Recently, I stumbled across an article describing 5 traits to become a successful hunter. After reading through each one, it prompted me to think of what traits I value most in myself and other sportsmen.
It starts and ends with being ethical in the field. It doesn’t matter how many trophies you have on your wall. If you lack the ability to be ethical, you have no business calling yourself a sportsmen.
If you’re not passionate about hunting you’re setting yourself up for failure. You can be the best shot, the most determined, and ooze confidence; however, if you lack the passion to pour your heart into this sport, you will find out very quickly it is not for you. Passion is a breeding ground for success. A deep love for hunting will push you past burning knees, rain soaked clothing, and the disappointment of close calls. At the end of the day, the love and passion for the sport is what drives us the most.
Believing you can do something, and actually doing it are two completely different subjects. Regardless of the circumstances, being determined to obtain success will define your legacy. Both in the field and in everyday life.
I’ve never stepped into woods thinking I wasn’t going to be successful. Every morning is a new opportunity for success. Approach each ridge, valley, and open meadow as a chance to fulfill your yearlong dreams.
It’s hard to argue with being lucky in the woods. Whether it’s a shift in wind direction, or big bull choosing to turn right instead of left. Luck plays a critical role in every circumstance. It is more of a factor then a trait or skill. Since it plays such a large part in our success, it finds a place at number 5 on our list. Best part about luck, it can grace anyone at any time.
I debated whether or not to even put this on the list. It’s something I suck at; to be honest with you. My patience level is on par with a two year old child. If there is a big bull or buck held up in some thicket, 9 out of 10 times I am going in after him. I guess this where my “over confidence” plays a factor in my decision making. Regardless of the circumstances, as I mentioned above, I always feel like I have a chance, and I would rather push then sit back and wait. I do, however, admire the individuals who can spend an entire day in a stand or ground blind. It’s harder than it looks and it’s something I work tirelessly on every year to improve.
I view instincts as understanding your surroundings and reacting to your surroundings. It’s a must have while hunting. The animals we pursue use it to perfection; many times relying on it for their survival. Your ability to rely on your own instincts can be the difference between punching your tag or going home empty handed.
Doing more with less and improvising. An argument can be made to put this higher on the list; however it lands itself at number 8 for us. Hunting is never scripted. Many times, it requires you to react with a limited amount of time. Use your surroundings to your advantage. Whether that’s making a blind, or circling around to get the wind in your favor.
You will experience a roller coaster of emotions during hunting season. A short memory will serve you well. Learn from each experience, and apply them to future encounters. Your ability to stay positive, will define your hunt.
This ties in nicely with your ability to stay positive. Regardless of the day’s outcome, stay persistent. Many stories have been written about a buck or a bull being harvested on the last day of the season. This doesn’t happen without being persistent. One of my fondest memories, is of a small buck I harvested on the last day of Maine’s rifle season. My father and I were actually driving home after disappointing week in another area until we decided to try our luck on one last spot. With the sun setting, I was fortunate to cross paths with a buck making his way through a valley.
Hunting will never be easy and most of us prefer it that way. There are thousands of skills and traits we possess. The most important aspect of them all; enjoyment. Regardless of your outcome, remember to cherish the moment.
Feel free to comment below, we would love to hear if there are any traits or aspects of hunting you value.