I was 14 when I started bowhunting; I was naive, ignorant, and thought it would be like most things I had ever done, easy. I was wrong and I’m happy I was. Bowhunting is not something you can master. Ever. The amount of lessons I have learned is numberless but there are a few that really stick out to me.
- Practice: If you don’t practice shooting your bow and practice in situations that could and probably will happen, you won’t need my number 2 item. I practice my with my bow as much as I can. I spend a lot of days shooting on the ground but I do spend as much time as I can shooting from an elevated platform to simulate shooting from a treestand. It won’t matter what gear you have if you aren’t confident in your ability to make every shot you need. Personally I prefer to practice shots that are further and harder that shots I will need to take. It makes those shots that much easier. And you absolutely have to practice shooting in the gear you will be hunting in. It won’t matter if you can shoot a bullseye at 50 yards if you have so much gear on that you can’t draw your bow. If you want to be good at anything in your life, you need to practice your face off. Whatever it is, you need to prepare for everything that could possibly happen. Whether it’s basketball, bowhunting, football, or whatever; the more you practice every aspect, the better off you’ll be.
- Patience: When you’re sitting in a tree or a blind for an all day sit, which I try to do every chance I get, it’s tough. It’s easy to think, “Oh there’s no deer coming, I can go back and eat.” It’s easy to want to go back to the cabin in the warmth. It’s not easy to stay sharp and stay on high alert for 10-12 hours. Everyone who does all day sits struggles with it, I don’t care what they say. There are things I do to try to pass the time while still staying alert but staying patient is number one, because you literally never know when an opportunity will present itself. And if you are not prepared, that is when the opportunity will present itself and life is the same way. Being patient in life is something that everyone can benefit from. I work my butt off and while I don’t see the results I want every day, I know that small results over time equal big results. Hard work combined with mental toughness and the patience to see it through will get you where you want to be; if it doesn’t maybe you aren’t working as hard as you thought or maybe you haven’t waited long enough.
- Self awareness: Being self-aware and consciously thinking about what you’re doing and how it will affect you is huge in bowhunting. It’s a lot hard to stand and draw on a deer if your feet aren’t in position, I know because I’ve been caught in that position. Every move I make while hunting is calculated, how is doing this going to help me? Is there risk and if so, is it worth it? I’ve started living my life that way. Is sitting on the couch watching Monday Night Football drinking beer going to help me get to where I want to go? Or could I be researching what zone to put in for next Elk season. You have to be aware that the decisions you make every day, the little ones, those are the ones that decide where you go and what happens to you. Do you leave early every Friday at work? Probably not going to help get you that promotion. Do you spend time with your kids? Hard for them to remember you if you’re never around. It’s all about what you want and making it a priority.
- Hustle: This one I learned from a guy I really admire, Gary Vaynerchuck. You need to be hustling every second you can to get to where you want. You need as he says “Micro hustle, Macro Patience.” Hustling and working as hard as you can, are going to beat someone who might be better than you that isn’t working as hard. In hunting that means spending more time shooting and prepping in the offseason and more time in stand during the season. Life isn’t the same as it was 25 years ago. The opportunities available are limitless. Anyone can start a blog or vlog and get famous if they work their face off. You can get that promotion if you work harder than the next guy/girl. Opportunities come by the dozens, you just have to recognize it. Hustle hard enough to earn it. and know that even if you miss one that another one will come along.
Well guys, these are a few of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from bowhunting, I hope that maybe, just maybe, you got some value out of this. If you found any value in the give me a like, subscribe, drop a comment or even give me a share. Thanks so much!