Becoming Invisible In the Forest

It began to rain as I worked, and I ducked into the tiny cave created in the hillside when the old tree fell over.  From my dry little nook, I enjoyed dried fruit and rainfall in the forest.

It began to rain as I worked, and I ducked into the tiny cave created in the hillside when the old tree fell over. From my dry little nook, I enjoyed dried fruit and rainfall in the forest.

Hunting whitetail deer in dense forest takes special consideration. One gets no long range shots through the dense trees, and deer have keen eyes and noses and can detect the slightest movement or scent when you’re close. What to do? What to do?

After scouting for weeks, I found this location in a region of hardwood forest with steep topography. Half a mile away is a valley with a river and feral apple trees where I know deer commonly feed. A mile south is a wild meadow where they go to graze. The deer hide in this region of forest. There are steep hills and gulches, though the forest is so dense visibility is poor.

Step one of turning a fallen log overlooking a gully into a blind was blocking view of myself to the west and south with this old sackcloth tarp.

Step one of turning a fallen log overlooking a gully into a blind was blocking view of myself to the west and south with this old sackcloth tarp.

On a ridge overlooking a gully at about about a 35 degree angle, I found this site. It was a place where an old maple fell over right at the overlook. It made natural cover, and since it’s above the gully where I expect the deer to pass, I should remain unseen as deer rarely look up. But the site needed to be improved to cover my scent and any telltales of my presence. An hour’s work with hatchet improved the site. I used sackcloth to conceal the blind from the west and south. The tangle of roots breaks up my outline overlooking the gully. To the east and north I laid a support of fast growing willow lined with a few young spruces. I lined the perimeter with spruce boughs to create a rich evergreen scent to cover my own.

Step two was creating cover of evergreens braced against a simple frame of willow to block the view from the east.

Step two was creating cover of evergreens braced against a simple frame of willow to block the view from the east.

The blind is naturally concealed to the north, facing the gully, by the earth turned up by the old maple when it fell, which made a tiny cave.   From down in the gully, I will be entirely invisible.

The blind is naturally concealed to the north, facing the gully, by the earth turned up by the old maple when it fell. From down in the gully, I will be entirely invisible.

From the gully, shown in the photo left, the blind is totally invisible and the eye is drawn to the black entrance of the little cave created when the maple fell over, detracting from the slight silhouette I may offer against the sky. Above and behind the raised earth, I will be fully hidden, and the fragrance of cut evergreen shall conceal any scent of my presence.

All is ready.

A friend named Josh Skarup, down in Halifax, made this incredible sheath for my Vox Rold woods knife.  I love the classic look and the tough 10 oz. leather is bombproof.

A friend named Josh Skarup, down in Halifax, made this incredible sheath for my Vox Rold woods knife. I love the classic look and the tough 10 oz. leather is bombproof.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Becoming Invisible In the Forest

  1. I really enjoyed this post and the post on slaughtering the farm animals. I’ve written a few times on the tao of hunting and there’s definitely folks who understand the cathedral of the woods and folks who just won’t experience it. Lovely post and best of luck this season.

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