Did you know that there are eight critical areas which can largely determine your success or failure in hunting? The greater clarity you have in each of these areas, the better decisions you will make and better results you will achieve.
What is the purpose of hunting? Many people think that the purpose of hunting is to kill a deer, but they are wrong. The true purpose of hunting is to enjoy the outdoors and more importantly to rediscover our place in nature. Hunting is the basis for all things human. It is what separates us from the other primates. All social structure and civilization can trace its roots back to primitive hunting societies. To hunt is to satisfy a primeval calling, to discover who we really are, to return to our source. There is nothing moral or immoral about hunting.
The key measure of hunting success is the hunters proficiency. Your ability to locate game, remain undetected, and shoot straight are the measures of a woodsman. These skills have to become second nature to you.
The taking of a life is always a solemn and sacred moment, not the place for high-fives. The “winning is everything” philosophy is, I think, one of the most harmful ideas ever to infiltrate our sport. Victory comes not in the harvesting of an animal, but in the enjoyment of doing our best. One of the reasons I like hunting is because it is noncompetitive. I only have to compete against myself.
The most important player in hunting is the deer. You must focus on the deer at all times. Deer are fickle, changeable, impatient, and elusive. Too many hunters want the deer to adapt to their strategies. Nonetheless, it’s the deer who sets the pace and rhythm of the hunt and we must adapt to their movements.
In a society that demands instant gratification, patience is a skill lost to most hunters. Few hunters can win a stare down with a buck. Fewer yet can wait patiently enough to harvest a good buck. Learning to be patient is a far more valuable skill than learning the right moves. Patience is the central requirement for you to become an ever more accomplished hunter.
In a world of rapid change and increased competition from other hunters, you must practice continuous improvement in every area of your huntig. As Pat Riley, the basketball coach, said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”
The heartbeat of hunting is persistence. We must be patient, but relentless in our pursuit of big deer. We must have confidence in our location, the patience, and the persistence to allow it to all come together.
The most important question you ask, to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, or achieve any hunting goal is “Why?” Top hunters always ask the question “Why?” and then act on the answers that come to them. If you know “why” you hunt the “how-to’s” will reveal themselfs. It’s the “Whys” that tell us the “Hows”.
Good Luck and Good Hunting,