By Mark Kenyon

You say that you want to kill a deer. Or maybe it’s more deer. A bigger deer. THE deer.

Whatever your goal is, I’m sure that if you’re reading this blog you must want to become a better hunter. Right? But my next question is this. How bad do you want it? How hard are you willing to work for it?

I ask for a very specific reason. Because if you want to become a better hunter..no, forget that. That’s weak. Screw better, you want to be the best.

If you want to become the absolute best hunter you can possibly be – you have to hunt like your life depends on it.

Thousands of years ago, even hundreds of years ago, hunting wasn’t just a weekend activity. It wasn’t a “sport”, it wasn’t a “recreational pursuit”, it was LIFE. It was do or die. Hunting was a means for survival, and if you couldn’t provide, you and your family would slowly, painfully starve. Talk about motivation. The hunters of days gone by approached the task of hunting with this responsiblity weighing on their shoulders, and it showed.

Starving and exhausted? Hunting.

Rainy and cold? Hunting.

Hunted seven days straight without seeing a deer? Still hunting.

These hunters weren’t just trying to pass the time. They weren’t trying to film a big deer to show their buddies. They weren’t trying to get an extra steak or two. They were trying to just make it another day on this earth. And they would do anything, and I mean anything to be successful.

In today’s world, I realize we can’t necessarily relate to the idea of hunting being an absolute matter of survival. But if you want to be the best hunter you possibly can be, you need to approach it this way. You must prepare for the hunt as if failure is not an option, and you must hunt like your life depends on it.

Prepare

You cannot fail (or at least that’s what you need to convince yourself), and you must prepare yourself for the hunt with this mindset. It is in the preparation (or lack of) that most hunters make or break their chances of success.

If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be, you need to stop procrastinating. You just do. You need to stop waiting til the summer to start practicing with your bow. You need to stop waiting til September to start scouting. You need to stop waiting til the weekend before the season to hang your treestands.

If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be, you need to work harder in preparation than anyone and everyone. There are over 10 million other deer hunters out there, all looking to achieve the same thing as you. If you work just as hard as everyone else, you’ll see the same kind of success as everyone else (ie. low to no success). Practice with your bow longer. Scout more thoroughly than ever before. Find more new hunting locations. Hang a greater number of treestands. Plant better food plots. Pay closer attention to the details.

Read this. Process this. Now do it. This is the time to be preparing for the upcoming season. Don’t wait a day longer, do something right now and it will pay dividends in the fall.

Hunt

If you’re hunting like your life depends on it, you’ll hunt through any and all obstacles. You’ll hunt with a greater intensity, a greater need, a greater focus.

If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be, you need to hunt harder than you ever have. You need to take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary for once and for all. Anything is possible if you work hard enough, and that’s truly the only way to be the best. Hunt longer. Hunt more often. Hunt through the cold. Hunt through the rain. Hunt through the bad days and the good. If you want it bad enough, you need to put in the time, the sweat, the blood.

If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be, you need to hunt smarter. Hunting whitetails is a “game of inches”, where the details matter more than anything. And taking time to focus on the little things can often times result in the greatest results. Focus on eliminating every possible odor before hunting. Focus on finding the most stealthy entry route into a stand location. Double check all your equipment. Double check the wind. The smallest error can ruin a hunt, don’t let it.

When you’re laying in bed at 3:30 AM, months from now, remember this and get your tail in gear. If you want it bad enough, nothing can stop you. Hunt hard, hunt smart.

Your Life Depends On It

You say that you want to kill a deer. Or maybe it’s more deer. A bigger deer. THE deer?

No matter what your goal is, you’re not going to achieve anything with a luke warm work ethic and flacid sense of dedication. Instead, you need to take a cue from our ancestors.

If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be, there can be no excuses, no rock left unturned, no days off, no turning back. If you want to become the best hunter you can possibly be,  you need to hunt like your life depends on it.

– Mark Kenyon

For the comments section: What’s one way you think you can improve the way you prepare or hunt to “hunt like your life depends on it”?