No matter how close you are, there are a few things your hunting buddies will never tell you.
You and your hunting buddies can tell each other anything, right? Or do you?
Although you trust your comrades to have your back, sometimes they aren't always 100 percent honest with you.
Here are seven things your hunting buddies will never tell you.
1. You're outdated.
It's the first Monday of rifle season and everyone's buzzing around the camp getting ready. You walk out the door together and look around, everyone has all their gadgets and gizmos out. Everyone that is, except you. You are still using the gun and equipment that your granddad gave you when you turned 16. Not that there's not value to going old school, but maybe it's time to consider upgrading a little.
Turn in your 30-year-old topographical maps for a decent GPS. Technology can not only make your life easier, but you'll be less likely to get on your hunting buddy's nerves, asking him every 15 minutes what he's doing on that contraption of his.
2. You're a bad shot.
This one hurts a little and that's why none of your friends are going to tell you about it. If you're only shooting your gun or bow the day before the season starts, it's not going to get much better.
If you want accuracy and skill, you've got to practice and build up some muscle memory and confidence. And it's not just about practice shots at the range, you need to start practicing on live animals. Head out squirrel hunting or try for some ducks, but get out there with a gun in your hand and start pulling the trigger.
3. You're too noisy.
If you notice that no one wants to walk with you through the woods, perhaps you should close your mouth, open your ears and just listen for a moment. If you don't pick up your feet or watch where you're going, you'll break every branch that comes within five feet. You will make enough noise you could wake a bear out of hibernation if you don't start paying attention to how you move in the woods and add a little more stealth. Watch where your feet go and always move in the quietest manner you can. And please, only use your inside voice.
4. You're a bad cook.
At hunting camp, everyone takes a turn in the kitchen. When you're up and others start volunteering to cook or suggest going to the bar for dinner, maybe you need to evaluate your cooking skills. Learn a couple easy dishes that only require a few ingredients and little prep work, and give them a trial run before you head to camp. Your hunting buddies will not only be impressed with your new talent, they'll be asking for second helpings too.
5. You need to try harder.
You don't step foot in the woods until the first morning of the season, and yet you complain you don't ever see deer or get a decent shot. Hunting takes work, and it's more than just getting up early one week of the year and heading into the woods. There's looking for signs and scraps, tracking and spotting and just being in the woods. You can't expect to not put in any effort and reap a great reward.
Hunting requires hard work and those that don't put it in first, typically end up disappointed. If you don't want to start early, prepare your blind and scout the woods, that's fine, but don't complain about it at the end of the day. Your buddies are tired of hearing it.
6. You don't take care of your things.
Your hunting suit still has mud around the ankles from spring gobbler of last year and your gun hasn't been oiled and cleaned since the Clinton administration. Your hunting buddies don't want to say anything to you, after all, it is your stuff, but come on man, take care of your crap.
Before the strings and cables on your bow start to fray, replace them. Your hunting pals will be glad you did. Now no one has to draw straws to see who's going to have to make the kill shot for you since you haven't sighted your gun in since before you graduated college.
7. You keep on making the same mistakes again and again.
It seems just about every year you end up missing a trophy whitetail because you shoot right over his back. Or maybe it's because you spooked him when you pulled your gun. No matter what the reason, if it seems to you like you're having deja vu every time you're in the woods, chances are you keep making the same mistakes year after year.
Do a little bit of research. Ask around for some hunting tips. Change your technique. Whatever you do, do something, because things aren't going to get better on their own.
And no one wants to say anything.