I am not sure if that aging has made getting up harder or if I have always hated being an early riser. My buddies have always said that “I was fond of the covers!” Now, I understand the importance of getting up early. The early bird gets the worm. Fishing is best at sunrise and sunset. Big bucks move at first light. The first one in the woods gets the biggest bucks. Fortunately, there are legal hunting and fishing hours that will determine when the alarms go off. ￼
On one horseback elk hunt, our wrangler and great hunter Terry, had us up at 3am!!! OMG, WTF, and several other abbreviations may apply. We were saddled and riding by 4am. I could not even see the ground off the back of my ride.
We rode for several miles and managed to tag 4 bulls. Terry was right but what a hard morning.
At another elk camp, the cook, Darryl, would be the one to raise the dead. He knocked on my camper and handed me a big mug of coffee. It took me about 15 minutes to get my body moving. The coffee did the trick. When I am camp cook, I sleep when the hunters are afield. Early mornings are required.
Once up, I am ready to go. It is just the first 5 minutes that I hate. The sleeping bag is warm, the pillow is soft, the sounds of morning critters is like music. Why ruin it all by getting out of the sleeping bag, into the cold, off to the outhouse, and whatever else is your routine.
I have tried all kinds of alarms. They all suck. I have found that the best way to learn to get up early is to simply change your routine. Get up and enjoy the sunrise every day. Brew some great coffee and make it a point to begin every day earlier. Maybe hit the sack earlier in the evening. That extra time each day will also keep you from being late, moody, or tired. I am still working on this.
If you need an alarm, try the hundreds of digital choices available. Everyone is different. Loud bells may need to be your choice. Music can be nice. Animal noises work great. I have a turkey alarm for the spring season. River or surf noises can work. At the very least they will make you have to get up for a morning pit stop. Answering Nature’s morning call is what we must become better at.
For some hunters and sportsmen, getting to the tree stand or special place may require a nap. When the sun first hits your face, it feels so nice. Its easy to regress back into a snooze, just for a few moments. The motion of the boat, the sounds of the wind, water, and nature… ZZZZ!
Once the sun comes up, I am grateful to be outside. So many people never get to enjoy the early hours. We only get so many sunrises in our lives so its best to not waste them. Hunting and fishing are often best in the early morning. Turkeys are gobbling, elk are bugling, roosters are cackling, fish are feeding, and everything is waking up.
Time to rise and gitter done!