Secret Bowhunting Tip #2: Success is a Decision


Secret Bowhunting Tip #2: Success is a Decision

It took me half a lifetime to really understand that success in bowhunting is a decision. Failure comes not from luck, but from failure to commit to the goal. The decision to succeed is not made a week or two before the hunt, but the very second the last season ends.

Setting Goals

In sharing this insight with other bowhunters, I’m usually met with some hesitation. They want to agree with the premise, but don’t really understand it. So let me explain:

When I make the decision to succeed—to arrow a great buck—I set a goal for the entire year. And it’s not just any goal, but the most difficult goal to reach. It’s so difficult because there are just too many variables in bowhunting and no guarantees. What if I simply can’t find a good buck this season?

By setting such a lofty goal, one’s mind begins making immediate preparations to accomplish it. Throughout the year, this goal is broken down into planning, studying, shooting, equipment preparations, mind-set, and a myriad of other sub-goals.

Keeping this primary goal in the forefront of my mind, I find myself making daily decisions to achieve it. One example is to block out my intended hunting dates on the calendar. No matter what opportunity or responsibility arises, I absolutely refuse to alter my schedule. This year alone I’ve turned down two potentially profitable jobs that would’ve interfered with my hunt dates.

Admittedly this can be very difficult for some people. Most jobs will allow one week off work, or two if you’re lucky. The sad fact is, if you let your all-important job interfere with your hunting schedule, then you can’t set the goal in the first place. The decision isn’t yours to make.

Setting such big goals sets a precedence upon which failure is not an option. If you are truly committed to a goal, subconsciously you will make mental and spiritual goals which you aren’t even aware of; goals which will seemingly magically bring you and your quarry together into a single space and time. I believe there are unseen forces in the universe that want you to succeed; that are willing to help you if you let them. You just have to want it bad enough. This is the only way to beat bad luck.


As mentally and physically prepared as I might be, bowhunting often feels overwhelming at times. I believe that bowhunting trophy bucks–both successfully and consistently–is the hardest thing a person can do. I also know that there are greater forces at work than I can ever understand which increase my odds. Some call it the power of positive thinking. Some call it Zen hunting.

There is nothing more magical than the breaking dawn of a season opener. And there is nothing more deflating than last light of an unsuccessful season closer. I have no intention of ever experiencing a failed season again. I’ve made the decision!

Click here for my Secret Bowhunting Tip #3: Be Patient

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