One of the biggest mistakes a hunter can make is to scare away the prey by being too noisy. The need to keep the noise down isn’t just necessary while you’re sitting in your treestand waiting for the clear shot. It’s also important in your approach to the treestand.
Learning how to be quiet during the hunt is a skill every hunter needs to learn. And there are many tools and tips that can help. This is the beginning of a three-part series about how to be quiet during the hunt. In this article, we discuss the approach.
Know the Sounds of the Forest
When you’re asleep at home in your bed, you probably hear a lot of common sounds. Maybe you can hear the refrigerator, furnace or air conditioner running. Maybe it’s a pet wandering around the house or a family member getting up to get a glass of water. From the outside, perhaps you can hear the wind or a passing car.
Since you’re asleep, you may not remember hearing these sounds; and because they aren’t alarming, these sounds don’t wake you up. Whether you know it or not, your mind has become accustomed to certain sounds in your environment.
In much the same way you know the common sounds of your household, deer (and other animals you may be hunting) know the sounds of the forest. They know the sound of the wind blowing the leaves of the trees, the rustling of other animals making their way through the woods and the sound of rushing water from a stream.
Deer and other animals are very attune to unnatural noises in their environment so it’s important to make as little noise as possible in your approach to your treestand.
Some Tips For Making a Quiet Approach
- If you’re hunting together, keep your chatter to a minimum and keep your voices low. The human voice is something most animals avoid.
- Watch where you walk. Avoid stepping on sticks or anything that makes a loud noise.
- Walk slowly. Humans have a different cadence than animals when they walk. When you walk quickly, deer recognize it as unnatural noise.
- Keep your clothes quiet. Don’t wear fabrics such as nylon that tend to make a swish sound when you walk.
- Gauge your gear. Make sure your backpack is secure on your back. Make sure the items in the backpack are packed well so that they don’t rustle or bang when you walk. Don’t keep keys in your pocket.
By keeping aware of and minimizing the noise you make when you approach your treestand, you run a smaller risk of scaring away deer and other animals in the forest.
Next segment: How to Keep Quiet While Setting Up Your Treestand