Five Mental Tips for Deer Hunting
Dr. John Woods 01.27.20
It’s coming fast like a low insider by Chipper Jones. Deer hunting season is about over. This means now is the time to put your red zone plays into motion. Deer are still moving. Some does have yet to be bred, so bucks will be trying to connect. Get your mind right.
While you’re thinking about getting your property ready to hunt with food plot work, stand setups, mowing trails, and all the other physical labor, you might want to start pondering the mental issues, too. There is a lot more to successful deer hunting than bow practice or time at the shooting range. Deer hunting is a head game, too.
Among all the attributes of a successful deer hunter, there is much to prepare for in terms of pondering how best to hunt, where, and when. You have to get your mind right as well. Here are just a few of the mental aspects to keep in mind as you climb into that tree stand.
First and foremost is your attitude. Sure, you want to hunt, you love deer hunting, but what pulls you out of bed on a cold, wet morning when successful odds seem slim? It’s a positive attitude. This is your game, your sport. Regardless of any downturns always look on the bright side.
I have always contended that persistence is the number one quality for a good deer hunter. You simply have to keep after it every single chance you get. A day lost because it may rain or blow is a day gone forever. You can’t kill a big buck from the television arm chair.
While in the field, stay alert. Deer come and go all day. If you nod off or sink your head into an electronic game, iPhone, or book, that buck may escape your observation. And deer appear from nowhere at any moment. Keep scanning the woods. Blank out your mind to concentrate on listening to every sound in the woods.
Focus. Maintain your awareness of every aspect of hunting. Remind yourself of tree stand safety, ATV riding safety, bow and gun safety. Watch for wind and weather changes that may impact your hunt. Go over your gear before you leave camp to be sure you have everything.
When the shot comes, be calm and deliberate. That’s the biggest part of the mental game. Breathe. Move slowly on target. Get that bow sight pin right on or the crosshairs in the kill zone. Make a smooth release of an arrow or bullet.
Control all of these emotions, and the rest will fall in place. Above all else, keep that attitude positive until the bitter end.