It is a skill that requires a lot of practice and even more patience.
Here are some tips on how to do it successfully:
- Wear the appropriate gear. Good camouflage is second to good technique, but will help to blend you into the surroundings so that animals don’t see you. If used correctly, camouflage can be a huge asset.
- Keep the wind in your face. Animals have a keen sense of smell and will not stick around once they get wind of you.
- Watch your step. Stepping on twigs, dead leaves, loose rocks or anything else that makes noise will alert the animals to your presence.
- Check your movement. Animals pick up movement much easier than colours, so only move when the animal is relaxed and not looking at you. When an animal has its head up and are in alert mode, your chances of being detected is much more than when it is feeding with its head down. Rule of thumb is, when an animal is looking around, don’t move! Using trees and bushes to hide your movement is also a good idea, and try not to let yourself be silhouetted against a background, or lack thereof. Also keep your movements as small and controlled as possible.
- Observe your surroundings. One often gets busted by an animal that you are not stalking, often standing off to the side where you are not looking. Most animals keep in herds which mean there are plenty of eyes, ears and noses to detect you. Stalking up on a lone animal is usually much more successful.