New Year’s Goals Part 2

My brother, Russell, had some great comments regarding hunting goals. His comments and my reply are worthy of it’s own article.

Russ wrote:

“Making goals that you really set in your heart and are realistic is critical. My heartfelt goals this year were to help my daughter harvest her first big game animal. She harvested both a buck and an elk. It was awesome. I was perfectly happy with how the season went, even though I did not set any lofty goals for my own hunting, as I was concerned about the time dedication. I did manage to harvest my best buck to date, although that’s not saying much. Gotta really think about my goals this coming year. Might be time to harvest a really decent bull elk.

I think you’ll get it done in Utah this year. But i am curious, which state(s) are you going to add to your schedule that will still allow you the time you need for the Utah general hunt?”

Nate wrote :

Good points, Russ. Here’s some clarification:

Last year I set a goal to shoot a 200″ buck AND help Esther with her limited-entry hunt. Turns out you can’t do both. So really I sabotaged my goal from the start. But that’s okay; I wouldn’t trade Esther’s big bull for any buck! It’s WONDERFUL to help people. There’s nothing more noble than setting a goal to help someone with their goal, especially family.

My lofty goals are deemed ridiculous by most people; I mean, how can I expect to shoot a 200″+ buck on public land with a general tag?! Am I setting myself up for failure? Am I setting unrealistic goals? NO, because I’ve done it twice already and I know the secret recipe; unfortunately that recipe takes incredible resources, mostly time.

It’s important to realize that in setting a ridiculously high goal you must do something every day to get closer to it: physical training, shooting practice, map study, scouting, scouting, and scouting. Most importantly is to acknowledge your goal every single day. Keep it in the forefront of your mind. Format your mind to focus all possible energy and decisions on your goal, and you’ll find a way to reach it.

As for out-of-state hunts, I only have one in mind: IDAHO. I am a man of big vision and little means; a po’ folks po’ folk. For this reason I refuse to pay into the yuppie system of buying points in multiple western states, especially while Utah has such great bucks, even on publc land/general units. In my opinion the point system is evil. It might seem fair, but it really takes away opportunity from young hunters and new hunters, while catering only to the rich. Many of my archery students ask me how they can get started in hunting. They assume they can just buy a bow and an OTC tag for any game species. Imagine their surprise when I explain they must pay into the system for decades just to draw a decent tag!

I paid into the system for years, earning points for multiple species for my son. Now he has no interest in hunting. Where’s my refund? My wife’s ex-boss’ dad paid into the system for 15 years and finally drew his moose tag. It arrived in the mailbox shortly after he died of old age!

That being said, I need more opportunities, and since Idaho is one of the only states that doesn’t have a draw system, it’s my best chance at getting a tag. Also, Idaho has several general deer hunts that don’t conflict with Utah’s season.

Congrats, Russ, on your biggest mule deer last year and good luck with your big bull goals. Dream big! Remember, elk are EASY!

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One thought on “New Year’s Goals Part 2”

  1. Nice reply/post. Thanks.

    Regarding point systems, I have something to add.

    All those years and dollars invested in points can be wiped out by the swoop of a state legislatures pen in any given year.

    Notice Arizona, newly passed legislation this year will change the system to allow for 50% of non-resident tags to go to the random draw (i.e., like bonus tags in Utah). This effectively kills the value of high point holders as it gives away allotted tags to people, randomly, who may have little to no points.

    If you are new to applying in AZ or a low point holder, you may like it, as now you have a better than zero chance at a good tag. Long-time point investors, however, likely hate it. Folks that were just about to draw that tag they’ve waited many years for and spent $$$ for, may have just suddenly seen it go out of reach for good, unless they are young and can hold out long enough to get back to the top again.

    And, even if it is a better system, it seems very unfair to ‘change the rules in the middle of the game’. Boom. All your $$$ and years invested just lost a lot of value. But it is perfectly legal and could happen in any state. Most years each state has some sort of legislation proposed that is harmful in some way to sportsman and/or point savers. But it doesn’t always pass. It is notable, that point systems are really Ponzi schemes that eventually will implode. There is no way to clear the system when so many people are participating. Look at the thousands (or even tens of thousands in some states) of people at the low end of the point pool. Eventually, states will be forced to modify or phase out point systems altogether. Participating in point systems almost seems like Russian Roulette.

    Bottom line: When I eventually cash out my points, I’ll probably quit the point game, too. Besides, seems I already have enough fun and spend plenty of time in the field with all the hunting opportunities available with OTC tags in Utah and Idaho for me and my kids.

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