Friday, February 27, 2009

Don’t Get Mad When Deer Hunting


Deer hunting, like so many other things, is always good. It’s just that some hunting days are better than others for one reason or another.

And, if you trust nothing else, remember this: hunting success can always get worse. Success depends, in large part on wind, weather conditions, hunting pressure and hunter skills. It’s easy to control hunting pressure in some areas, but other people often must hunt on federal or state land. Wherever we hunt, we cannot change the wind or weather conditions.

So our hunts may have been planned for a week and the weather doesn’t cooperate. We spit and sputter, gripe and complain, and then we go out and hunt angry.

That can be a big mistake. And it’s one we’ve all have made in the past. I’m a great believer in the old saying: I don’t get mad, and I don’t get even. I get ahead, and that applies as much to deer as to humans or other problems.

Hunting angry doesn’t help us. If anything, being mad about something we can’t control just messes up our hunting judgment. It makes us make even more angry and frustrated, and often leads us into making costlier mistakes.

We just goof up. We get mad, and that makes us feel worse, and we begin to fidget. We move around, make the occasional noise, and any deer that may have come to us might see a movement and be long gone.

Why get mad? I’ve hunted deer for too long, and over those decades, have become somewhat philosophical about bad weather. Learn to take the good with the bad, and think happy thoughts rather than how angry you are. That line of thinking only makes us madder, and that only increases ourr problems.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead of focusing on the things we can’t control, change your thoughts and think about those things that can be changed.

Climb a tree, if need be, and set in an elevated coop and do whatever can be done to beat the wind. Or ... do what some hunters do and that is to go home and take a nap. There is always tomorrow for many hunters.

Taking the good with the bad doesn’t always mean that a bad day can’t be productive. I’ve sat out, and had the wind ripping leaves off the trees, and about 30 minutes before shooting time ends, the wind gusts taper off and die. It then becomes whisper quiet, so quiet you are soon wishing for a soft breeze.

If some light rain falls when the wind dies down, there can be some very good deer movements. It seems as if the deer are happy to see the falling rain.

Caution often is more likely when deer move after a strong wind and rain storm. Hunters must learn to keep their cool,
and to take the good with the bad even though we seem to be have more bad weather in the early season than ever before. Is this part of the global warming trend. If so, deer and hunters will soon get used to it.

Last-minute weather changes have paid off for me more times than I can remember. Heading in to the house, and skipping the evening hunt, often means hunters quite possibly will miss the finest 30 minutes of the day as the wind and rain dies.

It’s far better to consider the weather, whether good or bad, as part of the deer-hunting experience. Such last-minute weather changes don’t happen often enough that we can plan around them, but they can pay off often enough that they should be one more trick in our deer-hunting repertoire.

It’s an awesome feeling when we’ve rode out the bad weather, and than see the last-minute change that we hope for. We no longer are mad at the weather, and things start looking up. When the bad weather suddenly changes, and the good weather moves in and the deer start to move, we feel blessed as we sit in a ground blind or tree stand.

Look up at the sky, nod and say “thanks,” and get ready for a nice buck to step out of heavy cover and be within easy bow range. Just remember: it never pays to hunt angry.

Posted by Dave Richey on 02/27 at 03:46 PM
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