Wind stirs the foliage surrounding the Aspen as he crouches behind a downed spruce tree. Elk ghost through the forest alternating between shadow and light, softly speaking to one another in a language only understood by elk. A sleek and graceful cow walks only feet from the hunter hidden in the thick tangle of brush and towering forest . He draws his horn bow and looses an arrow into the crease directly behind the cow’s shoulder. The arrow deflects off of a branch on the way to the elk and slices through her abdomen quartering forward to her chest cavity. The hunter knows the shot is not a good one, he follows the wounded cow silently, hoping for the opportunity for another shot. At the edge of the forest she stops and stares back in the direction of her pursuer, suddenly an arrow pierced her shoulder burying to the fletching, the elk launches forward on wobbly legs and collapses in the meadow.
Aspen stealthily approaches the downed elk an arrow knocked to the string, a buckskin clad hunter slips from the shadows from the opposite direction on moccasin clad feet. The two hunters are from different tribes and do not speak the same language, but the language of the hunter is sometimes unspoken . Through sign and gestures they decide to butcher and share the kill.
Although these ancient hunters never shared their names, tribe or clan lineage or even conversation, they communicated through sign and understanding of the wilderness and her unspoken language. In this modern world we still have encounters where a look, gesture or maybe even the moment tell us all we need to know to assess the situation at hand. In the animal kingdom these wordless moments are what communication is all about, I have never heard a deer say “HEY! Watch out there is a hunter out here someplace.” But I have seen them catch the scent of danger ,raise their tails and somehow the whole herd instantly knows that danger is a possibility . Sometimes they speak to one another as a warning ,challenge, or a whole array of vocal sounds whose meanings we hardly understand. But for the most part animals communicate on a level far superior to our written and spoken language. I enjoy being around people and trying to read their unspoken body language and expressions. Often times their words contradict with their unspoken communication. Our train of thought as a hunter can be the deciding factor between success and failure, often our frame of mind will be noticed somehow by the prey we hunt. I have tested this theory on several occasions. When a deer is getting close enough for a shot I never make eye contact , always try and concentrate on a prayer of thanksgiving for the moment at hand and never allow my mind to think about the killing. These things have alerted animals to my presence on more occasions than I care to recount, through some sort of unspoken energy between hunter and prey. Even if you are not a hunter but just a lover of nature and all things natural, try stalking closer to natures creatures with your mind in a good and sacred place. You may be surprised at how close we can get to our natural brothers and sisters when we keep our minds and mouths silent… Hawk a/ho