There are lessons to be learned from football which can be directly applied to hunting.
A similar mindset and approach leads to success in both. Here are 10 gridiron strategies that will help you become a more productive, and skilled hunter.
#1 Scouting is vital to success.
Football is dependent on scouting. Always thinking ahead, looking for the next hot prospect, never sitting on your heels. Hunters can always be seeking out more fertile hunting grounds, making contacts and knowing where their chosen quarry is most plentiful.
#2 There is no offseason.
Successful football coaches might play a little golf, or go fishing a few times in the summer, but rarely is football far from their thoughts. They study film, look for improvements, or mentally replay every possible scenario on the field over and over in their minds. We as hunters can prepare, mentally and physically while not actively hunting our game.
#3 Dynasties are no coincidence.
Vince Lombardi and Bear Bryant were just lucky guys in the right place at the right time, right? Just like the guy in your lease or club that consistently downs a couple of bruiser bucks every year, dumb luck you think? There is a lot more going on behind the scenes and these individuals put in the work and were prepared.
#4 Know your opponent.
Peyton Manning has been known to throw the football a few times. Sure, every defensive player in the NFL wants to sack him, but right before they clean Manning’s clock he could rocket a pass 45 yards downfield. Be ready for anything. Hunters know mallards typically don’t respond well to an elk call, nor do doves come in low to a spread of popcorn kernels in a mall parking lot.
#5 Tailgating is basically camping on asphalt.
You cannot overdo it when it comes to tailgating, and you certainly cannot go “over the top” at hunting camp by being over-prepared. Take heed from veteran tailgaters and always prepare to eat as if it were the Super Bowl. Because, why wouldn’t you?
#6 Capitalize on opportunities.
If an opponent drops the ball, and you don’t recover it, it’s your fault. If good luck gives you an opportunity, you better be prepared to make the shot count. Hunting has a way of giving all hunters a chance with luck, but prepared hunters get lucky far more often.
#7 Cheerleaders are ok,but…
Yes, we as spectators appreciate the aesthetic value of cheerleaders, but they pale in comparison to spouses that put up with our antics as hunters. Those that live with, and choose to put up with us, even during hunting season, should be applauded often.
#8 Never quit.
You rarely see a team wave the surrender flag in the 4th quarter just because they are down 30 points. If you have ever seen the movie “Rudy,” you know about persistence. Hunting can be quite the emotional and physical roller coaster, but if you don’t see it through you will regret it till next season.
#9 Yards count.
Football is a game of possession. Inches matter. You control the ball, you win the game. You move the chains and you get first downs. If you don’t know your yards in hunting, especially bowhunting, you are out of luck. If you aren’t sure, I suggest purchasing a quality rangefinder.
#10 There will be rebuilding years.
All football programs go through hard times, and hunting woes are no different. There are years your gut will never fail you and then there are times you are glad there is food readily available for purchase so you can eat. When you miss often, and see no game on your hunting trips, blame it on a “rebuilding era” in your hunting program.
Football and hunting compliment one another. Tell us what lengths you go to enjoy both sports together.