Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Silent language..



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

12 comments:

RainforestRobin said...

WOW! I relate SO much to your thoughts and feelings here. It was like I was reading myself. I could hardly believe it. I lived for years in the wild -- mostly in Australian jungles, but some Alaska and also some in the far north woods of Maine. I write in my book about animal communication. I had to learn this just to survive in the jungle. It is a travesty what we humans miss due to our arrogance in thinking we are the most intelligent species on the planet. Riii-ight, that's why we're poisoning our own air and water and indiscriminately killing off all the Life we will need to survive. I find that extremely intelligent; don't you? :) (Sorry. Forgive my mini rant.) You are certainly very in touch with the "real" world. I am grateful for this as few know this connection anymore. Your whole site just emanates your connection to all things wild. It is so good to meet someone who knows. You might like my website: www.nakedineden.com. I am going to make a lot of changes soon to it but it will still give you an idea of my passionate love of the wild. NAKED IN EDEN is the book I just wrote and am in the process of publishing. It's a wild visceral plunge into the intimate world of nature, and a discovery of the human animal that I am. Thank you for inspiring me. I will be back.

PS My dad was an excellent bowman and taught all of us kids to use blows. It’s something I’ve hungered to do again. Been a long time since….

Stacey Huston said...

Beautifully written. Our own "human" body language can tell us soooo much about others. Even when we can't hear the words that are "spoken" we can tell what is going on in someones heart. The body language of animals is so much simpler to read as animals don't have anything to hide..
Great post today Hawk.
Love Otter.

fishing guy said...

Hawk: This stirs memories from bow hunting. I can remember concentrating as I stalked one animal for a shot, that the others that were near spotted me before I could shoot. The deer are truly better communicators then we will ever be.

Cory Glauner said...

The "silent language" is my favorite kind. Us people are so noisy, and I do the same thing on a stalk. A "good and sacred place" is where your mind should be. Well said.

Sarina said...

Hawk, This is so true. Communicate by first listening and watching. It will get you far in life. I want to Thank You for this wonderful story.

Sarina

Quiet man walking said...

If you listen more than you speak, you will learn more. Your actions should speak for you. As with the hunters you wrote of, the unwritten or unspoken law of first lethal blood said it all.Those that observe wildlife and learn from it, have successful hunt whether a harvest is made or not. I tell my bow hunter education students, next time they are watching deer feed, take note that their head and tail is connected, every time a deer puts their head up or down they twitch their tail first. Most won't believe it till they see it. I am sure there are low grunts, the tap of a foot, a hard breath that we are not aware of. Some days it does seem to help to put calm, non predatory thoughts in your head when afield.

blog with no name said...

Hawk, Fishing Guy turned me on to your site. The frame of mind that we are in has everything to do with everything. I remember an "unsuccessful" trip where I did make eye contact for several seconds, and as my heart began to pound, he ran straight towards me and all I could do was stand there. He knew I wasn't hungry, and wasn't thankful at all. Great writing and please keep it up!

Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women said...

Hawk-
Amazing post...as usual. I think it is a great message to all of us to stop, look a listen a bit more in our insane world...
Thank You!

Tovar Cerulli said...

Good to find your blog, Hawk. I'll be following along.

Tovar Cerulli said...

P.S. I ran across your blog some weeks ago and now I remember why I didn't already have it in my RSS reader: your "Subscribe to Posts (Atom)" link at the bottom of your blog page appears to be broken. Any suggestions?

PinoyApache said...

I am in familiar "territory". I will visit you again, friend.

Katie Pierce said...

So beautifully well written. Between your stories and Stacey's daily adventures on her fb page, I get to vicariously at present be there-thank you!