2 July 2007
Cell Phones, Text Messaging, & Hunting
I’m beginning to think that one common denominator between all hunters and fishermen is their use of the cell phone. Almost everyone that I hunt or fish with has a cell phone in tow. It’s ridiculous!
Several years ago, I got so fed up with the constant ringing of my cell phone, that I literally threw it out my truck window. I made it almost a full year without a cell phone. What a wonderful year! My business partner broke my reverie, however, when he bought me a cell phone and informed me that he was even going to pay for my plan. The only condition was that I was to keep the phone reasonably close. ‘Close’, though, didn’t encompass my hunting time.
I can see some benefits of having a cell phone with you while you are in the woods. If something calamitous happens you can quickly reach help. If you need help tracking or recovering some game, your friends are at your fingertips. But, the use of cell phones in the woods and on the lakes has grown far beyond this.
My friends have cell phones that do all kinds of ridiculous stuff. If they see a pile of unfamiliar scat, they can take a picture of it and send it to everyone for identification in a matter of minutes. Need some information quickly? Log onto the Internet and ‘Google’ it. Bored? Who needs a book to read (or heaven forbid a pair of binoculars for observation), just log onto the Internet and read my blog! Or, play a video game. There might be some great hunting games you can play while you are supposed to be actually hunting! I hear that integrated GPS is on its way (or maybe already here) so finding your stand or your truck will be no big deal. Just use your phone.
I must now admit that, even I, a hater of cell phones, have used my phone while hunting (and not for an emergency). It started this past April during Turkey season. I learned how to text!
Ok, a few years ago, when I first received my current phone I was intrigued by this new technology of ‘text’ messaging. So, I thought I’d give it a try. I spent a good 10 minutes slowly typing out a single sentence message on my keypad. That message was, lets just say, a little suggestive. I thought it’d catch my wife by surprise and, just maybe, build her anticipation of my return home that evening. It worked. I started thinking I might really like this whole ‘texting’ thing. That all changed pretty quickly. You see, I didn’t know that their was a broadcast function on my cell phone. How, exactly, it happened I’ve never figured out for sure. All I know is that my ‘suggestive’ text message that was meant soley for my wife went out to many of the people saved in my cell phone contacts. Needless to say, it was my LAST text message and I seriously considered tossing yet another cell phone out my truck window.
Fast forward a few years to April 2007. I’m sitting in my blind about 500 yards from Billy and his blind. My cell phone vibrates and I notice I have a text message. I’ve been getting them for years, but I just ignore them. My initial experience with ‘texting’ was enough. I look at my phone and see that the message is from Billy. I open it.
“2 hens 20 yds south. No toms. Seen Anything yet?” his text says. A few minutes later another one arrives (I can tell that Billy is obviously bored). “Anything?” A few minutes more “Want to walk the fence line?”
And then, I did the unthinkable. That last message was exactly what I was thinking. I was ready to get some exercise. I mean how hard could it be to simply respond to his message with a “yes”. And so I broke down and did it. I replied to Billy’s text. We proceeded to determine where to meet, all without making a sound, not even so much as a whisper.
I won’t go so far as to say I was hooked. But, I did (and do) see the benefit. And, now, a couple months later I’m a proficient ‘texter’. I’m not fast at it by any means. I’m not a regular. But I can compose and send a text message. Hooray for me! Hunting turned me into a ‘texter’.
You can take one thing to the bank, though, I’m really careful about what I send!