Take a second to think about the times of our grandfathers hunting, they didn’t have awesome gear, gadgets, the incredible technology we have now. What they did have was toughness. Think about how tough your grandfather was and compare him to yourself. Think about what your grandfather had to hunt with sixty years ago compared to todays world. I follow some guys like John Dudley, Cameron Hanes, Joe Rogan, etc, that are some really awesome hunters, but my favorite is Cameron Hanes. Not because he teaches me the most about archery or hunting but he has actually taught me the most about myself and I’ll explain why.
Think about the last time you were hunting and it was cold, like really cold, did you tough it out or did you go back in? If you’ve ever listened to Cameron Hanes podcast or any that he’s been on you’ve probably heard him talk about how weak we are a species and that really hit home for me. My grandfather was in the 82nd Airborne; he was tough, tougher than I could ever be. We have heat, air conditioning, and just about anything we need to make life more comfortable. Animals don’t have that, they live in weather that we can’t even make it a full day in. How are we supposed to hunt an animal that is so much tougher than us.
The modern-day bowhunter is weak. We are weak. We aren’t near as tough as we would like to think we are. Our gear is so awesome, it keeps us dry, regulates our temperature, wicks moisture, and those are just a few of the things our clothes do. Our weapons are something our grandfathers couldn’t have even fathomed. I’m not the best shot but I can shoot pie plates at 80 yards with my bow. 60 years ago you were lucky to shoot out to 25. Now there are even sights that range the distance for us instantly. These advancements in technology are awesome and I won’t argue that they make being an ethical hunter easier, but they also take away from the skill necessary to be one.
On top of the clothes and weapons, theres gadgets. There are so many hunting gadgets being sold that are “going to change the way you hunt.” I used to be someone who would do anything I could to try to gain an edge over a deer but after a couple of years of buying junk and looking for shortcuts, I finally figured it out. There are NO SHORTCUTS.
A couple of years prior to me listening to all these guys, I was sitting back at the cabin when the weather was crappy. The next day I checked my cameras and saw deer in front of multiple of my stands despite the weather being awful . It got me thinking and I started saying to myself every time I go out “The deer don’t care what the weather is.” They live in that weather, they’re going to do what they need to survive regardless of the weather. I decided right then that I wasn’t going to sit inside and not hunt just because the weather isn’t favorable ever again. Aside from that, I decided the gadgets had to go; it was time to get back to the basics my grandfather used to have success. I made a conscious decision not to be like every other modern-day bowhunter. I decided to be tougher, mentally and physically, than I ever had before. I also decided to get rid of the gadgets. I use a couple of things that I do know work, like my grunt call, Ozonics, and gear that will keep me warm, but no unnecessary gadgets. There’s so much crap on the market and all that’s doing is making you move more and make more noise in stand. All of which are counterproductive to your goal. Since then, I’ve gotten rid of the gadgets, put in the hard work, sat in the rain and cold even when I’m freezing; and you know what, I’ve had more success than I have in years.
Being a hunter in the modern-day is great, the technology is a huge help to those all day sits and help us be better in crunch time. The downside is that is exactly what makes us weak. We have to be tougher. We will never be as tough as the animals we hunt, but we can close the gap a little. All it takes changing the way we think, everything is mental. Toughness is mental. All you need is to do is decide that you can survive, you can keep pushing. If you can change the way you think, you can be better than most modern bowhunters.
The modern-day bowhunter is weak and relies too much on gadgets. Ditch the gadgets, get back to basics, and get tough. That is the key to being a successful bowhunter.