second guessing how to stop it!!!

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luvhuntin
 
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second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby luvhuntin » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:29 pm

Afternoon folks

how in the heck does a guy stop second guessing himself when hunting?

i`m on my 5th year of deer hunting, last year every time i went against that gut feeling you know the one that just screams SIT HERE! deer ended up right where I decided not to sit. now it does`nt mean a deer was going home with me. the hunt "could" have ended without success just as easily since some spots were on the ground. but deer would have been in range if all went right. I did it to myself again last night.

i have some time to think it out since getting my foot caught on a tree branch this morning that was grown over by grass. I ended up hovering in midair then when gravity caught up to me my full 220lbs came down on my right knee only! needless to say at 44 laid up is an understatement.the 30 minute drive home was all it took to petrify my leg as stiff as the branch that did me in. made it home in record time though, :D since i had the seat in the truck slid back to keep the pain of bending it down i could drop it on the hammer like a frozen pumpkin. :lol: I feel the worst for the wife she was a bit upset when i got home. everyone i hunt with had prior obligations but with a temp forecast in the low 20`s well i could`nt miss a day like that so i went alone.

never gave that decision a second guess DOH!

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Jslotter
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby Jslotter » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:50 pm

I think you are doing it right. You are seeing deer, which is a success in it's own way. I been hunting deer with a rifle for about 18 years and been successful almost every year. 4 years now hunting with a bow. I realized I didn't really know too much about hunting until I began bowhunting. I used to set up usually to far from where I would see the deer. All the time. It was frustrating. I was usually setting up observation stands instead of kill stands. Im tuning in my skills this season with no scouting at all, and all on public land. I have seen deer 5 out of the 8 days I have hunted so far. All the deer were within range for a bow. I shot a doe last Friday, did not recover her. I've had the best luck so far just by hunting over trails coming out of thick cover going into feeding areas, and always staying downwind from possible bedding areas. I've learned so much in the last few weeks. If you find a trail like that, try setting up near it. Even trails running parallel along a field are a good bet. Watch the wind. If its blowing to where you think the deer will be coming from, your second guessing could come in handy. What I do may not work for you, but its a few ideas. And watch out for them branches ;)
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

hot tamale
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby hot tamale » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:15 pm

Luv,

let me tell you-I think many hunters really into the sport have done what you are doing and many never break out of it. I still do it from time to time. what has helped me in the past is when that feeling came over me/ I talked it out in my head of why I would want to change positions. I came up with a little card i carried in my pocket of things to consider. (i know it sounds dumb but if i didnt i would try to talk myself out of reasoning if you can follow that).

so things on the card and i considered were- does wind direction not work in my favor? have the deer not been coming through the area? has anything changed? What would bring the deer to the new location over the previous spot? is there a way i can have the best both worlds where the trails come together?

there are more that i dont remember right off hand, but it went something like that. you have to remember to go with the current sign left for you. i know this doesnt really help because you know to do all of this already-but with the card, you tend not to talk yourself out of it because if you answer truthfully to yourself, you'll do the right thing.
good luck and heal quickly-

luvhuntin
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby luvhuntin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:00 am

What really ticks me off about my injury is I really only went out to observe deer movement on a property a couple of Friends and I bowhunt. it`s a nice wooded valley between two sections of timber i have seen deer cross. i bet it`s 200 yards from the gate i parked at, sat on a tree stump that was 120 yards from the crossing (according to my range finder). that was going to be my hunt for the day and i was totally content with it. (maybe with luck i`d get a doe that fed my way)

well the woods seemed to wake up late yesterday morning and after an hour and a half i spotted a raccon crossing ,15 minutes later he was walking my way totally unaware of my presence he got to 40 yds & I just could`nt stand it i took the shot. the light was perfect as I could watch the arrow all the way. not sure if he flinched or i was off with the shot but it just missed his head and slammed into a tree that has been laying there for years wood chips flew the coon shook his head deaf from the sound and to get the debris off his mug. never once looked to see where the shot came from. I had time to knock another but decided against it. so on the way over to pick up my arrow is when it happened. KARMA? nah do`nt believe in it. until yesterday morning i was mad about the day before when I had 4 does walk past me at 5 yds, 2 were huge! but I had too much coffee and was trying to get rid of it when they showed up. since it was so cold I had to take my release off to take my gloves off :x .

it`s better today but if i try to hold my foot off the ground and bend it pain shoots through my knee and it seems to lock up..... off to the DR.

