Stalk & Crawl
by Carson "Squeegie" Jenkins


The dull beige oak leaves covered the forest floor like wall to wall carpet. Even without the leaves that have become caught in the frayed burlap, my Ghille suit was a perfect match. As I lay motionless on the ridge, the dull roar of a firefight echoes across the valley. My position had gone static, and this proved to be the only action I could get to before dinner break. I listen to get a fix on the source of the turmoil, and plan my route accordingly. Time is of the essence if I were to get there before our lines were severed, so a pull myself up from the security of the forest floor and double-time it across the open valley. The fight had moved closer to the edge of the treeline, so the odds of being spotted were increasing by the second. I make it to the treeline only to spot a small flanking squad moving to my 10 o’clock. I drop to my gut and start to slither toward them with the finesse of a pit viper. Moving only when shots are fired, I begin to close in on my prey. Movement that was measured in yards has now slowed down to feet. The crack of the markers and incoming paints drowns out any sounds that I make. The squads severe case of tunnel vision is about to right them a one way ticket to the elimination area. Nestled under a fallen log, I inch my may until I am at the squads 9 o’clock. They never heard the rounds come in.


Movement, its what gets us from point A to point B. Snipers, like everything else in our craft, must do it with medical precision. You may be able to hit the fill nipple on an air system from 50 yards, but if you never make it to your firing position with out getting whacked, you are as worthless as a chopped ball. So we will learn a little bit about what it takes to move through the field with out getting tagged, and then how to hold a firing position once you get there.



  The movement of a sniper depends entirely on the situation at hand. A sniper must react to his or her environment with the tools that he or she has been trained to use. The probability of detection has the biggest impact on the method of movement that the sniper is going to use. As stated in previous articles, these are not set in stone. A sniper's most valuable tool is the ability to react to an ever-changing situation without losing sight of the mission at hand. A sniper should always be on guard, and move as though you are always under the eyes of the enemy. This will sharpen your sense of perception and make you more aware of your surroundings. So with that in mind, lets take a look at a quick breakdown sniper's movements.


Sniper Walk

Now most everyone knows how to walk, but not very many know how to walk through the bush. The Sniper Walk should only be used when you have extremely good cover such as buildings, hedgerows, or other large solid structures. The probability of the enemy even being in the area should be low. This is a good movement technique to get you where you need to be in a quick manner.

1.        Crouch forward while bending your knees and body

2.        Keep your marker close to your body with the barrel pointed down.

3.        Try not to rock your hopper ( to eliminate unnecessary noise)

4.        Move in small increments of 20 feet or less, stop, access your surroundings then repeat

5.        Move with a heel to toe “cat” walk, noting foot placement. This will keep you from snagging branches and help make your movement as silent as possible.


Baby Crawl

The Baby crawl is as simple as it sounds. This is a crawl that can be used to move quickly under cover. Although not as quick as walking, the Baby crawl can get you where you need to go rather quickly. Use this crawl when you have adequate cover accompanied with a loud environment. Keep in mind that the Baby crawl makes it very difficult to distribute your weight without disturbing your surroundings. So don’t Baby crawl around in dry leaves & twigs unless you like the taste of paint.

1.        Crawl on both knees and one hand

2.        Raise belly off the ground

3.        Keep your marker in one hand, pointed forward.

4.        Move in small increments of 10 feet or less. Not intended for long distance moving.


Snipers High Crawl

The Snipers High Crawl is a lot like the Baby Crawl, except for support attained by resting on your elbows as well as your knees. The Snipers High Crawl is a medium cover, medium probability of detection maneuver. Use it if you need to get a better firing position on a moving target, or to quickly move to better cover. Once again, this is not a quiet way to get from point A to point B.

1.        On elbows and knees

2.        Hold your marker across your forearms

3.        Raise your belly off the ground

4.        Move in small increments of 5 feet or less.


Snipers Medium Crawl

Now as we get closer to the enemy, our movements need to be refined and more precise. Detection is at a high probability and cover is limited to a few bushes or shrubs. Speed is not a factor in this technique. This move will disturb a lot of underbrush if not careful, so be aware of your surroundings. Watch overhead branches and vines so that you do not snag them and give away your position.

1.        Pancake on the ground as flat as you can go

2.        Spread out and push with your legs

3.        Pull with your arms to control your movement

4.        Carry your gun by the grip frame, keeping it flat with the ground


Sniper Low Crawl (or Stalking Crawl)

This is the moment of truth for the sniper. The enemy is in direct view and your cover is almost non-existent. This is the slowest and most precise of all the snipers movements.  Use this only when you are in a position to fire on the enemy, or are very close to the enemy. Keep your eye on your target at all times. Only move when your target is not looking in your direction. Situations that would call for this particular maneuver are going to be some of the most dangerous that you will encounter. So TAKE YOUR TIME. Patience is virtue, not to mention that it will keep you out of the dead zone. If performed properly, you can effectively move without making a sound.

