Quiet movement in the woods is critical for hunting success.
Anytime you are moving through the hunting woods, you have to be vigilant about noise control and careless movement.
Every sound you make, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is a warning to all animals within hearing distance.
Of course, it just isn’t possible to move through a wooded area without making any noise at all. But, you can minimize noise and sound by following a few simple ground rules for movement while hunting.
Whether you’re headed to a treestand in the early morning hours, or practicing spot and stalk hunting from the ground, these tips can help keep you quiet and undetected.
Every Step You Take
Always remember that the noise you make while in a quiet setting is projected like it was being sent from an amplifier. If you snap a twig or stomp your way through a thicket, there is guaranteed to be a set of ears somewhere listening to your every move.
Deer and other game animals survive by knowing when a predator is close. If you move through the woods like you typically would, you won’t get close enough to see a deer much less get a shot at one.
When walking through the woods, you have to be aware of step placement every time you put down your foot. Place each step gently and with care.
The best way to do it is to lower either your heel or toe first and ease the rest of your foot down very slowly. By doing so, you can ideally feel a twig before it snaps or a rock before you kick it, and that will give you time to adjust your step.
If you hunt early season deer or spring turkeys, you have to deal with a leafy environment when hunting a wooded area.
In these situations, small leafy trees can be your worst enemy. Carelessly shoving aside a leafy sapling is like shaking a pair of maracas. The rattling sound can be heard for hundreds of yards and lets all animals in the area know you’re coming.
When you’re walking through a thick, leafy area, it’s best to do so slowly and with an awareness of noise under your feet and at eye level as well.
Quiet Gear is a Must
It doesn’t do you any good to walk softly and quietly through the woods if your gear is clinking and clanging with every step. The metallic ring of a keychain or slide of a zipper is totally out of place in the wild.
Noises that are out place are like neon signs announcing the presence of humans in the area and there is nothing animals fear more than humans. Keep your gear quiet and you can eliminate half the battle of noise control while moving through the woods.
Turn Off Your Cell
It is a good idea to carry your cell phone while hunting in case of emergencies. However, the last thing you want is for your phone to chime in with the theme song from Star Trek while you’re trying to ease into your hunting area.
Turn off your phone or put it on silent until your hunt is over.
Watch the Coughing
Most hunting seasons happen during the height of cold and flu season. For that reason, hunters are often forced to hunt with a sniffle, cough, or both.
The problem is that a cough is one of the worst sounds you can make while hunting. There is absolutely nothing that screams danger to a deer more than the sound of a human cough. If you have a coughing problem when hunting season arrives, do all you can to suppress it while in the woods.
Take cough drops with you and carry plenty of fluids. If you end up in the middle of a coughing fit despite your best efforts, put your head down and do your best to bury the sound in your jacket or coveralls.