What lessons can hunting lend to life?
By Eric Clark | PUBLISHED February 9th, 2022
Deer hunting has a way of challenging us. Of course, it's rewarding when you accomplish your goals in any aspect of life, but deer hunting hits a little differently. It also purifies the soul to spend time outdoors, in nature. You're able to add perspective to your life and various situations you might be up against.
The harder I work, the luckier I get, or so it would seem. There are a few areas in life that when hard work and effort are put in overtime, you can see your goal materialize the way it does as a hunter.
I'll tell you what, though. You put enough time in the woods scouting, tracking, shed hunting, exploring, reading the sign, and evaluating food and water sources along with bedding, you will start to see success. Literally in the case of deer hunting. You will begin seeing deer. They might be big or small, but once you start putting these pieces together, it's just a matter of time. Of course, you can research these things, too. It's the combination of resources and boots on the ground that start to bring it all together.
Work ethic is the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward. When you start to see success in one avenue of life, you believe in yourself. If you've put in work as a deer hunter and had some demonstrable success at it, as a result, you have just learned what it means to have a work ethic. Of course, this is a two-way street. If you have a strong work ethic in general, I'm sure it's already something you've applied to your deer hunting methodology.
Man, oh man, is this a big one for me. These days with almost everything on-demand like getting groceries delivered to your house, watching whatever movie or show you want right this moment, having things delivered to your doorstep, make it challenging to practice patience. I'm still learning to apply patience to deer hunting and life in general. I believe patience and stillness are closely related, and deer hunting has a way of creating stillness to check you into the moment. I've made some of the most significant decisions of my life in the deer woods. This is because I was still, and my mind was clear.
In life, when you're not in the woods faced with significant decisions, you can harken back to the feeling that imbues you while you're in the woods and employ it as a form of meditation. This way, you don't run that a-hole that cut you off the road 😡. You can practice stillness and patience as a way to center yourself and get back to neutral.
We can't be good at everything. Inevitably, we will fail at some things at some point in our lives. At Okayest Hunter, we celebrate and embrace failure as one of the best teachers. We find ways to laugh at ourselves, even years down the road. Learning how to deal and cope with failure is essential in life and in hunting to help avoid making inevitable mistakes as we advance.
Failure serves as a building block to more success. Although we can learn from success, I believe that we fail more than we succeed and have more learning opportunities. Moreover, just as you'll never forget that shooter buck you tagged, you'll never forget or stop analyzing the one you missed.
Keep trying, never give up, persist. If you don't possess these traits as a deer hunter, you're going to fall short of success every season. Most times, things will not work out. That's especially true in life. Deer hunting is no different. As a hunter, for some reason, we have no issue dusting ourselves off and trying again, and again, and again. This is a page that ought to be ripped out of the deer hunting playbook and applied to life. If we can prevail after several failed attempts at tagging a deer, we can also succeed in other areas of life.
Take Shots and Shoot Deer
If you're not willing to try, then nothing will happen. Alex Banayan stated, "I'd always seen success and failure as opposites, but now I could see they were just different results of the same thing—trying."
Therein lies an issue within the hunting space that has been emerging where young or new adult-onset hunters think they need to shoot large bucks or trophy class animals. They're not willing to take a shot at or try shooting anything less than what they've perceived to be the norm. They're missing the point and, ultimately, the experience. Furthermore, they're not learning what they'll need to know to get those trophy-class animals they're seeking. If you're not even willing to try, you won't experience success or failure; you won't experience anything.
The lessens hunting can teach to be applied to life, family, business, and so forth are endless, or much longer than this list. Check out our recent podcast where we discussed this topic, and let us know what lessens hunting has taught you!