One of the many reasons we retreat to the woods as often as we can to hunt is to be still surrounded by nature. I am admitting today, on my last couple of hunts, I brought my iPhone AND my iPad. I like to keep in touch with my hubby so texting is important to me. However, the iPad has been a big distraction. I am sure I forgot some of the most basic fundamentals about hunting. Though I was fortunate to harvest a buck on each of my last two hunts, I may have missed out on some of mysteries the woods has to offer and the secret language of the wildlife!
Naturally, I have had to stay off the phone and iPad until daylight so I don’t light up the blind. In the darkness, your other senses are peaked and without a doubt, it is best part about being in your stand as you listen to the woods awaken. The owls are still screeching but as daylight starts to break, the crows start their shenanigans and slowly, the song birds start to sing. The crows in particular intrigue me. They love to shock call (a term used to describe the vocal reaction that happens when another bird calls out). The other birds especially the turkeys repeat a call involuntarily. When I watch the crows and observe them, I can’t figure out what they are really up to, but I am convinced they are causing some trouble. They look to be busy bodies stirring up problems. From their “birds eye” view, they know what is going on all around them and they are either alerting about predators to their flock or they are giving up other species to the predators. I can’t be sure about any of those thoughts, but they always seem to be in the thick of things in the woods. Some say that they hate the turkeys and much of their carrying on is to annoy the turkeys. They have such high energy and there are always 1 or 2 crows on the look out flying from tree top to tree top.
When I put the iPad down, my imagination goes wild as I quiet my mind from the rapid pace of the internet. The swirling of the woodsy aroma from my Thermacell reminds me of my flower child days when burning incense was like breathing air. It takes me to my happy place as the light stream of cedar smoke fills my stand. My mind starts to wonder as I imagine what is going on behind those trees and bushes. Is there a deer bedded down close by? Will I see turkeys step out of the woods onto the food plot? Will I see a predator such as a coyote, fox or bobcat? A wise hunter has told me time and time again, “the sounds of the woods will tell you everything you need to know about hunting”. I want to know all the secrets of the woods.
So, this weekend, no iPad in the deer stand! No checking Facebook and email. It is hard not to snap a photo to preserve the memory of the view from your stand or the temptation to snap a selfie… but that is my goal! It will be just me, sitting as still as I can taking in all that the great outdoors has to offer.