Moving through the woods
by Winyan Staz
It is best to practice being flexable and using different techniques for different situations. For example, if you are just hiking around be sure to let animals know you are coming. I like to whistle or sing as I hike, which gives the animals plenty of time to move away.
NEVER turn and run when facing a possible threat. Slowly raise your shirt/coat/etc above your head to make yourself look larger and slowly back away. However.. only glance quickly at and away at any predator as only predators stare and a direct stare will be taken as a challenge. Glancing away tells it you are looking to make an exit with no challenge.
Glancing also works around birds and squirrels as well. They will slowly get used to you being in an area and the more you ignore them the closer and bolder they will become. Again, remember, only predators stare.
Pay close attention to the call of the birds and the squirrels as they will tell you when there is a predator in the woods. They are also happy to tattletail on you too of course. You will notice the notes of their warning calls have a sense of urgency to them, which will also warn you.
On the other hand, we are striving to be silent when we are hunting and we not only move slowly and carefully but take the time to sit still for a while and listen. As you move through the area, every now and then, stop and quickly look behind. Many animals will simply wait until you pass by and then move silently away behind your back.
When you step, step first on the outside top edge of the foot and slowly shift the weight inward, and you will be much better able to feel if you are about to snap a twig, etc.
Pay attention to the wind. I know all you hunters are aware of this already, but I mention it here for those who have not had to hunt for their food before. The wind will carry your scent to any animal downwind of you. If the wind is blowing towards you, the dinner in front of you won't be scared and gone before you get there.
This is an old saying:
Prey always walks on the path. The predator often moves along the sides of the path.
Do you want to safely enjoy the wilderness?