Success is in the eye of the hunter, but what is the best way to gauge a successful hunting season?
Every hunter has his or her own motives for heading into the woods in pursuit of their game of choice. One may hunt to feed his family while another hunts for a trophy to hang on her wall. But all hunters have one thing in common, ultimately we are trying to have a successful hunt where we cleanly harvest an animal.
I think we can all agree what constitutes a successful hunt, but how do you gauge an entire successful hunting season ? Do you gauge success by total number of animals harvested? Or by if you killed a new trophy his season? Or should we gauge success of a season in an entirely different way?
The single best way I can think of to gauge success after a hunting season is to ask the question, “Did you enjoy your time in the woods?” As simple as that. If you did, then you had a successful season, if not then you may need to reevaluate your motives for next season.
Of course you can break it down and gauge success on smaller levels to look at what you want to improve on next season. Some good questions to ask yourself are: “Did I hunt the right amount?”, “Did I make good hunting decisions?” and, “Did I make hunting memories?”
For some hunters, there is never enough time spent in the woods, but for others the number of hours hunted in a season will be dramatically lower. If your life outside of hunting, such as work and relationships, suffer during hunting season, you may want to cut back and just make sure you truly enjoy the time you do get.
Good decisions are also a key part of a successful hunting season. Deciding whether or not to take a shot on an animal is a decision you have to make based on your motives and abilities. Don’t take shots if you can’t make a clean kill. Don’t shoot small bucks if you are trophy hunting. These small decisions add up to basically make or break your season.
To me hunting memories are really what it is all about. Someone once told me, “Whoever dies with the most stories wins.” I believe there is a lot of truth in that.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations and then consider your season a failure if it doesn’t work out, just enjoy the season and see what happens. If you take people hunting, take chances, make mistakes and then learn from them. Then you have had a successful hunting season.