You might not know it, but how you get in and out can be the most important part of your hunt. Here are five ways to make sure you go undetected the next time you set foot in the woods.
Have you ever seen a coyote or bobcat making its move on dinner? They don’t walk through the middle of a field, or crush branches or leaves under their feet as they saunter in. To them, food means survival, and being detected is not an option. As a hunter, you should keep the same predatory behavior in mind. We all know that guy. The guy who sounds like a bull elephant making his way to the stand, or offers up his silhouette on every hillside. We certainly hope that’s not you, but if you are continuing to get busted, we have some solutions for you.
1. Lurk in the Shadows
Walking where the “sun don’t shine” can be your best bet to avoid being detected, especially where cover in general is lacking. A field edge with a little afternoon shade can completely conceal your approach, especially when your quarry is out in the sun. This is a great trick when stalking in on a big Tom or a bedded buck.
2. Get Low
No, we aren’t telling you to belly crawl. Use terrain features to make your way into your setup. Dry creek beds and hollers can completely conceal movement as you slip in to your favorite spot. Try downloading the US Topo maps to help locate these features in unfamiliar territory.
3. The Naval Assault
This is my absolute favorite, especially when it comes to hunting thick, potential bedding cover for deer. Is there a water feature nearby? Then use it! A decent canoe can help you get in and around any bedded deer without ever being detected. It also helps when it comes time to drag that monster back to the truck! Invest in a canoe or jon-boat if you hunt in areas with a little bit of water around.
4. Follow the Fence
Old fence rows are the ultimate means for concealment in open country. You can use them to get from A to B, or even set up for a shot along one. Fence rows are a great way to keep from silhouetting yourself in the middle of an otherwise open piece of real estate. Old grown up fence rows are best as the extra vegetation provides more concealment.
5. Logging Roads and Hiking Trails
This may sound obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many hunters I see avoiding already open pieces of ground just to trudge through a green briar thicket. If you are on public land, look for multiuse trails or logging roads, specifically old ones. The path is still there but many may not know about it. Use Google Earth for find these old pathways and use them! Have private land? Don’t be afraid to cut some trails of your own long before the season opens.
These five simple tips can help make you a more stealthy hunter. Use them, and we guarantee you’ll be busted less and find success more!