November 11, 2012

Hunting: Stealth, strategy and experience are essential

By Bob Humphrey

(Continued from page 1)

It should go without saying, but always use the wind to your advantage. Try to keep it in your face, or at least quartering toward you. The opposite applies to the sun. You want it at your back, not in your eyes, so it hampers your quarry's vision, not yours.

Don't look for a deer. Look for part of a deer, a patch of brown, a horizontal line, sunlight glinting off an antler beam, a round black eye or a white ear.

It's difficult at first, but over time -- years -- you develop a search image. The mind picks up things the eye misses, and good optics are invaluable.

Still-hunting takes mental toughness. At first you fight to slow down, but in time you relax. Then your mind starts to wander, but you must stay alert and be ready. It can happen in an instant. The flick of an ear or rustle in the leaves turns into a deer, and it's staring in your direction, senses on full alert.

You've done it right up to this point. Now it all comes down to how you react, for in the blink of an eye your quarry could be gone.

Bob Humphrey is a freelance writer and registered Maine guide who lives in Pownal. He can be contacted at:


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