Hunters What Does It Take For You To Become A Believer?

Let me preface this post by stating upfront that I do not intend for this post to be a product review.  Instead, the product I use as an example in this post is mostly just a prop to frame the question.   In fact, you could page through a hunting supplies catalog and pick one of thousands of similar products that this same question could apply.

That being said, I have never used an electronic scent eliminating product that uses ozone as its means of neutralizing human odor in the woods.   I have had an employee who distributed on her own these types of units for home use and, after listening to her sales pitch and seeing them in use, albeit for an entirely different use…well, let’s just say I am not sold and highly suspect of the product’s true value.

I believe these ozone devices have been available for hunter purchase now for several years.   I’ve heard both pros and cons.   I know I will certainly not run out to the store to purchase one at $400.   Hell, I would give one a try if someone gave one to me.   And therein lies my question.

When a new hunting aid comes along what does it take for you to become a believer?

Do you have to actually try it first hand?   Do you watch the product in use and highly promoted by celebs on TV?   Does a close personal friend need to be your guinea pig, so to speak?   Or does equipment like this just seem so far-fetched that you take one look at it and snicker?

The challenge of controlling human scent in the woods is a prime objective for lots of products touting their value.   And I get that.   I grew up and I still am a trapper and NOBODY is more keenly aware of human scent than trappers are.   Yet, I see successful trappers all over the board when it comes to human scent management.   Some go to extremes taking every painstaking precaution to leave no traces of human scent.   Others, well…they realize the importance of being careful, but they don’t go overboard when it comes to their practices.   Yet, both are still successful.

I often wonder if those of us who are hunters don’t often interpret our experiences the way we hope they exist.   By that I mean, if you just plopped $400 down for some electronic scent device or some scent reducing clothing, by default we all want them to work, right?   Hard to justify how something costing nearly as much as an inexpensive rifle or bow could possibly not live up to our expectations in every way.

Perhaps the best way to answer this question is this way.   Assume one of your hunting companions makes a new equipment purchase making big claims it can be a potential game changer in the outcome of the hunt.   Do you feel the pressure to buy because you don’t want them to have an advantage over you?   Or do you initially scoff at the notion that any newfangled equipment has such revolutionary value that it will likely change the outcome of the hunt?

As an aside, sometimes I fear those of us in the hunting community put too much credence in the next new gadget that comes along.   Oh, sure, many of them are fun to play with and the science behind them can make sense, but is it truly necessary?

It’s sort of like the deer whistles that people mounted on their truck bumpers several decades ago to scare deer away and to avoid collisions and damage.   Did they work?   Oh, you bet they did…but likely not for the reason you might imagine.   They worked because the people who invested in them watched the ditches more closely hoping to see the deer run away by hearing the whistles.   The psychology was people like to see their investments paying off.   This can be true even if the science behind the product being sold is never actually field-proven.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

The Fine Line Between Hunting Success Or Failure Is NO EXCUSES!!

Spend any time in the typical deer hunting camp and you will hear hunters explaining away their lack of success.   Spend any time in a duck hunting camp you will also find hunters lamenting why things didn’t go as intended.   Huddle around parked vehicles during a pheasant hunt and you’ll hear countless reasons why that rooster kept wingin’ over the horizon.

Excuses…nothing but damn excuses!!!

Hunters are full of them.   In fact, some hunters are famous for always having a new one just for the appropriate occasion.   Fact of the matter is it’s our human nature to blame equipment or circumstances for our shortcomings rather than the person pulling the trigger or releasing the arrow.

Now, that’s not to say equipment can’t indeed malfunction or who would have predicted that 100–year-old tree to finally topple over just as the deer was moving into range before scaring off…but in most situations hunting excuses = joke.   They always have and they always will.


Truth is the hunter who always looks to excuses for lack of hunting success may simply be joking around and having some fun.   And certainly there’s nothing wrong with that.   Yet, there’s a faction within our hunting community where excuses become a serious crutch underscoring poor performance.   We all have bad luck on occasion, but too many hunters create their own misfortune and the excuse is a crutch highlighting it.

