As I sit here in my office, I can think of a million things I need to do to prepare myself for the upcoming hunting season.
Shooting, preparing my hunting gear, vehicle maintenance, working out, looking at maps/google earth, etc. etc…
These all matter and come into play, but 3 things matter the most when it comes to consistently being successful on trophy animals.
- You have to have a permit/tag for a quality hunt.
- Hunting Skills
- Area knowledge & in the field scouting.
If you don’t have a tag or a license for a quality hunt, you obviously can’t go hunting in the best areas. If you aren’t wealthy or don’t value it enough to purchase landowner type tags, you have to apply for multiple states. If you are not applying for multiple states, you are missing a HUGE opportunity to hunt the best areas. It’s just that simple.
Hunting skills aren’t developed over night.
Many skills are passed down from one generation to the next and others are learned, then evolve after years of hard work. You can’t purchase hunting skills in a store or teach them in a one day class. Hunting skills such as instinct, tracking, glassing and mental toughness, are EXTREMELY undervalued by the mainstream hunting community today. Hunting skills often separate the average from the exceptional.
How are hunting skills developed?
Karl Malone was a great basketball player, but he had the genetics and work ethic to be great. I love basketball, but I didn’t have the genetic makeup and work ethic to get to his level. If I would have put the years of hard work in, I would have became a much better basketball player for my genetic makeup, but it doesn’t mean I would have ever been at Karl’s level. Developing hunting skills are no different than developing basketball skills, you need the right genetics and you need to spend years working on your skills.
Why guided hunters & locals are more successful?
Area knowledge and scouting are the reasons hunters spend thousands of dollars for a guided hunt. A quality guide will possess area knowledge and the ability to scout a local area effectively. Typically, local hunters have the time to scout and area knowledge as well, thus they usually don’t hire guides. Hunters who go with a quality guide are essentially buying the knowledge and scouting information.
Last year I had just a few days to scout before my Utah Limited Entry Archery Elk Hunt. I ended up killing my bull just a 1/4 mile from this spring. It matters…
If you are going out-of-state and hunting on your own for a trophy animal, understand, the deck is literally stacked against you.
Too me, it’s the ultimate hunt.