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June 16, 2008

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The Sounds of Silence

The blog on sitting still touched on the fact that some of the stuff that happens while you're just waiting is sometimes more memorable than the actual hunting. My late friend, Norm Strung, was once in a stand of live oaks in Louisiana, and there are few places eerier than a Deep South live oak forest with the trees all hung with Spanish moss. It's dead still; even the air seems unable to move. The light is dim, and
filters weakly through the branches. So Norm was waiting for a deer to come by and what he saw instead was another hunter creeping toward his tree just like Natty Bumpo. Norm waited until the guy was right underneath him and, in his deepest voice, he bellowed:


The guy on the ground screamed in terror, flung his bow away, and went bounding down the trail in great leaps. Norm never did learn what became of him.

Another F&S editor was once hunting ducks in Canada, and it was a true bluebird day. Nothing was flying, and the hours dragged by. His guide, a Cree Indian, had said nothing all morning, but finally asked:


Our editor replied with a single word, a vulgar euphemism for the reproductive process that none of us would ever dream of using. There was a long, long silence, and then the Cree said:



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Priceless Dave!


We all have atleast one thing in common


I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who gets a little spooky in the woods...and a little bored when nothing is going on, but you can't beat that feeling when all of your senses are turned up a notch...even if sometimes it is uncomfortable

Dr. Ralph

I was listening to NPR this morning and they were extolling the virtues of hiking, how the only noises were those of nature and it raised the consciousness into a higher plane. Funny how these same feelings are shared by hunters and antis alike. It takes us all back 100 years to the days when man truly was part of the surroundings and not living in a box with electronic gizmo's and clocks everywhere telling us what to do and when to do it...

My friends an I used to sleep out in my backyard tree house when we were very little and very scared. One time we heard something coming through the woods and one of my friends screamed "who is it?" The answer came back "Don't worry, it's only God..."


Nice, more "Petzalisms"!!

More and More like COL Cooper!!

Great stories!

Keep them up!!



Jim in Mo.

My cousin married a gal who loved to duck hunt. Lucky for her that side of the family farmed and would flood a field each year and rent out blinds to locals.
One morning she was out by herself hunting and enjoying the solitude. Well, the local game warden saw her car and since he new them well he thought he'd walk out and say hi. He didn't want to make a disturbance for anyone so he took the quietest darkest way to the blind and when he got there he just stuck his mug in and said HI!!!. Scared the crap out of her and almost got his fool head blown off. They had a good laugh and he promised he'd never do something so stupid again.

Jim in Mo.

My cousin married a gal who loved to duck hunt. Lucky for her that side of the family farmed and would flood a field each year and rent out blinds to locals.
One morning she was out by herself hunting and enjoying the solitude. Well, the local game warden saw her car and since he new them well he thought he'd walk out and say hi. He didn't want to make a disturbance for anyone so he took the quietest darkest way to the blind and when he got there he just stuck his mug in and said HI!!!. Scared the crap out of her and almost got his fool head blown off. They had a good laugh and he promised he'd never do something so stupid again.

Kinda reminds me when I was in Boot Camp for the Army. We were out in the woods after our 17 mile hike and dead tired. One person from each platoon was supposed to be awake and guarding the camp area while the others slept. I was elected to to take the second watch. Since I was still tired and my shins still ached I was not walking around too much and was leaning against the trunk of a tree. Our Senior Drill Sergent being a wise ass decided to pull a suprise attack thinking that the guards were asleep. I spotted him while he was still standing up and seen him get down and start to low crawl towards our tents. I waited for him to get just past me he had a CS Grenade in his hand was just getting ready to pull the pin when I said in a firm voice Watch out for that Skunk over there. I think he jumped out of his skin.

Tom the Troll

Scott in Ohio


Just LOVE the Cree Indian story.

Jim in Mo.

Tom the Troll,
How many potatoes did you have to peel after that, or was he upright and give you a stripe after basic? LOL, good story.

I know what you mean by them damn shin splints. Hurt like hell!

Trae B.

I made good buddies with my girl friends deddy the other night because I was taking my girl friend on a date/fishing. But I thought it would be funny to show up at her house with a tux and a fishing pole. Her deddy said it was one of the funniest things he ever saw.


I managed to climb in a stand with an owl above my head one time. About daylight he hooted and i almost had to go back to the truck for a change of pants. Will never forget it.

Jim in Mo.

Trae B.,
I'm glad I don't have daughters.


Once when I was a kid I ventured deeper into the swamps of Mississippi than I ever had before on a solitary whitetail hunt. It turned out to be a nice day, no deer in sight even if I had know what to look for, and I thought of all sorts of things in town to do. I shouldered the .30-30 and started walking out to my old pickup. After quite a while I paused to get my bearings. A few
moments passed when I heard a voice from above in the tree on which I was leaning say "Howdy son". I jumped, since the cypress swamps hold the same daunting aura that Petzal described about the moss and oaks. Of course it was an older and wiser hunter who gave me directions to my truck. I walked about an hour before I realized that I had not followed those instructions very well. I stopped to again study my situation and try to figure out where I was. Just a few seconds passed when I again heard from above a familiar voice which said "Howdy son". Realizing that I had made a huge circle the same guy finally gave up on the hunt and led me back to my pickup. I don't know if he felt sorry for me or just figured the deer hunting was no good with this kid stumbling all over the woods.


