Tag Archives: new year

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!

Happy New Year

NewYear16

Thank good golly goodness 2015 is over!

Actually it wasn’t too horrible, but I sometimes accuse myself of being overly critical. Call me a pessimist, but I’ll argue that although it’s unhealthy to be too self-critical, the only other option is to be overly accepting of mediocrity in which case I would never achieve my lofty goals and instead recede into the apathetic quagmire of an aging inflataperson.

I entered 2015 with one goal: to shoot a 200″+ mule deer buck with a bow. It didn’t happen. I failed for three primary reasons:

– First, because there are so many people in the state of Utah now, I drew my 5th choice general deer unit and right away lost my inspiration.
-Second, I failed to scout my 5th choice unit because of work, and work sucks, and work kept me in the smoggy city when I should have been out scouting for giant bucks.
-Third, I spent half of the general hunt helping my lovely wife with her L.E. elk hunt in Southern Utah where I didn’t even carry a bow.

After all that, I entered the Wasatch extended hunt, where I’ve never even seen a 200″ deer, and failed there too.

So 2016 will be different. I’ve mentioned many times on my blog that SUCCESS IS A DECISION. Last year, while wandering endlessly down empty game trails, an annoying inner voice insisted that success is NOT a decision; that there are simply too many variables working against me, and therefore I can’t make that decision. By the time the season ended, a stronger voice confirmed that success is in fact an easy decision, so long as you are willing to do whatever it takes, which means putting in the time and effort equal to the lofty magnitude of a 200″+ monster muley…and I did not do this.

So, this year I have one resolution and one goal only: a 200″+ mule deer buck with a bow. This year I will make it happen and here’s how:

– I will decline any and every job/work/responsibility that conflicts with my deer hunt.
-Whatever crappy unit I end up drawing, I will scout every single week starting in spring and leading up to the hunt. I’ve always believed that somewhere, in every single general unit in the state, there’s a huge 200″+ buck. If you are willing to put in enough time you will find it.
-And finally, I will hunt out-of-state. The problem with Utah is you only get one tag and that equals one opportunity. I need more opportunities.

That’s all folks. I hope all of you are setting high resolutions and standards for this coming hunting year. Remember, success is always a decision as long as you’re willing to do whatever it takes.

P.S. You can expect much more new blogs and information here in 2016. In 2015 I received tons of hunting related insights and revelations and took tons of notes in the field. All of this will be shared here in 2016.

HAPPY NEW DEERS!