The Secret to being a Successful Hunter
Every year it seems that a select few individuals are ALWAYS notching tags. These people do this year in and year out. It doesn’t matter if they are hunting black bears or elk, they get it done, no matter the circumstances. How do they do it though? I am sure this is a question we have all asked ourselves at least once. What is different about these consistently successful hunters and everyone else? Is it their calling techniques or glassing skills? Maybe, it is their equipment that is responsible for their success? While those things can definitely aid one in being successful, it isn’t any of them. So what is it? In my humble opinion, I believe that the “secret”, if you will, is hanging out in between their ears. They have a positive attitude, loads of tenacity, and a colossal urge to never give up. All things that are mental.
Keep it Positive
This is a tried and true method of being successful in anything really, but since we are talking about hunting, we will keep it to that. Plain and simple, a positive attitude fills tags and freezers. If you are out in the field focusing on all of the deer that you AREN’T seeing or how you watched your arrow fly over that dream buck’s back yesterday, it is only going to hurt you. Instead of honing in on the negative, hone in on what you can do to fix the issue at hand. It is the only way you are going to push on with the attitude that you need to get it done. Hunting is filled high points and low points. Remaining positive throughout the whole endeavor though is what is going to set you up for success. Remember, this is all supposed to be fun?
The ability to push through and shake off adversity in the field plays a huge role in being a consistently successful hunter. Let’s face it, it isn’t always peaches and cream in the mountains. Bad weather can be a factor. Lack of game sightings can also be extremely discouraging. Are you going to go back to your truck though and head home because of these things? I am for sure guilty of doing this. Doing that didn’t fill my tag though, I can tell you that. If you aren’t out there hunting, the only thing that is going to get filled is a bowl with tag soup in it. Weather that storm! If you aren’t seeing game, MOVE to a different area! Stick with it and hunt all day. Sitting in camp because you are tired isn’t going to notch that tag.
This might be the dome that encompasses all that we have been talking about. NEVER GIVE UP. Remain out in the field and do what you need to do to be successful. If that means packing up your camp and moving 10 miles down the way, then do it. Don’t try and convince yourself not to. Again, I tell you this, because I have been there. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and look at the situation as an outsider. Often, doing so will give you the answer that you are looking for. I don’t care how much game you have seen in a particular area in the past. If you aren’t seeing anything, you aren’t seeing anything. Be aggressive and go to where the animals are. Not doing so, in my opinion, is cheating yourself out of opportunity. Some of us prepare all year long for hunts, whether it is time in the gym, time behind the glass, or time at the range. After all of that preparation, don’t let a little bit of adversity throw all of that away for the year. You owe it to yourself to persevere and NEVER GIVE UP. My last archery season held 7 misses before I finally filled my tag. I felt so low and contemplated going home so many times, it was driving me bonkers! If I would have left though, I wouldn’t have experienced the sense of accomplishment I got after harvesting my first animal with a bow. At the end of the day, if you aren’t successful, at least you will know that you did all that you could. I’ll take a tough hunt over giving up any day of the week.
There is no magic call or heart seeking arrows out there that are going to fill all of your tags. You are the one that decides how much effort you do or don’t put into something. You are the one that makes the decision to keep hunting or to go home after a hard day in the mountains. It is up to you to bounce back after that heartbreaking miss. The “secret” to being a consistently successful hunter is YOU.