Bow hunting Mindset Every bow-hunter that has harvested some animals has a few tricks gained from experience/mentors that are not written in a book or magazine. Some of them came after only one animal was arrowed and a lot of them from years trying to outwit said game. One of the most useful pieces of equipment in any bow-hunters arsenal is rarely used or practiced or even known of. What I am talking about is the (Bow-hunting Mindset) There is a distinct difference between being positive and arrogant. Few people know how to differentiate between the two. You need a lot of experience in the subject to be able to recognize each one. Any person can be arrogant before or during a hunt but will usually end with a lot of excuses. Being positive is something that every bow-hunter should practice until he succeeds in every facet of the sport/occupation. Just like a competition archer has to visualize his shot and be positive before he releases the arrow, a Bow-hunter has to out think his prey. He needs to hone his patience so that he can sit in a blind for days without end until the animal of his quest produces a shot. We all quote the bow-men from the States as it is there where 99% of our equipment is made and so we believe that they know best. I do not agree with this. The normal bow-hunter from the States that draws a Deer tag spends +- 3 weeks to scout, prepare and wait for the one or two Deer to come within range that he holds tags for. When and if they do bag these Deer they are overjoyed and we often frown on them because they over-act on camera. In SA we are spoiled rotten with the abundance of animals and species and venues that we can choose from. Often I have heard of hunters that moan and groan after they spent one fruitless day in a blind and then they advertise that such and such a farm has no animals or, that they only saw 3 Squirrels at the blind for the whole day. This is where we need to learn from our brothers in the States. They have patience. When Leopard hunting, the normal safari days are booked at a total of 14. Why? That is how long it takes to get one cat that fits the bill to come onto a bait, so that a client can (hopefully) get one shot of. In my experience I have found that clients from the States have a much higher success rate hunting Leopard than any other nationality. It is because they are used to waiting for one shot and waiting a long time. When that shot finally arrives, they make the most of it. Bow-hunters need to be mentally fit. They need to be patient and know that it is only a matter of time before that one animal will come in. The same goes for Sport-fishermen. They do not just put a baited hook in the water and hope that Jaws is hungry. They study and learn and try. They will continue to stay on the water until the fish that they want take the hook. Bow-hunters need to be confident when they go out. They must (know) that the quarry is in the same piece of land that the hunter is surrounded with and then go and outsmart the animal. If that means that you have to spend hours on end in an uncomfortable blind then DO IT! Out smarting does not mean that you have a higher IQ, you might just win the game by being more patient. A positive mind-set will take away the doubts that you might have about your recent form that was not great. This is where a hunter must know the difference between arrogance and confidence. Look at the All Blacks when they perform the -HAKA- before they play rugby. It is to build confidence in them self and to mentally wear down their opponents before the game starts. That is what is meant by (Mental Toughness) and (Confidence) When we go out to bow-hunt non-common species like Mountain Nyala, Bongo, Lord Derby Eland or Sittatunga, we must be confident in our approach. None of these are hunted from a blind. You climb, walk, slide, crawl and drag yourself along in extremely trying terrain and circumstances in order to succeed. The heat, humidity, thirst, lack of oxygen, cold or hunger all play a part in braking down your confidence. How then do we succeed if we are not mentally tough? It is something that you have to teach yourself. You do not get it from reading a book or talking around the camp-fire at night. It is an (I won't quit) attitude that will befriend you in time and be your lucky-charm when you go hunting. It is a mindset that you can teach yourself in every day life. From standing in a queue to watching grass grow. When you acquire it as time goes by, you will be a more successful hunter with a lot of happy memories.