You’ll know a few of these crucial hunting skills but not all of them! Making a habit of them will ensure your hunts go better than ever.
1. If walking in flat to rolling terrain, before you start, work out the prevailing wind direction and plan your hunt walking into it, taking in likely spots for game on the way.
2. In hills in sunny weather, the prevailing wind will eddy around ridges and gullies, meaning you must change direction often. When you suddenly feel the wind on the back of your neck, re-evaluate.
3. In less windy weather, air currents will rise up hills in the morning and start to descend in the cool of the afternoon.
4. Walk slowly and pause every 50 metres or less to observe, glass and check the wind.
5. If you spot game and they haven’t seen you, stop dead still and wait a few seconds, then slowly crouch and evaluate.
6. Wear mitts to conceal pale, moving hands. Don’t wave your hands around.
7. Light rain is really good to do close-in stalks as the rain conceals your footfall and softens brittle leaves and twigs.
8. Still hunting and glassing can be a very effective, particularly from a high position at dawn.
9. Do not silhouette yourself by walking ridge tops. Select one side and contour around just below the ridge.
10. Although dawn and dusk are known as the magic hours, many good animals are shot in full daylight, so persist and go gently all day.
11. Animals will stay out longer after a frosty night or after rain. Hunt sunny spots in the morning, where they may be warming themselves.
12. If you are drawing a blank, think food, water and shelter, the three things animals seek. Let that guide your approach.
13. In rain, close your bolt on an empty chamber and carry muzzle down. Electrician’s tape over the muzzle keeps water and crap out of the bore.
14. Never close a de-cocked bolt on a live round, as the firing pin is in hard contact with the primer. Carry it bolt closed on an empty chamber or bolt open until in the final stages of your stalk.
15. When you have to take the shot on still or slowly walking game, remember that you will have a few seconds to take a shot, so take an extra second to position yourself better, settle and take the perfect shot.
16. When you plan your stalk, look at terrain features and stage your stalk, ending where you can adopt a well-concealed, rested position.
17. When stalking in a group, go in single file, as you only present one profile into the wind for visual detection. Moving side by side halves your chances.
18. If you are stalking goats, remember each mob always has a sharp-eyed nanny posted a sentry and you need to stay well concealed from it.
19. If you are stalking in on a pig, which has poor sight, walk quietly into the wind towards it while it has its head down, but freeze as soon as it lifts its head. When it resumes feeding, get going again.
20. You can mask your scent to a good degree with eucalyptus and/or tea tree oil spray. Don’t use deodorant or aftershave and wash in plain water with minimal soap.
23. You can mask your scent to a good degree with eucalyptus and/or tea tree oil spray. Don’t use deodorant or aftershave and wash in plain water with minimal soap.