the strangest thing i have ever had happen was while squirrel hunting late one day. i caught movement out of the corner of my eye. turned to see what it was. It was a little owl and it hit me in the side of the head. Sure did scare the crap out of me.
I had an owl come out of a tree right in front of my blind yesterday evening and it is spooky to see a bird that size be totally silent in flight. I have heard of owls grabbing the heads of buckskinners who were wearing fur headgear. You didn't have anything on your head that looked like a squirrel was holding onto your ears, did you?
I have called owls in before. Usually at night when I hear one calling to another - they can be about 1/4 mile distant from each other but at least one will come in.
I used to think it was cute, having one come in and land in a nearby tree to see what was making the noise, until one came in right by my head and then it wasn't cute at all. I never even heard it come in, until it went right by my face - and then I remembered those awful talons it carries and was thankful it didn't latch on to me.
I freed one from a leg trap once - don't know who set the trap or where it came from, bu this was one really whizzed off bird - a great Horned Owl, and he was big and mad as a wet owl. His leg was not injured,just held in place and it looked like he was about ready to bite the darn thing off just to get free. I took off my jacket and threw it over his head and that seemed to calm him a bit - had to secure the jacket around his upper body to keep from getting beak holes in my hand and arms and oit worked well enough to free his leg. As soon as that happened he flew off, with my jacket in tow but he dropped that into the lower branches of a tree and I was able to recover it. Never saw the bird again though.................... Mikey.
My experiences with Owls and the outdoors have all been hair raising experiences. My most recent one happened last year. I was walking to my deerstand about 2 hours before daylight (long walk). As i rounded a bend in the trail there was a sound like everything that is unholy in this world was screaming at me in my right ear. About 300 yards later (which i covered in about 1.5 seconds) i found myself 12 feet up a tree in my treestand (which is a feat unto itself because i have to use climbing spurs). As daylight was breaking (2 hours later) I saw a small screachowl fly into an upper limb in the tree i was in. Its funny how one of the smallest unassuming creatures can conjure up images of bigfoot, dracula, werewolves,and mass murderers all in one loud screach.
Now, a Green Heron is probably not as loud, but it sure is a treat to hear for the first time, especially if you are just dropping off to sleep in a remote area all by yourself, and it's no more than 50 feet away.
Herons (at least the Great Blue ones out here) sound like Teradactyls! How many times have I nearly done the brown shorts boogie because one of these beautiful looking/hideous sounding birds swooped silently overhead in the dark, and let out their primitive "GRAAAWWWNCH!" (Nearly fell out of my boat the first dark night this happened...)
Not that being scared is always fun, but I do get a kick out of it (presuming I don't hurt myself!). My favorite time was one evening when I slipped out to do a little fishing off my pier on a moonless night. I've learned to minimize noise and light, so I very stealthily carried my gear down to the pier. I was just about to "assume the position", in my chair, with an ice cold can of "nerve medicine" and a baited line, when, out from under the pier thrashed a HUGE Heron, splashing water, and giving his trademark dinosaur sound! He'd been right UNDER my pier, and when he clued in to my presence, he took off with haste, and not a lot of love for me.
So much for being stealthy. My explosion of startled profanity, and goofy foot-shuffling, should-I-run-or-fight routine was at least as loud as the Heron's noise, and probably pretty amusing to the neighbors, too.
Frightened birds (and some politicians!) will "lighten their load", as they flee, leaving a trail behind. Cute in a hummingbird; disgusting in a Heron! (Especially when it's on the water you're about to fish in...)
Fortunately, my "nerve medicine" was doing its job that night, and after a few doses, things were back to normal, and the neighbor's lights finally went out!
Ever have a great horned owl drop off of a limb and swoop down right in front of you, only to swoop right over your head? That's a sure cure for constipation! You're not sure to run, duck, draw a gun, or stand there and poop down your leg! Fortunately, nature WILL make that call for you!
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