OL: What's the upshot of ditching footwear?
SG: The number one thing is just how quiet it is. Many times I can sneak up on turkeys and deer. It's not uncommon for me to walk right into my stand while they're around, and they don't even know I'm there. I went bowhunting for elk in Colorado on public land last season, and some people I was hunting with were so loud and noisy. In the afternoons, the guys would take their boots and socks off, and we'd hear bugling nearby. I'd want to run off immediately, but had to wait for everyone to pull their boots on. I am more susceptible to picking up poison oak and poison ivy. And my feet are more tender in the spring, but the ground is soft and wet while I'm hunting for turkeys or sheds, and they get conditioned all through the summer. So come that September elk hunt, my feet were as tough as leather and I didn't feel anything.