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Thread: Moving quietly in the dark.

  1. #1
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    Moving quietly in the dark.

    Probably My #1 weakness. Since I also hunt NY, I use a 2xAA cell
    flashlight. (So that I'm used to it.) Sometimes, I'm hiking an hour or more,
    to get to My stand site. (With climber, pack & bow) Every twig sounds
    like a gunshot, at those times. Anyone have any tips? Oh, I forgot to
    Mention rubber boots, as well. Not exactly sneakers.



  2. #2
    First off, I can't stand flashlights. Just something to hang onto and smack against my stand! I like the cheap-o headlamps with the red LED's for the minimum ammount of light needed to avoid stepping on branches and tripping over logs. Leaves are unavoidable, but somebody probably has an idea. With all your gear (weight) no twig is safe! I just take it nice and slow and aim my headlamp toward the ground so I dont have to tilt my head, but I don't have an hour hike either...to some of our regular stands (the ones we don't move around each season) we brush hog lanes through the fields and clear a path with a rake thorugh the timber in the spring to avoid the crunchy mess in the fall. We try to keep it clear once the season approaches, but don't want to disturb them much either. Actually, the lanes and paths are used regularly by deer and let some fresh green stuff grow to munch on where none had before. Also lets us see tracks pretty well. You should try something like that...you may like it!

  3. #3
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    For what it's worth I don't travel as far as you, but I don't even turn a light on. I walk in the dark---slowly. I just leave extra time to get where I'm going----slowly. Then I put my stand on the tree---slowly and quietly. Then I climb the tree--slowly and quietly.

    Last couple days it's been rain so everything is quiet, but I still move slowly.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfisher
    For what it's worth I don't travel as far as you, but I don't even turn a light on. I walk in the dark---slowly. I just leave extra time to get where I'm going----slowly. Then I put my stand on the tree---slowly and quietly. Then I climb the tree--slowly and quietly.

    Last couple days it's been rain so everything is quiet, but I still move slowly.
    That might be part of the problem; I know I've got a lot of ground to cover,
    before light. I like to be in My stand 45 minutes before first light, if
    possible. At night, I'm tired & I want to get home.

  5. #5
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    I walk slowly and stop and take a few breaths mainly to avoid sweating, as you know if you sweat you will end up getting cold, you just have to get up earlier and I would suggest some more agile boots over rubber boots, just spray down the soles.

  6. #6
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    Actually what I like to do is just sound like another animal in the woods...other animals make noise and crack limbs and deer don't take off running just because they hear branches snap. If you walk 10 steps or so and then stop for a few and then walk 10 steps again and kinda mimic a deer or some other animal walking through the woods.

  7. #7
    What I do is I only turn on my very small flashlight when absolutely necessary to see. I have a red lense for mine. Walk slow so you don't sweat and you don't kill yourself on a limb or something. As far as you travel I would definetly have a flashlight avaiable just in case. Be safe at all cost.

  8. #8
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    i read this article by some famous bowhunter.... (i cant remember who right now)

    But it was about still hunting and how you can get away with making noise.....

    It suggested trying to walk with the pace of a deer...... instead of the equal and methodic pace of a human.... take a few steps and stop for a second..... basically walk like a deer walks while it is feeding or milling......

    Also..... you might want to take a deer call.....

    You can get away with some noise but if you slam into a log, or make some other huge rackett..... sometimes a subtle grunt call will settle down any animlas that heard you and was wondering what made the noise.....


    That hour long walk must be tough...... i dont know if I could do it....

    Good luck with it though... lets hope the big ones live back there.....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milsurp
    Probably My #1 weakness. Since I also hunt NY, I use a 2xAA cell
    flashlight. (So that I'm used to it.) Sometimes, I'm hiking an hour or more,
    to get to My stand site. (With climber, pack & bow) Every twig sounds
    like a gunshot, at those times. Anyone have any tips? Oh, I forgot to
    Mention rubber boots, as well. Not exactly sneakers.
    Mil,

    When Im walking in I ALWAYS get the feeling Im sounding like an elephant in the undersbrush and every deer for miles knows that Im here despite my efforts to be silent. I think its more mental than anything beause we're right on top of the sound we make. Last weekend I got set up early and settled in about 45 mins before shooting time. Just about the time you could start to make out the trees in the dark, I heard two guys casually walking thru the woods to their stand somewhere up the draw. I never heard them coming till they were about 20 yds away and I know I move alot quieter than they did.

    Just a thought...
    Progressivism is a keg of communism sold by the drink.