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shaman
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby shaman » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:18 am

I was a huge second-guesser for most of my hunting career. Granted, I'm 6'4" and so that makes me huge-- been there with the suspended-in-air thing.

But seriously. Second-guessing is when you beat yourself up a forehand, because you cannot make a decision and then beat yourself up afterwards for making the wrong one. My buddy, the ex-Marine, put it succinctly: "The most essential part of leadership is not the ability to make decisions, but rather the ability to make decisions at all. You can recover from a bad decision, but indecision in a crisis will get you and everyone who relies on you dead." That stuck with me.

You usually have to make tough decisions hunting that will determine the outcome of the hunt of even the whole season. Hunting is a series of those sorts of decisions. The trick is to have good sound principles leading you, and then move ahead with the best rational choice-- that isn't much of a trick, is it? Well, that is all there is to it. The hard part is not the theory, it is in the execution.

Secondly, is the beating-up process itself. The trick is to accept that a) that the decision was sound based on principles and the intelligence at hand, and b) that worrying about the past is useless. Save the second guessing for a post-hunt evaluation. Save the hunt for hunting-- stay in the present. If you catch yourself living in the past, ask yourself: Do you want to hunt or reminisce? I can't count the number of times I've blown a shot or some such foul-up and been sitting there grousing about it only to have another nice shooting opportunity arise. Sometimes I have been successful in getting the remonstrations put aside and moving on. Other times, a snort or a white flag coursing through the woods tells me I've been living inside my head, and it is time to get back to reality. My then-best buck in 1992 happened just that way. I was just getting settled into my climbing stand when a nice buck walked by and I was still fussing with my kit and hadn't knocked an arrow. I had to stuff the self-recrimination in a hurry, because 15 minutes later the biggest buck of my life walked up and stood 15 yards away. It comes at you fast sometimes.

Next is the post-hunt evaluation. Turn each after-hunt into a constructive assessment. Don't beat yourself up, but DO (!!!) evaluate all that you've done right and done wrong. If there was a failure, study it. It will teach you more about what you need to be doing next time that a hundred successful days afield. Two seasons ago I had a monster come in on the opener of KY ML season. I wasn't fully prepared, the angle was wrong, and he never fully gave me a decent shot. I beat myself up for a bit, and then finally realized I'd probably done the right thing by keeping the barrel down and just watching fellow in my binos. If I'd chanced the shot, I would have probably mucked it up rushing it.

I've worked as a QA manager. I've worked in manufacturing. I despise this lets-not-find-fault way of looking at screwing up. Too often folks try to hide behind "Let's just see how we can make it better." I suggest a different way: Everyone involved try and figure out how they were at fault and contributed to the problem. But then come back to it clearly and rationally. Most folks hate blame. I love it. What I try to avoid is the emotional baggage associated with it. As a hunter, I recommend that if you screw up, you take a hard look at what went wrong. Was it improper stand selection? Too much movement on stand? Not enough practice at the proper range? Good! Get to the root cause of the failure. Next, see what it takes to correct it and make a plan. Work the plan. Go back out and test the situation measure and review the results. Where this second-guessing emotional meat grinder comes into play is when you a) duck the rational and b) try to live in the emotional side of what went wrong.

Take your recent problems: Gut? I generally do not listen to gut. Gut tells you what to do, but gut doesn't tell you why. If your intuition tells you to do something, you need to take a rational look at what it is telling you. If you go against that intuition, do it for a rational reason that can be compared rationally later. If you don't listen to gut, and you fail? Figure out what gut was telling you so it isn't a big mystery next time.

Take the knee. Look, I've injured myself pretty extensively in the field. I had to come back from a solo backpacking trip on one leg one time. I've had tree stands fail. I've had to drive myself to the emergency room. Stuff like that is going to happen. In all cases, there was a reason why I went out and a reason why I took the risks I did. Nowadays I refuse to go afield ill-prepared, because I'm in my mid-fifties and small things can turn big. However, if I screw-up ( and I have) and I end up paying for it, there was sound reason why I went out, and an unforeseen consequence that needs to be planned for the next time around.
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SwampLife
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby SwampLife » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:17 pm

Ever since I started to let the wind decide which stand I will hunt, I have stopped second guessing because things started to fall into place...
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

luvhuntin
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby luvhuntin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:33 pm

Guys thanks for the advice. I think the things that cause this for me are

1) lets face it hunting is expensive not just financially but personally it goes back to what WW was talking about in his musings post I do`nt want to kill any more deer than I can use over the spring and summer, but dang when I walk in the house with some fresh inside tenderloin and my Wife is glowing while the butter and garlic are warming up it`s a great feeling. I`d just like to be way more efficient.

