17. Stalk Silently
Still-hunting is all about spotting deer before they see you. That means you have to move as slowly, quietly, and inconspicuously as possible. Take short, balanced steps. Keep your weight on your back foot and use the ball of your leading foot to test the ground for noisy leaves and sticks. Once you find a quiet footing, gradually transfer your weight onto your leading foot, rolling it onto the heel until it can take all your weight. Then repeat the process. Look for silent footholds of moss, flat rocks, pine needles, bare earth, or wet leaves, and plan your route accordingly. Time your steps when passing planes, gusting winds, distant log trucks, and the like will help drown out the sound. Conceal your actions by staying in shadows and the margins of brushy cover. If deer are about, it's almost impossible to go too slowly, and it's also true that still-hunters who never seem to see deer are moving way too fast. –L.P.