Does the new year signal a rising sun or a setting sun for you? Your answer may determine if you hunt better in 2016.
Eric Thomas is a motivational speaker who was made famous after giving a motivational speech about wanting to be successful as bad you you want to breathe. The most popular posting of his video now has over 35,000,000 views on YouTube.
Why? Because there are many people out there who don't want to settle for average, they want to push their own limits and rise above the rest. It's one character trait as Americans we promote.
In another motivational speech, Mr. Thomas, who has risen from homelessness and eating out of dumpsters to become one of the world's top motivational speakers, says his secret is that he is "obsessed with improvement."
As a community, hunters seem to follow this golden rule of success and always seem to be trying to improve. Whether it be new gear, learning more about a species they hunt, or honing their skill with the weapon of their choice, top hunters are "obsessed with improvement."
If you are looking to hunt better in 2016, here are five things to keep in mind throughout the year.
1. Strengthen Your Weakness
We all have weaknesses in everything we do. In our jobs, our marriages, and our hobbies, we all have areas we can improve. Being able to identify those areas is often the hardest part of the improvement process.
If you really want to hunt better in 2016, scrutinize your past year and identify where you excelled, and where you came up short. Maybe you were hit with a case of buck fever, maybe you got too winded to make the area you wanted to hunt, or possibly you didn't have access to a place to hunt.
Whatever the case, address the specific area you need the most improvement.
TIP: Analyze your own unique weaknesses and focus on improving them.
2. Become a Marksman
Whatever weapon you choose to hunt with, you have the responsibility to become proficient with it. Taking the life of an animal is not a chore we should take lightly. Although misses and bad hits are inevitable, as hunters we should do our best to improve our skills to reach our highest potential.
If you want to hunt better in the New Year, make sure to push your shooting skills to the max and leave no room for doubt in your shooting ability.
TIP: Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. At the moment of truth you'll be glad you did.
3. Stay in Shape
Here is one that always needs attention. To ensure you hunt better next year and the one after that, stay in some degree of shape.
Cardiovascular conditioning generally does hunters the most good, but if you have the time, a bit of weight lifting also has numerous benefits.
Not only does exercising help the body physically, but exercise also keeps you focused on your upcoming hunting goals by having physical investment. If you've worked hard for a hunt, you are less likely to turn in early, or not walk over to the next ridge.
Now obviously, not everyone out there is climbing mountains or long-walking over miles of prairie, but staying in shape can help every hunter under the sun. Exercise boosts energy levels and stamina, as well as builds strength. Even if you are strictly a stand hunter, these are characteristics that can't possibly hurt.
TIP: Do some exercising in the offseason. It will help you both physically and mentally in the upcoming season.
In the past, we could mostly learn about the quarry we chase, or the nuances of the hunt, through our local community or own personal experience. Now we have the good fortune to be surrounded by resources to learn more about our craft from numerous hunting websites and quality hunting magazines.
Not only that, but top professionals in the industry put out so much video material it would be impossible to absorb it all. If you spend some time this offseason learning more about your style of hunting and the game you pursue, you will no doubt hunt better in 2016.
TIP: Subscribe to a quality hunting magazine, bookmark your favorite hunting website, and learn as much as you can this offseason.
5. New Challenges
One essential key to continuous improvement in any field is to push yourself into new experiences. If you want to hunt better, you should hunt a new species, pick up a new weapon of choice, or move to a new area for some scouting.
By spicing up your annual routine, you will keep your mind and senses sharp. You will learn more about other species and places, which in turn will help you in your regular hunts.
In any measure, trying something new will keep you pushing yourself and keep you from getting stale.
TIP: Seek a new adventure and soak up all this life has to offer.
In the end, your hunting success lies in your own two hands. If you want to hunt better in 2016 put in the time and energy so as to leave no doubt you will be successful next time you take the field.