By Alex Comstock
It's natural for us as deer hunters to be optimistic going into deer season, and constantly playing out situations in our head on how season will go. You want to shoot that big 4 year old buck you have years of history with, and think you know exactly how opening week. But, more often than not, things don't go your way, and it is extremely easy to become frustrated.
That is right where I am sitting right now. Frustrated, and trying to figure out why my season hasn't gone as planned so far, and why nothing seems to go my way. It is important not to get down on yourself in these situations, and to stay motivated all season, because if you don't, not only will you not be as likely to be successful, but the fun will be taken out of deer hunting as well. Here are five ways to help stay motivated when it seems as though everything is going against you in the whitetail woods.
1. Take Positives out of Negatives: So you've sat in your favorite honey hole three times in a row without seeing a deer. It's easy to get frustrated when something like this happens, because we get so overly hyped and optimistic in this type of situation. For me, I always claim "tonight is the night" and then when it doesn't happen I tend to get down on myself. Rather than mope about what didn't happen, focus on something positive. Did you get in and out clean without spooking deer? Is your target buck still showing up on camera, so you know he's still in the area? Little things along those lines will help you stay motivated, rather than just harping on the negatives.
2. Take a Break: Taking a day off from the whitetail woods when nothing seems like it's going your way can be a breath of fresh air. If you've had day after day of just nothing going right, instead of going out that next day, stay home and rest or get some chores done around the house, etc. You get the point. Just like anything else in this world, taking your mind off of something, even if only for a day can be a rejuvenation of sort. After taking a break, that next day getting back in the treestand, the excitement will be back in full form, and you'll be just as motivated to figure out that mature buck as you were on opening day.
3. Have Fun: Having fun can mean a multitude of things, but the fun I am talking about is when you are around other people. Whether that be in the treestand, or just having a good time around a fire back at camp, having fun can result in staying motivated. When we take deer hunting so serious 99% of the time, just goofing off or telling stories can help tremendously with staying motivated to be in the treestand.
4. Remind Yourself It's a Process: Rarely is the process of shooting a mature buck a short and easy one. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Remind yourself that if you really want to shoot a mature buck, it will be a roller coaster, there will be more valleys than there will be peaks, it will be tough, BUT when everything finally does come together, it will be worth every minute of energy you put into it. If it were easy and no work was involved, would we be so drawn to hunting mature bucks still? It's the process and all of the time spent trying to figure a buck out that makes us go back to the stand again and again. Remember this, and you won't have an issue staying motivated.
Staying motivated during a long season can present a challenge. It is evident to me that those people who let negatives consume them, and don't stay motivated during the season are the ones complaining about other people always getting a mature buck. Don't be that person and let negativity define you. It's not easy, but by staying motivated you are giving yourself a greatly improved opportunity of you being that next person to have an encounter with the buck you are after.