Walking Through a Field vs. Walking Through the Woods

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I do a lot of hunting with my brother and he and I argue a lot about what is the best way to get into the stand with minimal noise and being seen. Maybe someone can give me a tip or two on this as well. Here is what I like to do...

I like to walk through the field not along the edge of the woods or in the woods. Right through the middle of the field. I feel being seen from a distance by a deer that is bedding just off the field is less likely to jump it out of his  bed. But then my brother on the other hand says sneaking to your stand in the woods and not being seen or heard is the best way. I have not had good luck trying to sneak through the woods in the dark and trying to be quiet, I think it is close to impossible to be quiet enough. So I say stay in the field as long as you can until you're as close to your stand as possible. 


sneaking through woods in dark

after years of tripping and slipping in the dark trying to sneak to my spot even with a flashlight. I was taught a different way and it works if you train urself. First take walks in woods after dark teach your eyes and brain to be able to see terrain without light , can be done slow your walk and focus on every step and everything in your sight. This slows your pulse , now you can control your breath , no sweating. Think your way. When you are able to see through the woods and not just the woods the next step is easy, put on 2 pair of wool socks and carry hunting socks and boots in pack most of all the socks you put on must be covered in fox urine. Boots make noise your feet don't because they conform to terrain better than anything else.


SSGJB's picture

I have always had the best

I have always had the best luck walking along the wood line on the field. The deer know were the field is at and don't expect predators to sneak up on them from the field. I also think it is the quitest way to get from one point to antoher, depending on the wind direction. I have walked up on several deer laying on the edge of the woods facing in and able to get close enough with the bow, again if the wind is right. So IMO i would rather walk through a field instead of straight through the woods, and again if the wind is right.

numbnutz's picture

I would have to side with

I would have to side with your brother as well. If you've done your pre season scouting then you know where the deer are bedding and you can approach your stand from the oppisite direstion. If your in the wide open there are probably animals spotting you even if you dont see them. You can sneak through the woods almost undected if you move slow and use the terrain and trees for cover. So for those reason I would not walk straight through a field. Good disscusion, Thanks for bringing it up.

groovy mike's picture

I’m of the opinion that if the deer see you, they will be alert

I’m going to side with your brother on this one.  I’m of the opinion that if the deer see you, they will go on alert even if they stay in the area. That means that they are not likely to move about and get into shooting range.  More likely they’ll make a discreet exit in the opposite direction as soon as they think that you are far enough away not to see them leave.  One exception MIGHT be if you are travelling in full darkness down the center of a field without lights and quietly.  In that case, you MIGHT get away with your plan on opening morning but forget about it late in the season after deer have been hunted, shot at, and pushed for more than an hour or two in the last month or so.  If you can sneak to your stand without being seen or heard that is unquestionably the best way to get to your stand. If you are going to try to sneak through the woods in the dark you need to do it SLOWLY - as slowly as possible.  That is the only way to get through the woods quietly.  If you can’t do it quietly in the dark, then you will have to do it at the very first light and sacrifice that 15 minutes of first shooting light to travel time in the dawn light.   

Retired2hunt's picture

Do it in the Dark

On the morning of a hunt I always travel to my stand or sitting spot in the dark so that once legal hunting time is upon me I have been in my stand/spot for most likely around 20 to 30 minutes. So my answer is that I travel the least noisy route - whether that is directly through a field, through the woods, or a combination of both... but always in the dark. Completing this task in the dark with very little flashlight glare and knowing my route eliminates spooking the deer in the area that I am counting on seeing later. If I cannot help but make some noise then getting to my stand early also allows the area to "settle" before the hunting begins.



Boots's picture

Sneak It

My experience has been that if they see you, they leave you.  So, I'm a fan of leaving a little bit earlier and taking your time sneaking to your spot.  I hunt mule deer, and I'm not sure if there is a behavior difference between the two with respect to being spooked.  But, I try to never expose myself to open country if I can avoid it.  So, I'm going to side with your brother on this one and say that sneaking to the stand is best in my opinion. 

ManOfTheFall's picture

On an afternoon hunt when I

On an afternoon hunt when I go to my stand I try and stay out in the open as long as I can and try and avoid most of the areas I know they will probably be coming from. In the morning when it is still dark most of my stands are on field edges so I try and stick with that same thing. I do have a couple stands back in off the beaten path. For these stands I take the time to clear a path as much as possible of any debris for a quiet entry. I also put reflective tacks on trees so when my light hits them I hopefully won't stray one way or the other in the dark. Thanks for the tip.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Yeah it is almost impossible

Yeah it is almost impossible to sneak inthe dark.  I too think if they see you from a diatance and you are not making any guesture to harm them they will just watch tou from a distance and will not blow oyt of the county.