Time and again I run into hunters who are looking for success or are just plain waiting for success to find them. They dream of harvesting a trophy buck, but they just don’t know how to get started. It’s like the “big buck” is barely out of their reach. They are waiting for a break-through or a new and unique product that will revolutionize their hunting world. They have the misconception that if they can just hang in there long enough success will find them. Sadly, it rarely works this way. The truth is, waiting for success to find you is like waiting to be struck by lightning. The odds are it won’t happen.
Years ago I took a friend, Fred, hunting. Fred told me he wanted to learn about hunting trophy bucks. I had a couple of stands already hung in a good deer runway and we hunted there. Shortly after climbing the tree a young 4 x 4 buck crossed below us.
“Don’t shoot,” I hissed, hoping for something bigger.
A couple of hours passed, we saw a lot of deer but nothing worth shooting and Fred was ready to go home.
“That was the biggest deer I’ve ever seen in over 30 years of hunting. Why didn’t you let me shoot him?” Fred asked.
I tried to explain how I was looking for something better than average for him to harvest and offered to take him again tomorrow.
Fred declined my offer and complained that sitting in a tree wasn’t the way he learned how to hunt. Fred confessed that he was expecting me to take him to a secret location that would guarantee success. He was convinced the tactics taught to him by his father were correct (even though Fred’s father had never killed anything larger than a forkhorn)and all he was lacking was the right location. I tried to explain that proper timing and application of tactics was far more important than location, but Fred wasn’t having any part of it and we parted ways. Fred, like most people, was hanging on to old, ineffective tactics and myths.
I have taken more people hunting than I would like to remember. In almost every case, I’ve been told that he or she doesn’t want to hunt the way I hunt. They want to hunt the way their fathers or uncles taught them to do it. If you hunt the way your father or uncle hunted, then you can’t expect to kill any more or bigger deer than they did.
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
We must be willing to change ourselves and the way we hunt if we expect to change our results. I hope that you will join me as I uncover the truth about trophy hunting, what it takes to achieve consistent success.