What do you rank as most important?

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JPH
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby JPH » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:33 am

ORIGINAL: Nubs
I was thinking about something the other day, a fair amount posters on this thread mentioned mental strength as an important factor in their hunt. I would agree that mental strength or preparation is important. How would one go about conditioning them selfs in this area? Are there any techniques that add in mental preparation?

 
There is a common thread among elite military units, endurance and combat athletes. They all require a large degree of mental toughness. They train for this by pushing their bodies to the limit and beyond, under extreem conditions. I think the same methods can, and do, apply to successful hunting.
 
I guess I am a little sick in that I enjoy torturing myself, but because I have a tendancy to do this, I have no shame about calling it quits and heading home when I want to. I don't know if that makes any sense.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:06 am

ORIGINAL: Nubs

Woods you make an excellent point, I would also have to go with "hunting ability"

I was thinking about something the other day, a fair amount posters on this thread mentioned mental strength as an important factor in their hunt. I would agree that mental strength or preparation is important. How would one go about conditioning them selfs in this area? Are there any techniques that add in mental preparation?

 
JPH is correct in that physical conditioning relates directly to mental, but IMO there's a bit more involved.
 
For me, CONFIDENCE in my knowledge of my hunting ground, and in my abilities to find game are what contributes to a positive mental attitude, or "toughness". As I've said before,as soon as you THINK that you're cold/tired/bored/depressed/in the wrong place, then you've just beaten yourself. Obviously, PREPARATION  has a lot to do with this also.
 
If you KNOW that you are in the right place, and that it merely a matter of time before the game shows up, then you can endure almost anything if you want it bad enough.
 
As I have previously mentioned, I stillhunt most of the time now, and I have to follow all that I mentioned above, and to make myself believe that there is ALWAYS a deer just out of my vision and that I have to act accordingly. 
 
In a treestand it can be even tougher, because you are in one spot. 
 
This mental attitude translates into other sports too. My daughter played fastpitch tournament softball for 6 years, and I helped coach for 4 of them. In the better summer tournaments, if you got to the final rounds, ALL the remaining teams were good. All those girls could play the game, and play it well. What we tried to get across to our teams, was that when you got down to the last few games of a 3 day tourament on Sunday afternoon, that they would be sweaty, dirty, and tired....but so would the other team. At that point,  it would NOT necessarily be the team with the better skills that would win, but the one that was mentally tougher. Discipline, conditioning, and positive mental attitude go a LONG way towards achieving this. 
 
 
 
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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passin through
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby passin through » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:38 am

Some of the things I like to do to condition myself mentally are:

Hours of practice with a bow --- visualizing helps as does 3d targets
After July I tend to go to bed a little earlier and get up a little earlier as well.
I walk the woods at least one day a week all year long scouting, looking, whatever.  This keeps me used to the things I encounter during season and if done as an all day thing makes for a decent bit of exercise.
Also I read everything I can get my hands on to understand behavior patterns...(So when something doesn't go as planned I at least can put together what might have happened instead of "what if" ing' myself to death.
Another thing I do to condition my mind to be ready when the shot presents itself is to watch hunting videos, deer footage ect.  (no, I'm not trying to emulate the hunters but actually watching big deer on the hoof and practicing in my minds eye where I would shoot each animal.)  I don't listen to the audio, or look at the horns after the initial glance.  I concentrate on the shoulder.  I got this idea from a management hunt in TX several years ago where we could only harvest certain types of animals.  I found the ability to sit still and actually think while the biggest deer you have ever seen walks by at 20 yds has helped me tremendously.  As I don't go to tx regularly anymore I use the shows and wild game videos to do about the same thing.
It matters not the weapon nor its caliber, rather the caliber of the one who wields it.

Nubs
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby Nubs » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:10 am

JPH, I agree, you are a little sick! LOL!

I can completely see why physical conditioning can be great for mental conditioning as well. Whenever I run I always run a mile, no more but sometimes less, depending on how I am feeling. I would consider myself as more of a sprinter then a long distance kind of guy. I know I know...the wife complains about that too sometimes, what can I say.[8|] Anyway, this last week I told myself I am going to run a mile and a half every day for the week. I do not know what it is but just breaking that mile marker in my head was a huge mental break through. It felt so good that this week I am going to break through to the 2 mile marker! I guess I will see what becomes of it.

vambo991
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby vambo991 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:06 pm

#1. Finding active deer routes and good stand placements along those routes.
 
Everything else will only come into play if you're successful at #1

Robert Rowland
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby Robert Rowland » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:36 pm

#1 The ability to hit your target
#2 The ability to convince your wife that you really need to spend all that time and money on hunting.

DeanoZ
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:43 am

#2 The ability to convince your wife that you really need to spend all that time and money on hunting.

 
Amen to that my brother!

MSHunter
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby MSHunter » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:32 am

 Passin Through,

I found your visualization technique quite interesting. I can guarantee that I'll never watch another hunting show, cd, etc. the same way again.
Good info.[:)]

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2tonyb
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby 2tonyb » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:38 pm

Most important to me is: time spent in the stand.  You have a 0% chance if your not in the field.  Second to me is scent control.  I don't even know how the others fall out in rank.  Too close to call. 
Visualizing success is a great thing.  It will help calm the nerves in that most important moment.  You'll feel like you've been there before.
Least important to me (at my best farm) is stand location.  My new primary spot is in an area with a lower than average (in Indiana) deer population.  I've gotten so tired of dealing with too many other hunters and excess hunting pressure in the "good" areas.  I'll give up these "good" areas to have much less hunting pressure and from what I've seen, bigger bucks!  The reason that stand location isn't too important to me is because I have no choice.  I have a couple of stands in a fence row that runs perpendicular to a drainage ditch out in the middle of a couple hundred acres of farmland. 

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: What do you rank as most important?

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:03 am

The reason that stand location isn't too important to me is because I have no choice. I have a couple of stands in a fence row that runs perpendicular to a drainage ditch out in the middle of a couple hundred acres of farmland.

 
What you are describing here is a situation that many hunters have to deal with. It can be from very limited cover as in your case, or it can also be due to having a very small land parcel as your hunting area.
 
In cases like this, you have to do exactly what you are doing, and it's what I like to call a "zone defense".
 
You have a very limited places where you can set up, so you perfect the stand set ups you do have, and you trust that when deer are in your area, they they will enter your "zone", as you can't go to them.
 
I used to hunt an area like this many years ago. It was pretty much all I had at the time. It was 10 acres. If the deer were in there, you'd at least see them, and once in a while get a shot (bow). If they weren't....then you watched a lot of squirrels.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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