Bowhunting Tips For Mountain Forest
Bowhunting Tips For Mountain Forest
You hear a lot about the importance of scent control,and rightly so.A deers sense of smell is its number one defense against predators.If conditions are right a deer will smell you regardless of your scent control efforts.You can't beat a deers nose,but you can sneak by it.I can tell you what works for me.I use a variety of products from different companies. First i use Hunters Specialties body soap,earth scent dryer sheets and clothes wash.I use the dead down wind body powder.Then i use Scent Killer autumn formula spray.This scent control system has worked well for me.I bow hunt exclusively from the beginning of season to the end.So i must pay close attention to scent control all season. I buy my scent control products from Bass Pro Shops.Of course i shower and use the soap and body powder before every hunt.I also spray Scent Killer on everything i take into the woods with me before every hunt.Paying particular attention to outer clothing that will contact brush and tree limbs,and specifically ghillie suits, gloves and boots.Be sure to spray entire boot especially the bottom sole.
Hunting in rough mountain forest it is sometimes necessary to cross trails or walk beside trails to get to your stand.This could be necessary wherever you hunt.Especially when hunting near bedding areas and during the rut,where deer movement can be random.Deer will eventually cross your entry trail.I have seen deer cross my entry trail within an hour or less and not smell me.This was during dry conditions.Although moisture increases a deers ability to detect scent,i believe my system will still work. I base this on an experience i had one year.It was a late season hunt with about 2 inches of snow on the ground.I had just got set up when a doe came around the hill and crossed my entry trail.She must have noticed the large tracks in the snow,then she began smelling them.She followed my tracks like a dog on a trail for about 15 yards,to where i turned up the hill to my stand.
Though she did look around some ,she did not act nervous and certainly did not spook.As im sure she would have if she had smelled any human scent.She then went up the hill and walked out of sight.As she left i noticed a buck farther down the hill,this was a mature buck 3 or 4 years old.No i didn't get a shot.But the point is he also came around the hill and crossed my entry trail and didn't spook. You may already have a scent control system that you are satisfied with,if so stick with it.If you are beginning bowhunting or have had problems with scent control you may want to try mine.As i said you can't beat a deers nose.If a deer is directly down wind of YOU [the source of scent] it will smell you.But you can eliminate enough of the residue scent you leave behind to sneak by.
When hunters think of camouflage they focus mainly on scent and sight,sound receiving less attention.Yes we all know we need a quiet bow and tree stand.We also try to be quiet while on stand,and when entering or exiting a hunting area.The quiet entry and exit are a lot harder to accomplish than the others.Especially when hunting mountain forest or anywhere you have a lot of trees. In heavily forested areas you will have a constant layer of dry noisy leaves.At the beginning of the season you will have all the leaf fall from last year.When this years leaf fall begins it gets even worse.Theres no way to move around quietly,unless its raining or right after a rain.But you can't always hunt right after a rain.And personally the only time i will hunt in the rain is during the rut.
So i use what i call sound camouflage.The two methods i use are the turkey walk and the squirrel hop.I bow hunt only mornings and bedding areas,i am usually on stand 35 to 45 minutes before daylight.So as far as entry i can only hope no deer are close enough to hear me.And if they do they will think i am another deer heading to the bedding area.Exiting the area later that day,when deer could be bedded near by is when it gets tricky.
I mainly use THE TURKEY WALK so i can move at a faster pace and exit the area quickly.First make sure no deer are in sight.Then climb down and get everything ready to travel as quietly as possible.When you are ready to leave make 2 or 3 clucks with your mouth.Then scratch the leaves a couple times with the toe of your boot.Then start walking and take shorter than normal steps.Let your feet drag lightly through the leaves as you make each step. You want to sound like several turkeys moving through the leaves.You don't want the crunch,crunch of individual steps.Although turkeys walk like we do,our steps are to loud to sound like one turkey.Continue to make a couple of clucks every 30 yards or so.When you need to stop and catch your breath,don't just stop and go quiet.Stop, make a couple of clucks then a couple of scratches with the toe of your boot.Continue clucks and scratches every minute or so until you are ready to start again.
THE SQUIRREL HOP is a slower method of moving but just as effective.You just hop slightly from each step or you can take regular steps if thats easier.The main thing is you must put each foot down flat and sudden.You don't want the drawn out crunch of heel to toe foot placment.Also you can't walk in a regular rhythm,take a few steps then stop.For example 1 2 3 steps then pause 1 2 pause 1 2 3 4 pause.Make each pause 3 to 5 seconds If you have ever heard a squirrel hopping through the leaves you know what IM talking about.This method works very well for getting to your stand for an evening hunt at a food source or close to a bedding area.Also works well for stalking in dry conditions.
You can move slowly and use the pauses to look for deer. IM sure you have some safety concerns about using these methods.You should wear some blaze orange when using them,even during bow season.Bass Pro Shops has a handy little item i use that works very well.Its a reversible neck gaiter with camo on one side and blaze orange on the other.Just turn the blaze orange to the outside when using these methods.If its cold wear it around your neck,if its warm pull it down around your hat.Its light,easy to carry and visible 360 degrees. I believe this will make using these methods safe,but you must decide for yourself.All i can tell you is i use them and they work.I have walked right up on deer using both methods.To remain undetected in the deer woods you must blend into the natural enviorment.Through scent,sight and SOUND CAMOUFLAGE.