How long did it take...

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JMAR85
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How long did it take...

Unread postby JMAR85 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:13 am

I know there was a topic along these lines already so I'll apologize if this is too repetitious for some. But, I'd like to hear from Dan and the other heavy hitters out there about how long it took them until they really felt as if they were "good". And don't feel ashamed to do a little bragging. The reason I'm asking is because this passed season was my first as a beast and I didn't have success in terms of killing a mature buck but looking back at all I've learned I feel miles ahead of where I was a year ago at this point. And I know I have many more miles to go. But I'm determined to learn the skills necessary to be successful year after year and I'd like to hear from you guys as to what it takes to be "good".


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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby PK_ » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:29 am

JMAR85 wrote:I feel miles ahead of where I was a year ago at this point.

This is the only thing that matters and get used to the feeling because you will be amazed at how this happens every year. If it doesn't, you weren't paying attention.

As far as your question... for me personally I felt like I was 'good' before I joined this site. Honestly, after learning all I have on here and from the field since then I am way way ahead of where I was then but it has also knocked me down to size. I am nowhere near as good even now as I thought I was back then. The truth is this stuff is really really hard and takes a lot of work/time no matter how long you been at it.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby Jonny » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:42 am

It depends on the person. Some people never feel like they are good and that is what drives them to succeed. I feel that way about a lot of things and use that as motivation to get better. Am I good at some things? Sure, but I never meet my own expectations. I was a good athlete looking back at my career, but at the time I wasn't good enough in my own mind. Today as a student I don't think I am good enough at what I do, but then again I already have an engineering job waiting for me when I graduate in 2.5 years if I want it. It all depends on how you view yourself and your expectations.

In terms of deer hunting, I think I am good at finding good sign and seeing deer, but that's my extent. Good at finishing the job, making the shot, being in the precise spot for the shot. No I am not good. I don't think I will ever be able to tell myself I am good because that will take away my motivation to get better. Others may say I am good, but in my mind, its a hard thing to admit.

So to answer your question, its all based on your mindset and view of yourself and your expectations. We all know Dan is a great hunter, but he might feel differently about himself based on his expectations, which is a normal thing for anybody to do. I think the best thing to do is look at yourself and realize there is always room to improve and try to get better each hunt. Before long you will look back at your earlier years and laugh. We all can improve as hunters and nobody becomes a perfect hunter. If that happens, then the hunting aspect is gone and you just become a killer. I think everybody here should be proud of themselves because we all came here to learn how to hunt. That's accepting that you are not perfect, but that you want to be better and get better. That's why I keep coming back here, I want to get better.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby Lockdown » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:55 am

PK_ wrote:
JMAR85 wrote:I feel miles ahead of where I was a year ago at this point.

This is the only thing that matters and get used to the feeling because you will be amazed at how this happens every year. If it doesn't, you weren't paying attention.

As far as your question... for me personally I felt like I was 'good' before I joined this site. Honestly, after learning all I have on here and from the field since then I am way way ahead of where I was then but it has also knocked me down to size. I am nowhere near as good even now as I thought I was back then. The truth is this stuff is really really hard and takes a lot of work/time no matter how long you been at it.


x2

I do not consider myself to be a "heavy hitter" as you say, but my confidence climbs each season. You will hear it time and time again but scouting is the biggest key. The more you scout the more you learn and the more you focus on details the quicker the pieces get put together.

The first year I hunted beds I didn't tag a deer... For the first time in my life! It was quite humbling and although I was frustrated at the time I'm glad it happened.

Using Beast tactics I thought I was going to be slaying big bucks with ease, but even on year 2 I didn't reach my goal. Killed a decent buck but I wanted bigger. It fueled the fire even more. 3rd time was the charm this season, but I know I will still have disappointing seasons in the future. I'm to the point now I'm more confident than ever, but I'm also realistic with my expectations.

To answer your question "what does it take to be good". Here's my two cents as quick and easy as I can put it.

1) LOTS OF SCOUTING
2) attention to detail
3) an open mind
4) a positive attitude
5) TIME!

#5 is a big one. It doesn't happen overnight.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby dan » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:29 am

For me, I think it was a pretty early age where I felt I was a better hunter than most. I got into hunting big bucks back in the 80's and always outdid everyone in the areas I hunted. And even before "big bucks" I out hunted most... Every time some one came along that did a little better, I would focus harder to do better... Its probably not the most humble statement but its true. When I was younger I was bull headed and got big bucks by sheer determination and hard work.
After a few got nocked down and it started becoming an annual thing There was a cocky kind of arrogance that made me feel like I could go to any deer and hunt it down. And often I did just that. I did not know as much as I do now, but those cocky years, or stage, is part of what made me, me. I learned a lot... I think you have to believe in yourself and be confident in order to see great success... If you watched the "chasing a dream" video. You could probably sense that every set up I did I believed I was going to kill that day... In reality, most are failures if our goal is just to kill. But eventually keeping up that belief and positive attitude killed the buck.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby Stanley » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:38 am

There is a huge difference in the learning curve today as there was 50 years ago. So I'm not sure there is a definitive answer. I have learned much more in the 5 years I have been on the Beast than I did the first 25 years of deer hunting. :think:

Another thing to point out 50 years ago there were hardly any deer in Iowa where I live. It is hard to develop and progress when you have little, to no encounters with deer. I started to be successful around 1980. I have not killed a scrub buck for 37 years now. I started hunting deer in 1963. So it took me 17 years to develop into a trophy hunter and see some success.

