Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
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Woods Walker
 
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Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:51 am

One of the other demands of stillhunting besides the necessity of moving slowly, when you move at all, is the ability to move quietly. To make this easier, the use of the right footwear is vital.
 
Unfortunately, 90% of the hunting boots made are NOT made for stillhunting, as they have soles that are usually of the Vibram/thick lug type. With these kind of soles it's virtually impossible to move through the woods quietly, as you cannot feel what you are stepping on, and the sounds of crunches and snaps accompany your every move.....not good.
 
What is needed is thin soled footwear, that enables you to feel the ground under you, so that if you feel that your about to step in a twig, that you can back off. This type of sole also enables you better feel the ground when you set the OUTER edge of your foot down first, so that you can slowly roll the rest of your foot down, thus minimizing the amount of ground contact your foot has at any one time......"quieter".
 
Some western and mountain hunters wear their regular heavy boots for climbing, and then slip those off and either make their final stalk in stocking feet or they may even carry a pair of moccasins. For most whitetail hunting this is not necessary, as you are not having to cover vast areas, and very little of it involves negotiating scree slopes and rock slides.
 
I personally use regular Converse "sneakers" (what we all used as kids before "running shoes" were invented), that are a size bigger, so that I can wear a couple pair of socks and a thinsulate bootie in when it gets colder. I can feel sticks and even marble sized rocks with these, and makes stepping quietly far easier. This is not my idea. I saw an old photo of Fred Bear who hunted in these, and they DO work! Another example of "low tech" carrying the day. I spray mine with a waterproofing agent that keeps dew off, but when it's truly wet and the temps start getting down in the 20's and low 30's then I go to a thinsulate lined Bean's Maine Hunting Shoe.
 
When you stillhunt your feet don't get as cold as when you are sitting, so you really don't need that heavy of a boot. Basically, I like to use footwear that's thin soled enough that if I did want to cover a lot of ground with I'd probably bruise the bottom of my foot. Yes.....THAT thin.
 
How about the rest of you?
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CB on the run
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby CB on the run » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:41 am

ORIGINAL: Woods Walker

when it's truly wet and the temps start getting down in the 20's and low 30's then I go to a thinsulate lined Bean's Maine Hunting Shoe. [/size]

I always wondered about the Bean Maine hunting 'shoe'. I take it that you like them. Did you order them a size larger? How about the warmth as I usually do more standing than moving?

CB

ChuckNorris
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby ChuckNorris » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:26 am

It's usually pretty cold in Central Wisconsin where I hunt along with the real possibility of having snow on the ground so I don't think that gymshoes will work for me. I wear a light pair of boots and a pair of thin socks. Brands don't matter to me as long as the boots are not bulky, heavy, or stiff. The thin socks really make a difference in feel compared to the thick "hunting" socks.
 
Also while on the topic of footwear I started using boot pads last year. I spray them and the soles of the boots with doe urine. Nothing special, just doe urine in a spray bottle. Still hunting is perfect for this because you can freshen up the pads at any of the numerous stops you make throughout the hunt. If your going to walk like a deer in the woods you might as well smell like one to [;)]
It only takes one deer to change a hunt from disappointing to very satisfying.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:31 am

I always get my boots a size larger. This way when I do sit for a while, I can unlace them a bit and really give my foot a lot of extra "dead air" space. That's what keeps you warm.....circulation. If my feet start to get a bit cold, then I can more easily move my toes and foot around.
 
And yes, I do like the Bean's Maine Hunting Shoe. But be advised......there's a Bean's Boot, and then there's the Bean's Maine Hunting Shoe. There's a price difference, but there's also a good reason. Although they look the same, the Maine Hunting Shoe is better built and is the original idea that L.L.Bean himself came up with. Their bottom is a slight chain type tread, and is quite flexible. Many people don't like them because they are not good for covering a lot of rough ground quickly or for hunting steep, slick, rocky slopes.
 
Which means that they're PERFECT for stillhunting. Mine have thinsulate insulation, and with the larger size I can wear a couple of pair of wool socks and still have room for blood circulation.
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AlleganBowhunter
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby AlleganBowhunter » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:49 pm

I used my old combat boots for a few years, and then bought some knee high rubbers.  Woods Walker isn't kidding when he says the vibram soles are not for stalking.  I used to try and try being quiet going to my stand but couldn't.  Now my rubbers have a softer out sole, so I can feel more and can actually be quiet when out.
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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:23 am

I had thought once about getting a pair of moccasins from this outfit in Indiana that specializes in actual HUNTING moccasins.....Carl Dyer Moccasins, I believe.....but they are not cheap. Maybe one day I will, but for now my $30.00 Converse hightops are working just fine!
 
These ARE nice though. Put a rubber overshoe on these and you're all set.....
 
http://carldyers.com/
 
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby MSHunter » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:46 am

ORIGINAL: Woods Walker

[size="3"]I had thought once about getting a pair of moccasins from this outfit in Indiana that specializes in actual HUNTING moccasins.....Carl Dyer Moccasins, I believe.....but they are not cheap. Maybe one day I will, but for now my $30.00 Converse hightops are working just fine![/size]
[size="3"][/size] 
[size="3"]These ARE nice though. Put a rubber overshoe on these and you're all set.....[/size]
[size="3"][/size] 
http://carldyers.com/
[size="3"][/size] 
[size="3"][/size] 


Have you ever given any consideration to making your own moccasins? Several sites online have patterns and materials lists.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:55 am

No, for 2 reasons...
 
1. I'm not all that handy with this kind of stuff.
 
2. I already have plans that I bought to make an aerial archery target thrower that I haven't built yet. I guess I need a box of them "round to-its" that I seem to always be needing to get.
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shaman
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby shaman » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 am

I have a pair of ankle-length moccasins that I got at Friendship, IN years ago.  They are the absolute bomb for ground stalking, but I haven't used them in years because my feet grew an extra size.  The hardest part of moccasins for me is staying on. No matter how hard I tied them on, they were always coming off. These stayed on.
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postman
 
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RE: Proper Stillhunting Footwear

Postby postman » Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:23 pm

I use a pair of boots that I got at walmart about 2 years ago. They are made by B.U.M., they are a six inch boot with a rubber bottom almost like a duck shoe, with a leather upper portion. The soles are flat and fairly thin, they are also nice and light. I think I paid about 35.00 for them. I see that bass pro has a new red head stalking shoe listed for about 50.00, it has a rubber bottom with a neoprene upper. They look okay on the website, but I haven't actually looked at them yet in person. I've also been thinking of making some moccasins for stalking. Tandy leather has plans for a bunch of different styles.
It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


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