The Aquarium Effect

As I sit in my ground blind looking out the window I am in love with the view. No reflection, no filter, no boundaries and it made me think. Do you ever wonder why children and adults have such positive experiences and intense joy when they visit aquariums, zoos, wildlife exhibits, or sea life amusement parks? It’s the aquarium effect that allows us to tap into our curiosity of the animal world and get closer. On a recent hunt I was sitting in my tree stand and watched a squirrel shimmy up the tree next to me, perch on a branch two feet away and look right at me as if saying “you are in my tree”. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. There was something so surreal and intense about being that close to an animal in its habitat without the glass or fence.

This is one of the MANY reasons I love to hunt. Just as people have the urge to press their face up against the glass of an aquarium or get as close as possible to the live animal exhibit, my desire to be in the woods is the same. There is something exquisite about being in in their home and seeing their natural behaviors, personalities, and quirks that will forever entertain me.

Now close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting in the cool shade under a mesquite tree in the middle of the day As you sit there being still and quiet you look up and standing six feet in front of you is a beautiful black buck quietly chewing on a mesquite bean. You can see the different variations of color of his fur, his mouth moving as he chews, the hair in his nose, the lashes on his eyes, and the reflection and blinking of his eyes. You can’t move, only stare and watch in awe of how close this animal is to you and realize you are in their element and there is no glass to press up against. He is there watching you instead. As you blink he sees the movement and trots off.

This was an experience I had this past summer on an exotic hunt. I have never been so close to such a beautiful animal and it is something I will never forget.

There have been numerous other magnificent encounters throughout my short hunting adventures including watching a yearling nurse on her mother, staring down my tree stand as a raccoon climbs up, being ringside as two turkeys lock spurs and battle up and down a hill, having a bird land on the back of my tripod chair, and watching two bucks lock antlers and battle for their territory.

I could write forever of the enchanting and magical moments I have seen from the front row but there is nothing better than experiencing it. So next time you are thinking about heading to the aquarium or zoo why not take a trip into the woods, hunting or not, and experience nature without the glare of the glass.


Nov 03, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “The Aquarium Effect

  1. VIcki

    Well said, Candace. I love to hunt also. My favorite trip was when I went with my husband bow hunting in Colorado. You are truly in their element and it just seemed more exciting having to get closer for the shot. I loved the challenge of hunting with no props or feeders etc… We had to actually “hunt” for the game.

    • Candace

      Thanks Vicki. It is interesting to see the different laws in different states for hunting and which ones use feeders and baiting. I love hunting all types of set-ups. And yes with bow hunting you are truly up close and personal. Sometimes too close but that’s the beauty of it 🙂 good to hear from another female hunter. Let us know of anything that you would like to see discussed or any other comments you have! Would love to hear from you.

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