You’ve imagined it. So have I. We’ve probably even got a couple stories that get busted out when the topic comes up.
But are you doing it reliably? Consistently make one or two shot stealth eliminations without being detected?
To be completely honest, pulling the trigger is the easiest part of the whole process. Here’s how to get set up and the 5 rules you need to follow to get in position.
Your success depends on a successfully analyzing terrain and plotting the proper path to intercept your target.
First, there are two HUGE mistakes that will end your stalk before you even get close to the shot.
1. NEVER move parallel to your target. Every step you take that keeps you side by side to your target is one more chance to be spotted.
2. NEVER across your targets line of sight. It’s much harder to spot a threat coming towards you than it is spotting one moving across your field. Always work to cut down the distance to your target.
These 5 rules for making the stalk will all contribute to your success in getting the shot without being detected.
Rule 1: Stay lower than surrounding vegetation. Peeking your head up is a bit like playing “Whack-a-Mole” at the country fair. Stay below your targets eye-line and below the vegetation.
Rule 2: Eliminate all reflective materials. The biggest offenders are goggles and rifles. Drape a bit of ghillie over your lenses. Dull down your marker with a simple camouflage paint job or use a ghillie rifle wrap like I made in this video.
Rule 3: Avoid casting shadows. Think about it. There are two large objects moving with you. One is your body. The other is your shadow. Avoid casting shadows by staying tight in the shadows. Literally move from shadow to shadow or along the shade lines wherever possible.
Rule 4: Break up un-natural shapes. There are very few perfectly straight lines in nature. Objects such as rifle barrels or googles stand out because they are inconsistent with their environment. Use ghillie to remedy this problem. See Rule 2 for breaking up these shapes.
Rule 5: Eliminate unnecessary movements. Any whitetail deer or elk hunter knows this. The slightest movement out of context is like a blinking light. If you have to move, do it very slowly and under the cover of brush or close to the ground. S-L-O-W-L-Y is the word of the day.
Start with these 5 rules and even your camouflage can be mediocre. I’ve made headshots from the shadows wearing just grey jeans and a dull plaid shirt. Seriously. It’s all about the movement.