My main objective, other than arrowing a Deer, is getting into my stand quickly and quietly. I mark trails with reflective tacks and try to clear my routes as much as possible way before my actual hunts. Some friends used to bust my chops because of the tacks, but I can get into some pretty thick spots(which is where I like to hunt)undetected with my system. I don't always use the light. Full moons usually require very little flashlight use. When I do use the light, I keep it pointed down, half cupped in my hand. If you chose the correct approach to your stand, you shouldn't be that close to your prey on the way in. I would never walk through an open feed field in the dark, either coming or going. There's always the chance of bumping a Deer no matter what, but if you're walking into the wind and taking care not to sound like a human, a lot of times they'll just walk around you. If not, well, that's hunting. You can't win them all. I'd rather have a safe, quiet approach using a flashlight rather than stumbling around in the dark trying to find my stand. I've always said,If it's worth doing, It's worth doing right!
That applies to everything, right from the time you get up in the morning to the time you get back to your vehicle that evening. This stuff isn't supposed to be easy. That's what keeps me going(or should I say coming back).
IF IT'S WORTH DOING, IT'S WORTH DOING RIGHT!