Secret Bowhunting Tip: Enlarge Your Consciousness
I always wanted to find an arrowhead. I always felt a great romanticism in stumbling across an ancient bowhunting artifact that paralleled my own plight as a modern hunter. Well, in 2013 it finally happened. On opening morning I headed out across a steep ridgeline on my annual quest for deer. I laid my bow on the ground and pulled up my binoculars to view the new surroundings. When I reached down to pick my bow up, I noticed a small, shiny, black object lying right next to my bow. My heart leapt! For a second I imagined an ancient hunter following his instincts—just as I had that morning—and walking the same path that I was on. It was a wonderful, serendipitous moment.
Big bucks are like arrowheads. What I mean is, you might hunt for years and years without seeing a truly giant buck. But given enough experience, inevitably you’ll stumble across one. Still yet, it may take several more years before you actually get an arrow in one. But if you persist in strengthening your skills and keeping an open mind, one day you’ll wrap your hands around some trophy antlers. After that, it won’t feel impossible anymore, but inevitable. It’s all about enlarging your consciousness.
Two weeks after finding my first arrowhead, I found a second one. I was hunting an entirely different section of the unit, and after setting up camp I hiked to a nearby stream for some water. Just before I got there, my eyes locked onto another black, shiny object. This arrowhead was even bigger and more perfect than the first one. I’m not sure it was entirely coincidence.
Bigger bucks are like bigger arrowheads. It might take many years to finally bag a big buck, but once you do, they come easier. That was also the case in 2013 when I found two arrowheads and bagged the biggest buck of my life, dubbed Superbuck. The story I wrote for that deer was based entirely on building greater success off of previous success.
Entrepreneurs frequently tell a similar story: It took them years and years to earn their first million dollars, but only a short time and a lot less effort to earn their second million. As it turns out, success has more to do with our state of mind than anything else.
So, what does it mean to “enlarge one’s consciousness? When I first read this quote, I asked myself the same thing. Was I infinitely UN-successful in my finances, relationships, hunting, etc., because my vision of life was too small? Was I limited by my physical brain capacity to have a small consciousness? Was I limited by negative influences during my formative years? Yes, I think so. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from having success in bowhunting. What I needed to do was enlarge my consciousness beyond the old-fashioned style of hunting that mostly leads to failure. So I struggled, studied, and fought against mediocrity, and after years of doing my own thing, I was finally a trophy hunter reborn.
When I set my annual goal to harvest a trophy deer, I envision a real monster buck with huge mass and a wide, sweeping set of antlers. I am conscious of the fact that there are at least one of these stud-bucks in every general unit in the state; I just have to find it. I can set this goal because I know I will consciously and subconsciously do things differently than most hunters who are just hoping to luck out on a nice four-point. I am also conscious of the near impossibility of the goal, but instead of getting discouraged, I just try harder. As it turns out, life is about dreaming big and expecting excellence.
I always wanted to find an arrowhead, and now I’ve found two. I always wanted to shoot a 200-inch trophy buck, and now I have two. I’ve always wanted to enlarge my consciousness, and now I have too.
Click here for the next tip, Secret Tip #6: Put in the Time