Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sneaky

Sneaking up on game is difficult at best. No matter how hard you try, it is difficult not to step on a small branch or some dried grass that you did not see at the worst time. Relying on your sight to walk silently is not the best way to go. Instead, carry an extra pair of thick socks and when you are getting close, take off your boots, add the extra pair of socks for foot protection and continue your hunt. Your socked foot will feel much more than any boot covered foot and stop you from crunching down on something that will scare your quarry.

4 comments:

Dug said...

hmmm. i tried that in january hunting fox and froze my toes. any other suggestions?

Arthur said...

Neat little idea. Might have to try that this fall. To be honest I've never been very good at stalking.

Phillip said...

Here's a thought to add to the sneaky socks (they also make products like "Bear Paws" to put over your boots if it's cold out).

Remember that game hears sounds all the time in the woods. It's never really silent. Use this to your advantage. First, try to time movement with ambient sounds like wind in the trees or even aircraft flying overhead.

Second, try to sound like an animal moving. Shuffle your feet slightly, so it sounds like four feet moving through the leaves instead of only two. Some folks carry a walking stick and use that to add an extra "footfall" when they move in the woods.

Finally, keep in mind that there are three senses that you're trying to defeat... scent, sight, and sound. Unless an animal is extremely skittish, it usually takes two of these three to spook it out of your hunt.

If you cannot be seen or smelled, it's OK to make a little noise (refer to above paragraphs). Don't spend all your time focused on your footsteps.

If you are seen, or if the animal hears you but doesn't see you, freeze. Most prey animals will key on motion, and will eventually ignore a human shape or a sound that they can't place. Even if the animal makes a short run, stay put... a lot of times they'll come right back to see what scared them.

It's not possible to really move soundlessly in the woods, so it's good to have a few other tricks in your bag.

Craig A. Manock said...

Phillip...now that is a nice comment. Everything that is added to these posts helps everyone learn.