Another possibility: were you camping with friends who knew this was your first time camping? It’s not unknown for new campers to be “initiated” their first night out. (It might be helpful to know that the bag limit on snipe is 5, at least in Ohio. Your chances of limiting out are very slim.)
My most memorable such incident involved some brand new Scouts. The trop went to summer camp, and they were assigned a campsite near the edge of the property, on the other side of the fence from a pasture full of cows. About an hour after they were all snug in their tents, I saw some of our older Scouts headed into the woods, circling around the camp to the fence. All of a sudden they came running through the camp, mooing at the top of their lungs and ringing a big cowbell. Never will forget the chaos that followed...
No matter how many years you camp or backpack unusual sounds at night can make you take notice. It's very normal and simply part of our survival instinct, which is a good thing. It's important that you understand that the odds of that noise turning out to be a hostile animal are very rare. I've backpacked and camped for several decades and the most common culprit for those noises usually turns out to be deer. If you still have a difficult time sleeping without knowing the source of those noises I would suggest getting a canister of bear spray and keeping it next to when you sleep. It's not a bad thing to also have in your pack when you go hiking. I've had many encounters with bears over the years and also cougars (one as close as 125 feet) but have never found a need to use my spray but you may find it gives you some comfort. As noted above, stay calm and enjoy the wonderful sounds you find while camping.
Through the years I have observed that mice grow to at least 50 pounds and have feet the size of dinner plates when they stomp around your tent at night. Every sound is amplified when you are in a tent in the wilderness at night. After a while you just adjust and ignore the sounds. Seriously, mice, squirrels, and deer are the most likely night visitors.
Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:
Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!