The bow hunting mindset.

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by Fritz Rabe, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    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.
     
  2. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for very usefull tips Fritz.
    I go on my first bowhunt ever in august and every tips are much appreciated.
    I have no fear of the patience part, but the confidence part are another story. Training with my bow are a breeze, but when the moment comes when I gonna release the arrow on my first bowhunt animal, I hope I will remain confident.
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Patience, Patience, Patience..... echoing in my ears

    Still mastering this one.
     
  4. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Great post. I've never thought of North American hunters being used to waiting and being more patient but I can definitely see it being true.
     
  5. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I can be a very patient hunter as long as I don't have to sit on my *ss for hours waiting for something to happen :)
    It does my head in.

    I rather be very slowly stalking for 2 days to get a decent animal than to sit still for 4 hours to get a big trophy.
    Or stalking for 2 weeks before I get my animal than to sit still for 4 days to get it.

    Hunting success is very nice, but how well the success taste depends very much on how I achieved the success. Getting an animal by stalking taste very much better than to sit on my *ss to get it.

    And this is the main reason why I probably will never book a Leopard hunt even if it is an animal I would love to hunt.
     
  6. iamyourhuckleberry

    iamyourhuckleberry AH Enthusiast

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    A positive mind set keeps you in the hunt for those thirty seconds that it usually takes. This is a concept I try to convey to those hunting elk here in Colorado. The mountains and the altitude has a way of wearing down hunters (it's tough to rely on any method other than spot and stalk) . Those who maintain that positive mindset/edge succeed more often than those that lose it (based on experience). You will hear me say quite often, "pack up and go home the moment you begin to feel there are no elk here. You will be doing all of us a favor."

    It's amazing how thirty seconds and a positive attitude can change a hunt.

    Another good learning tip Fritz.
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Thats quite true. If you beleive you will be unsuccessful you do not put the same effort in and if you do get an opportunity you are not ready for it and therefore more likely to flub it.
     
  8. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Don't know if it is so much a mind set (guess it is), but, I got into bow hunting for one reason, extended hunting season, plain and simple. Buuuuttttt, the knowledge I have gained, as far as spot and stalk, stand placement, scent control/using the wind, have also made me a better rifle hunter as well, making chip shots instead beanfield shots.

    Fritz, I am not one of those guys who picked up bow hunting, and stopped using a rifle. Would never give of the smell of smokeless or blackpowder (love it)... I am fond of the bow (traditional and conventional), but I still feel the only reason I do it is for more time in the woods.
     
  9. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

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    Great thread. My most important aspect of bowhunting and telling a beginner to an expert bowhunter when I had my shop was confidence. Get your bow tuned, tune your arrows and BH's to the bow and shoot until you have confidence in yourself, your equipment and your ability to use that equipment. Along with this confidence on all 3 levels comes a positive mindset. When an animal comes in or you get close enough for a shot, a confident bowhunter will just be praying for the right shot knowing tht he can make that shot. A person in the same situation might be saying the same thing, but there will probably be doubt in his or her mind if they can make the shot. If this is the case, there is a likely miss or a wounded animal. Confidence and a positive outlook go a long way to becoming a successful bowhunter on a consistant basis.
     

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