There is a difference between overcoming adversity by pushing through tough days and riding out a losing battle too long while not changing strategies. As a hunter, a businessman, and a human being, you must know that sometimes you have to pivot in order to succeed. Some days are days for hunting, some days are for scouting, and some days are for changing plans and sitting on the sidelines until that plan crystallizes. This is the secret behind so many successful hunters, businessmen, and just plain “in flow” types of people. My uncle Michael Towbes, who is an incredibly successful banker, real estate investor, and philanthropist, summed up his career success with a few sphinx-like words: “David, my success comes because I have never been afraid to miss a great deal.” I find these profound words to be insightful and worthy of following.
I rolled over in bed and saw the clock read 4:55 AM. “It’s time to rise and shine,” I think to myself as the rut is in full swing. For the last two days, I have been hunting hard and sitting all day. I am after a buck I call “Old Gray” because of his abnormally gray coat and gray horns. He is a solid buck and is at least four-and-a-half years old. The only problem is that this darn deer is super smart, I mean like an Einstein deer or something. Over the summer while I was shining and glassing, I put my eyes on him three different times. I also have a few trail cam pics of the brute but he is not seeming like a mistake maker and it’s getting annoying. To add to his nuclear physicist-like mind, the weather has taken a turn for the worse. The wind is howling and I know that its swirling nature will cause almost certain drama in the woods and likely lay Old Gray down or send his search for loving down low in the thick stuff. Nonetheless, I decide that since the rut is peaking I am jumping in and going after him.
As I enter the cedar swamp, the trees are blowing in each direction and the cattails and other swampy grasses are swirling every which way. As the sun rises, a wired-up spooky doe comes trucking by my stand and sending out an alert snort that shakes me to my core. Few things are worse then getting busted right at prime time, and having her blurt out to all deer in the area, “hey deer of the swamp, some jack ass hunter is in here and stinking up our home, so don’t go anywhere near here!” I am in my stand with a look of frustration and defeat. As the tree is swaying, I think it’s probably best to bail out of here ASAP before I ruin this hunt, but then out of the corner of my eye I see Old Gray approaching very cautiously. He is right on the trail I hoped he would be on. Then, in a second’s time he winds me, snorts, and is off and running. I stare up into the sky with a look that is somewhere between anguish, disgust, and shame. I realize he is likely gone for the season because I simply didn’t sit out the morning and wait for the right weather. We have all made this mistake no doubt in business, life, and if we are sportsmen, then in the field as well.
I did not shoot Old Gray that year. Even worse than that, he ran straight across the road which borders our property to the south and two days later on opening day of gun season a hunter that had never even been on the property shot him at 40 yards with a .30-30. While I would love to give myself an assist on this lucky hunter’s score, this ain’t basketball or hockey, hunting is for real and no credit goes to the goofball bowhunter that did not simply “sit it out” and wait for the right conditions. As it turned out the next morning provided the absolutely perfect weather conditions to have pursued Old Gray, shocker…
The next time you are chasing a big deal, pursuing a life goal, or are on the trail of a monster buck, remember to take your shot at the right time. Sometimes the best move is no move at all and instead you should allow the right plan to come to you. Do not misunderstand me, by all means you should be a person of action, but in the end remember that “life is a marathon and not a sprint”. So don’t be afraid to sit a day out sometimes and allow the great thoughts to come to you. It may well be the difference of closing the deal instead of coming up short.