One of the most overlooked noisemakers is your boots. I recently bowhunted with a guide who was wearing a "mart-brand" boot that squeaked more than a mouse with its tail wedged firmly in a trap. Every time we attempted a stalk, our game would hear his boots squeaking in the final steps of the approach, only to burst beyond bow range like an anti-hunter fleeing a Safari Club International fundraising banquet.
While bowhunting both North America and Africa, I've had the chance to field test Cabela's Silent Stalker boot. Elk, mule deer, pronghorn, whitetails, gemsbok, greater kudu and even warthog have all been in on the tests. My most recent trek took me to Namibia, Africa, for a bowhunt involving pursuits of more than seven species of plains game with Eden Trophy Hunting (www.eden-wildlife.com
Stalking and stand hunting both played a role in the safari. Although much of the hunt was conducted from blinds overlooking water holes, footwear choice is just as important in a blind as it is on a stalk hunt covering 10 miles. Plains game species were constantly within 15 yards of the blind and as they milled around the water it required fancy footwork to line up shoots through the shooting holes. That footwork has to be noiseless or you'll find yourself staring at a vacant water hole. Even hidden in the blind your sounds can easily escape to spook game in close proximity.
Stepping on a branch, pebble or dry leaves in a blind will send even the most park-tamed wildlife scrambling for safer havens. The Silent Stalker with its flexible and subtle tread allows you to feel the ground beneath you. In addition, the tennis shoe-like design is lightweight and athletic for comfort all day whether in the Namibian desert or the Montana Rockies And if you include the fact that they are lined with W.L Gore's Scent-Lok membrane, you'll never worry again about human odors escaping from your footwear to spook game. It's the perfect foot companion for North America, Africa or wherever your plane ticket lands you.
Click here for Cabela's GORE-TEX® Scent-Lok® Silent Stalk™ Sneaker