A whitetail deer has the advantage of a 310-degree view of the world, but experienced hunters know that deer see motion more readily than details and colors. The most successful stalkers learn how to camouflage their footsteps, silhouettes, and rifle and bow mounting. Here’s how to move through the woods with as little movement as possible. –T. EDWARD NICKENS
STAY IN THE SHADOWS Wolves, mountain lions, even predatory insects do it, and so should you. Look ahead and plot your route through the woods to take advantage of every gloomy copse of shrubs, every shady thicket, every tree shadow possible.
SLIM DOWN Branches, twigs, and briers conspire to catch your clothing and telegraph your presence. Wear close-fitting clothes and snug down the cinch straps on daypacks and fanny packs for a slim profile. Cut off unnecessary webbing and loose laces that might dangle and snag a leafy branch. Avoid wide-brimmed hats in the woods.
PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT When scent conditions allow, move with the sun at your back. Let your quarry do the squinting instead of you.
WATCH YOUR ROUTE It’s not just ridges that threaten to expose your upright, bipedal silhouette to the forest world. Avoid routes that skirt in front of large rocks and expanses of forest edges and gaps, or that cut across meadows. Instead of walking ridgelines, go along just below and take an occasional peek across the crest.