What Do You See?

June 14, 2023 daryl bauer

Some of you are going to wonder about me when you read this blog post.  A few more of you will dismiss it because you will think it has nothing to do with fishing.  It does, I promise.  Dare you to keep reading. . .

Recently, I spent some time with my daughter and son-in-law watching birds or “birding”.  Oh sure we did it with some chuckles and jokes along the way, but honestly we had a lot of fun.  Most importantly, we again enjoyed our time together in Nebraska’s great outdoors.

May was “bird month”.  I celebrate “bird months” every year in April and May because that is when the turkeys are gobbling.  Something new this year was called the Birding Bowl.  My daughter decided she wanted to participate, and towards the end of May she was finishing by observing as many different species of birds as possible.  My wife and I got to go along with her and our son-in-law on a couple days of her quest.


Yes, I spend as much time as possible in the field and on the water every spring.  Most of that time is spent hunting and fishing.  No, usually I do not intentionally, exclusively go afield just to watch birds, but that is what I did with my daughter.  I already said we enjoyed our time because we were together, but more than that, I saw birds that I had only seen in photos until then.  I learned birds songs and identification characteristics and much, much more.

Honestly, I never dreamed I would see a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak:

Jon Farrar photo. NEBRASKAland Magazine.

Or, a Red-eyed Vireo:

Jon Farrar photo. NEBRASKAland Magazine.

How about a Scarlet Tanager!

Jon Farrar photo. NEBRASKAland Magazine.

I saw all of those birds and more.  Birds that were out there, but I had never taken the time to learn about them or look for them.

Not going to claim to be any kind of a birder from here on.  However, I will have a greater appreciation for birds I see while I am on the water or in the field.  I likely will even be on the look for other birds I may not have seen before.

It goes beyond birds.  In our hiking and bird-watching we also found Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild onion and identified several different wild flowers and trees.  That was fun too.

How much do you enjoy your time in the outdoors?  When you are hunting and fishing, what do you see?  What do you hear?  What do you learn?  Don’t we all enjoy those times and experiences in addition to the game taken or the fish caught?

Isn’t it true that the more you learn about something the more you appreciate it?  Suppose you might enjoy your time in the field and on the water by learning about the birds you see?  The wildflowers?  The vegetation?  How about the snakes, frogs, turtles and little fish?  Suppose learning about those plants, animals, birds and fish might even make you a better, more successful hunter or angler?

Observational skills are very important hunting and fishing skills.  The more you see, hear, even feel, smell and taste, the more aware you will be of your surroundings.  As a result, the more aware you are, the more you will find the fish and game you pursue.  Want to take your hunting and fishing skills further?  Try birding.

Let me go even further and diverge a bit from this birding theme. . . . If you really want to take your observational skills, your hunting and fishing skills, up a level, learn to trap.  You really have to learn how to “read” what you see, feel, smell and even hear to be a successful trapper.

Yes, those skills translate from one pursuit to the others!

Even if the skills developed in those other pursuits did not translate to success hunting and fishing, they will make your time in the field and on the water more enjoyable.  Furthermore, they will increase your appreciation for our outdoor resources.

I will summarize all of this by telling you there have been many times when observing birds led me to fish.  Everyone knows about watching the gulls and following them to fish feeding on shad schools, but there are other birds and other times.  You have to spend time on the water not just fishing, but observing, to pick up those clues.


And you won’t see them on any Panoptix or LiveScope.

Now, where is that Indigo Bunting?

The post What Do You See? appeared first on Nebraskaland Magazine.

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