One more yarn that holds the element of surprise in a bit different way. Once I had been scouting of Bighorn sheep between Cody and Yellowstone. I had not located any good rams but instead lots of yews and lambs. Deciding that I should head home with an eight mile ride ahead of me I kicked my foxtrotter up into high gear when I reached the main trail. About a mile from the trailhead I topped a small hill when my horse spooked and jumped sideways just a bit. Directly in front of me in the trail was a very pretty girl of about 20 years peeing in the dirt. Obviously her pants were around her ankles. I stopped my horse so she could quickly pull up her canvas pants. She looked quite surprised, was very red in the face and embarrassed. She quickly uttered "I just got here from New Jersey and am staying at Blackwater Lodge. I am on a nature walk". I was so startled I sat there in the saddle for a bit before replying "I hope your enjoy your vacation and the scenery" (I certainly did). I asked her if she could find her way back to the resort and she assured me that she could. To spare further embarrassment I kicked old Red in the side and off we went. Didn't really matter as we will never meet again...

Steve Ferber

The late, great Ed Zern once told me that during a hunting lull in Eskimo country his Inuet guide asked, "How old you?". "fifty-five", Zern replied. "That old", the guide said. A few moments later he asked, "Where you live". "New York", Zern answered. Many minutes later the stoic Inuet said..."Where that near"?

In the 1970s Jerry Kenney, who wrote the outdoor column for 'The New York Daily News until his passing a few years ago, and I, were float-fishing the St. Croix river in Canada. We never did get the skunk out of the freight canoe. Our Cree Indian guide actualy uttered a phrase usually referred to only in jokes--and one I'd never heard before or since in seriousness. At day's end, with the honesty and sadness of a man describing the accidental shooting death of a favorite bird dog, said..."You should have been here yesterday".


Was walking in to a tree stand in November years ago when tree stands were just coming into vogue; it being 4:00 a.m. I had brought along a small light to see with. Got about 2/3 of the way to the stand and stepped right into a covey of bobwhites. I woke up about an hour later just in time to get to the stand as the sun peeked over the trees. Got home later and as I was changing out of my clothes in the bathroom, I couldn't help but notice the single white hair hanging down right in front of my forehead. What's better? Earning them or eating them?



Where can I book a hunt with the Cree fella?


Back in February of this year, I helped a buddy eradicate some beaver from his property. I had gotten one particularly large 45-50# beast, and several smaller critters, all were in the back of my truck which was parked about 40 yds from the river house in an oak grove dripping with spanish moss. There was a new moon , so the night was black as coal and it was my responsibility to go down to the truck, bag the beaver and put them in the freezer till we could get them to the pelt man.This river house is located on an isolated spit of property roughly 2 miles away from the next land owner, and for a pure city boy like me,...way out in the country. I was struggling to get this 50# beaver in a plastic bag, when suddenly two owls (I believe in courtship) let out such a howl that my knees actually buckled! I've never heard anything like it, it was so incredibly loud and sounded for all the world like some Stephen King demented clown character, I spun around and put my light on the trees behind me just in time to see the two very large birds swoop passed me to another perch just ahead of me...without making a sound. It took me a few moments to settle down, and the owls just kept at it , I finaly got those beavers bagged, and hustled back to the cabin for a stiff drink.


The important question you never answered is, "Was it a Nice Bow Norm 'acquired' that day"???

Dave Petzal

To Steve Ferber: Hello, how are you? I am fair. How is Florida?

To Zermoid: I don't think Norm took the bow with him. He was not much for material things.


I was sitting in a favorite tree stand one afternoon watching for deer with my flintlock when I heard something coming. Thinking it to be a deer, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw human legs approaching. Turned out it was our neighbor looking for some missing cattle, which was fine as we are great friends and treat each other's property with the same respect as our own. I waited until he was directly below me and I said "How are you this evening?" as booming as I could. That was the first time I ever saw a man levitate, with all four limbs waving in the air simultaneously. Needless to say, I almost fell out of my treestand laughing. Glad he was good natured.


Forgive my coming right back again but on a more serious note, I was sitting in a favorite ground blind one evening watching for a deer when a flock of turkeys worked their way by me on the way to the roost. As I watched them fly up for the evening, I noticed a large barred owl sitting in the tree line. Watching this thru my binoculars, I could see the owl turn it's head to look each time a turkey flew up. I have wished many times that I could have captured the scene on film, it was a wonderous moment.

Jim in MO
My SDI was upright and gave me my PVT E-2 after Basic. He came back later and said he could see the other two guards walking around and making noise so he could crawl around them. He thought that I had fallen back asleep after the previous guard had woke me. He said that I had blended in with the tree and could not see me because I was being still. He also said that he was surprised that I seen him low crawling in. I didn't tell him I seen him when he was still standing up on the other side of camp. I suppose I could have stepped on him and offer the standard Challenge with my M-16

Tom the Troll

David P.Curcione  Pa.Ourdoorsman& Hunter of PA.

1.In Big Cities There should be 1 F.F.L.s Type-01 Retailer Dealer per 1 Million Residents in all big Cities too!agree! 1a. In the Subrabs areas of; towns ,TownsShips too. 1 F.F.L.s Type-01 Retailer Dealers per( 800000 Residents is , Rule of safty State Assembly House. and the State Senate House Rules of State Laws do apply too!! Agree!! is Sporting Retailer Gun Dealer only Sells: Long Guns ( Rifles &Shotguns) & mmo too!! Most the Sporting Gun Dealers wil not sell,Conceal Weapons Or its Ammo too. Semiauto"Pistals &Revolvers too! To much paper work too! agree by there discision too. The Insurance is $ 800000000 per 1year payment for 365 days to be afitive. sell Handguns ammo too!!! agreed Be terms too!!

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