Being a competitive hunter, effort matters! publisher, Craig Steele, & coyote hunting partner Mike Collins took 3rd place in a 97 team predator hunt. publisher, Craig Steele, & coyote hunting partner Mike Collins took 3rd place in a 97 team predator hunt.

Almost 14 years ago I remember getting beat bad in a predator calling contest. My dad and I discussed it on the way home and we decided the top team had cheated. Ironically, we didn’t personally know the team, their skill level or the effort they had put into the hunt, but it was the only way to explain their success at the time.


I am involved with marketing hunting businesses, so I see more images and hear more chatter than most, which will simply drive a man crazy if all he cares about is killing the most or biggest.  On more than one occasion, I have found myself (especially since the rise of picture mail and social media) fighting the urge to call B.S. on some of the photos of big bucks, bulls and other successful hunting photos I see.  I believe this a natural instinct of any competitive person and it is typically derived from my own personal jealousy and envy, but I just don’t let it consume me anymore.


Over the past few years my mentality has changed tremendously and I now realize at some point in time I had lost focus on what mattered.  I was wasting my time and energy on making EXCUSES and blaming others for my lack of success, when really, it was my own value system and lack of effort which led me to under achieve for my own expectations.  I only needed to look at the person in the mirror, in order to blame someone for my lack of success, not on Social Media.

Craig & Mike have finished in the top 5 each year.  Over the past 20 years, Craig has placed in many contests, but he also has failed many times.

Craig & Mike have finished in the top 5 each year they have competed the Curtis Cauthen Memorial Hunt.

Many are way more successful in the hunting community and in societies eyes, than I will ever be.  It doesn’t really matter to me if their success is from fate or hardwork anymore, because I just refuse to let their success be my excuse for not achieving my own personal expectations.  I see so many hunters under achieving, because they refuse to put in the effort.   All one can personally control is their effort, I look at life this way, and I look at hunting this way.

Since that time 14 years ago, I have been blessed to have become a successful guide, hunter and I have placed in several different predator calling contests (thanks to good partners).  The success I have had didn’t come without failure or effort.  I can also honestly say, I still don’t know if that first place team cheated, but I do know this…

Personally, I have yet to achieve my goals in life and hunting, but it’s not because another team, outfitter or you, it’s because I haven’t put out my BEST effort.

-Craig Steele

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