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When I'm hunting, especially deer hunting, my focus is a comfortable gaze of intent, unswerving in thought, only to be fully pre

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  • When I'm hunting, especially deer hunting, my focus is a comfortable gaze of intent, unswerving in thought, only to be fully pre

    When I'm hunting, especially deer hunting, my focus is a comfortable gaze of intent, unswerving in thought, only to be fully present in my Rocky Hunting boots. I am but a student of the woods and water and my spirit is always teachable. I have had many teachers, one being the Blue Jay, a candid, and bold bird, who in his speech has alerted me to other animals and their presence. My question is, While hunting, fishing or just enjoying the Great Outdoors has there ever been a surprising or odd moment, where you have encountered an animal, any animal that "taught" you something specific or entertained you in a way that you didn't expect? Please be specific in your answer, as we can all learn from these unexpected experiences. Thank you!

  • #2
    I noticed that when I was hunting in the woods (for deer), that when a deer was in the general area the small song birds would go wild. Maybe it was a coincidence, but it happened to me a whole lot this season! So towards the end of the season I would listen for song birds to go nuts and usually when I turned around or looked over my shoulder there would be deer. I don't rely on the birds, but when they start going crazy I know that some type of animal has entered my stand.


    • #3
      I have learned from Deutscher Kurzhaar, that I shall not leave my Scotch within lapping distance.


      • #4
        Good one Ga hunter, I've noticed that too.

        Amflyer,I like that!
        I'm sure Deutscher Kurzhaar taught by example and not with words.


        • #5
          Fox squirrels are a good indication in the woods of welcome and unwelcome vistors in the area. I used to hunt a large stand of woods and would pay attention to the squirrels sounds. Chattering was them being squirrels and doing what they do, but I knew immediately when a deer, coyote, etc... was in the area because they would start barking. Birds as mentioned are a good sign also but I noticed the opposite birds would typically be quite until identifying what they see. For instance the birds would always quite up anytime an animal on the ground moved in the area but depending on what would determine their next actions, if deer they would soon resort back to business as usual, but if a predator they remained silent or flew out of dodge.

          I now for the most part hunt corn and soybean fields where the only clue a deer is in the area is your eyes and ears.


          • #6
            My wife and I were camping in Yosemite Valley and I heard a barely audible sound just outside the tent. I looked out to see two raccoons near one of the packs, and one deftly opened a zippered pouch to swipe two banana bread muffins and make a run for it! I hopped out of the tent, and the raccoons ran, but the critter with the muffins was carrying a bulky, unwieldy package and had to drop the muffins. I was surprised at the ease with which the raccoon opened the zipper!


            • #7
              Thanks Dcast, I especially like the very specific part about the birds quietness. In my backyard the birds are fed and I've realized that difference also, especially if a hawk is moving slowly and making his rounds versus crows coming into the feeders.

              Edward,I'm always entertained by the antics of most raccoons, the educated curious, clown and comedian of the woods. If you think of other experiences, please do share. The banana bread muffins must have been worth the trouble for the bandit!


              • #8
                A Blue Jay, as previously mentioned in the header of the thread, has alerted me many times to an intrusion from other hunters, coyotes and deer, sometimes large deer.

                One time I heard a Blue Jay protest off in the distance, while I was in my treestand. He kept up his noise so long that I decided to climb down and investigate.

                The bold bird was about 150 yards off, so I eased on down a deer trail, bow in hand, on top of the ridge my stand was on. After half-way there, a red squirrel began barking his displeasure in a duet with the Blue Jay.

                After determining the wind direction, I noticed the commotion was taking place on a small knuckle just off the ridge in a stand of tall white and red oaks.

                I planned my sneaky stalk well, and eased up to the area and noticed a long forgotten barbed-wire fence, still standing with a gap in it. A soft warm October breeze blew gently in my face as I took one last step.

                The Squirrel and the Blue Jay were intermittently voicing there opinion, but at what? Arrow nocked, I slowly panned the area with eyes only and immediately I recognized their source of heated disagreement.

                There before me, all within 20 yards of the forgotten barbed-wire fence, were eight different deer. All I saw were bucks, bucks of every size, a 6 pointer, an 8 pointer, a smaller 8 pointer. It was truly every hunter's dream come true! I was fixated and slightly vexed by the scene.

                I realized at the moment of vexation, all I really had to do was draw back my bow and find the largest buck in my peep-hole. Now mind you, I am standing fully camouflaged, face painted, wind in my favor, a cacophony of animal sounds, bucks playing, feeding and two laying down as I'm about to come to full-draw on one side of the forgotten barbed-wire fence.

                I slowly pulled back and as I am about to anchor my release to its final resting place, on my jaw-bone, I noticed movement immediately to my left, moving in my direction. My glance turned to a gaze as I see the largest Whitetail Monster I had ever seen upto that day, just on the other side of the forgotten barbed-wire fence.

                I didn't totally realize just how close he was to me until I slightly adjusted my stance. He noticed my movement and proceeded to boisterously protest, with volumes of snort, after snort, after snort, with his dominate DNA, mucus, becoming mobile, slithering onto my presription glasses.