2) being efficient is part of my job turning wrenches.I work at an independent shop that has had almost every make and model come through no joke any given day i could do anything from an oil change to a engine swap. timing chain r&r on a jag xj8 i`m your guy, intake r&r on your mid 2000 v6 chevy no problem.but i have to be efficient at everything bay space is money and cars sitting there over the book time for repair cost me the shop and the customer money since they usually have to run there second car around more. so I tend to take that approach when it comes to any hobby i pick, that i really have to change, i guess that`s why i enjoyed taking the nephew out so much there was no pressure just enjoying the moment and bonus tenders if he connected.

3) there`s always too may hunting shows on that have edited the footage down to the best 11 minutes they had,(i did see one not long ago that showed a buck mule kick but in the slow mo footage clearly was`nt hit.) I don`t have food plots or good mast for the most part to hunt every time out so expectations have to be put in perspective.

Taking a look through the other side of the scope seems to have changed my focus, I`ve gotta be happy in the moment and glad the deer did give me the slip at times another thing I have to do is be willing to move stands at any time, that will burn me as much as it helps but if i stick to the less traveled portions of timber it will help in three weeks when the time to hunt hard is at hand. I can live with that easily, some of our stands are`nt perfected yet anyways.

got the x-ray done nothing is fractured or floating around loose in there and the swelling has dropped, it really does`nt feel like any tendons are butchered in there. we`ll see how the morning treats me.

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SwampLife
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby SwampLife » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:09 am

luvhuntin wrote:I`d just like to be way more efficient.


Efficiency is everything. I rarely hear it talked about in deer hunting.

A couple years ago I started thinking efficiency in my hunting strategy. I purely hunt for older bucks, and spending all season in the woods waiting for one to 'make a mistake' wasn't my idea of an efficient or even an effective strategy. To me it was just frustrating.

Look at your hunting strategy as you would a business plan. Figure out where you are currently, and your goal of where you want to be and when you want to be there, in terms of efficiency. Then build a strategy of how you will get there. Make refinements to that strategy and track the results. You must change the procedure if you want to change the outcome, period.

In just two seasons my efficiency went from 1 shooting opportunity at an older buck for every 26 Days in the field, up to 1 shooting opportunity for every 1.5 days spent in the field. Surpassing my goal by 50% efficiency. I am tracking bowhunting separately, bowhunting is a whole different animal in itself, but my efficiency is rising there as well. But since I bow hunt much less than muzzleloader/gun, the sample size is much smaller.

I am by no means an extraordinary hunter. Perhaps I have just been lucky, that is what all of my hunting buddies think anyways. My sample size isn't big enough yet to be sure one way or the other. But I sure am enjoying the journey.

Best of luck.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

buckwild
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby buckwild » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:49 am

Its funny that someone started a thread on second-guessing. I was hunting with my nephew last weekend. It was his first bow hunt. I was thinking-out-loud about where we want to set up for the afternoon, and mentioned that it seems like no matter what you decide, it seems like you end up second guess it. No matter how scientific you get with your decision to go to a certain area, I think it is just human nature to wonder "what if".
Semper Fidelis!

luvhuntin
 
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Re: second guessing how to stop it!!!

Postby luvhuntin » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:31 pm

buckwild wrote: No matter how scientific you get with your decision to go to a certain area, I think it is just human nature to wonder "what if".


Yep your right every time i`m in a stand I think i should be on the ground every time i`m on the ground i think i should be in a stand.

But Shaman you really got my wheels spinning on this and swamp life i took your advice on wind. in between switching from the ziplock full of ice to the heating pad this week i had time to really research the places i hunt. I decided instead of trying to know everything I only wanted to located funnels or pinch points to help keep clutter to a minimum. using the boots on the ground data obtained already, the camera card i pulled on Thursday, and aerial photos. I have located at least 5 major pinch points on two different properties that have the possibility of producing stand locations for everything but an east wind. :D It`s bit of a hike back to a few spots so for starters i`ll drive up to it park and hunt. once these stands are set it will triangulate fire from existing stands to the known travel routes. it sounds good we`ll see what happens when it is executed.

I gave the knee a bit of a workout on Wednesday woke up Thursday with a major setback. 2400 mg of ibuprofin per day since has me hoping i can get back to work on Monday. wo`nt have to
"Cue Da DUCK" any longer.

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