By Jason Reid
Through my experiences in sports and hunting, I’ve learned successful people are those who remain clear-headed, calm and patient under pressure. I’ve also noticed they remember to enjoy each and every moment God gives us, no matter the circumstances.
I’d like to share a recent revelation about the mental aspects of hunting.
Between my unfilled tag and watching the calendar, the days remaining in my deer season were being checked off with faster and faster.
Anxiety set in when work, school and family requirements were keeping me out of the field. Time had become my greatest adversary.
The pressure I’d put on myself to fill a tag only made things worse, and adversely affected my enjoyment of the hunt.
Two weeks before I wrote this, during the last week of archery season, I’d reached my own breaking point. I’d pushed myself to exhaustion, yet continued to add mountains of unnecessary pressure. I’d become obsessed with killing a deer.
The woods had become my adversary rather than my old friend, which was just plain wrong.
One evening, as I walked from my stand after not seeing a single deer, I’d beat myself mentally until I was a cauldron of misery.
With a bulky climber on my back, I slipped on a wet log and crashed headlong into the forest floor.
In was in that painful instant I realized how pathetic my thinking had become. I remained on the soggy ground for some time, thinking. I hadn’t been displaying the characteristics successful people possess, and I certainly hadn’t been enjoying my outings in the woods.
At that moment, I decided to let go of the pressures and simply relish the true joy of hunting — the pink sunrises and golden sunsets, walking a trail with a loved one, observing evidence of God in every tree and animal — all the things one cannot see from the confines of a house.
From that moment on, I regained my joy of the woods.
Success in hunting is just like other sports. So much of the game is mental.
Don’t underestimate the power of your own mind. It can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy. Even when things aren’t going your way, learn to enjoy every moment in the deer woods!
Editor’s Note: Here’s a link to Jason Reid’s blog, Where Eagles Dare. You will enjoy reading more of his outdoor experiences and intriguing thoughts.