On Saturday morning I plan to have something in my pocket that in years past I haven’t necessarily considered essential deer hunting equipment. Well, truth is it’s still not considered essential by the strictest definition, but inside my pocket will likely be some extra shotgun slugs, a granola bar or two, my trusty hunting knife, plus my cellular phone.
Why the cell phone? How else could I tweet from the tree stand? That’s right…plans are to send short little text messages using my phone through the popular social networking service known as Twitter. Think of it as a live micro-blog, of sorts, in which messages are condensed down into 140 alpha/numerical characters or less. Each “tweet” is succinct, to the point, sharing thoughts or feelings about what might currently be on the person’s mind.
Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking. Doesn’t texting on a cell phone defeat the purpose of spending quiet time trying to be motionless in the woods? How can you be paying attention to what’s happening trying to observe for deer movement when you’re concentrating on the cell phone. Both valid points.
Please understand I’m not encouraging every deer hunter to tweet while they are hunting. For many it’s an unnecessary distraction…and I can fully appreciate that sentiment. For me, on the other hand, I view Twitter as a fun, new mechanism in which people can stay connected with other individuals who share similar interests.
Here’s an example. Yesterday morning a friend of mine was deer hunting in Ontario, Canada when he tweeted the words “deer down.” Immediately I shared in his excitement of the moment. Oh, sure, I could have heard his story hours or even days later…but by then it would have lacked the immediacy of having just occurred. Within minutes I responded “congrats”—which was the equivalent to a virtual pat-on-the-back he would never have otherwise received from me.
If you want to learn more about Twitter we attempted this last spring for the Minnesota Fishing Opener, as well. Click HERE to review that blog post. Now, this time around if you plan on doing any tweeting during the Minnesota deer opener use the hashtag #mndeer posted within your message. In so doing it allows all tweets pertaining to this topic to be consolidated for easier viewing.
A few words of caution must be mentioned. First, not only is it highly unethical to be tweeting or texting messages describing game movement to inform another hunting buddy, but the practice is illegal, too. Same goes for any wireless form of communication between hunters where hunting strategies are discussed or developed in the field. Always use proper discretion when using wireless electronic devices and observe the rules of fair chase.
Instead, if you’re texting or tweeting describe results (i.e. “I just got one”) or general thoughts about the hunt (i.e. “I wish something would happen soon or I may fall asleep”). Such innocuous statements of communication will keep you out of trouble.
To learn more about Twitter, check out this down-loadable manual. Best of all, to read what’s happening on Twitter you don’t even have to join. Instead, you just have to know who to follow. To read my tweets this weekend or anytime, you can go here: www.Twitter.com/jim7226 Remember, to search if others are using the #mndeer hashtag simply click HERE.
©2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.