Wipe Out The Hunting Jitters

Outdoor Outpost: July 2023

Joe Schuster | June 30, 2023

If you’re like me (and many others), you think about deer season year-round. With July upon us, hunting season is only a couple of months away. If you’re just starting out or have been in the woods for a few seasons, what would you consider to be the attributes of a good hunter? To me, the answer is clearly preparation.

I’ve heard athletes feel that they can reduce pre-game jitters through practice and preparation. That preparation can include pre-season scouting, practicing with a bow, rifle or whatever other legal firearm you choose. I like to shoot my bow to dial it in at dusk, the low-light conditions that simulate the same light when I’m most likely to see whitetails.

It could also include choosing stand or blind placements that will include concealment, but safety, as well. Next, I’d add patience. You certainly can’t be in a hurry to shoot a deer and you won’t shoot one every time you hunt. Because it’s usually a pretty significant effort to kill one, that patience will pay off and provide a great joy—it’s really an exciting time!

But as many will tell you, now the hard part begins. Field-dressing, dragging the deer out, taking it to a processor or hanging it up in preparation to skin, quarter the meat, wrap, seal and freeze. That’s a lot of work but really rewarding.

Skill can also play a role. It takes skill to take aim on a vital zone and shoot to kill. Let’s not forget luck plays into every hunt. I’ll take plenty of it if I can get it.

What about clothing? It should match up well with the environment that you’re hunting in, and I suggest that you choose the best that you can afford. But does the money spent on that gear make you a better hunter? You could argue that it will make a person a better hunter because nice clothing has features that allow you to hunt longer and more comfortable. If it allows you to stay warm, it could keep you warm and eliminate the need to shiver and move around. But again, will it make you a better hunter? Think back 100 years to those hunters. Those folks sure didn’t have all the latest camo patterns, moisture wicking clothes, fiber-optics sights and climbing stands. But they sure took some game, and in many cases their families depended on wild game for the supper table.

This season, look for a mixture of preparation, patience, skill and some luck. There is no guarantee that you’ll kill a deer, but with the right mix, odds of doing so will tilt in your favor.


GON Kids Calendar of Events

Table 1
7/01Kids’ Fishing EventJasper Co., Mansfield, Marben PFA470.259.7269
7/08Kids’ Fishing EventMarion Co., Buena Vista, CFL WMA Hilliard706.318.0515
7/15Kids’ Fishing EventWhite Co., Cleveland, Buck Shoals WMA706.947.1503
7/15Kids’ Fishing EventTalbot Co., Tadsen Pond, Woodland404.852.3150
7/22Kids’ Fishing EventSpalding Co., Tyus Park770.467.4750
7/28-30GON Outdoor BlastBartow County, Lakepoint Sports, Emerson800.438.4663

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