Tag Archives: animal

Thompson Ridge, California

Transforming Into An Animal – The Art of Camouflage and Stalking

Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast wishing to closely observe and touch animals or a hunter eager for a close kill, you’ll know how hard it is to approach an animal without being detected. Animals have very sharp senses and quick fleeing instincts, and these are primarily to protect them from predators. No matter how skilled you are in target-shooting or stalking animals, rest assured that you’ll still experience frustrations in your efforts to get closer to your subject.

The 2 Things You’ll Ever Need To Know

What, then, should you really prepare for in order to have a successful hunt or animal observation? Are your camo clothes enough? Will your shooting classes adequately train you? Will smudging mud on your face work to hide you?

Preparing for a day out in the wild without being seen is surprisingly simple. In order for you to be successful, you must embody the physical appearance and the smooth, fluid movements of animals. As a wildlife enthusiast or a hunter, you need to master two things: (1) body camouflage and (2) stalking movements.

Body Camouflage – Is A Camo Outfit Enough?

In order to go undetected in an animal habitat, it’s not enough to try looking like a shrub–you need to BE the animal habitat. It may come as a surprise to you that birds and tree creatures are already trained to move away from a human figure by seeing the pink parts of our body. Your face, neck, hands, and feet are either pink or white, and animals know this. Once they see patches of pink move around and about, expect them to run the other direction.

What should you do to cover yourself up and blend in? Here are some ways you can try out:

1. Do you want to observe animals from a considerable distance, without really wanting to touch them? A camouflage outfit will do the job for this purpose. Make sure to dress up to cover your entire body, including your hands and feet.

2. Want to go all the way in order to touch your target subject? Then commit to it and do the following:

a. Take a bath and de-scent yourself. Use odiferous plants that comprise the vegetation of the area where you plan to hide. You must smell like the plants and shrubs that live in the area where you intend to hide.

b. Rub your entire body with ash from previously burnt wood. This process, called “blending,” involves fully applying the ash all over your body to cover every inch–including the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. However, make sure that you’re not rubbing wet ash as this will burn your skin. Include your face and hair in this process. Use light-colored ash if you’re fair-skinned and darker ash if you’re dark-skinned.

c. Now, it’s time to transform your skin to mimic that of an animal by forming prints and patterns. This process is called “dappling,” and it involves “drawing” lines and curves on the ash covering your skin. Dab your fingers in water or mud and run them on your skin to break the monotonous ash pattern. A combination of spots and stripes is ideal in dappling.

d. Go to a dirt patch similar to the one where you intend to hide and roll all over it. Cover your entire body with dirt in order to ruff up the outline of your body. This is called “fuzzing.”

After doing these four steps, you are now ready to go to your preferred hiding area. Pretend that you are a rock or shrub and fully commit to acting like you really are part of that environment. Keep still but breathe normally without restriction, and await the first animal you want to touch. Make sure there are no obstructions in front of you should you try to reach out and touch an animal.

Stalking Secret – Move Like An Animal

Moving like an animal doesn’t just mean moving slowly. Human beings are not trained to move in slow, fluid motions. Our abrupt shift in actions, plus the sounds we make while walking past dried leaves and twigs, are what usually gives us away.

Remember these tips as you go off to stalking wildlife creatures:

1. Don’t wear bright colors. No matter how slowly you move, a neon orange sock will still scare a squirrel away.

2. Imagine that you’re walking on the surface of the moon. Remember how those astronauts seem like they’re floating? That’s how you should move, too. That means being extra careful in resting your weight on possible twigs and dried leaves that snap and crunch beneath your shoes. You can also try to imagine a wolf’s movement as it goes in for the kill–no abrupt movements, very calculated and slow steps forward, and lightweight paws.

3. Don’t talk to your companion, if you have one. Foreign noises such as human talking or slamming shut of a car door serve as warnings to your potential subjects to flee the area.

To summarize, you need to look, smell, and move like an animal in order to have a successful time out in the wild. As you continue to practice, you’ll eventually master the art of outdoor camouflage and movement.

Take note of the tips listed above and repeatedly do them every time you go outdoors and in no time at all, you’ll easily blend in with the rest of nature and finally touch–or shoot–your target animals.



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family hike

5 Keys to a Safe Family Hike

Summer is here and with it comes an almost endless amount of fun outdoor activities and adventures to try with your family. For many, a favorite summertime activity is the family hike. Though hiking is a highly enjoyable family activity, heading out for the hills unprepared can have seriously bad results. It’s very important to be well-prepared before you head out so that your entire trip remains fun and safe. Below are five of the keys for a safe family hiking trip.

