Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Hunting Cycle

Every time I kill a big buck I immediately want to kill six more. It’s so bad, I am actually planning next year’s hunt before the current buck is even field dressed. It’s a cycle that repeats itself over and over again.

There is a three part cycle to trophy hunting. Each part of the cycle is dependent upon the other and of equal importance to the whole. If we apply the cycle consistently we greatly increase the consistency of our results.

The Mastery Cycle

The first portion of the cycle is what I call the Mastery Cycle. It actually consists of a cycle within a cycle. The first leg of the cycle is Knowledge. We must ever increase our knowledge and understanding of deer, his habits and habitat.

The second leg is Skills. It’s important to be proficient in reading deer sign as well as the use our chosen weapon. Both of these skills should be second nature to us and operating on autopilot in the back of our minds.

The last leg of the Mastery Cycle is Mindset. The one thing consistent in successful hunters is the proper mindset. A hunter should not be attached to the outcome. The buck is not the goal, but rather the byproduct of doing things right. A successful hunter is generally the one who is just happy being outdoors. He’s not thinking about killing a deer. He’s only thinking about seeing the deer. The killing part usually takes care of itself.


Patience is without a doubt the most difficult part of the entire cycle. We live in a world that demands immediate results. We have cell phones, fast food, and credit cards. We want it all and we want it now. This mentality doesn’t work well in the natural world.

This is why most hunters settle for the first buck they see and can’t wait for a truly exceptional head. Waiting is a more difficult skill to learn than making the right moves.

Learn to stay put and to choose your moves carefully. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the hill.


Persistence and patience go hand-in-hand and both are of equal value in the cycle. Persistence is having faith in our location, our skills, and that a buck will show up. A persistent hunter isn’t trying to force a move and get the season over with quickly. He is focused on the care and precision of his tactics. He is gaining knowledge and redefining his strategies confident success will come his way.

Once the season is over we reevaluate our knowledge, skills, and mindset. We practice those skills during the off-season. Once the season begins we incorporate those skills with patience and persistence. The cycle repeats itself over and over again.

Good Luck and Good Hunting,

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