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  10. #10
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    You can try some Baer's Feet,, also called safari sneaks. There are some easy ways to make these on your own I'm sure if you're clever, like gluing carpet to the soles of some beat up sneaks or something. Be aware of how much traction you're losing though, before you get on a grassy sloped trail, doh!

    I'd also look hard at what you're carrying. For instance, can you lighten the load with a lighter climber, lose the pack, etc. All these things will help you stay focused on an irregular deer-like pace.
    "'Where the tree of knowledge stands, there is always paradise': thus speak the oldest and the youngest serpents."

  11. #11
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    I wouldn't kill very many deer if I had to drag them that far!

  12. #12
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    Later in the fall when the leaves are crunchy I drag a stick behind me to break up the sounds of my footsteps so I don't sound so "human".
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  13. #13
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    As others have stated, walk slowly and take short breaks. The land I hunt I know pretty good so I can walk pretty quiet and most of the time with minimal use of a light.

    Also my usual stand site is about 400yards off of the road so there is some cover noise and there is a couple of houses/farms in the area so there is alittle more cover noise.

    There are also alot of turkeys (14 under my buddies stand the other evening) so I also take a mouth diamphram turkey call incase I trip or make alot of noise for some reason. I will make a couple of turkey sounds to maybe throw the deer off a bit. I have also taken a Hooter before to get the turkeys real noisy when I start to approch my stand and climb( only done that a couple of times) Seems to work. See deer about 90% of the time I am in the woods and several times just minutes after walking in and sitting down.

    Just what I do, maybe it will help,

    J-

  14. #14
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    Thanks, people!

    Some good advice there. My neighbors don't want Me shooting does,
    so I'm going up to the ridges, where I believe the bucks bed. I use a
    Lone wolf climber, it's light & packs real flat. Navigation is difficult in the dark, too.

  15. #15
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    NE Wisconsin
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    Walking to a stand

    I've had better luck by walking at a constant, even pace with no stops. When a deer hears you coming, they move to the side and monitor the noise. If you stop, you become a predator instead of a walker. If I don't act like a predator and walk continuously to my stand the deer don't react, but just continue whatever they were doing.
    Works for me
    Bob
    Bob

  16. #16
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    I've been bow hunting 27 years now. Last year I started using a headlamp with a xenon bulb and LED's. It is sooo much easier now. I have a free hand and get around in the dark better. It's easier to hook up the tree stand and all around quieter. I used to use a mini-mag wrapped with plastic tape so I could hold it in my mouth when I needed 2 hands. It's now relegated to backup.

    I absolutely advise using a headlamp when carrying gear/bow. I use it for about everything when I need two hands. The LED's are the ticket if you do any fishing at night for tieing or sorting thru a tackle box.
    "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
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  17. #17
    If you are hunting in a rural area like Arkansas, I don't think it much matters as long as you don't walk right over them. I get into my tree just a few minues before shooting time and have had many deer come thru right after i have gotten settled in. I have been in my tree right before daylight and have heard people at their houses talking and bangingh pots and pans at 6:00 am on calm mornings and it doesn't bother the deer a bit. I think we make too much of getting there real early and how quiet we have to be walking in. I personally like my sleep. And I still kill 2or 3 a year.

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Last weekend my buddy and I walked to stands (100 yards apart). Once we split up, I couldn't hear him at all after he got about 40 yards away. We were walking through dry, loud oak leaves and he's not exactly stealthy.

    Double that distance from anticipated bedding areas and you should be fine.

  19. #19
    Like you, I frequently walk a great distance to my spot, 1 to 2 miles. If I did anything other than walked non-stop, i'd never get there before daylight. The onlt time I'm stealthy is within a hundred yards or so of the stand, as I've seen my hunting partner walking at that distance and not heard him. I try not to use a light, if possible, at least in that last 100 yds. I try to access from a location where i do not expect deer to come from, even if it requires extra travel.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbweld0
    Actually what I like to do is just sound like another animal in the woods...other animals make noise and crack limbs and deer don't take off running just because they hear branches snap. If you walk 10 steps or so and then stop for a few and then walk 10 steps again and kinda mimic a deer or some other animal walking through the woods.
    just plan out enough time to set up, slow down, and walk like deer, if you've got cows on your property pace slowly like a cow. my dad would actually do a weird 6 paces stop, 2 paces stop, 3 paces stop, 10 paces stop, repeat. i know if i am moving too fast if i don't catch varmints off guard.

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