My success has gone way up since joining the Beast. I should also mention I only bow hunt. I don't consider the deer I killed with a gun an accomplishment. So I don't even count them as having been killed. I wear camo clothes not a dress suit. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, I buck hunt with a bow. That's what I do.

I also think I'm more of a buck killer than a buck hunter. If I couldn't kill a nice buck I wouldn't hunt. Killing a doe doesn't excite me one bit. I wouldn't and don't kill does. I use to kill everything that went by the tree. If it had fur, wings, feathers it got an arrow. I would rather watch stuff now than kill it. Why would I arrow a bumble bee? I have no idea, but I did. I try and be as honest as I can be. Got that beat into me, literally, growing up as a kid. So you ask how long did it take? I'm at it now for 7 decades and I'm still learning and trying to be good at it. :think:
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby rfickes87 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:42 am

JMAR85 wrote:I know there was a topic along these lines already so I'll apologize if this is too repetitious for some. But, I'd like to hear from Dan and the other heavy hitters out there about how long it took them until they really felt as if they were "good". And don't feel ashamed to do a little bragging. The reason I'm asking is because this passed season was my first as a beast and I didn't have success in terms of killing a mature buck but looking back at all I've learned I feel miles ahead of where I was a year ago at this point. And I know I have many more miles to go. But I'm determined to learn the skills necessary to be successful year after year and I'd like to hear from you guys as to what it takes to be "good".



JMAR85,

I agree 100% as you just said it. My season was a lot like yours. I did manage to kill another small buck with the bow again but this year it was completely different in the aspect that I know why everything happened the way it did bc I'm miles ahead of where I was before Dan's teaching. Prior years my success was mostly by chance encounters and just plain luck. Now its homework and knowledge that is taking over for me (luck is still welcomed!). My goal is to knock down mature bucks every year with the bow. Even though I still haven't really I feel like it's just a given that it will start to happen after all I've learned and how I approach scouting and how its completely changed for me. I joined the BEAST July 2016 and man its put me so far ahead its unbelievable.

Dan and all the "heavy hitters" here,

if you read this post. I'll say it again and again THANK YOU.
"Pressure and Time. That's all it takes, really. Pressure, and time..."
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:58 am

Jonny wrote:It depends on the person. Some people never feel like they are good and that is what drives them to succeed. I feel that way about a lot of things and use that as motivation to get better.

I fit into this category. Even if I killed 5 mature bucks a year I would never consider myself a "great" hunter or classify myself as a "heavy hitter".

I think most including myself become better than average hunters when they learn to have a positive attitude at all times and have confidence that each hunt is the one you will kill a big buck. If you don't feel that way I believe you already set yourself up for failure. Confidence is everything and helps carry you thru tough periods of the season.

One of my favorite quotes:

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

To me when you get that and put yourself in position to up your odds killing a good buck you are already well on your way to being a much better than average hunter.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby JoeRE » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:15 am

I am never good enough. At any point I feel king of the hill the next buck will probably cut me down to size. The last few years I have been able to keep those thoughts pretty well banished from my mind and just focus on the deer or elk or whatever I am chasing.

I am not a heavy hitter or some other braggadocio term but know I am different than most. I have yet to meet another person face to face that hunts like I do. My two brothers even think I am nuts sometimes and they are pretty hard core hunters. Usually that translates into results no one else around me has. As a teenager I caused a lot of hard feelings on farms I hunted, and sometimes lost access as a result, because I was the kid that killed all the rabbits or squirrels or pheasants or bucks. I have learned to dial it down around others not to cause hard feelings. Note I said face to face I think there are there are a number of hunters on here that have similar lethal mindsets. I learn a bunch every year it wasn't tied to any skill level or knowledge. I realized I looked at things differently as a teenager. In predator mode all I want to do is chase, circle, sense weakness and strike. I get intuitions and often know when I am going to kill hours, sometimes a day or more beforehand. Everything else goes blurry.

