Walking is not Stalking

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Walking is not Stalking
On a recent trip with my mentor in quite dense overgrown woodland where I had the lead for some time, my mentor tapped me on the shoulder.
He had the look on his face that said the mentor mentee relationship was in action and I was not about to be offered a coffee.

I’ll lead you follow he said and watch and listen to me stalking .
He took the lead and off he went. I followed for about quarter of an hour when we came to a track through the wood cut by farm machinery. Right he whispered what have you picked up. He was definitely quieter than me.
I had realised that I had been more sluthering my feet as my mum used to say. This meant that I often held down the end of grass and then broke it off when my other foot came forward making a fair amount of noise. I needed to pick my feet up and place them vertically down more like walking in snow.
Ok he said that’s part of it, I knew there was more to come when he said you don’t mind me mentioning these things do you. Well as I probably couldn’t find my way back to the car at this point anyway and I am here to learn and very grateful for the opportunity I said no you carry on.
Firstly look down the way you are going to go, survey the route, decide where you are going to walk, where there are least obstacles, twigs to break branches to step over, think quiet.
When you walk you look around well but you move about from the waist like a slow metronome. Deer are looking for danger and pick up movement, a deer on a track ahead of you may fail to pick up a smooth motion head on towards it if you are lucky, it will definitely pick up a side to side erratic swaying. I had noticed that he walked very upright I thought it was an ex-military thing.
So I had the lead again and we progressed for half an hour and sure enough with some planning, thought and picking up my feet the progress was much quieter. Another lesson learned.
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
sounds like you will be soon be able to pluck the stone from his hand mty, keep it up soon you will be one and alone with the trees
 

Mr. Gain

Well-Known Member
Creep and stop often

Sums it up in a nutshell!

A regular shooting buddy of mine - he has other virtues... I think :confused: - drives me up the wall by clomping through the undergrowth, flicking his head around, waving his un-gloved hands like white flags, and "whispering" without disengaging his vocal cords. And no amount of telling will get him to stop.

Fortunately he prefers to sit rather than stalk, and when I leave him to get on with it manages to do pretty well. Maybe the smell attracts them? :gheyfight:
 

Moray Outfitting

Well-Known Member
F270 - spot on!

You'd be amazed how many people give my door a hearty slam - 10 seconds after discussing the importance of a 'hip/ buttock' close :rolleyes:. The funniest are three specific 'serial offenders' - its a mental block or something, they just never remember.
 

Crosshair243

Well-Known Member
We've got so many footpaths, the best way to get close to our deer is to bring several kids and a dog with you and walk as noisily as you can :D
The second you start 'stalking' they scarper lol

Only joking, it's satisfying being able to creep about without anything knowing you're there- best tip is to forget any pretentions of getting somewhere and definitely leave your watch in the car.
 

Naseby

Well-Known Member
Tom thanks for posting.
I think I'm not too bad at keeping very quiet.
I probably still don't stop frequently enough though.
I do have a very occasional 'clink" as I change the hand that's carrying the sticks though - irritating.
 

ronscomon

Well-Known Member
Thanks Tom, all useful info - it makes one think how one goes about it oneself, which is never a bad thing. I'm generally pretty quiet and verging on too slow by one stalker(!) I was with which seemed odd to me at the time, as I feel the more time you spend looking, usually the more you get to see.
 

Mr. Gain

Well-Known Member
You cannot stalk too slowly

I think it depends how you define stalking. Take the scenario in which a "stalker" -possibly me- walks nonchalantly upwind of a known lying-up area where it would be pointless to stalk them directly, however slowly he went, in order to move the deer out, then slips in as quietly as he can while they're away before settling down to watch one of the trails back in. His idea is to move them without unduly alarming them so that they are soon inclined to return to the comfort of their sanctuary, hopefully offering him a shot in the process. He's moving in pursuit of deer himself, rather than moving them to other rifles, and is not using a hide or raised seat. Is this stalking?

Additionally, there may be "barren" areas on your ground between "productive" ones. Provided you keep the wind where you want it, does it really make sense to cross/skirt the former as slowly as you do the latter? and if you do speed up, does this mean you have stopped "stalking". If so "stalking" becomes by definition "the slowest you can go"!
 
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