Regardless of the game you intend to hunt, stealth and invisibility are the key ingredients for a successful harvest. It’s hard enough blending into the surrounding habitat, never mind getting close enough for a clean shot without being detected. If you are looking to up your stealth game or simply learn some tips and tricks for your first time in the field, these tactics will give you a leg up and improve your chances of tagging out this season.
Using Game Cameras To Your Advantage
Using a game camera is a great way to prepare for a hunt by getting up close and personal with the animals without them even knowing it. If you are hunting a game animal that has restrictions on your harvest, for example a 3-point minimum, then you could really benefit from using a game camera pre-season; if you close in on a buck or a bull but can’t tell exactly how many points you see, then you could lose precious time behind your optics that should’ve been spent behind your scope.
A game camera comes in handy because you can learn about wildlife in the area without having to scout it on a daily basis. You always want to be sure you’re shooting a legal animal, but it cuts down on time if you’re already familiar with the game and have a decent idea of which animal you’re looking at through the crosshairs.
When you go out and install your game camera, make sure you put it somewhere with a great view of the trail but also a great view of the sky. Good reception is key, and if you want up-to-date footage from your trail cam, then make sure you place it in a spot with a reliable cell signal. Don’t underestimate the power of an HD display, either; the crisp shots will help you determine if that eyeguard is long enough to hang a ring on it. For example, the LG V10 offers Quad HD display and superior durability, making it invaluable for capturing footage of your quarry.
Make Them Do All The Work
Another way to get animals near you without scaring them off is to bring them to you. It’s not easy walking around in the woods without making a sound, so, depending on the game, you can find a place to position yourself that’s downwind from the wildlife you’re hunting and call them toward you. This way you’re not making a lot of noise and scaring them off before you get a chance to see them.
Keep in mind though that not all animals can be called in and not all animals can be stalked. You should always take the time to learn the animal you’re hunting so you know the best way to increase your odds of putting meat in the freezer. Consider using electric calls or watch YouTube videos on how to properly use a wide range of mouth calls. The more you practice, the more natural it feels, and the better you’ll get.
Use Distractions To Get A Better Shot
Another way to increase your stealth is through distraction. If an animal moves in on you because you’re calling it or you know its pattern and you’ve parked yourself in its path, sooner or later it’s going to know that something is up. A great way to avoid being noticed is to set up a distraction. Decoys are a great way to do this; they tend to hold the animal’s attention and give you an opportunity to better position yourself and take a clean shot.
If the wind isn’t in your favor, or is swirling and inconsistent, using scents is another way to confuse an animal or prevent it from running off. The animal may feel as though something is wrong, but if they can’t identify what, a whiff of a cow in estrus might put their mind at ease and lure them in for an even better shot.
Always Exercise Safety, Especially When Being Stealthy
When it comes to putting the stalk on, you want to be as invisible as possible, but not so invisible as to go unnoticed by other hunters. Obviously wearing hunter orange is a great way to avoid a messy situation with another hunter. The blaze orange is seen easily by people while most wildlife can’t see that part of the color spectrum and won’t take notice.
Obviously, some seasons don’t require blaze orange, so it isn’t always necessary. However, it is important to always follow the laws and regulations concerning safety. Every state, season and game management unit is different, so do your research before heading out into the field. Consider taking extra precautions when hunting in heavily-trafficked areas so you don’t run the risk of injuring yourself or others. A great tactic for treestand hunters is to label your tree with a long piece of flagging tape wrapped around the base.
Hunting laws and regulations are in place for a reason; hunters want to remain invisible, but sometimes it’s not safe when there are other hunters in the area. What other ways would you choose to increase your stealth without decreasing your safety?