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Thread: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    142

    How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    So I see a lot of guys on here talking about walking through the woods looking for game. I’ve watched as many videos as I could but a lot of them, the guys are walking through a trail, trees with barely any willows on the ground or flat open country. What do you guys all do? Do you bushwhack through all the willows or do you just avoid it altogether?

    No matter how quiet I try to be, whenever I try to walk through thick willows, I make a ton of noise, and I find my foot constantly getting stuck on things.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Abbotsford, BC
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    866

    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    I start with quiet clothing materials. Any clothes that I 'm interested in for hunting I give them my fingernail zip test. If they make a zip sound then I move on. Same with anything that will make a slap sound when a twig hits it. No good. Same goes for the pack. Tape down rattling connection points, pins and hinges.

    My big challenge is a swear at myself when I snap a twig - that's been a tough one for me to even keep my mouth quiet.

    Clunking Vibram soles - I just do the best I can to try keep quiet. Tough when you have a lot of surface area to deal with. At least I'm not a speed demon out there and I try not wonder too far.

    Quiet binocs are good or a pouch for them. for years I would bonk my hard bushnell binocs off my rifle whenever I sat down. Dang, that sound would haunt me. Now I use smaller. lighter Leupolds and the rubberized objective housing doesn't make the same sound.

    Cheap synthetic riflestocks also make a sickening hollow sound when slapped by a branch.

    Try insulate whatever you can and go for it. Try pick your paths best you can but bushwhacking is just that. Sometimes you just have to get through it and there will be noise. Of course it always sounds worse to you because you're right there to hear it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Abbotsford, BC
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    866

    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Heck, even when I'm driving I try take the quietest lines. And keep the radio off if you're driving with the windows open.

  5. #4
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    Jun 2013
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    Horsefly BC
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    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Fleece is quiet. But it gets full of seeds and dirt quickly. Stop and pick your trail wisely.
    My problem is wild rose bushes with 1/2" long thorns. Getting stabbed while looking up, then digging them out of my legs later that night. I stop more often now to listen.
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    The worst day slinging lead is still better than the best day working.
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Region 8
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    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Move ridiculously slowly. Ten steps took me about 5 minutes when I was bow hunting in crunchy terrain.
    ...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,897

    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarekG View Post
    Move ridiculously slowly.
    This^^^^^^^^^^coupled with meticulous attention to eliminating all noise that may be made from your gear.
    Last edited by Ron.C; 09-23-2020 at 07:57 AM.

  8. #7
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    Jun 2015
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    Born in the 4-9
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    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Moving slowly is the key. It’s often said here and elsewhere that moving 10 paces in 5 minutes is about right, and you should be stopping after those 10 paces and looking around slowly for probably 5 mins before you move again. Bedded deer are often hard to spot, so taking a long few minutes to scan for twitching ears etc is a good idea.

    Having quiet clothes is good too for obvious reasons. One guy I went with a few years back (only once) wore what I would refer to as “noise-max” brand camo. His boots were super noisy too and it drove me insane. He is usually a road hunter/atv guy, so I guess it doesn’t matter what you wear for that bs. He does usually get a deer though, so I guess there is that.

    I’ve recently acquired some First Lite merino and synthetic gear, and it is really quiet. Any of the top name hunt specific gear should be quiet. First Lite is cut a little snugger and longer for better performance when archery hunting. The less material flapping around, the less noise.
    Last edited by Redthies; 09-23-2020 at 08:26 AM.
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Penticton
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    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    I assume you are refering to being in actual hunt mode as opposed to travelling to an area when you will truly enter hunt mode.


    Move slow: like really slow. Then go slower.

    Animals make noise when they move too, spend a couple minutes around a herd of elk for proof but if you move like an animal does; slow, methodical, observant(unsing all your senses) you will find yourself able to get closer to game.

    Avoid artificial noises. Metal, plastic, carbide tips on poles, hard soles on boots... all that stuff. This will trigger animal instantly while a rolling rock or a snapping twig is not as likley to do so.
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  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Langley & Magna Bay
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    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    If you have old wool socks, put them over your boots and walk slow, the wool will help deaden the foot noise.
    I like drinking beer and whiskey, shooting guns, jetboating, love a nice rack and a tight line, I am simply a sophisticated redneck...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Gods Pocket BC
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    51

    Re: How do you guys stay quiet in tall willows?

    Short story.
    Two years ago a buddy and I went hunting on a local island. He likes to still hunt and my life experience with that is I watched more game run away from me than I ever shot, so in reality I suck when it comes that type of hunting. So I turned to the ambush method.
    One day he says he going to work his way up the hills and go to the south as that was the way the wind was coming from so I was going to sit lower and maybe get something he may push down. For some reason or another I decide that I’m going to take a small backpack with lunch and water and a couple of things extra since I have more than my pockets to carry ‘stuff’ , please note that I had never carried a pack before.
    So I take off on the trail by the beach and then start making my way up to my ambush spot. The wind was blowing from the SE and raining like crazy. I’m marching through the willows and brush on part of the trail and being far from quiet. I come to a spot where the brush was starting to thin and stopped to catch my breath. I wasn’t there 20 seconds and I see movement out of the corner of my eye to the North of me. Holy crap! A nice heavy bodied 4 point black tail just moseying along nibbling on the greenery, wasn’t anymore than 20 yards from me. Now I go into stealth mode and slowly put my thumb under my sling and I’ll be damned if I couldn’t get my rifle off my shoulder. Somehow the gun had gotten hooked on the stupid backpack. While I’m trying to work it loose I watch him step in a thicket of underbrush all calm like and disappear. To this day when I think about it I can’t figure out why he didn’t spook as the wind had to be blowing my scent right into his face. All this happened about a 100 yards from camp.
    My two take aways were: be hunting as soon as I leave camp and if I wear a pack again, have my rifle in my hand.
    Hung my tag on the Christmas tree that year.
    I’m still learning to hunt and read these threads religiously for tips and tricks. Thanks to all who share.
    They are out there,they look like us,they talk like us, but they ain’t us.

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