Stories From a Tree Stand – Always Look Behind You8 min read
Here I am, facing the start of deer season once again. Excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and other emotions flood my mind. I’ve heard it said, don’t look behind you, you’re past that now. I don’t think I could ever agree with that advice. I feel that reflecting back on life and events is how we grow to not repeat things. I also feel that failure is in fact the birth of new growth at times. A few things came to mind when I began to look back on last season and I wanted to share those thoughts here.
All or Nothing
In some areas , success can be obtained without need for full efforts. In my experience, hunting is not one of those areas. Often times weak efforts without discipline lead to failure down the road. Being lazy and not cautious when scouting, setting up equipment, and picking an area to hunt and so on, can almost certainly guarantee failure. This summer in preparing and planning, I was obsessive about getting eyes on the land, all of it, not just my concentration spot. I learned last year how critical this was when I did scout the entire area I was in, finding out there was vast reasons I should have set up differently. Handling every visit to a hunting area as if I was hunting is now understood as being valuable more so than before. This is vital to my hunting tactics now, seen as critical. If scouting is to be done, scout it all. If equipment is to be moved, thinking about coming rain and weather forecast help decide when it should be done. Rain is a good thing, especially for hunters, washing scent away that may have lingered. Doing as much as possible in one visit , instead of breaking the work up, helped me keep the environment intact and bring less disturbance to the herd patterns. It has been like night and day seeing my trail cameras report back how quickly activity returned when I handled myself more efficiently in the woods.
Know When To Quit
We all could easily say we’d love to hunt every day! Last year I practically did in ways. spending 3-6 days at camp none stop in a stand. What I learned though, was that each day after, made for a lower quality in my hunting standard. My body became tired, my critical thinking less effective, my patience thinned.If bowhunting this was even worse as my body tired, I became less efficient at drawing back and full draw hold abilities. Getting worn out, meant I walked more carelessly, and paid less attention to my surroundings. A tired mind and a tired body make for danger when using a climbing stand and handling weapons. Safety is not worth risking over a kill. This year I will be more cautious to call it quits before I am no longer at my best to conquer the obstacles I may face in the woods.
Think It Through
This encompasses a lot of topics but has a central idea. Overall it means the same thing, instead of saying “I don’t know” and moving on, stop and think it through. Instead of thinking someones advice you trust is correct, think it through! I learned first hand how different a herd can be from state to state, county to county and so on. This doesn’t mean the advice is wrong or told with intent to injure. This just means, it can’t be thought that all animals behave the same. Each area has a variety of food sources, terrain and more. What drives one herd to apples, may not do so with another depending on the usual accessibility for instance. Learning that mineral in it’s three various forms has less favor in block and liquid in my area. The deer here only come to granular. It’s those little things that I feel are critical. These things each of us have to work for ourselves. When placing a stand, or trail camera, I instantly think about reaches and routes that won’t effect the area or get me spotted coming in. Every decision made needs to be looked at from all angles or risk of failure rise.
Overall I cannot complain, even through the struggles and fails. We have to learn eventually and without failures, complacency in growth can become detrimental. It’s easy to find information from various sources to help aid in hunting. However the best way to know what works for you, is going to be learned by you, not a book, website, or hunting guru. Look back on the days you didn’t do so well, doing so with new eyes to see how to remedy the problem. I can’t wait to see what this new season brings. I look forward to the successful days as well as the ones lacking in success. Remembering, envy expert was once a beginner, helps keep the atmosphere positive. I wish safe days and bountiful harvest for you and remember, hunt humble <3