Summer Prep for Big Fall Bucks
Summer means prep work for a lot of hunters, but missing this key area can make or break a season.
When we say concealment in regards to hunting, this can mean a whole lot of things to a lot of people. Many hunters will think about camouflage, brushing in blinds and stands, and scent concealment, which are all important practices. However many won’t venture to think about a very important area that, in effect, will make or break their hunting season.. sound concealment. With so much emphasis on the other two in the hunting industry (sight concealment/camouflage and scent concealment), and what the “cool kids” are doing and talking about, it’s easy to forget this vital key to unlocking success this season, especially on big bucks. Beginning this practice now, in the summer, could literally mean the difference between a season to remember, or one you’re trying to forget. So here are a few sound concealment necessities to help increase your stealth, and your success this season.
1. Sound-Proof your Gear: Before you hit the woods to hang stands, make sure your gear CANNOT make noise. This applies now, when hanging/prepping sets, and for later when you actually hunt them. Metal contact is one of the biggest hunt-busters and noises that ruin entire hunting seasons. Any metal on metal contact can send noise hundreds to over 1000 yards, 360 degrees around you. Deer, especially big bucks, do not tolerate this noise and will relocate as a result, ruining all your efforts even before you hunt that area. You must wrap, cover, and remove all potential to clang, bang, or clunk your gear if you want a realistic crack at him. Also, any does nearby (which you should key on during the rut) will be affected by this and change their movement, as well. So this is crucial! I won’t make any bones here, we have some great products at Sound Barrier that do just that: sound-proof your stands, sticks, and all other gear. Check this essential item out here! (DISCOVER HERE)
2. Sound-Proof your Entry and Exits: Now that your gear is dead silent, your entry and exits also need to be. One noise can make or break your season, this could be clanging your gear, OR one crunch from an errant footstep. Crunching leaves, breaking a branch, or brushing against undergrowth are just a few potential noise sources you must avoid and eliminate. First, make sure to pick an entry route where you avoid these things, via a field or trial you have pre-trimmed and swept. Next, plan an exit route (that may be different than entry, and should account for where deer are coming from and going to) that lets you slip out silently and not bump deer. Many times the field is not the best way to do this, even if it was your entry route, as you will spook deer that have entered it as their food destination. However, all setups are different, and should be treated and planned individually. Ditches, field edges, and trimmed paths are good examples, but the key is thought, planning, and prepping these entry and exit routes now, well before the season.
3. Sound-Proof your Head: I’m sure there is a story in some hunting camp about a guy who was such an airhead that he banged his head, and the hollow sound scared off a big buck. Not likely, but all joking aside, we need to get in our heads the IDEA that we always need to be thinking about sound concealment. It HAS to be as important as sight concealment (camouflage), and scent concealment (sprays, ozone, downwind, etc.). With three senses to detect us, it makes no sense to only focus on two, because it only takes one to bust a hunt and ruin a season! Everyone else might have a tendency to follow the crowd and obsess on certain things while ignoring others (now focus - camo and scent concealment), but that doesn’t mean you should. As a hunter concerned with increasing overall chances, and improving, sound concealment should be a practice of yours now! I personally feel this can increase stealth up to 33%, and is the biggest opportunity for hunters to improve (which I detail ALL 7 keys of sound concealment in our hunter’s guide, which you can also DOWNLOAD HERE ). Main point, big bucks don’t tolerate noise, and you’ll be thankful you didn’t either come fall!
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