Undoubtedly, the North American continent will never again know a human hunter so fierce or efficient as the Native American.
To the American Indian, as he would come to be known by his Anglican rival, hunting was not just a part of his lifestyle but in deed his very existence depended upon his ability to successfully sneak within close range of many of the planet’s most cautious creatures.
In order for native tribes to flourish, hunters had to become adept in the art of stealth.
In his 1982 book, Exploring the Outdoors with Indian Secrets, Allan A. McFarlan wrote, “Many Indian tribesmen took ritual baths in order to cleanse themselves before hunting. Some of them even spent long periods in steam baths made by plunging red-hot stones into water in dugouts. The Indians believed that this cleansing of the flesh made them more acceptable to the gods and that hunting success would be granted.”
Survivor Wisdom & Know-How goes further in saying, “The elimination of the sour human odor that is easily detected by game was probably more important, however. Indian hunters did not smoke or eat while on stand or stillhunting because the odor of tobacco and food is alarming to most game animals…”
Though taking a ritualistic bath in boiling mud may not be necessary for Appalachia’s bow hunters in the coming weeks, individuals wishing to get “Indian close” to whitetail deer this fall may want to lay off Suave and Old Spice while bathing in their homes hours before the big hunt… Good luck convincing your wife of this all important Native American truth!
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