1.        Keep your legs together with your feet pointed outwards

2.        Push with your toes and pull with your fingers (no, really! It works!)

3.        Lay your marker flat with the ground.

4.        Count your movement in inches, not feet. Small slow movements are much harder to detect.

5.        Move when enemies attention is being concentrated on things other than scanning for the enemy

6.        Watch the overhead branches, they will give you away every time.




The moment of truth


So you have learned how to move across the entire field without detection, but what do you do when you reach your objective? This is the moment of truth. The payoff should be worthy of all the time spent sliding around on your belly. To keep you from blowing it, here are a few pointers to help ensure a long game life.


When should I fire?

Simple, when the enemy is not looking. So many times I have witnessed snipers fire upon a squad from head on. Although you may eliminate one or two players, chances are they are going to find you and wipe you out. The reason is that they know your general locations and probably saw the ball come at them.  So from that point on its just a simple process of elimination to zero in on your exact position. If you wait until the enemy is occupied, he or she will (hopefully) not be in the frame of mind to remember exactly where the round came from. Observe your target. Notice what they are paying attention to. If they are on guard, watch for a pattern of activity. Fire when they are pre-occupied with other things like shooting at someone else, talking on a radio, loading their hopper, etc. These are all things that require a player to concentrate on the task at hand and not the “static” of their surroundings. Fire one shot at a time, then wait for a result. If you score a hit, great, move on to the next available target. If not, watch your target for signs of alert. Chances are, they probably didn’t even notice the missed ball. If they did, they have no clue where it came from. Be patient, because they will soon focus on another task and you will have another firing opportunity.


Where should I shoot?

That will depend a lot on your confidence. If you are confident you can hit your target in a specific area, chances are you will succeed. However if you want a realistic answer, here it is. Anywhere you think the ball will break. From a long distance, aim high. Ball drop from extreme ranges will usually put the ball in the upper torso region. The chances of hitting your target are better than average, but the chances of a ball bounce increase as well due to the loose fitting clothing. If your target is relatively close, aim for a harness, gun or other man made object. These are sure to have a high break probability. Try and stay away from shooting a player in the headgear. Although we wear safety gear, it is still unpleasant getting beamed in the temple.


Why should I crawl 20 minutes for one elimination?

You shouldn’t. This is a game and we are having fun. If you are crawling for 20 minutes, you are not having fun. Unless the game is a scenario, and you have an opportunity to eliminate a major role player such as a General or spy. In which case you should not just get up and walk off the field after you have succeeded. Remain in your hide. If the area that you are sniping is a base or other highly populated site, use your stealth and cover to your side’s advantage. Keep a two-way radio with you to contact your high rank officials. With Scenario games, intel is every bit as important to the outcome as missions. A snipers ability to get in close with out being detected makes us the perfect tool for intelligence gathering. You can radio back to your base with information about outgoing missions, base strengths and weaknesses, and other vital things that the enemy doesn’t want you to know. You can also take the occasion player out with a well-placed shot. Don’t go crazy. That will just get you eliminated. Just shoot enough to keep them on their toes. This will make them keep players there to protect the general, which in turn keeps them from running missions. So you become a multi-purpose player and you are still having a blast!


My position has been compromised, now what?


Well now you have done it. Let’s say that the enemy has spotted you and you need to get out fast. Whatever you do, don’t jump up and run. Running will only get you a ball in the back. Your best bet is to get as low as humanly possible and move to a nearby position. The Low Crawl is an excellent escape and evasion technique as well. Use this to get yourself into another firing position. You will know if your move was successful if they keep shooting at your previous position. Once you are in a safe spot again, wait for the hornet’s nest to die down. Then move to a better location and start your harassment of the enemy all over again.


Closing thoughts

Practice, practice, practice. Get in your Ghille suit and crawl around your yard. Try crawling up on birds. Birds have excellent eyesight, and are very alert to their surroundings.  I know this sounds bizarre, but if you can successfully get close to a bird in a tree, crawling undetected on a human adversary will be a piece of cake. Practicing often will also help build up a tolerance to muscle fatigue. Crawling is very tiring to anyone over two. Moving through the playing field quietly is a skill that can be learned. So get out there and do it.3  Have fun and happy hunting!