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.