The Sounds of Nature, THEY CALL US BACK…to the Wild

  • Is that the haunting howl of the wolf or the call of a loon?
  • Can you ever forget that buck grunt in a November woods or a turkey gobble on a spring morning?
  • The sounds of nature are everywhere in the wild if we just take the time to listen.
The sound of lightning can bring fright, but the sight of lightning can be beautiful in a night sky.

By Larry Whiteley

There are some sounds in the great outdoors that you hear and they touch your soul. You don’t have to see what made the sound because when you hear it, you instantly see it in your mind. You may even hear them and see them as you read these words.

To some, the bugle of an elk is like that and so is the haunting howl of the wolf or the call of a loon. It might even be a cougar’s throaty growl or the gruff huff of a grizzly or black bear. Those of us who don’t live where these animals live, rarely if ever, get to hear these sounds in the wild unless we travel to where they are but if we do, they linger in our memories. Can you hear them?

An elk bugle can linger forall time in our minds. Howard Communications Photo

Most of us have sounds in nature that stir us. A buck grunt in a November woods, the sound of a majestic eagle flying over a quiet lake or a turkey gobble on a spring morning. It could be the kingfisher’s rattling call as he flies up and down the creek or a coyote yelp.

Maybe it’s the quacking of ducks or honking of geese as they settle onto the water. The drumming sound of a woodpecker trying to attract a mate, the booming sounds of prairie chickens during their mating ritual and maybe the strange music of a woodcock doing his sky dance trying to impress the ladies too. Some of us hope that one day we will once again hear the sound of the bobwhite quail. Can you hear them?

Songbirds also add to nature’s chorus. Chickadee’s sing “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” the cardinal’s join them with their “purdy-purdy-purdy” and the robin’s whistling “cheerup-cheery-cheerio-cheerup” are joined by the tweets and whistles of all their friends. The squeal of a hawk can silence the bird music and get the squirrels barking an alarm to their buddies.

Owls ask us “who, who, who cooks for you.” Crows, “caw-caw-caw,” and then caw some more. The sound of peeper frogs or a whip-poor-will means spring is finally here. The flapping sound of hummingbird wings and their distinctive chirp will soon follow. The rhythmic choruses of katydids can be so loud that they drown out nearly all other sounds. Tree Crickets are known as the thermometer cricket because you can count the number of its high-pitched musical chirps in 15 seconds and add 40 to calculate the outdoor temperature in Fahrenheit. Believe me, it works!

A beautiful painted bunting sings a patented song that is wonderful to hear. 

The sounds of nature are everywhere in the wild if we just take the time to listen and it’s not only from the animals and birds. A rush of wind through the treetops, the rattling of dried fall leaves in a breeze and the sound of crunching leaves as something nears your secret hiding place. Booming thunder, the crack of lightning and rain dripping on a tent or the popping and crackling of a campfire. A stream tumbling over rocks and the soothing sounds of a waterfall small or big are music to the ears. To some, it is the ocean waves crashing onto a sandy beach. To others it may be the “plip-plop, plip-plop” sound of a jitterbug gurgling across the water followed by the loud splash of a big bass rising out of the water to engulf it.

Nature sounds not only soothe our souls but they are also suitable for our mind and body. Researchers say there is a scientific explanation for why sounds from nature have such a restorative effect on us. According to a study, they physically alter the connections in our brains to keep other thoughts out and the sounds even lower our heart rate. The exercise we get going to and from our listening places is an added benefit.

A swiftly, silently, soaring eagle, singing a majestic tune in a bright blue sky.

You’re not likely to hear or for that matter see wildlife unless you force yourself to just sit still. We hike, we hunt, we fish, we camp, we canoe, we are continually on the move when in the great outdoors and not very quietly. We also carry with us the baggage of everyday worries, what’s on the news, bills to be paid and work to be done.

You have to block all that out. Remaining still and quiet and actually paying attention to the sounds of nature is what is essential. But that doesn’t come easy. You can’t just stop, listen for a few minutes and then move on. You have to settle down and tune into the sounds around you.

Those of us who sit in a treestand and a turkey or duck blind usually have no problem doing that because we have to if we want to be successful. If you wish to go out and listen to nature sounds though I suggest you find a fallen tree, a stump or a big rock. Make a comfortable cushion of leaves, pine needles or take along some kind of pad and sit down. Now, don’t do anything but relax. Don’t let restlessness or thoughts of other matters creep back into your mind. Stay relaxed and breathe slow and easy. If you remain still the wildlife around you will forget you are even there. Soon enough the sounds of the wild will return.

Soothing sounds of flowing water can bring us to new place in time in the hallows of our mind.

