Punch Your Tag!
Increasing Success in the Field (the HEDOG way)!
Ever wonder why you are not the guy or gal who gets to come home with bragging rights more often? You seem to put in the time you seem to want it more than anyone but time after time you come home and have to answer the dreadful question again. “Honey did you get something?”
I have a hunting friend who will even call his wife before she calls him just to get the question over with.
Maybe this printed information here can help. If nothing else I believe it will get you to thinking.
Fortunately for me I found a remedy for not having to make the dreaded phone call too often. I have my slumps but for the most part I am successful more often than not. Here’s why first then I will tell you how. I do not have much time so when I hunt I have to make it happen. That is the why now here is the how.
For me it wasn’t so much what I was doing wrong it was what I was not doing right. Let me explain.
Did you learn anything the last time you were out hunting and that buck got a whiff of you long before you had a chance to get your bow drawn. I found out real quick I had better learn.
I once was at a distance of 12 yards from a buck in Kansas that ended up later scoring 194” (that is another story a story which needs to be told with me having a box of crying Kleenexes close at hand)when I made a mistake I will never get over. You see I had a new rest on my bow that I was not familiar with, the unfamiliarity with my equipment cost me a giant. How did I learn, I try and stick with equipment the works and has proven itself to me personally (not what is the hype for today). I will not let the same mistake happen to me twice if I can help it.
Let’s look at a few of the possible gremlins.
1. Gremlin -You hunt to close to a road or ride you ATV as far as you can.
Solution-Get in shape you will find your willingness to get you many more opportunities at game. Yes that’s right get in shape; you can always get in better shape than you are now. Just ask Lance Armstrong.
2. Gremlin-You get to your stand too late or leave too early.
Solution-Consistently successful hunters are usually willing to do what others won’t. I once spent the night in a tree stand to make sure I was there at first light and I made no noise getting to the stand.
3. Gremlin-Clothing is it too noisy does it keep you warm? Noisy uncomfortable gear is the worst.
Solution-I don’t care what the brand is what the camo is; if it doesn’t work wear something else. This is not fashion square, this is the backcountry, and no one cares what you look like except the game animal.
4. Gremlin-Are you putting in the time?
Solution-All the TV hunting shows the magazine reading does not take the place of time in the field. I have a friend who is always talking and buying the latest and greatest gear, he can sure talk the talk, the only problem is he is never in the field. Don’t get me wrong I love the shows and read the magazines, but if I have the option of being out there I will be.
5. Gremlin-Do you have confidence? Can you make the shot?
Solution-Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. I shoot my bow at least every other day. Sometimes I only shoot maybe 8 arrows, some days (like today) I shot my bow over 90 times. Here is a secret, practice at yardages further than what you would feel comfortable shooting an animal at. By practicing farther you will find the closer shots are a breeze, and the bonus is you will eventually stretch out your effective range. When I moved from Oklahoma to Arizona I came out west with an effective range of 50 yards. My first year hunting the Coues deer I saw the biggest buck I have seen in the last 8 years, he was at 70 yards, too far. Since that encounter I have practiced at great distances, up to 100 yards+, vowing that if I was ever in that situation again I would make it happen.
6. Gremlin-Mental preparation. Do you believe you will be successful?
Solution-Don’t overlook this one, as I believe it could be the most devastating gremlin of all. You absolutely must believe you will be successful each time you go out, if you do not you will become sloppy. Sloppy hunters are not usually successful hunters. If you believe you are going to get the shot then you will constantly be aware of where an animal could be. You then will not skyline yourself, walk with the wind at your back, step on debris that is noisy, etc. Another words your head is in the game.
7. Gremlin- Not at one with your equipment.
Solution-My wife thinks I am crazy; I am always going over my gear. I am cleaning the binos, checking batteries in my rangefinder, checking the arrows for loose or tore fletching. Every time before and after I shoot my bow, I check it out. Is there a loose screw, how are the fiber optics, what condition is the string in. I know my gear inside and out. I keep spare parts handy, every hunt I am on I make sure I have all necessary backups in case something goes awry. A few years ago I had purchase a new bow with an innovative string design around the cam, when I went on my hunts not only did I have a spare string, I had photos of how the string was to be installed. Just in case, always be prepared for Murphy, he has the worst timing. By the way if you see that guy would you put an arrow in him for me?
This is just a short list of many possible scenarios. The bottom line is this. Look back over your own hunting history, think of all the opportunities you have had and something went wrong. Next make a list of all the shortcomings and find a remedy for them. You will be happy you did.