The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer: I enjoy putting outdoor themed thoughts to pen & paper which result in mental meanderings that I've recently begun sharing on HPA. If this is not the proper sub forum for my dribbling diatribe, or if members find it repulsive, moderators please remove.

Waiting For The Sun

I’d been climbing the oak ridge for nearly 45 minutes when I reached my predetermined listening spot several hundred yards above a small brook. I was pleased with my stealthy entrance and the fact that no birds had been bumped from their roost. After wiping sweat from my brow I checked my watch. Over an hour until fly down time. I’d made better time than expected. Better too early than too late, I surmised. I turned off my flashlight and let my senses take in the surroundings.

Since my youth, I’ve spent countless hours traversing swamps, ridges, and fields in the dead of the night. From running trap lines to hanging tree stands, and even running beagles after dark, the fields and forest are a mystical place when engulfed in complete blackness. And one I’m not altogether comfortable with.

I have an outdoor-themed sculpture sitting in my office that always makes me chuckle when I read its inscription. The piece was created by an artist named Madeline Bowman. The inscription reads: “ In the quiet night nature sings to us her song of hope.” The only thing I can figure is that Ole Maddie never spent too much time in the woods during the night. Because I can assure you the last thing going through one’s mind is nature’s “song of hope.”

It’s more like “I’ve never heard that sound before in my life. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn’t come over here and eat me.” You feel very vulnerable when it’s so dark that you can’t even see your own feet and every sound seems amplified. Another scenario that makes me shake my head is the all too familiar theme that many of the slasher movies exploit upon us. The story lines are always the same. A young, beautiful girl is being chased through the night woods by some deformed maniac that wants to cause her grave harm.

Granted, that situation would seemingly cause you to run for your life, but it’s not happening in the real world. I challenge each and everyone of you to find a night time woodlot of your choosing and then take off through it on a dead run. I’ll guarantee you that you won’t make it more than fifty yards before you either break your ankle, lose an eye, or knock yourself clean out. The woods at night are not a forgiving place or for those with a faint heart.

Not being in the woods while it’s dark really isn’t an option either. If one limits their time afield to only the daylight hours, their success rates will be drastically reduced. Many a big buck, long beard, and black bear have met their demise at the crack of dawn or waning moments of daylight. Therefore, it’s imperative that we overcome our fears and embrace the darkness if we truly want to be successful in all of our hunting endeavors. Just remember, this year when you’re on your way to your favorite hunting site, it’s often our imaginations that are our own worst enemy. Especially when we’re "waiting for the sun."
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,376 Posts
Don't know about "her song of hope", but I've always enjoyed the night woods. :smile2:

Any time of year is great, but, to me, there's nothing like the woods on a moonlit night in the late fall, with a nice stiff breeze, the trees swaying and shadows dancing, it's magic. I also love sitting in the stand after dark in the southern swamps; owls hooting, coyotes wailing, frogs croaking and chirping, and a million insects singing... a symphony.

Shot a bear just before dark one night in Maine. I was sure the bear was dead as I'd heard the death moan. Walked out to the woods road, maybe 75 yards from the bait site and waited for the guide. By the time Matt arrived it was black dark. I was the first pickup, and I asked him if it was OK if I just stayed put and enjoy the evening while he went to pick up the other three hunters? He chuckled and said "that'll be fine, but I've never had that request before, usually guys are fusing about being left out in the dark".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,046 Posts
very nice. nothing says dark quite like letting your imagination run away with you, while sitting in black solitude. or maybe drifting down the river looking to take a Alligator or calling predators by yourself, thinking nothing is coming and then you stand to leave and something that sounds as big as a horse runs thru the woods behind you.


YEP...that'll do it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don't know about "her song of hope", but I've always enjoyed the night woods. :smile2:

Any time of year is great, but, to me, there's nothing like the woods on a moonlit night in the late fall, with a nice stiff breeze, the trees swaying and shadows dancing, it's magic. I also love sitting in the stand after dark in the southern swamps; owls hooting, coyotes wailing, frogs croaking and chirping, and a million insects singing... a symphony.

Shot a bear just before dark one night in Maine. I was sure the bear was dead as I'd heard the death moan. Walked out to the woods road, maybe 75 yards from the bait site and waited for the guide. By the time Matt arrived it was black dark. I was the first pickup, and I asked him if it was OK if I just stayed put and enjoy the evening while he went to pick up the other three hunters? He chuckled and said "that'll be fine, but I've never had that request before, usually guys are fusing about being left out in the dark".
Awesome loridr. I have a couple very fond after dark memories that have stuck with me through the years.

Starting when I was 8 my grandfather made my uncle (who was 13) and myself check muskrat traps every 2 hours from 6 pm until midnight every weekend. Then he would take the line over at midnight. It was the only winter source of income back in the early 70's, and it was taken very serious. Talk about being scared half out of my wits most of the time. Wading creeks and beaver dams pulling rats from traps and re-setting. It would probably be child abuse this day and age, but looking back it's one of my fondest memories.

Once in the pre dawn darkness while in an archery stand I got a flying squirrel inside of my jacket. It was a terrifying experience and how I didn't fall out of the tree is still a mystery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
Thank you for that. When I was 8 yrs old I ran rabbit traps in the 10 acre woodlot above my parents home. At first it was very uncomfortable to be up there all alone in the dark. After a few times I got used to it. My mother asked me how I could go into the woods in the dark. I told her I was scared at first but, figured out that the only thing different there at night was that there was no light.

Now getting turned around when in deep while coon hunting ain't real comfortable.. spent a night once. I believe the fire I made could have been seen from space. When fog rolls in it can get tough to find your way I have found. Now a days with gps and all the toys it is hard to get lost anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
I always tell my son that there isn't anything in the woods at night that ain't there in the day time. Sometimes I gotta tell myself that, when we hear all the different terrifying noises that we don't know what they are when we are huntin during the night. Its a different world at night it seems, but I love it.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,302 Posts
Don't know about "her song of hope", but I've always enjoyed the night woods.

.

I like being in the woods at night as well. I spend several nights every year camping alone with a tarp shelter in the ANF.

The first year I was semi retired I spent at least 20 nights all together in all 4 seasons out there in my best of all places. Never take a flashlight or lantern. Just a small headlamp for close work and so I can read in the night. Sitting alone by a small campfire in the big woods with a cup of coffee sweetened with a little whiskey I am able to think clearer and deeper than any where else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,046 Posts
I like being in the woods at night as well. I spend several nights every year camping alone with a tarp shelter in the ANF.

The first year I was semi retired I spent at least 20 nights all together in all 4 seasons out there in my best of all places. Never take a flashlight or lantern. Just a small headlamp for close work and so I can read in the night. Sitting alone by a small campfire in the big woods with a cup of coffee sweetened with a little whiskey I am able to think clearer and deeper than any where else.

i bet sometimes you can poop faster than anybody else too :grin2:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top