The real art in listening to nature is not so much hearing the sounds of life in the woods as it is in identifying them. Listening carefully to nature sounds and learning what makes that sound can help you begin to distinguish one sound from another and that gives you a greater appreciation for what you’re hearing. The digital age has made it easier than ever to school yourself in Nature Sounds. Although this and other aids may be able to help, there’s no substitute for firsthand experience. It’s not just an ability to identify sounds, but also an understanding of their meanings, that will come to you when you spend time listening carefully.

Yes, you can download and listen to nature sounds on your computer, tablet or smartphone. I listen to nature sounds accompanied by the melodic sounds of the Native American flute as I drive down the road in my truck. If it is a cold, nasty day not fit for man nor beast I will put my headphones on and drift off to sleep listening to the sounds of nature. That is all good too but it does not replace actually being out there in the great outdoors and being stirred by the sounds of nature that call us back to the wild.

Listen closely, can you hear them?

JIM ZUMBO’s Moose Backstrap RECIPE

Jim and Madonna Zumbo with the results of a very simple cooking solution that Jim is sharing with us.

ONLY Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
  • HOT GRILL

Presented by Forrest Fisher (photo credits: Jim Zumbo)

When Jim is not shoveling snow off the deck or fighting off the Wyoming wolves and grizzlies that want to partake in his cooking, he is sharing recipes with outdoor friends on-line.  Here is one of those special, easy-to-do recipes in Jim’s own words.

“While hunting deer in Arkansas with a group of hunting writers, we were served backstrap by the ladies who cooked at the lodge.  It was sensational.  That’s where I learned this recipe.  It’s so simple, you won’t believe it works.

The simple “Prep & Cook” process:

  • Trim the backstrap of all fat, then put it in a glass bowl or non-metallic bowl.
  • Drizzle the meat with Olive Oil.  Flip it around so it’s well-coated.
  • Then sprinkle Cavender’s Greek Seasoning on all sides of the meat. Let it marinate for 4 to 6 hours before cooking.
  • Leave it on the counter for the first few hours, then put it in the fridge for the remainder of the time.
  • You’ll note that the olive oil will tend to jell a bit in the fridge.
  • Next step, put the backstraps on a hot grill.  

When you put it on the grill, the olive oil will drip and cause the flame to flare up. Not to worry, it soon burns down, and will initially give a nice sear to the meat.

Important: Keep a meat thermometer handy.  If you like it rare, remove it when the meat hits 140.  At 150 to 155 it is well done.  Cover it with foil for a few minutes.  And that’s it.  Be sure you eat it HOT — right off the grill.

There are many ways to cook backstrap. Before I learned this recipe, I sliced it into steaks or butterflied it and then cooked it.  Never again.

I don’t know why this recipe works so well.

The meat has a terrific flavor and seems more tender.

Give it a shot and try it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Leftovers are sliced thin and used in delicious sandwiches.

It’s called Livin’ Large — with Madonna Zumbo.”

Thanks Jim!

Some background.  I met one of the founders of the Cavender’s Greek Seasoning Company, Steve Cavender, at an Iowa Governor’s Deer Hunt hosted by the late, great, Tony Knight. Steve was from Harrison, Arkansas, and shared his seasoning with us.  Tragically, he passed away far too soon, but the family continued the company.  I didn’t know much about the seasoning and used it, among others, to flavor meals.

This is my go-to recipe for every backstrap I cook, 100% of the time.  All it takes is olive oil and Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (which you can buy at Walmart). That’s important to know.  It makes me crazy when I see a recipe with a rare ingredient that’s almost impossible to find.

Learn more about Jim Zumbo secrets of the wilds in Peterson Hunting Magazine, look for the closing back page article entitled, “Rear View.”  Good stuff.  Subscribe here: https://securesubs.osgimedia.com/orderpage_ex8.php?m=petersenshunting&pkey=IBQ1

LAST DAY TO APPLY – 2019 Kentucky Elk Hunt Drawing

APPLY NOW for the 2019 Kentucky Elk Hunt Drawing.  Today is your last chance!

  • Take Your Pick — Apply for any or all available permit types
  • Only $10 per application
  • NEW – The Archery/Crossbow Permit is now either-sex (bull or cow!) 
  • Ages 15 & younger may also apply for Youth Either-Sex Permits (25 now available)
  • Random Drawing — Results will be announced on May 18:   
  • Biggest herd & hunt east of the Rockies — 594 permits available
  • 6 of the Top 10 state record bulls were harvested in the past 4 years!

The deadline to apply is April 30 (tonight) at midnight — so don’t wait and possibly forget to apply!

Frequently Asked Questions about the elk hunt drawing are found here.

