One of the most fascinating portions of my interviews was when the panel of archery hunters, who I respect as the cream of the crop, spoke of fighting to stay motivated. I was a little surprised to hear that even these guys have to work to stay sharp in the field. Here is how they do it.
Kirk Edgerton shared some secrets he uses in the field. “One of the main things I focus on is past success. When things are tough and critters sparse, I think about past hunts that ended in success. You’ve got to stay positive and avoid the ‘funk’. I’ll even flip through my camera looking at old photos, this always keep me mentally in the game and motivated.” Kirk shared and went on to explain, “I also think about what I’ve called the ‘6 second rule.’ In six seconds I can shoot the trophy of a lifetime, am I ready? This keeps me looking, scanning, and eagerly awaiting what’s around the next hill, canyon or around the corner. It’s takes a brief second to spot an animal, a second to range him, then a few seconds to anchor and release. 6 seconds is all I need, it sounds odd, but on tough days, it keeps me going.”
Competitiveness again rings true in a bowhunter staying motivated, Kirk finishes his thoughts about staying motivated in the backcountry by sharing, “Even seeing other hunters inspires me. When I see other hunters on the mountain, I get competitive and think about where they won’t go and what they won’t do. I know I can out hunt, out think, and out climb them, then I think about a new strategy. More often than not, it gets me fired up and exploring a new locale or changing up my tactics.”
Chad Baart explains his philosophy on staying motivated, “The contest for me is not shooting the animal of a lifetime, getting bigger horns than the next guy, or even bragging rights. The contest for me is within my environment and myself. I have often enjoyed warm campfires, comfortable beds and microwaves, but the hunts that have meant the most were those waking in a cold camp with several inches of snow on my tarp wondering “why am I here?” To me it’s proving to myself that persistency and perseverance pays off.” To Chad the competitive struggle within is a huge motivating factor.
Dan Staton states plainly that a bowhunter has to, “Believe they will succeed,” and goes on to quote Viktor Frankl, “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” Dan also believes that his bowhunting success comes from seeking the edge, which in his words is, “The ability to take more out of yourself than you’ve got.”
Another interesting tactic that most of these 10 percenter’s shared with me was that most of them looked up to someone who in their opinion was, “better than them.” I continually heard stories of the importance of emulation and in Dan Staton’s words, “There’s always someone better than you – learn from them!”
Learning and implementing the art of staying motivated in the field can help you become a 10 percenter!