I admit it — I enjoy sneaking up on coworkers

This is that time of year when those of us who hunt practice our sneaking skills everywhere. If we’re good, we are rewarded with jump-scares from time to time. But does it actually do any good to practice sneaking on smooth, even surfaces?

I don’t do it intentionally, but every fall, I subconsciously start walking everywhere with a much lighter step than normal. When I’m at the office, that leads to situations where I inadvertently sneak up on my coworkers, and sometimes the reaction I get from them when they realize I’ve materialized behind them is … well, hilarious. I do feel kind of bad that I’ve scared some of these very nice people half to death, but on the other hand, it’s a validation that I have the ability to move quietly. And that’s important to me as a hunter. So to all those people I’ve frightened in the last few weeks, I apologize, but at the same time, I thank you for helping me feel good about myself.

But it doesn’t always translate to the hunting world. Sneaking up on someone in the office or the house, where the ground is made of smooth linoleum or even soft carpet, is one thing. Sneaking through the forest, where the ground is made of loose rocks, crispy grass, crunchy pine cones and brittle branches is a completely different kettle of fish. You don’t have to watch where you’re putting your feet when you’re on carpet or tile, but you better know where your Size-12s are landing when you’re trying to get close to a big buck mule deer.

And then there’s the ear difference. Not many of my coworkers have ears as big as a mule deer’s, so humans are automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to picking up noises. Deer have much better vision, too, and they have the ability to spot movement nearly 360 degrees around them. So you have to be much more careful about making noise and being spotted by deer in the woods than you do by coworkers in the office.

But I’ll still keep scaring my office mates. I can’t help it. Sorry in advance.