                What transpired next was understood best under the influence of vexation, fear, awe, slimy prescription lenses and a spiritual reverence for a creature of this magnitude. In all of his glory, this majestic creature now stood less than 4 feet from me, just on the other side of the once forgotten barbed-wire fence. Our eyes met as he snorted the first time spraying me with his slimy secretion. I actually saw the warm liquid coming at me and tried to duck the sticky wetness.

                I was aware of the other deer beginning to wonder what this Bruiser had in mind. I was wandering also! When he snorted the third time, he stomped the ground not only in bold resistance, but this Bad Boy was more than slightly agitated, he was fighting mad and wanted to hurt me, so I thought.

                I mean, after all, by now we are less than three and a half feet apart. His mucus is on my glasses filtering my view, all over my face, my clothes and I don't have a shot even though his face is almost at the end of my arrow.

                He decided after the fifth snort to retreat to where he had come from. The large dominate buck turned and ran down into the hollow, across the creek and back up the other side, snorting for 42 times in total.

                I blame that ornery Blue Jay and the resident Fox Squirrel for that adventure; it burned a memory somewhere in the recesses of my gray matter.


                • #9
                  I bet that got the adrenalin flowing.
                  Nice writing.


                  • #10
                    This did not happen while hunting, however, I found it very interesting concerning blue jays and other birds. Bird seed left on the patio produced a steady stream of feathered friends looking for a free meal. When a jay would discover what looked like a convention, he would swoop down in a showy fashion and scare off all the diners with his intimidating size and bold move toward the feeders. Once upon a time a woodpecker had discovered the free lunch and he partook even though his feet did not work well on the patio and his beak had to be turned sideways to pick up the seeds. The blue jay swooped in to frighten him off but the woodpecker almost ate the jay alive before he could beat a retreat. Surprise!

                    A second time, a blue jay swooped in to frighten off a female cardinal. I had seen all cardinals prior to this one leave the food to the jays. When confronted with the jay, this one stooped in a half-squat held her quivering wings slightly extended behind her and faced the jay as if to say "Come on! If you want to eat here, we're gonna have it out first!" The jay looked around as if he remembered a prior engagement and flapped back towards the forest.


                    • #11
                      I have no idea what you guys are talking about? But I just recently purchased a set of hearing aids and can now hear the birds singing maybe this spring I'll catch a bluejay?


                      • #12
                        I know there is a bird of prey over head or a predator on the forest floor when the squirrels start sounding their alarm. One time I couldn’t find what was upsetting the squirrels, then five minutes later a feral cat walked behind my tree stand.


                        • #13
                          Many times, too many to count, turkeys have humbled me in the woods. Like when a tom came in from behind and i figured he would come out infront to the decoy to get a shot. He hung around behind me, and got as close as five feet, then left. I learned that if i hear a turkey coming from behind me, i better get turned around.

                          Ducks have also given the hint as to whether the decoy spread was right on a particular day. One of the most important things about hunting is to listen to the animals, let them tell you what they want, and your chances of becoming successful increase. Same applies to fishing.


                          • #14
                            Thanks jhjimbo! It was one of those days where my curiosity added to the total experience of the hunt.

                            etexan, leave it to a female cardinal to stand her ground. She probably taught her suitors a thing or two, and the blue jay.

                            Trader Vic, Rock and Roll, that's what diminished my hearing. I use a sound amplifier, if I don't, deer turkey, coyotes will walk almost on top of me if I don't see them first.

                            Gary, those feral cats eat a lot of small game just as a coyote. I believe they even maybe a little more successful due to their patience and stealth.

                            canvasbackhunter,great point on being humbled by turkeys. I realized that if I didn't accept the possibly of being humbled by turkeys that frustration would be the rule, instead of the exception. As Benjamin Franklin penned in a letter, who must have been a turkey hunter, that he thought the turkey was much more appropriate as a National Symbol, than the Bald Eagle. He said, that the Bald Eagle "does not get his Living honestly", amongst other thoughts. I'll try to find his thoughts and post it below my comments.

                            PigHunter, in my opinion and through many experiences, there is a reality that exists way beyond our five senses. I've had too many divine "spiritual" appointments and moments,including a near-death experience that I'll spare you the details. I thought just as you, that "no animal(could)teach" me anything. I thought that teachers in school couldn't teach me either... and I was correct, due to the fact that I had an unteachable spirit due to being full of pride, pain and arrogance. I always give "spiritual" thanks everytime I'm in the field, or even when I wake up each morning, as I'm so very grateful to be so fully alive. Thanks for sharing PigHunter.

                            Benjamin Franklin's Quote on Turkey's

                            “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

                            “With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Birdnot bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country …

                            “I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America … He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”


                            • #15
                              In terms of alerting, I'd say that I listen to squirrels the most and of course blue jays and crows alert us all when they see something out of order. I'd say that the most amazing thing I've observed is deer coming within a few feet of me as long as I remained still. I've had two giant bucks walk within 5 feet of me (not counting the buck that charged me). In both cases, I was out in the open standing still with my gun or bow. I've nearly been run over by numerous does. All came from upwind and in most cases I had on jeans and orange flare. At times, deer seem to be so alert and at other times they seem to be totally stupid. My brother fell asleep in the leaves under his tree stand and awoke to three does sniffing his chest... go figure!




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