When hunting or wildlife photographing when stalking, it is important to observe certain points to increase your chances of getting close to the wildlife. Do you know them?
We are going to introduce you to the 5 key points to become an ace stalker.
The first essential point of a successful approach is managing the wind. As you know, animals have a highly developed olfactory sense enabling them to detect an intruder very easily.
The wind should not be blowing in the direction of the animal you are stalking. To determine the wind's direction, there are simple techniques we will explain in detail:
- Talcum powder pears: Basically, you throw a small amount of talcum powder into the air that will immediately catch the wind. Often expensive, and hard to find, you can simply build your own, using a simple balloon and a plastic bottle neck with a hole in the cap and of course talcum powder.
- The garbage bag string: hang it on your shooting stick, it will indicate the direction of the wind.
This list is far from comprehensive. Observing your surroundings, trees, leaves, etc. is of course also an excellent indicator of the wind's direction.
To increase your concealment, favour the edges of paths, so you will be better able to hide in the vegetation if you spot an animal. Indeed, it will be more difficult for an animal to spot a tall form if it is near the edge of a path than in an open area.
Positioning yourself as you move along the edge of the forest also enables you to hear if animals are moving in the woods.
The same goes for a hide, where you can use the topology of the terrain to conceal yourself, behind a fallen tree, a pile of branches, or even in a hedge.
Observing your surroundings is essential for this type of hunting. Observing tracks and footprints will enable you to increase your chances of spotting game. Also try to look for troughs and ditches to identify the presence of wild boar.
Once these traces are identified, it is important to recognise whether they are fresh or not.
In order to determine how old the tracks are, the weather conditions of the last few days must be taken into account. Older tracks will be easily recognisable if it has rained, because the tracks will fade away in favour of the water droplets.
On the contrary, some simple elements can indicate a recent crossing.
For example, cloudy water, water splashed on dry ground after leaving a puddle, and mud still wet on a tree. These signs clearly indicate an animal's recent presence. Smell can also betray their presence.
Generally speaking, you will be able to come across animals at dawn and dusk, as well as throughout the day, as a roe deer must feed between 6 and 12 times a day.
However, when you go hunting, remember to observe the moon. A study found that animals behave differently depending on the moon's influence.
When the moon is new: During this period, at night, animals are engulfed in total darkness. This forces them to feed during the first light of the day. Animals will then become active again at the end of the day before sunset.
At the first quarter: as with the new moon, animals are active at first light but become less active in the late afternoon.
When the moon is full: Despite the fact some think this is the best opportunity to see more game, because one can see for a longer period of time, studies showed that during this period animals come out in the middle of the night to feed. During this period, it is best to hunt from a hide around midday.
At the last quarter: As the moon rises very late, the animals remain active until dawn. Their second most active time will be in the middle of the afternoon. Therefore, during the last quarter of the moon, prefer to hunt in the middle and end of the day.
Hunting with patience and silence. Stalking is a form of hunting that requires as much silence as possible.
There are now silent garments available to reduce the noise caused by the rubbing of these garments.
For added quietness, prefer garments with a brushed mesh such as fleece or wool. Moreover, the closer the clothing is to the body, the less friction there will be, and therefore the quieter the clothing.