#32. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports." In response to In response to 27
I know this is an old thread but I just HAD to chime in. I agree the techniques for hunting wildlife for food or photo are the same. I have spent most my life feeding myself in Alaska on a subsistence lifestyle. Here are a couple tips I have used in feeding myself and now feeding my camera. First if you are to be successful intend on spending a lot of "still" time. This almost always for me is either hunkered down in the leaves using "animal in distress calls" to call in predators or in a tree. Be careful on ground cover, in Alaska we would buddy hunt as some (most) predators like wolves and fox will many times circle you and come up behind. you and your buddy get into position so you can keep an eye on each others surroundings. We cover up in the snow in winter. Covering yourself with store bought scents is not the way. Anything foreign to the area will arose attention. Rub down in what is available. I have a set of gear that I keep "dirty" these I in the shed so they do not get any scents are are constantly airing out as for smoke just a small amount of ash from you wood stove will work if you can't build a campfire. I also roll it in any ground cover that is precent where I am hunting. Don't use dryer sheets or anything but a cap-full of castile soap and a lot of water in the washer and double rinse on any of your socks underwear etc.etc. I try to layer up thin layers to keep body odor from reaching the outer suit which helps it scent free. Be mindful of the state hunting laws are far as scents that are meant to lure wildlife! The Alaska fish and Wildlife officers use Popped Popcorn to attract bears BUT if you set out a bait station it must be registered and marked with the permit even if it is for Photography, as a hunter could be in the vicinity as well. As for bugs in Alaska we will use netting and when it is real bad and if Deet is used it is best to spray down your hat so it doesn't get all over your skin. Clothing with Deet is better than putting it on your skin. Also the coils that you put on your wrist or ankles work very well and can be put on pack straps etc. . depending on what I am after I may use an old Gilly suit i have from the military that you can now buy at Cabela's or Army surplus stores. These are sniper suits that have made their way into hunting. Also dung is another great and instant way to mask yourself . (pick a ruminant) . Never take "New" gear without getting it a good de-scenting. If it is a pack I will go ahead and wash it however is acceptable but generally with Castile soap and water by hand and then give it a little ash/smoke treatment. I will use some fresh bark once i get to the woods and give it a rub down, nothing to vigorous just give it a good scent. If you are lucky enough to be around trees with pitch then these are great. In rutting season we will take the biggest stick ,and I do mean big here, we can swing and pound it crashing in to a standing tree trunk and as long as the stick you are using is solid and not rotting it will send a loud thud out do this several times every few minutes in Moose country and you may get a huge bull moose into investigate. If you are around deer use a set of antlers to call bucks in to join the fight. Elk love their calls !!! And it does not take much to learn. I love to use rabbit in distress calls and burrow myself in the leaves etc.with the Gilley suit you never know what will come in. I have even had Raptors come in but not very close as they have great eyes and they do not go for anything they can't a VFR on. I also camouflage everything and keep in mind that YOUR LENSES LOOKS LIKE A BIG EYEBALL to an animal so keep it under wraps till you need it!! It also can send a flash of light if in the sun just right as well as can your eyeglasses, watch etc. Once you get to know your area and the habits and usual habitats of your prey then you will get closer and closer. Sometimes you just get lucky and sight something on your walk in-out-or-just-about. If you live in an area with Red Bugs, Chiggers, Ticks and fleas then do what we did in the military while training. We would use powdered Sulphur in a large garbage bag, use a couple table spoons and "Shake and Bake" you outer clothing in it. Also make sure that you tuck your pants legs into your lace-up high top boots as well as tucking in your shirt and wear a turtle neck or bandana around you neck , but check it often. as red bugs like to get under those area. the bandana on your neck will stop them from getting down your shirt, hopefully. I buy this Sulphur from the drug store, ask for the powder or you'll be smashing it. Keep hydrated and take what you need as far as snacks . the more comfortable you are the longer you can stay out. It is amazing what you will see after you are still and quiet, just about anywhere you are at!