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R. Smith's picture
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Location: Greeley Co
Joined: 04/14/2010
Posts: 92
Just walking non stop

How many of us while hunting just walk and walk thru woods? I ask this question because until a few years ago thats what i did! By this I mean just walk and walk without to much of any stopping. I find it interesting due to the fact that as humans we are the only animal to walk thru the woods without STOPPING. Every other animal will walk a few steps and then stop to listen. Not us humans we just keep going.I believe that is why some of us including MYSELF have not harvested an animal. Im not say this is the only reason that we have not harvested an animal just a contributing factor. I learned this from a good friends DAD. He watched me hunt while we were hunting together and brought this to my attention. I know that there are another many factors for me not harvesting and animal. I just thought this was interesting when Lanny pointed this out to me. I would really like some feed back as to what you fellow hunters think about this. Iam always learning as I am hunting and I will always keep learning while Im hunting and living life. Thank you for the few minutes of your time that it take you to read this post. R. Smith Think

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4078
Re: Just walking non stop

I had a very good friend who is now deceased that offered for me to go hunting with him one time in an area that is well known for the size of mule deer that live there. The first day he told me that we were going to take a hike from the top of a hill (11,000') down to his camp and for me to pack a lunch. Now I have always carried enough food and snacks to get myself through a couple of days in my pack. Well, we started the down hill hike at a little past 6:30am just as it was getting daylight. He took one side hill and myself the other. Now the hike was only around 2 miles but he said that he would meet me at the camp that night. I wandered into camp about a half hour after he did. He just looked at me and said that he couldn't believe that I moved slower than he did. The point was that both he and I would take a couple of steps and then glass the surrounding area along with the other side hill when we could see it. Using this method I saw around 70-100 deer with a couple of nice bucks but not shooters, he had seen about the same. Now if I had just walked that 2 miles back to camp I possibly would of seen some animals but by only taking a couple of steps and then looking I saw a whole lot more than somebody just hiking the hillside. The interesting thing is that this is the way that I have always hiked and looked for animals if I am not sitting on a stand or a spot that I can see a large area and just watching.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: Just walking non stop

I used to. But wasn't very successful when doing so. Even when still hunting, I stop much more frequently now than I used to.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1789
Re: Just walking non stop

When you're moving at a faster pace then just creeping and stoping slowly you're usually a slight bit noisier and the movement itself is quickly picked up visually by most animals. You are putting out waves either audio or visually that animals you aren't even aware are picking up on and scooting out well before you'd see em. We've already got their nose to deal with why stack the odds more against ourselves. I've been schooled on slow, slow, slower, for years by the ones who taught me to hunt and still have to sometimes remind myself to do it. But, slow and creeping and stopping and looking (glassing) will get your tag filled eventually if you keep it up. Moving like you're in a race which in hunting terms is a moderate walking pace won't get you as much game.

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Location: California
Joined: 09/06/2008
Posts: 1071
Re: Just walking non stop

With the exception of small game ( my nome de guerre ) and birds I have found my most successfull days in the field are those spent finding a good place and laying up with field glasses as opposed to floundering around in the woods being noisy and seeing little. Upland small game seem to be the exception as you need to kick them out of their hidey holes or bushes.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Re: Just walking non stop

There's a fair amount of science involved in this too, when you consider human vision.

The fovea, comprising an area of the retina packed with cones that detect color, is at the center of the eye and is where you see detail. Sizewise, it's about like holding a quarter out in front of you. It seems much bigger only because your brain stitches the scans together and gives you the illusion of a bigger picture. Cones, which see color, aren't as sensitive as rods, which don't. This is why you lose your color vision at night -- and why you can't see detail, either. You're using more of the retina, but you're working in black and white with receptors that don't have as much detail. If you've ever noticed that you have a hard time seeing some stars when you stare straight at them but are brighter when you look beside them, it's because when you look right at them you're trying to use all those cones in the fovea that don't have enough light to work.

The bottom line of all that is that your chances of seeing a stationary animal in the distance aren't that good unless you put that little circle of detail right over it. All the rods outside of that little circle might not be able to pick out the detail, but they can detect movement. Which is why you might not be able to spot the deer your buddy is point out to you initially, but as soon as it moves it suddenly becomes obvious.

The problem with walking is that when you're doing so, you still have the problem with sweeping for detail, and you've further complicated it by moving -- so everything around you is moving relative to you and you don't detect animal movement. So you've effectively reduced your ability to spot animals by probably 90 percent. It's amazing what you can see when you stop and look around. Thus, wisdom may not be the only key to an old guy's success -- he has to stop and breathe more than the young guys.

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Joined: 11/03/2008
Posts: 35
Re: Just walking non stop

A quote from one of the greats....
"If you want to see animals, walk slow.
If you want to kill animals, sit down"..Fred Bear

prhunter's picture
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Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 02/21/2009
Posts: 573
Re: Just walking non stop

After several years, I have learned to really, really slow down my pace while out in the woods. This has resulted in not only seeing, but harvesting more animals. Big smile

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Re: Just walking non stop

I think you got it, now just practice it!

I rarely take more than a few steps without stopping to look around really well before moving. Now there have been a few times when I was not hunting an area, but just passing through, where I high stepped it through pretty quick. There have been times when I have had to cut through a valley that I was not hunting and I thought it better to just get going and get through. Since I was in plain sight for anything within a couple of miles, I wanted those animals to know darn well that I was on a mission, and not one after them. If they see me walking steadily without stopping, I think they get less nervous as they can tell where I am going, they can also easily avoid me if I happen to be headed towards them. Now if I were to be in that same open basin, and stopping constantly, or zig zagging around, then they can't figure me out, they get nervous and hightail it outta there.

In general though, I am just a fat old guy and need to stop every 10 paces or so, so it is my excuse that I am hunting and need to slow down and look around more eye roll Whistling

R. Smith's picture
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Location: Greeley Co
Joined: 04/14/2010
Posts: 92
Re: Just walking non stop

Thank you to all you guys that replied. I was curious as to other peoples thoughts on the subject. Thumbs up I KNOW that walking slower is better. Thanks again fellow hunters.

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