should I go? Glass more or move on?


Jun 21, 2012
Nor Cal

Thought I would give this topic its own thread so we didn't take David Long's live hunt on too much of a tangent.

The original Question:

David how do you overcome the urge to see what is over the other side of the hill?

I am constantly fighting my head that there are deer or other game animals somewhere I can't see and that I should be covering ground to find them.

Does it take spending 6 months worth of Salary on Optics and tripods to sit your butt down and glass?

Some good Answers:

Here is my short answer Rocky, if I am hunting deer you stay put. Especially if you have done your homework and scouted an area well during the summer. If I haven't scouted an area then the patients is even more key. Scouting is when you can cover more territory looking, but patients is still key. I am still learning(ask Robby...) about the most productive or bucky, areas to glass or even what parts of the season to glass where.

Deer blend in a lot better too, so it just plain takes more time. A buck I watched all summer bedded in an area the first time I saw him that hid him very well. When I went back to look at him again later turns out all I could find was part of his leg sitting out. Well sat there watching and eventually he showed me his antlers and it gave it away that he was a monster. A buddy ended up killing that guy.

If I am hunting elk, well they don't hide nearly as good and you can glass smaller pieces of real estate with better success. If they aren't in the 'elky' spots well you can move on a bit quicker. I glassed up 5 bulls last weekend, by moving from one opening to another and glassing into the trees where I know the elk bed down.

Elk also tend to move in larger areas and also pop out a bit more. Scouting is also key here too because if you know where the Elk are ahead of time, well they will likely be in those same spots sticking out like sore thumbs.


Years ago I was the same way. But I can honestly say, once I disciplined myself to plant my ass in one spot and be more patient, that is when I began to kill bigger deer. Like I said previously, most people would be absolutely bored hunting the way I do. I love glassing! I find it very enjoyable.

X2 on a great thread. Thanks Robby for the pics.

I love Rocky's question about staying put. That's one of my biggest hurdles ever, and why I love to still hunt timber when at all possible. Doing in in the aspen groves w/ snow on the ground sounds like a great hunt to me. I've been struggling with whether to upgrade glass to help me stay put longer. I'd like to think it would at least give me more confidence in finding animals, which is huge.

On HCA's comment about staying warm. This thread reminded me of a hunt I saw on video (I think maybe Eastmans) where they were hunting in snow and glassing from fairly high (similar to Robby's pic). I distinctly remember them building a fire up near their glassing point. I never would have dreamed of doing such a thing! I think it was on the back side of a little ridge, but still. They ended up shooting a nice buck - in the quakies!

Any more info David can provide is certainly welcome. I love following these things!

Now I understand glassing a ridge you know holds animals. I've watched distant herds of bedded elk for hours waiting for them to commit to a direction. I can do that.

So when you are in New Country, either scouting or hunting, what is a reasonable timeframe to glass?

In a limited amount of time, a day or weekend is glassing preferred to covering country?


Rokslide Sponsor
Mar 8, 2012
Sometimes it's also not a matter of looking for completely new country, but finding the best spot to effectively do your glassing. If you have a basin surrounded by a U-shaped ridge the best way to glass it is from many angles from the top. After you have glassed from the top sometimes it's effective to find a different spot halfway down or so to pick apart places you saw animals. Sometimes you can find the BIG guy because you found the big guy he was hanging out with.

Some of you deer hunters with better portfolios than mine, chime in on this, but a trend I have noticed with big deer is they tend to stay very close to cover, and do big movements when it's dark. 2 seasons ago we watched a 180 plus deer that never got more than 10 feet from the cover. This year we found a big deer living with one cliff above him and one below him. On the steep ledge that he was using were patches of timber that he would work from one end to the other. The only time you saw his full body was when he quick went from one patch to the other. A third deer that I chased this year did all of his movements inside one big patch of timber making it pretty hard to glass him. The timber was beetle kill so I imagine he didn't think anyone was looking at him, but he was constantly moving and never left the edge of the trees.

After I get some more work done I will talk a little bit about how long on elk.


Feb 26, 2012
Colorado Springs,CO
I had a hard time with this as well. This year I would base it on basically three periods of time where they should be moving. I.E. two morning hunts and an evening hunt, or vice versa. If after 36 hours on one area I was not seeing bucks I would move on to another area.
In some places I couldn't even make myself do that.

I've got a long way to go in this department, patience is not my strong point.
May 29, 2012
Lewiston ID
All depends on how well I know the country and what I'm looking for. Definitely not an expert thats for sure though!