Trophy Hunting: what it takes...
Deer hunting is for most of us first a matter of excitement. Whether it’s a yearling or this mature 4 ½ year old buck crossing the shooting line, the adrenaline kicks in. Excitement is what we want when comes to hunting. But excitement is not necessarily our best friend when comes to delivering the lethal shot.
Deer hunting - as going out there to kill a deer - is also a no brainer exercise. Apart from trying to outsmart the animal in the wilderness to find it, it comes down to having the skills to deliver the shot.
Trophy hunters still look for the excitement, but they have learned to contain it. Then, they master game identification. In a split of a second, they know what they are dealing with; age and whether the antlers growth has reached maturity. They have also taken their shooting skills to the next level; accuracy in their shot placement, seeking a 100% lethal 1st shot rate. They also know their limits by not taking this half mile long shot crossing their fingers that it’s going to work out just fine. Most of the time, a trophy hunter does not need to walk down his stand to know if the shot is lethal or if it’s a big miss. He just knows and acknowledges failure, if any, with humility.
These 3 elements of trophy hunting – excitement containment, trophy size identification and shot placement – take time. Which means it requires a calm and quiet attitude. As my dad always taught me when I was a kid trying to shoot my first snipe in the woods; “Take your time son: a deep breath, wipe your eyes, and then take your stand. There is pleeeenty of time.” And for years, I thought; “How could he say that? I have less than a second to place the shot.” Well, it took me a few years of hunting before I killed my first flying snipe through the woods. My success rate increased when I realized that it’s all a matter of mindset. A second can be short and can also be an eternity at the same time. It depends on the brain conditioning.
Having said that, I like to spend a day to observe my new hunters when they come to my camp. It does not take long to identify if they have developed the mental strength it takes to carry this quiet and calm attitude of the true trophy hunter. They usually pay attention to things and carry this consciousness in their daily attitude. And if they don’t, I’m always happy to welcome deer hunters who want to cross over to trophy hunting. My job is then to help them to get there, successfully, with a sense of accomplishment.
Franck, Owner Outfitter
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