The Reality of Hunting Dreams

Photo by Alex Missildine

It’s a perfect morning. Songbirds are flitting in the branches near you, and wait, was that a turkey gobble? A red head telescopes above a fallen log ahead of you to the right. Piercing eyes survey the sloping terrain before his mottled neck retracts and the gobbler continues his march to the field edge. You ease your bow up and wait for him to emerge. He struts into the clearing just 12-yards from you. His proud chest is puffed out, showcasing the long, wiry beard protruding down towards the green grass. He looks like a turkey straight out of a dream. With a jolt, you realize that that’s all he is as you suddenly sit straight up in bed, surrounded by darkness.

It’s not uncommon to dream about an event before it happens. A lot of hunters can relate to dreaming about an outing the night before heading into the field. This is called precognitive dreaming, and it typically occurs because our dreams are often linked to events for which we are preparing.

On average, people only remember dreaming about half of the time. Studies suspect that everyone does dream every night, but we simply have a limited ability to recall them. About 95% of the dreams that we have are quickly forgotten. However, if we are awoken during a dream, we have a higher probability of being able to recall it later. Dreaming only occurs during a REM (rapid eye movement) period. A typical person will dream for approximately 2 hours per night with each individual dream lasting between 5 and 20 minutes. In total, the average person will dream for nearly six years of his or her lifetime.

Even if you aren’t prone to remembering your dreams, you may have noticed that your recall has improved recently. Research suggests that the current pandemic may be causing people to remember their dreams more frequently. The cause of this memory spike may be due to prolonged deviance from our typical routine and increased isolation with a lack of daily stimuli. Our subconscious minds may be compensating by generating innovative dreams.

For those of us that are spending more time and energy wrapped up in thoughts about hunting, don’t be surprised if your dreams start to reflect this. Our dreams have a tendency of mirroring whatever topics we are heavily focused upon. Emotions also manifest themselves prominently and influence the kinds of dreams that we have both in terms of topic and emotional reaction. The next time you’re getting ready for a big hunting excursion, pay attention to what kind of dreams you’re having. With any luck, hopefully, you can turn your dream hunt into a reality!

About Rachel Kanaziz

Committed to a lifetime of learning from the most humbling teacher- the outdoors. Exploring life outside on foot & horseback. Dedicated to habitat conservation, wildlife management & the preservation of hunting & fishing

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