Shut Up and Hunt
Earlier this week, I was chatting with television host and wingshooting legend Scott Linden. As tends to happen when two dyed-in-the-wool bird hunters gather, we traded stories about our early season upland observations, used hyperbole to extoll the virtues of our bird dogs and shared a few laughs.
While I can’t remember Scott’s exact phraseology or the topic’s genesis, I do recall the main point of his observation: hunters would shoot a lot more birds if they learned how to be quiet in the field.
We’ve all read the tips and tricks about not slamming truck doors at the parking area of a WMA, but do you actually practice the habit of being quiet when leaving your vehicle for a hunt? From my observations, most folks don’t.
In the same vein, do you figure out your hunting game plan when you’re still in the truck or do you chat about the directions everyone is going to walk after uncasing the shotguns, collaring up the dogs and joking around at the tailgate?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the camaraderie of a tailgate. But, I’ve also had my ear chewed off as a Pheasants Forever representative at sport shows with the same refrain . . . “there are no birds on public land.” Well, you may not believe me, but I can promise you there are roosters out there. They’ve just been running for their lives since opening morning and have wised up to how the game works. They hear you slam the truck door. They hear the laughter about last night’s hijinks at the tavern and they know you’re going to walk the path through the grass beaten down by the previous morning’s group.
For a change of pace, give quiet a try this pheasant season. You may find more birds and you may also find a little peace in a world of noise. Give it a shot . . . shut up and hunt.
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