None of us like to admit that we didn’t spend enough time this summer on the archery range to get our bow really dialed in for optimal deer hunting performance.   Likewise, the duck hunter who never made it out for trap night at the local sportsman’s club shouldn’t expect to be flawless in those follow-thru shots on fast-moving waterfowl.  Much the same can be said for the pheasant hunter who fumbled with the gun taking it off safety messing up the timing of his shot.

Often times success in hunting means beating the odds.   The room for error isn’t that great to allow for amateur mistakes, yet still see positive results.   Sometimes a hunter can get downright lucky, but most times success is a product from lots of practice with equipment plus deploying an educated game plan knowing the animal.   In other words, hunting success is like an investment…the dividends you are allowed to take are directly related to the value a person puts into it.

It’s important for hunters who genuinely seek success to eliminate any need for excuses cropping into a conversation.   When things go wrong and failure results, the hunter who accepts personal responsibility will be miles ahead of the hunter who seemingly has an excuse ready in every pocket.

This fall it should be every hunter’s goal to minimize the use of excuses no matter how tempting they can be.   If you missed the shot, accept that a few more days at the range could have paid off in better results.   If that animal responded to your calling, but just wouldn’t present itself…accept that perhaps you’re not the expert caller you’d like to think you are and you need more practice.   If you’re not seeing action, maybe it’s time to realize how staying out late and partying isn’t a priority compared to getting up early, feeling refreshed and energized for the morning hunt.

This year, I’m calling for NO EXCUSES allowed in my hunting camps!   Let’s focus on success by capturing that inner predator spirit present inside each of us.   Besides, stories of success are a lot more fun to share.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Be Careful What You Say On Social Media About Hunting

“#BowHunt Cuz any monkey can hunt with a gun.”

Seriously?!!   This is what I read today on my Twitter feed this morning.  I gotta tell you I have a growing pet peeve that I need to rant about.   It’s sportsmen who make such disparaging remarks about other sportsmen just because they can be such a smart ass on social media.

The problem is this flawed thinking doesn’t always end while sitting with some electronic device in-hand tweeting nonsense.   In fact, for some it seems to be an underlying belief how the way they do something is better than how others hunters may opt to do it.   Quite frankly, such an attitude really rubs me the wrong way.

In my younger days I spent many years hunting with a bow.   A bow, I might add, that is a far cry from the sophisticated mechanical equipment many folks employ in the woods today.   So, if these days I choose to hunt with a shotgun, a rifle or any other legal instrument to kill game, why should I listen to some judgmental person who thinks they are holier than thou talk to me in such a condescending manner?


Don’t be a FOOL like this caveman and think the only proper way to hunt is with a large wooden club.

Personally, I don’t judge an animal killed by a sportsman on the basis of what mechanism was used to accomplish the task.   Oh, sure, it takes greater skill to achieve the end result by using one method over another method.   I get that!   I can appreciate that!   But I would never belittle another sportsman for killing a critter in some manner that might differ from how I currently choose to hunt.

Honestly, it is time for all sportsmen to do some introspection and if you determine you are guilty of this, then learn to grow up.   The downright silly, sarcastic, and sometimes very demeaning speak used by some folks has no place in our online social exchanges.   It’s one thing if the talk is friendly banter among friends inside a small social circle at deer camp.   But such words uttered in the realm of social media where many strangers read and form opinions about our sport only feeds negative attitudes.   It’s totally irresponsible.

If you hunt with a bow and you have synapse activity in your brain that prompts you to believe bowhunting is the only honorable way to hunt, this post has been written for you.   On the same token, if you do anything outdoors and can not show tolerance and respect for other individuals who participate differently, it is time to change your attitude.

We are all sportsmen in a tight community of individuals who love the thrill of the chase.   Just because you deem an extra challenge and excitement by one means of hunting (or fishing, for that matter) in comparison to another way…doesn’t make your way any better.

It’s high time we all do a better job thinking about the meaning behind the words we post in social media.   It used to be our actions were only on display to the non-hunting public when we were afield participating in our beloved sports.   Not so true today.   In fact, many non-hunters are more apt to form opinions of what we do by reading and watching our interactions online…whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it.

If you truly believe any monkey can hunt with a gun and want to stand behind the validity of that asinine statement, well…then say goodbye to being included within the sportsmen ranks.   We don’t need such rhetoric now or at any time ever.   A true sportsman always displays tolerance and respect to his/her comrades both online and in the hunting fields.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.