1. Tell Someone Where You’re Going

Even if you aren’t going hiking in a remote area, it is always smart to let a friend or family member know exactly where you are planning to be. Accidents happen, emergencies arise, and weather conditions can change quickly. If something does come up and you need help, then having someone back at home who knows of your general location is instrumental to your survival.

2. Stay on the Trail

When on a family hike, you should never leave the marked trail. For one thing, it is all too easy to become lost if you venture out into the unmarked wilderness. In addition, leaving the trail is harmful to the natural plant and animal life.

3. Bring Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do when on a family hike, especially in the warm summer months. Always bring enough water for each member of your family – but not too much more than necessary. While it’s never bad to have extra water, it does weigh a lot. A litre weighs in at 1 Kg, so plan accordingly!

4. Wear Comfortable Hiking Shoes

It’s always a smart idea to wear hiking shoes on a hike. While other types of shoes or sneakers will do, they are more likely to leave your feet a blistered and painful mess. It’s especially important to fit your children with a pair of high-quality and comfortable shoes if they are going along for the hike. Children’s feet are especially sensitive and you don’t want to have to carry them down part of the trail after a long day of trekking.

5. Teach Your Children the Dangers of Wild Animals

Even if you’re hiking in a fairly populated area, there is always the chance that you might stumble upon a wild animal. Even animals as relatively tame as raccoons, can be dangerous. Make sure that your children know not to get too close to or feed any sort of animal encountered on the trail. If you are hiking in an area frequented by dangerous animals (bears, wild boar, etc), then take extra time to inform your children what to do in a situation involving one of them.


Family hikes are a great way to spend a summer’s afternoon or a weekend, but preparation is needed. The tips above should ensure that any hike you go on this summer stay fun, and, most importantly, safe.


survival skill skinning

Survival Skills: How To Skin an Animal

The skin of an animal has many uses ranging from being used for warmth, water containers and even cut up for strapping and handles. You are paying respect to the creature by utilising as much of it as you possibly can. Learning how to skin is a very important skill to have and will serve you in many potential situations for both leisure and survival.

Skinning an animal, no matter what its size is basically the same principle and if you follow the same tips here you will be able to use as much of the skin as is possible.

Firstly, you want to place the animal on either a slope or hang it from a tree. Whilst the animal is still warm, you will want to bleed it. Don’t waste the blood as this can be used in cooking, the blood contains many nutrients that you may need to survive.

Once the animal is bled you will want to begin by ensuring your knife is very sharp. When your knife is sharp use it to remove the testicles (if the kill is a male) and any scent glands that may be present which are usually behind the hind legs. These are important to remove as they can quickly deteriorate the meat. Once these have been removed cut the animal straight down the middle of its underside from its rear to the slit in its throat, be very careful not to lacerate any of the internal organs, especially the bladder or intestines. Also cut a neat line from the middle cut down each of the limbs to the knees.

Now cut around the knees in a complete circle on each leg. Once these preliminary cuts are complete you should be able to start removing the skin from the rear legs of the animal using your fingers. The skin should pull away with little effort, just make sure that the skin rolls outward and doesn’t flip inside as this will spread any remaining blood onto the skin. Continue to remove the skin from the body down the body of the animal towards its head and then remove the skin from the forelegs. If you encounter any trouble spots you can use your knife, but be careful as you want a full hide without punctures as the end result.

There will come a time when the internal organs will begin to “spill” out. When this happens do not worry, it’s just gravity at work, now is the time to cut away any internal organs and entrails you want such as the heart, liver or even the stomach for water storage. Any other offal you don’t want should be discarded by being put in the fire or buried. It helps to have dug a hole at the base of where the carcass is hanging so as to avoid handling any potentially poisonous internal organs. If burying the remains, make sure you do so as deeply as possible as many determined animals will dig surprisingly deep to get at it.

By now you should have a full hide from the animal that has come cleanly off. You will want to begin the process drying the hide, to do so hang it from a branch or over a crafted set up you’ve made. Once the skin is reasonably dry you will want to stretch it and begin curing it. Without proper stretching, the elasticity in the skin will cause it to contract and crinkle which will ruin your hard work. To stretch the skin, tie cord or string to several points around the hide and tie the ends of the cord to branches in a tree, make sure there is a lot of tension on the skin so it stretches properly. Now you can use a dull but flat piece of wood or stone to rub the inside of the skin and remove any bits of meat or flesh and remnant muscle or fibre from the hide. Some people like to rub sand or fine soil onto the skin at this point to help with the curing however this isn’t necessary. If you have rendered any animal fat you could use this on the inside of the skin when the fat is melted so that it helps to strengthen it.

Depending on the size of the hide, its thickness and the environmental conditions, the process will vary in time. By the end you will have a dried and perfectly usable hide that you will be able to utilise for many different sources.