More information about Kentucky’s elk herd and the drawing is posted here.  

Thank you for participating in the drawing.  Proceeds from elk hunt drawing applications and elk hunt permits directly support elk management, research and public access in Kentucky.

Mossy Oak Adds Second “Bull Rush” to Free Digital Video Library

Photo courtesy of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

A new episode of Bull Rush will be delivered through Mossy Oak digital platforms each week through the end of September coinciding with elk seasons all across the west. 

To celebrate the opening days of elk season, Mossy Oak recently launched an all-new digital series featured in its free, on-demand video library. Coming off of the intense action of the first episode of “Bull Rush,” the latest episode contains four of Mossy Oak’s most action-packed archery hunts.

Episode 2 of “Bull Rush” follows along with Mossy Oak’s Ben Maki, Dustin “Shed” Whitacre, and Daniel Haas as they each experience heart-pounding encounters with screaming bulls. The fourth hunt takes viewers along with legendary comedian, Jeff Foxworthy in the mountains of Utah as he experiences one of the most exciting hunts of his lifetime.
A new episode of Bull Rush will be delivered through Mossy Oak digital platforms each week through the end of September coinciding with elk seasons all across the west. Watch the second episode of “Bull Rush” now at MossyOak.com.
To learn more about Mossy Oak, or to enjoy free, timely and entertaining hunting and outdoors content, visit https://www.mossyoak.com.
 
Established in 1986, Haas Outdoors Inc. is headquartered in West Point, Miss., and is home of Mossy Oak. For more than 30 years, Mossy Oak has been a leading outdoors lifestyle brand that specializes in developing and marketing modern camouflage designs for hunters and outdoors enthusiasts. The Mossy Oak Brand and patterns can be found on a multitude of products worldwide. Haas Outdoors Inc. is the parent company of Mossy Oak, BioLogic, Capture Productions, MOOSE Media, Nativ Nurseries, Nativ Living, GameKeepers, GameKeepers Kennels and Mossy Oak Properties.Mossy Oak is the official camouflage of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Association, and Mack’s Prairie Wings and the official pattern of B.A.S.S., MLF and Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.
 
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Learn Elk Hunting: Archery Details, Step-by-Step

Bugle Magazine is a hunter’s bi-monthly resource package, with tips, advice, gear know-how and humble stories from successful experts. Photo Courtesy of RMEF

By Forrest Fisher

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has gone beyond the norm to help people everywhere learn more about conservation and hunting, and why hunting is so important to conservation.

Just having returned from a visit to Medora, North Dakota, and the National Park that Teddy Roosevelt created there, I am sure that our late President Roosevelt would be so very proud of the dedicated folks at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

I joined RMEF this past year and keep asking myself why I took so long to find RMEF, but at least now, I’m a member and their BUGLE magazine is not just a magazine, it is a learning tool.  In this latest issue (Jul/Aug 2017) of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation BUGLE, story author – Kurt Cox,  shares intimate, in-depth details of those many things a first-time archery elk hunter might be wondering about.  Veteran hunters too, can learn from Kurt’s tales of hands-on truth in easy-to-read lessons and descriptions.

He describes his manner of calling, his movement in trailing an Elk for a shot opportunity and how he survived through his consumption of spring water, wild berry picking and frosty overnight chills. All this amidst the wonder of the visual expanse of mountain peaks, dark timber and an internal impulse to use cow calls. All hunters can learn from his shared experiences in this story.

Cox shares his hope and wonder, all the while looking for that perfect spot that he might send his arrow and put some meat in the family freezer.  Then after much effort, significant effort, there is a cow, then a bull, then an arrow shot and a score.  We learn about ethics here too, since Cox takes a second arrow shot and a third too.  There is explanation for the harvest in this manner, clarification that hunters country-wide need to know more about.

Check out this story, then read much more in this ARCHERY ISSUE of BUGLE Magazine, in the nearly 40-page special edition section.  Learn about cows and bulls, elk habits, use of camo, scent, sound, the excitement, the right gear, making the right noises, the reality of the experience, and perhaps you will find in you, like me, the inspiration to travel thousands of miles to hunt an elk.

Hunting for elk is an escape for some, but it is an inspiration for all hunters.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to insure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.  I came late to embrace this RMEF group – I’m from the east, my poor excuse, but I’m here to pass the word to all of my hunter friends, especially bowhunter colleagues, to join up with RMEF and start the complete learning of how to better yourself for your next hunt.

What you learn from the BUGLE magazine will help make you a better hunter every time you step into the world of the woods.

Visit www.rmef.org and sign up soon.  After just one or two issues, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  Reading this magazine is an adventure in learning.  Don’t delay. Remember, hunting is conservation.