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View Diary: Being with deer in Nature (71 comments)

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  •  Great comments, walkshills (3+ / 0-)
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    walkshills, blueoasis, KenBee

    I don't pay as much attention that wind smell and sound, partly because most of my walks are in really "noisy" areas - eg stream valleys with roads and bike trails running through them.

    I do practice moving calmly, and with gentle awareness. I try to connect with a place, and spend as much time sitting and observing, as I do moving.

    I remember one moment in the Potomac River floodplain, sitting for about 30 minutes in an area of high grasses and saplings, and suddenly realizing that I was looking straight at a buck, about 150 feet away, well-camouflaged in the fall browns.

    The instant I realized that I was looking at him, he flushed and ran off. The only possible visual trigger (I hadn't moved) would have been a change of my eye's focus. I'm convinced the deer became aware of my awareness, and reacted to that.

    Since then, I practice bringing a more peaceful, less intrusive/agressive awareness when in nature. Less hunter, and more tree.

    •  Our eyes used a lot of our energy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic, blueoasis

      and input a certain amount as well, as much as 15%, i've read. Our interaction with the world is energetic and our primary process is vision (if we have our full complement of senses). Out of the massiveness of the universe around us we edit it down to what we have agreed that exists out there. There is always more, things not a part of agreement, things on the edge of agreement and living entities like deer who would prefer to be shielded from that attention we project when we focus, which is an energetic projection. We presume it is our own, that, in essence, leaves no trace and thus can't be felt. However, we live in a world of reflections of light which composes everything and that is a world of activity and motion. Thus, our attention is an interactive, energetic relationship with the world at large and Nature in particular and it begins the moment we step out the door.

      My parents were both born before the Great Depression ('21, '24), each the youngest of large families that made a living from the land with farming and livestock. My grandparents were born in 1866 and 1876 on one side, 1880 and 1881 on the other and I knew three of the four (the oldest died in '41). I can't begin to describe how different they were than people now, how their depression era children, my aunts and uncles, were grounded in that hardscrabble survival mode. All the males hunted as a matter of course and virtually all were meat hunters, not these hardware amateurs we have now. I was a better shot at 12 than most are their whole lives. So I learned the ways of being in the woods and how to stalk the largest game here in central Texas: deer. And to fish, the most mystical of food acquisition.

      Meat hunters often said they were after the big bucks but they almost always settled for food on the table. My father was so prolific at this that it freed me to go after the big bucks and that is when my learning expanded from beyond what I had been taught and experienced with him and my uncles. This led to a different path altogether, an appreciation far beyond just hunting, something much more aligned with Native American interaction with nature and the give and take that entails. That your success in the field is a gift and that you have the power to bestow life just as easily as you take it.

      There is a story I read, now buried in my files somewhere, about a guy from here who never saw any big bucks where he lived in the country. As he grew up he came to think that there were just none around. Then one evening some months after deer season he came across a giant rack that had been recently shed and it was bigger than anything he had ever seen and it was within a few hundred yards of where he lived. He was shocked to find the horns and more shocked to realize he had been so wrong for so long.

      He became a game biologist and wound up working in a game preserve (in, I want to say, Tennessee, somewhat mountainous with plentiful forests and cover). They tagged many animals as well as deer so that could electronically track them and make periodic checks on their condition. One deer became a magnificent buck which he saw a couple of time up until the deer was fully mature, about 3-4 years old. From that point onward, despite the fact he could electronically detect exactly where the deer was, the writer never again laid eyes on the buck. He tried every skill and trick he had and could image to see the deer again over a period of the next few years.

      The buck was there but the writer never saw it again. He then understood why he never saw the big bucks when he was growing up. He also deduced that the buck 'knew' he was coming, that the animal could detect his intent and elude him even with the sophisticated surveillance and tracking.

      From everything I know in a lifetime of hunting - well up to the last five years, I no longer hunt now - the writer's conclusion is accurate. No only do deer know, I suspect all large mammals probably have this capability. For the big bucks, it was life and death in most cases. The writer didn't disclose any connection about hiding his intent, but that is probably the only means by which he could have encountered that deer.

      So, erratic, test this out yourself. The universe is a much more mysterious place than we can realize...and a good part of us spend most of our time reducing it to the mundane, talking and texting it to death, and then wondering why they're so bored. In this sense, our political world and its divisions reflect our internal world in so many ways.

      I think you've found a great path to explore, at once visible to all and yet invisible to most everyone, just like the deer.

      The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

      by walkshills on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:58:17 AM PST

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