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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Getting A Good Night's Sleep Crucial For Hunting

By Gary Miller

It’s beginning to feel a lot like deer season. The temperatures today will range from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. Days like these are sure to get me rubbin’ and ruttin’.

Even though the season is open in one of my border states, I still don’t get too excited until I can see my breath in the morning. I love the cool, damp air. As a child I struggled at times with asthma but I always remember how good my lungs felt when I took a deep breath of that early morning, fall air. I’m such a morning person. You can call me at six a.m. but if you call past ten at night, you’re probably going to hear the voice of an unhappy bear that was just wakened from his hibernation. I may growl and even threaten to bite your head off. I’m just giving fair warning.

I think outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen have to be morning people. For the most part, if we sleep in, we miss the time when most of the activity takes place. My parents use to decree, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Other than coon hunting and night fishing they were probably right. Nights are important for me. A good night’s sleep is the fuel that ignites my mornings. And a good cup of coffee stokes the fire that lasts through the hunt.

What I’ve learned over time is Newton’s third law. It states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I don’t know all of the intricacies of this law in order to give an intelligent opinion of it. But my version of it says this – there’s always a price to pay. And what we all have to do is figure out if the price is worth it or not.

Concerning my mornings, I have realized if I want to get up early enough to go hunting and not fall asleep in the tree stand, I have to get to bed early the night before. If I don’t go to bed early, there’s a price to pay the next day. I just wished I had learned this lesson earlier in life, about things more important than hunting.

But I can’t go back and take a Mulligan. (Mulligan: golf term for “I just shanked one off the tee so I’ll try it again and not count the first one”) Even though I can’t redo the past, I can make sure my present decisions are worth the price I’m paying – the most important being my spiritual ones. Why not take a look today and see what the equal and opposite reactions are to the actions you are taking now. Are they worth the price you are paying or that you will pay one day? If they are not make the change while there’s still time for that Mulligan.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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