Whether I am guiding, talking with hunters or reading a story someone sent me, it’s very interesting to see the different mindsets and skill levels that each of us hunters have. There is a large variety of hunters who go in the field each year, which is one of the reasons why hunting is unique (when compared to professional sports).
Often I find, we as hunters are not honest about our skill levels, which ultimately this causes people to have unrealistic expectations. All of us have different god given abilities (talents), so I don’t believe everyone can get to the same hunting level, but everyone can improve. Improving your hunting skills takes time and effort.
There are NO SHORTCUTS.
What about guided hunts?
I will agree, when hunters pay me for a guided hunt, I am bridging the information and experience gap, but I am still not the hunter. I could have killed multiple GIANT elk, but I wasn’t the hunter. I can’t make the shot or hike the mountains for them, they must take every step I take and perhaps some on their own.
I have always stated and always will, “hunting out-of-state on a DIY trophy big game is the most difficult hunt.” This is especially true for bowhunting, because every mistake or underdeveloped skill will be exposed during the course of a hunt. This is part of the learning and skill developing process, which can not be bought or simulated.
My point to this whole post is this…
We need to start respecting the game (the hunt) and you have to really be honest about your skill levels to do that. It is HARD to find big game animals on public land, let alone a record book animal. Then you still have to kill the animal.
It’s not easy.
I refuse to drink the cool-aide of acting like I don’t fail as a hunter or guide, I think it takes away from the hunt and it takes away from every other hunter’s success story. Failure sucks, but if you want to get better as a hunter or in life, it is a MUST. Let it drive you to work harder, get smarter and ultimately to success.
“What about him? I know I am better than him!!! He is a horrible hunter and killed a GIANT!”
Is he consistent?
Anyone can be a 1 hit wonder, it’s called fate or luck. It happens a lot in hunting, but generally LIGHTENING doesn’t strike the same tree twice, so stop worrying about him and worry about you.
Below is one of my most popular hunting vids. Looking back, I am damn proud of this hunt because I finally got what I consider to be a big bull elk on the ground. It took a lot of hard work, effort, skill, help and some blessings from above to get this bull on the ground.
One thing I want everyone to understand about hunting big animals, they do NOT care what you look like, what fancy gear you have or how much money you have, it’s a matter of being skilled, your effort and catching the breaks.
That is it.