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Thread: Learning to walk without being blind to what is around me

  1. #1

    Learning to walk without being blind to what is around me

    So to expand from the title I'm currently one of those sorts who has spent far too many years not really looking around himself and now find that when out and around I'm very incapable of reading signs in the land. Of course this means that any encounter with wildlife tends to be at a very long range and based highly on chance.

    I do understand that the best and only way to really learn is out in the field with someone experienced, but in the build up to moving toward that I would like to first at least get some grounding in things.So I am wondering if any here have any recommendations for books or websites where one can start to get a least a grounding in the theories. At least if I can build up some concepts of the underlying theories and read of others methods it will mean any time I can get outside with someone will be better spent rather than having to go over the total basics.

    Of course this is not just limited to deer based stalks and also widens out to a far more general view - though of course working on one aspect will contain many skills and methods that will directly cross over to other areas.

  2. #2
    hi my advice would be go out and relax enjoy the experience do not worry to much about not seeing anything I have many times came home without seeing anything of note, sure its nice to see a big stag or a hind up close unaware of your presence plus a host of other countryside animals and birds but keep at it and that will come for sure, every time you get out you will learn a little more as for books that are worth a read deer watch by richard prior would be a good starting point, but nothing beats being out there and coming home with a little more knowledge than when you left the house that really is the best advice I can give good luck on your learning and most of all enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    One thing I can recommend is to go out and just sit still. You'll be amazed how quickly everything forgets about long as you remain still and silent. I've had some of my most memorable wildlife encounters by just sitting there. I was squeaking a fox one evening and was sitting with my back to a tree with a good bit of open ground in front. I was looking down to prevent my face shining and emiting the odd squeak. For some reason I looked up and there, about 8 feet away was a tawny owl rapidly back pedaling having decided I was too big to eat. I've also had birds perch on my gun barrel when in a high seat.

    So there it is...still and silent be.

    Right, I'm off to move clumsily about the hill.

  4. #4
    Overread - I suspect the clue's in the handle!

    Its amazing how easy it is to over think somethings ( and as most women would claim - the reverse is true of men ).

    Each to their own, but I find many of the wilderness type websites edge a bit too far into the mystical or plain hyperbole. Reading around can produce more confusion in the long run.

    Tom Brown has some gems - but you have to wade through reams to get them. 'Splatter-vision' ( its not Holly Willowby being gunged on Sat morning ) is quite well described and worth trying.

    Otherwise - as echoed above - the words of Ishi the Native American hunter put it neatly - 'walk little, look much'

    But nothing beats time on the ground.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Throw the book in the bin for a full season go out and move from spot to spot making that spot a place were you will be concealed but get a good view stay in each place for no less than 30 mins time this on your watch you will see whats there regard wild life. enjoy.


  6. #6
    "Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted", I think is from the Book of War by Sun Tzu, it still holds true. I agree with Frax completely, go out be still and silent, move little, look a lot. And as 6pointer said, get good binoculars and use them slowly. Look at the ground too, look for trails and footprints. Any of the good deer books will have pictures of deer wallows, rutting rings, fraying stocks etc.

    I once had a kingfisher land on my rod tip while I was changing a fly, I have had owls perch near the high seat while sitting quietly waiting for dawn. Keeping still and quiet is the key.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  7. #7
    No need of a book. A poem will suffice.

    W. H. Davies


    WHAT is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare?—

    No time to stand beneath the boughs,
    And stare as long as sheep and cows:

    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance:

    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began?

    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.
    /l\ Y gwir yn erbyn y byd /l\

  8. #8
    Im a fisherman as well as my shooting sports and what has all ready been said is the advice Id give, walk slow, stop often, ive 2 spots on my 420 acres that I can see a good chunk of the land and a couple of hours just sat is a revalation.

  9. #9
    If you have areas of open, undulating land try crouching and then slowly standing again to better read the topography. You will be amazed how seemingly flat swathes of grass or reed can include dips and depressions deep enough to hide a mooching roe or muntjac.
    /l\ Y gwir yn erbyn y byd /l\

  10. #10
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Bonnie Scotland
    I always like that poem Iwrch, so apt for Overread's education too. Quite the thoughtful chap you are... Anyways, I've been standing staring at a set of foundation trenches full of water all week and now it's stopped raining I need to start pouring concrete (frost or no frost). I'd rather be in the woods or on a hill though ...

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