I might be on the lunatic fringe or maybe just by some assessments unevolved. When out in the woods I think if I looked quick at my reflection in a pool of water I might see not a human but a long snout, claws, pointy ears and big canine teeth. Like I said, something wrong with me :lol:
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby SEMObowhunter » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:31 pm

I have always been what some may consider as good. As typically whatever I got after died. I always measured success on quantity and it took quite a long time to get past the bloodthirsty stage. I have never been one to let someone put me on game or fish. I did it on my own by sheer determination. However I wouldn't consider myself good at killing big bucks. I have killed some good deer but am not consistent every year and always hunted rut tactics even when it was the wrong time of the season. I have scouted more this season than ever before and next year will be different. I can feel it and confidence is everything in this game.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:53 pm

Dewey wrote:positive attitude at all times and have confidence that each hunt is the one you will kill a big buck. If you don't feel that way I believe you already set yourself up for failure. Confidence is everything and helps carry you thru tough periods of the season



Seems like I'm always agreeing with Dewey, but this ^^^^^^^^^is so true. :mrgreen: I probably have a little too much confidence, not the "I can be sloppy" type of confidence, but just the self belief that things will work out. If you truly LOVE the time spent outdoors it's hard to have a negative attitude IMO.

As others have stated, look to improve every year. Build on a solid foundation (where bucks spend time in daylight), good woodsmanship, good attitude, never quit and eventually you might turn into Stanley :o
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby magicman54494 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:23 pm

I've been hunting for about 40 years now. I was self taught and since i'm not real bright it took me a long time to be fairly successful. lol
I usually get a big one every year and in the big woods thats pretty good in my opinion. It really started to come together for me about 25 years in. I was very content for many years just shooting does and smaller bucks. I was raised in a "if its brown its down " environment so that is how I hunted.
I have actually turned the corner on hunting again. I still try hard to get a big buck but I enjoy the hunt more and take a much more relaxed attitude now. The funny thing is my success really hasn't suffered with my change of attitude.
Looking back now I realize that it doesn't matter how long it takes to be "successful". Enjoying the hunt is the real success.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby creepingdeth » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:29 pm

I think for some, hard to measure. I am by no means a great hunter. Green to both bow and beast tactics, but look back on 2016 and cant believe some dumb things I did. That was not long ago and my thoughts are so different. The neat thing is the confidence I've gained. Confidence is a huge part of success. To take a wall-hanger might take a while...maybe not, but I'm enjoying every second (most) :lol: Thanks Beasts
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:29 am

One thing I've noticed with successful hunters a like is confidence. They can be PC, not want to brag, etc, but in their head and in the woods they know they have what it takes. Attention to detail, a willingness to constantly learn and evolve. They learned long ago that doing what the majority is doing doesn't kill a mature buck. In fact a small percent of guys are killing mature bucks year in year out. Hunting companies by shear luck and volume of numbers can post pictures of guys/gals with big bucks down, what they don't show you is all the unsuccessful hunters. My father was the best hunter I know, I always wanted his approval as a hunter, to outdo him or at least match his success. We pushed one another. He lit the fire that burns out of control inside me, and like most advancements in generations I took it to another level. Am I good? Am I great? Do I have what it takes? That story is still writing itself. Some hunters have criteria, what makes that in Iowa, Michigan, Maine, Florida? I will never need to be one of the main speakers at the event, just as long as I get an invite, I'm blessed.
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Re: How long did it take...

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:38 am

whitetailassasin wrote:One thing I've noticed with successful hunters a like is confidence. They can be PC, not want to brag, etc, but in their head and in the woods they know they have what it takes. Attention to detail, a willingness to constantly learn and evolve. They learned long ago that doing what the majority is doing doesn't kill a mature buck. In fact a small percent of guys are killing mature bucks year in year out. Hunting companies by shear luck and volume of numbers can post pictures of guys/gals with big bucks down, what they don't show you is all the unsuccessful hunters. My father was the best hunter I know, I always wanted his approval as a hunter, to outdo him or at least match his success. We pushed one another. He lit the fire that burns out of control inside me, and like most advancements in generations I took it to another level. Am I good? Am I great? Do I have what it takes? That story is still writing itself. Some hunters have criteria, what makes that in Iowa, Michigan, Maine, Florida? I will never need to be one of the main speakers at the event, just as long as I get an invite, I'm blessed.


X2 - great post.

How long will it take? Besides the state where you live.... It depends on your expectations. Depends on your choice of weapons. Depends on your time. Depends on your drive. Around 1999 I started really pushing to learn all I could about this game. Lots of hiccups along the way. Lots and lots of mistakes. But you just keep pushing. I know I am still hungry...mature bucks have started to hit the ground for me with regularity...but I am still pushing. I will never ever conquer this game. Its why I love it. And my favorite thing about deer hunting...you don't have to be an exceptional athlete to get better at it. You just have to have a love and a passion for it.

The ugly side of it? Pride. Arrogance. Narcissism. Do anything, run over anyone, cheat, beg, steal, lie -- all so you can put another buck on the wall. Friendships ruined. Family relationships ruined. Marriages ruined...all over stupid deer. Humility and modesty are traits that I admire most about successful big buck killers.


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