It doesn't take an army to move deer.
Scott and Marty Glorvigen, identical Minnesota twins, are renowned for catching big walleyes in professional fishing tournaments. They exchange rods for guns in autumn and, over the past 18 years, have refined a dynamic-duo hunting system.
“We call it sneak hunting,” says Marty. “It doesn’t take an army of drivers to move deer where you want them. You can do just as well with two hunters working in tandem.”
The Glorvigens team up in thick cover, often tamarack swamps where deer bed, and avoid the hunting hordes. Whitetails in heavy cover prefer to stay put; typically, they hunker down and hide from an approaching hunter, or circle back around rather than flee. In swampy areas, whitetails often haunt fingers of slightly higher ground that support balsams or other evergreens. The brothers slowly work their way into the wind through the conifers. The lead hunter penetrates the cover, while his partner trails 20 to 30 yards behind and off to one side along the fringe of the trees. The two stay close enough to see each other and communicate with hand signals. Patting a fist, for example, means I see a doe.
“People usually cover too much ground when they try to sneak hunt,” says Scott. “If you even begin to perspire at any point during a two-man deer drive, you’re going too fast.”
The leader sets the pace and moves as though he is still-hunting alone. He takes quiet steps, stops in shadows whenever possible, and stands still five to 10 minutes at a crack. Most of the deer taken by the front man are animals he catches off-guard.
The second hunter picks off deer that circle back around the lead hunter. These deer are often savvy bucks whose attention is riveted on hunter No. 1. This frequently gives hunter No. 2 an easy shot at a standing or slowly moving deer.
To cut down on noise, the Glorvigens wear fleece or wool outer garments. They eschew synthetic gunstocks for quieter, natural wood stocks and equip their rifles with leather, rather than nylon, slings. “You invariably crack limbs going through ugly cover,” says Marty. “Whenever I make too much noise, I grunt a few times with a grunt call. I’ve seen skittish deer calm right down when I do that. They think another deer caused the disturbance. It really works.”