Before you read too far, there is something I want you to imagine. It's the day before bow season or gun season or shotgun season, or whatever method you prefer, and you are packing everything up.
So excited for a chance to have the season of your dreams you cannot even sleep. And yet you have no idea what the season will hold.
Everything is perfect.
You've eliminated all odors from your favorite camo, sharpened your broad heads, and spent countless hours at the shooting range. Those are all the things that we LOVE to think about the night before the hunt starts. But guess what? There is so much that we don't think about.
When my 2017 season started, I was just like everyone else: PUMPED UP!
I was beyond excited because I finally had places to hunt where I could truly be successful. I set up game cameras that were taking hundreds of pictures a week. And just like everyone else I had a 'hit list', so to speak, of bucks that I would love to harvest. I put in countless hours watching deer movement in person. Tracking the time marks on my game camera pictures and getting more and more excited as the Rut was about to kick in.
As the season went on I started to be successful. I was seeing does and making some great shots to fill the freezer. It was at this moment that although I hadn't seen any of the bucks on my camera, that I set a goal to harvest 2 mature bucks during the 2017 bow season. A feat that I had never even thought of accomplishing before now. And to set this goal in late October seemed to be a big stretch (my wife wasn't too pleased either (it would mean more time in the stand). I studied my cameras harder, I watched the weather on a regular basis and I started formulating plans based on every aspect of hunting that I knew of….and it worked.
On the morning of October 29th , I was getting frustrated because I was seeing no buck movement. It was Pre-Rut, how could the bucks not be on their feet starting to move. Around 9:45 am I decided that my hunt was over. I sent a text to a friend saying I was getting down, I was giving up. I looked up and there he was; the triple brow tine 8 pointer. I only had 1 picture of him. THWACK and 30 seconds later he piled up at 60 yards from my Moon Stand . Little did I know, I wouldn't see another target for quite some time.
I hunted and hunted and hunted some more. I pushed through the Rut without another buck sighting. I started to believe that my goal was silly and unattainable and that I should just give up. I wanted to spend more time duck hunting but I had caught the big buck bug. I couldn't just hang up my bow. I had to push farther. There was 1 specific buck that I was hunting and he had eluded me all season. But, my camera was finally getting pictures of him every day... at 11:30pm. He was in his late season feeding
pattern. However, I realized it meant that he was bedding close by.
Through the season, I made friends with a police officer that hunted not far from me. And he said something that I had never heard before. He said, “Don't go back to hunt, until the deer tell you to.” It took me a moment (I'm kind of slow some at times) but I finally understood what he meant.
Thanksgiving came and went, the Christmas festivities had all died out. Still no day light pictures. Then the cold weather came…BITTER cold weather. And BOOM, he was there. Not in complete day light, but close enough to it that it was time to get back in the tree.
By this point in my bow season, I had had the most success that I've ever had with a bow and arrow. But, I still had a goal to achieve. I had become discouraged that I wouldn't see the deer I was after. I had even become fine with accepting that fact that it wouldn't happen for me. I had essentially accepted that I would fail at achieving my goal. And all of that changed on January 3rd , 2018.
I set up early, again in the bitter cold. But it was silent except for the 12 mile per hour wind. At 3:30pm I saw the buck I was after. He was moving early. Then all of a sudden he flipped around and walked straight away, out of my life forever. Or was it? 2 hours later, daylight was almost gone. I was ready to call it a night when I caught movement from the opposite end of my plot. He had flipped a 180 and was coming straight at me. 30 seconds later I fulfilled my season by arrowing the biggest buck of my career.
The elation that I felt was unlike any other. It lasted for days. I put in countless hours sitting in the heat and the cold to try and connect on this elusive and mature Whitetail. And all it took was letting him tell me when to hunt. I told my wife that this would be my last sit as because I needed to spend more time at home. And that no matter what I would be done with my bow season after ward. What a cap to a great season! The Split G2 9 pointer that haunted my dreams was coming home with me.
Ladies and Gentlemen, 2018 has just started. We all have goals that we want to achieve. Most of these goals will have to do with health and wellness. And the crazy thing is that more than 90% of people that set these goals will give up on them. Most will give up within the first few weeks, some after a couple of months. It seems to happen this way every year. The planning and execution of the plan just doesn't seem to happen for some people. Little do they know that if they would just push that little bit farther, they could truly succeed!
Early in the year, motivation is high. You're excited about achieving something you've never have before. New Year, New You, right?
Think of the day before bow season. You were so excited that you planned EVERYTHING all the way down to how many times you would spray your clothes with you scent elimination spray. Then as weeks go by, and you don't feel that you have anything to show, the planning begins to wane and just like the planning for your New Years resolution, you quit doing the things that made you successful.
You think, “ Well I guess I'll try again next year.” Not realizing that if you would have pushed just a bit farther, you could have had so much more.
Motivation disappears quickly. It's there and then it's not. The discipline to continue comes from a place much deeper inside. How bad do you really want it? If it's easy to give up after just a few weeks of “trying” you really didn't want it that badly. If you did, you'd have it. Find a training partner, a coach or a dietitian and HIT your goals. Don't just write wishes and dreams. Make a plan, and go for it.
My hunting season was successful because I made a goal and didn't quit on it, no matter how cold it got or how few trail camera pictures I captured. Sustainable success requires work….A lot of work.
You have to be willing to put in the time and push forward even when your brain tells you no. I harvested my first buck in October. It took almost 3 months before I even saw another one. Any other year, I would have given up on the cold. But I had a goal to hit. Much like the goals I have for my wellness in 2018, I know that I have to push. I know that 3 months from now getting up at 5 am will still be tough. Perseverance is fleeting. If you work toward something and succeed, you are just touching the surface. Continue to move forward. Don't just have a brush with perseverance. Set yourself up for consistent wins.
Persevere, the mantra of 2018!
If you are looking for help I would love to be your coach.
Email me today and let’s get started prepping for your 2018 season!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!