View Full Version : Hunters Mirages
In reference to the posting;
and the second listing in General-nonglock forum.
How many hunters have experience "hunters mirage"? This is what my dad describes as, "seeing things that don't really exist when outin the woods."
I can say that I have done this on more than 1 ocassion and can honesty say I had a "case of hunter's mirage" just this weekend. It starts out when you swear you saw a squirrel tail moving in the trees but it happens to be just the spanish moss hanging and blowing in the oak trees or the black running object that you think was a hog but actually was a Rottiweller running loose thru a hunting ground, or the light brown markings in the rivergrass that looks like the top of a deer back.
Being from South Florida, I am curious as to where you go hunting in the woods.
Northern sections of PBCH county,
Okeechoobee,Hendry, Glades, Highlands, South Dade and Osecola counties have numerous locations for public or private hunting all within 160miles or 2 hrs drive from my home.
Areas more central and west are much dryier than let's say Broward/Dade/PBCH counties. You have to pick the right area for whatever species you are hunting. Ducks& Snipes in PBCH/Broward counties and most 4 legs animals in HIghland or Okeechoobee counties. Doves anywhere in Dade/Hendry/PBCH counties in the states dove fields or via private paid 1/2 or 1 day hunts.
Don't 'adjust your set hoss', it happens to everone who spends any real time in the outdoors. You know your 'cinch has slipped' when a black garbage bag looks like a turkey from a distance, and an old rotten log looks like a buck bedded down! :)
One more reason to make sure we know that we know, what we are about to shoot at before we pull the trigger!
Your not alone!
This happens to me all the time while Salmon fishing. I fish a Landlock Salmon run every fall and by midday, with major salmon fever set in, I swear I am seeing fish but it is just shadows, ect...
It is funny how the eye and brain put these similarities together and project what we perceive to be real.
I am sure most woodsman who will read your post have experienced this at least once in the life.
I have had that happen to me a few times in the woods--very strange.Its one of those--its not what my eyes see--its what my brain sees--deal.
I don't think I know an elk hunter that has not seen and "elk's rear end" on a hillside only to find out it is an end of a log or rock. On the other side my dad took his cousin elk hunting and after the morning of the first day out his cousin admitted that he didn't know exactly what he was looking for. So my dad showed him the end of a log that looked like a cow elk laying there. It was darker along the sides and light colored on the end. They stood there and talked about the log for about 5 minutes before the log had had enough and jumped up and ran off. Took them both by supprise.
I read an article about this sort of thing a few years back. It was about people who have shot other people and they swear that they saw an animal instead. It was very interesting. They went into scientific detail as to why/how the brain does this. The main thing I remember is that it wasn't novice hunters usually. Statistics showed that it was usually veteran hunters with years of experience and many game encounters. When you see something that you can't identify, or are having difficulty identifying; your brain does a kind of "scan" through it's memory banks. When it finds a similar image or scene, it can incorporate that image together with what you are currently looking at. Then you kind of talk yourself into believing that it's an animal. The more experience you have, the more images your brain has to compare to. (this was a good article that really made sense, I don't think I'm doing it justice in explaining...) I think one of the best ways not to fall victim to a mirage is BLAZE ORANGE.
Pistol Packin' Pete
Originally posted by OH37
I think one of the best ways not to fall victim to a mirage is BLAZE ORANGE.
And to aviod being the guy who shoots at shadows or worse, keep a good head on your shoulders and use good optics to positively ID what you are about to shoot at! If you have any doubt, don't even think of shooting it. I'm sure you all know that, but there may be some noobs reading this thread that could benefit from the advice.
I have also experienced "hunter's mirage" on a couple of occasions that were downright eerie. After being an ardent hunter for over 40 years, I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to me personally. I concluded that the human brain can manufacture any image it wants to if its owner wants it badly enough. Fortunately, in my case, there was no damage done, but it certainly is sobering.
As for the hunter orange...I am also a big fan of the stuff, but...
One day I was at a hunting camp chatting with 4 other hunters during a midday break. During the conversation, I learned that I was the only person present who was capable of seeing hunter orange in the woods (!). All of the other guys were color-blind to the point of not recognizing the safety color at all! Some coincidence, Huh?
Makes ya wonder how many hunters are like that.
Dan, that is scary. It also seems like an incredible coincidence. I didn't realize that "colorblindness" was that common.
;P Wow! You are really really scaring me! I had a guy almost shoot me, one time, on state gameland. Now I understand, 'What' he must have been thinking; well, then again, I AM something of a handsome buck! ;f
12-20% of all males are colorblind to some degree.
I fail all but the first one of these tests:
But Blaze Orange still stands out in the woods to me.
I allways siad it was your mind playing games with you,your hunting you want to see game your mind does the rest.
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