Stealth - How you enter and exit your hunting area
from Bowhunter, July 2014 Edition
written by Brian Rusk
When you are trying to hunt an animal that is built to survive, an animal whose senses are better than anything you can imagine, you need to be more than just quiet in a tree. Approaching your stand can make or break your hunt, and leaving it at the end of a hunt can turn a hotspot cold if you don’t watch your step.
It was a cool October morning as I slipped down the riverbank and carefully placed my gear into my kayak. I had staged the kayak the night before, knowing the winds would be perfect for one of my riverbank stands. As I pushed off the bank and the current took control, I could only feel that I was slowly adrift. It was a very uneasy feeling floating down the pitch-black river. The only thing I could make out were the silhouettes of the treetops on the banks above.
Silently, the current took me downstream until I hit a sharp bend in the darkness. This was my exit. I slid my kayak up onto the riverbank and then quietly pulled it up onto the shore. I grabbed my bow and gear and crept up to a large cedar tree that marked my place, and then I took a few more careful steps to the black ash tree I had prepared a few months prior. Up the steps I went and hung my Lone Wolf stand without a sound. I settled in and waited. I was now deep within the bedding area, and the deer were still a long ways off and just starting to make their way into the river bottom. I had made the perfect entrance into a very difficult area to approach by land. It wasn’t long before the first visitor of the morning came past my stand. It was a small spike buck that walked almost underneath me and gave me hope that I had picked the right spot. The wind softly carried my scent out across the river and away from the little buck’s nose. He wandered by and faded into the tangled river thicket. That morning was a great success, even though I never drew my bow. I passed on six deer, all within 30 yards of me. It was one of those spots I knew I could not walk into without blowing the whole river valley out, but by carefully planning my approach, I was able to sneak in without a sound and silently slip out the same way without any deer being the wiser…