What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

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What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby AvidHunter88 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:27 am

Piggybacking off Dan's Chasing Bucks post from yesterday, I was just curious, what does Woodsmanship mean to you?


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elk yinzer
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby elk yinzer » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:11 am

In a hunting sense it is the innate and acquired skill to read and interpret terrain, habitat, animal sign, etc.

Contextually it may be easier to define what it is certainly not. It is certainly not extensive habitat manipulation and food plot farming; deer husbandry if you will. A lot of big deer are legitimately killed that way. Thing is, thats just so antithetical to the way many of us hunt. In spite of and because of the hunting media portrayals of such as hunting in a sense, that has motivated us woods hunters to define ourselves as woodsmen to distinguish what we do from that which they now call hunting. I think hunters and trappers of old had the same skills we aspire to but just defined themselves as hunters because that other thing didn't really exist yet. I would argue we are just hunting and that woodsmanship only took on that term when media corrupted hunting through the food plot and box blind industrial revolution.

A more traditional definition of woodsmanship probably includes elements of survival skills and navigation and all that weird bushcraft stuff also. Some of that is relevant to hunting, particularly navigation, but honestly most of it probably is not.
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Hawthorne » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:08 am

It’s a lost art IMO. Years ago I got to walk the woods with an old farmer that gave me permission to hunt his farm. He spent his whole life on a farm and in the woods.He grew up in a time there was no deer so he never took up deer hunting.He knew every bird, tree, shrub, and weed. I wanted to learn everything I could about the woods after that. This was 20 years ago
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby PK_ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:24 am

When people explain or teach certain ‘skills’ and you just always assumed it was common sense...
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby dan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:20 am

An underastanding of terrain, navigation, plants, animals, and the ability to coexist and survive in remote areas comfortably.

An example would be understanding where and why bucks bed in certain areas over another. That takes woodsmanship. Being able to navigate back out of the wilderness when your compass is lost and phone is dead using the sun, stars, moss etc. Understanding and recognizing the plants, trees, animals, insects, etc.

There is no one who understands everything, rather thetre are areas of expertise, and levels of woodsmanship... When I was a kid, you heard the term a lot more than you do know.
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:00 am

It’s amazing how many people these days cannot navigate without a GPS or walk around while staring at a smartphone loaded with Onx Maps. If your old enough you remember the days where a compass or even just using the sun position was your only option. When I was a kid I would often just wander off into bigger woods and marshes and got lost more times than I can count. I always managed to find my way out and feel that really helped me develop a good sense of direction. Very few allow themselves to develop that instinct these days and rely only on electronic devices. If these fail they will be in big trouble with no backup plan.

Woodsmanship is reading all the sign and understanding how it all works together. Identifying plants/trees and terrain then knowing when, where and why wildlife utilizes each one is a big key. Studying tracks and knowing what made them, why they were moving through a certain area and especially being able to identify different types of animals and birds made them. These are all extremely important to know. So many walk around and don’t pay any attention to what is around them. Slow down open up your eyes and let mother nature teach you each and every time you are out there. You might not think so but every single thing is important. They say every living thing has a purpose in nature.
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby KRONIIK » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:45 am

I think I can define "Woodsmanship" in two words:

Larry Benoit.
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Bowhunting Brian » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:55 am

KRONIIK wrote:I think I can define "Woodsmanship" in two words:

Larry Benoit.


I'll add. Dick Proenneke.
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby hoyt31786 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:12 am

I agree with everything thats been said. To take it a step further i would say you could take anyone with woodsmanship throw them in a woods they have never stepped foot on and they would be able to use their woodsmanship to get it done! Read the sign, terrain, find the native food sources , pick the right tree ect. Knowing what browse deer eat different tree species ect. I agree it is a lost art nowdays ,most throw out a corn pile and wait! I used to guide in Montana chasing elk across the mountains before gps days. You had to be sure to keep track of your sense of direction or you would be lost real quick!
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:58 am

Capable of surviving your woods effectively
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:58 am

Capable of surviving in your woods effectively and many others
Expect the Unexpected when you least Expect it...
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby Matt Gill » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:11 pm

[quote="hoyt31786"]I agree with everything thats been said. To take it a step further i would say you could take anyone with woodsmanship throw them in a woods they have never stepped foot on and they would be able to use their woodsmanship to get it done! Read the sign, terrain, find the native food sources , pick the right tree ect. Knowing what browse deer eat different tree species ect. I agree it is a lost art nowdays ,most throw out a corn pile and wait!


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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby tundra » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:12 am

I do not own a Smart Phone,,, have no interest, but I can see the map aps being great, to identify private land, out in the grasslands, etc. I learned to read maps and compass, in the military...... Most of the time, I just go into the woods I am looking at and just walk it. I use a compass, so I have a direction back if needed.

I make a mental map, and sometimes, than I make my own maps from my notes of areas. I also take photos of good spots, and because I just like to take pictures of big rubs, they look pretty cool framed.

sometimes, when I find a good spot, I just sit down, and spend some quiet time there. It helps me really read the area, and look for the right spots and trees etc. I have to walk and rewalk an area, to learn what I need........

I doubt I am a great woodsman,I just like the woods so it seems natural to me,,,, hard to explain

I guess woodsmanship means to me, not worrying about, when and where your coming out..... not having a time schedule, or be in a hurry. I know guys who have shot some great great bucks, but they could not find their way out of a paper bag, ha ha

I have found on my own 2 lost and I mean really lost hunters, in the last 50 years of hunting. One was in bad shape, with severe hypothermia, spoke no English, and I believe he may have had serious issues, if I had not found him. In his case, he was only 14, his uncles were bozos, letting him go alone.

The other guy, was a 50year old, who bit off more than he could chew, and really had no business hunting solo, as I found him, with a loaded rifle in a sweat, at 10am, firing off shots and yelling for help..... after I had him unload his gun, I walked him out 20 minutes to a road, yeah he was that close to a logging road,,,,,, but this was on the edge of the Bibbon Swamp, big piece of real estate.....
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby stash59 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:09 am

Having the the knowledge to live comfortably in a wilderness setting with limited gear. Names like Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett come to mind! Of course there have been many others.

As far as hunting mature whitetail bucks goes. Using an intimate knowledge of nature to put oneself in position to harvest our quarry. Again with limited gear!
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Re: What is Woodsmanship in Your Own Words

Unread postby hambone » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:06 am

In condensed form, woodsmanship is the ability to be dropped off in unfamiliar woods and come out the other side, fat.


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