What Your Mother Taught You About Hunting!
Most hunters do not realize that their mothers (not their fathers) were their first trainers in the fine skill of hunting.
Dads came along later, to take the semi-trained youngster to the woods for further instruction. Let me show you what I mean.
Mom’s Hunting Tips
Your mother cautioned you ‘not to make a spectacle of yourself’ – an important hunting tip. Great hunters stay in the shadows – out of direct sunlight. They try not to provide a silhouette by staying lower on hills and off of ridge lines. There’s only one word for hunters who walk along the tops of hills with the sun behind them – busted!
Mama was right when she cautioned you to ‘quit wiggling.’ No matter how well you’ve camouflaged yourself, too much movement will give you away. When taking kids hunting, I think this is the part where they have the most difficulty.
The Importance of Smell in Hunting
Most large game have an acute sense of smell. So, when your Mama told you to take a bath because you smelled, she was offering good advice. This is not a time to bathe with your new bar of “Obsession” soap. Neutral, non-scented soap is the best idea.
Hunters planning on stalking in pine areas sometimes store their ghillie wear in plastic bags, along with pine leaves. Those hunting in dense woods often put a variety of leaves with their ghillie suits – so they will smell more natural.
Many of the newer ghillie suits come with carbon filtration to help eliminate odor. I recommend them for heavy smokers.
How Deer & Ducks Use Light
Your mother provided excellent hunting training when she chased you to the bus, waving your mittens. Sweet thing that she was, Mama was worried you’d catch cold. Illness is the least of a hunter’s concerns. However, having one’s hands & face (and any other exposed surface) covered is critical because your body reflects light.
When a duck is looking down at a marsh and sees a flash of light, he continues on to a safer place. Deer also have an uncanny knack for seeing a single flash and knowing it’s time to move elsewhere.
Ghillie Wear as Concealment
If the hunter is relying on his camo and ghillie wear for concealment, he needs to remember Mom’s thoughts on this issue: “Child, go back to your room and take off that ratty shirt.”
She was really explaining that worn or faded camo does you little good. When the contrast (lights vs. shadows) is gone, so is your protection! If your image isn’t broken up by the lights and shadows, you will be seen.
“Don’t be a show-off,” was just your mother’s way of reminding you that shiny objects are seen objects!
Like your face – a thermos, rifle scope, watch – has reflective properties. These items should be removed or concealed – either with contact paper or matte tape or whatever. Remember: Your solution must be matte (flat, no reflection) or it’s no good.
When your mother queried you about “Are you ready?” and said, “Keep quiet when the visitors come,” she was doing her best to explain the importance of preparation for hunting. She was also trying to remind you to check your ‘noise factor.’
To be successful in hunting, preparation is critical. MDH* has a two page list of things he needs to do and take before he ever turns the key in the ignition. Realizing you need to travel back 100 miles to civilization to buy a can opener is a real bummer.
Oiling squeaks, gathering hunting supplies and food, checking your weapons – all calls for advance planning. Please note: This is one time the ‘squeaky wheel’ doesn’t win the prize. Game relies on noise and movement to save them from your dinner table.
When Mama asked you to look at something “from a different point of view,” she was offering another excellent hunting tip.
Hunters are more successful when they are not at eye-level with their quarry. Be up in a tree (10 -12 feet up), or sitting on the ground with your back to a tree. You want to see the “whites of his eyes” before your target sees yours! Be where he doesn’t expect you.
I could go on, but I think I’ve proven my point that your Mom was your first hunting teacher!
It just goes along with my other hypothesis: Your Mother is Always Right.
— (Signed) Mama
© 2008 by Marylouise of GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com