1. Respect for Nature
There is nothing like arriving to your treestand in the dark, waiting for the sun to rise. You develop a love and respect for nature that will grab a hold of you and keep you coming back over and over. Cherish the beauty of all of God’s creations and learn to appreciate those smells, sights and sounds. Begin to understand, in a very real way, the circle of life, the cycle of the seasons, and how fragile, yet substantial, the ecosystem is.
Patience, patience, and, oh yeah, more patience. It’s easy to let your mind wander after hours of sitting still in a deer blind. There’s always a nice comfy couch and hot cup of coffee waiting for you back at home. However, in the deer woods, patience is rewarded with fridges full of venison steaks and trophy racks mounted on the wall.
It takes a special breed of person to be willing to wake up before the other 94% of Americans that don’t hunt to go sit out in the cold, dark woods. Nobody ever said hunting was easy though, and it’s entirely up to you to develop that drive and dedication to push yourself out of bed and into the woods.
Preparation is key to bowhunting. It’s early in the morning and easy to forget something, but it takes only one time forgetting that warm hat or pair of gloves that makes you curse at yourself all morning for not being better organized. You soon learn to lay out all the gear you need ahead of time and double check everything BEFORE you leave in the morning.
5. Story Telling
There’s just something about every bowhunter that makes them great storytellers. Bowhunters are fully engaged and can break down every little detail of their hunts, even down to the wind direction on the day that trophy over his or her fireplace fell.
If you’ve ever been bowhunting, you come to realize pretty quickly that nothing goes as planned. It can be the perfect morning — you know what I’m talking about — a slight breeze, a little frost covering the ground, you get right to your stand an hour before daylight, and you end up counting squirrels all morning. Nevertheless, bowhunters can find a positive in everything; being able to experience a beautiful morning like that first-hand is truly remarkable. Bowhunters also learn how to swallow down a missed shot, a lost trail or being winded by a monster buck before you take aim; in these circumstances, bowhunters have to learn from their mistakes, reassess their strategy and alter their approach in order to be successful and outsmart that four-legged critter.
7. Decision Making
Every bowhunter knows what it means to learn from your mistakes. Any little decision made in a treestand can be the difference between walking out empty handed or loading a deer on your tailgate. Bowhunters often learn the hard way to make careful decisions, and that even shifting to reach an itch can ruin everything you worked for in a matter of seconds. Sometimes a bowhunter will be faced with a very challenging decision about taking a shot or letting one go – which although extremely difficult, is critical to the sport.
8. Observance of Your Surroundings
Being a bowhunter means that you must be fully aware of everything that is going on around you at all times. It’s the key skill that all hunters must possess. Deer are sneaky little creatures; silence is their best defensive mechanism, and no matter how many times you check behind you, they can still startle you at any moment. Bowhunting teaches hunters to expect the unexpected and roll with what is happening in front of you.
When you tie all of these things together into one, you’re hunting my friend. It’s one thing to read about, it’s a whole different scenario when Mr. Buck shows up and decides to test you. Focus in on what you’re doing and what has to be done to accomplish your goal, and watch your freezer fill up.
That’s right, we know our way around the kitchen. Hunters take just as much pride in the way their venison tastes as they do in tracking down their own dinner. Give us a nice piece of backstrap and we will throw down with the best of them. Beware: when asking hunting buddies for game recipes, be sure to have a pen ready.