Song Dog Serenade

An autumn song dog serenade can stir a hunter's soul.

An autumn song dog serenade can stir a hunter's soul. (Photo/PDPhoto.org)

If there is a better place to watch creation come alive than sitting quietly in an October deer stand, I’m not sure that I know where such a place is.

Slipping out yesterday a.m. before church for a quick archery deer hunt near my North Texas home, a morning of great anticipation fueled me. 

Sitting in a dark ground blind, I was hoping to launch a meat missile at a buck with my Hoyt Katera. 

As the Milky Way begrudgingly faded overhead, all was quite on a deliciously chilly dawn that makes a hunter’s heart glad.

As shooting time arrived on the watch, it wasn’t long before civilization began to awaken.

As the early morning noise intruded upon the quiet dawn, a band of coyotes suddenly lit up scant yards away and seemingly in my hip pocket.

What started as a single Wile E. Coyote testing his vocal chords quickly turned into a melodious song dog serenade that brought a wry smile to my face.

On a morning when it seemed otherwise, this autumn music announced that I wasn’t the only hunter in the woods, a fact that was confirmed a few minutes later as two ‘yotes quietly padded past the darkened hide.  

A couple of hours later, with deer activity at a standstill and morning worship services calling me back to my family, it became apparent that the coyote music was going to be the gift of the day from the hand of God.

And that was fine with me as I trudged through brush and mud to begin my getaway.

As I walked back to the truck, I must confess that I don’t know whether or not the four-legged hunters found the sustenance they were looking for.

But what I can say with absolute clarity is that despite failing to punch a tag on this spectacular autumn morn, this hunter got what he was searching for, tag soup or not.

A chance to see another day beautifully awaken as the globe starts another turn.

The quickening of my pulse as darkness faded into light and the opportunity to hunt arrived.

A time to communicate quietly, eagerly, and expectantly with the Creator by way of humble and repentant prayer emanating from within.

A good hunting spot shared with a pair of scruffy four-legged hunters.

And a chance to once again scratch the DNA itch  in my hunter’s soul that makes me feel more alive on such a fall day than perhaps at any other time of the year.

All of this accompanied, of course, by the morning’s mournful song dog serenade.

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About hunting365

Lynn Burkhead is a blessed man who digs being alive to know, live for, and worship the Creator; being married to his babe, Charissa; and being "Dad" to Katie, Zach, and Will. Professionally, he is a nationally recognized outdoor writer who served as an associate editor, senior writer, and blog columnist for the ESPNOutdoors.com Web site for much of this decade. Burkhead has also been a deer hunting columnist and fishing fundamentals columnist for Texas Fish & Game magazine as well as serving as a hunting columnist for Southern Sporting Journal magazine. Finally, he has been a busy freelance writer and photographer for more than a decade with hundreds of byline credits appearing in such places as Bassmaster.com, Bowhunt America, Bowhunter, Buckmasters, Field & Stream, GrandViewOutdoors.com, Great Plains Game & Fish, Louisiana Game & Fish, Lone Star Outdoor News, North American Whitetail, Oklahoma Game & Fish, Outdoor Life, Realtree.com, Rocky Mountain Game & Fish, Texas Sporting Journal, and Texas Sportsman. When time permits, you'll typically find him outside with a bow, a shotgun, a fly rod, or a Nikon camera in his hand. View all posts by hunting365

5 responses to “Song Dog Serenade

  • Lee

    nice story. I also enjoyed that serenade in W. Texas last Friday morning. I often ponder why I like to hunt so much and the when I get to watch the sun come up and the animals start thier morning rituals, I know why I enjoy the outdoors so much.

  • Justin Wright

    Hey Lynn,

    I enjoyed reading of your hunt. I’ve hunted many years now and have returned home from most of those hunts empty handed. It has only been over the last couple of years that I have learned to look past the presumed failure and instead search for the small and precious gifts given by my heavenly father each time I enter the woods. Sometimes it’s a sunrise or sunset, the gobble of a fall turkey during deer rifle season, or more often than not it’s the teaching of a hard lesson learned. Whatever the gift may be, I have come to know that success afield has very little to do with what’s laying in the back of the truck on the way home. Thanks for the reminder!! Happy Hunting!

  • Les McConnell

    Hello Lynn,
    Long time since I’ve seen/talked to you. “Song Dog Serenade” is very nicely done. Great job of allowing the reader to see, hear, and feel what you felt. Since I can’t find a place/time to go, this is certainly the next best thing. I hope all is going well with you and your family.

    God bless,
    Les

  • Marty

    Good artical, exsept for all them big words. I think fly fishers and bowhunters are uppity and don’t like to mix with regulur peopel. Give me a can of worms and a zebco or a 30/30 and a spotlight and i will have me some fun.

  • Rob Jordan

    Hey Lynn,
    I like the new blog! I’ve added you to my list of favorite hunting and outdoor blogs on my blog at http://robshuntingjournal.blogspot.com/. I will be a regular reader. Keep up the good work!

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