Setting Expectations for New Hunters
Being a new hunter can come with uncertainties and self-questioning. Maybe you’ve had the thought of “I must be doing something wrong?” or “I don’t know what I’m doing!”
I’ve had a lot of the new hunters I’ve talked to ask me what they’re doing wrong, and the truth is most of the time they’re not doing anything wrong, but they’ve set these sorts of unrealistic expectations for what they think they should be experiencing while hunting. Setting your expectations appropriately is an important part of having a successful and enjoyable hunt. With that being said…
Remember what success is.
It’s important to remember that the success of a hunt isn’t measured by if you harvested anything, what you harvested, or how big it is or isn’t. It’s about getting out there, just doing it, and enjoying your time in nature.
Just going is enough.
Set out knowing that just going is a crucial part to the success of your hunt. You can’t hunt from your couch at home. The more you go the more you learn and the higher your odds become for bringing something home. Even if you feel like you might not have time to take care of the animal, just go as often as you can, just sit, watch, and listen. You can learn a lot that way.
Forget whatever you’ve seen on “mainstream” hunting shows, because the 10 minutes of film they show does not represent all the time, sweat, and miles walked, in order to have that moment happen. Hunting is a time investment. It takes time to learn your spot, the animal patterns, and just having time to go.
Have a positive mindset.
You got to go with the right mind set. Set out knowing that you’re going to be happy with your hunt regardless of the outcome, that you’re going to learn something every time you go, that it’s not a waste of your time, and that everything that happens after you get there is a bonus.
Don’t Stress about it.
Do what you’re comfortable with. Don’t feel like you need to do what the masses are doing to be successful. You don’t need the latest and greatest to be successful. If you don’t like heights, hunt from the ground. If you don’t like walking out in the dark, come out a little before dark. Don’t pull more weight on your bow then you have to. Don’t shoot a gun that’s too much for you. Harvest the animal you will be happy with and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Hunting should be a simple enjoyment for you. Don’t over complicate anything you don’t need to.
The bottom line is do it for the outdoor experience and because you enjoy hunting.
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