Glassing While Hunting
Archery - November 22, 2017

Pushing Through When Bowhunting Doesn’t Go As Planned

By Adam Parr

So far, 2017 has proven to be my most challenging hunting season yet. As we approach the end of November, I’ve hunted across three states, chasing both elk and whitetail deer with my bow in hand. After many days and hours afield, I’ve yet to close the deal and although I hate to admit it, it’s not due to lack of opportunities. I missed a 6×6 bull in Colorado on September 9th along with a 150” ten point in Kansas during early November. A week later I came closer in Iowa and put an arrow into a 140” nine-point but unfortunately, I did not recover the deer after the blood trail faded into leaves.

I’m not writing this as an “Adam Parr Pity Party” but more of a reflection of the season so far in an attempt to determine the reasons as to why the cards haven’t fallen my way. Whenever a goal is set, achieved or not, I feel it’s important to digress the circumstances that lead to an outcome for self-improvement purposes. Or I’m attempting to make me feel better about myself… I’ll let you be the judge.

What Went Wrong During the Moment of Truth?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself diving in and out of a mild depression (just kidding… well kinda) after reliving the close calls and opportunities that didn’t pan out. I’m not highlighting the times where the quarry was out of range or they took the wrong trail, I’m talking about the “in your face, do or die” scenarios during the moment of truth. While many things are out of our control, I’ve nailed down it down to these two factors as to what happened before pulling the trigger:

Rushing Opportunities – With everything on the line, it all boils down to one well-placed arrow. An extra couple seconds, even though it seems like time is fleeting away at warp speed, goes a long way towards executing a lethal shot. In all three scenarios, I felt like I was living on borrowed seconds, but in reality, I most likely had more time to fully assess the situation and settle in.

Lack Of Awareness – This goes somewhat hand in hand with rushing shots but my lack of awareness in the “red zone” caused animals to be on alert while at full draw. In the instance of my Colorado bull, I was picked off by a cow while ranging for the shot. During my Kansas hunt, I spooked the buck due to getting caught off guard while he was closing in on my setup. Bowhunting requires more movement at closer quarters and if you aren’t aware of every single detail, things can go wrong, which then leads to rushed shots.

The past is the past and as much as I wish I could take those arrows back, the only solution in my mind is to stick with it.

The views while bowhunting are spectacular, even when it’s a slow day.

Why Do I Keep Going?

I’m not throwing in the towel because I 100 percent love bowhunting and it’s truly a passion. When the going gets tough, I find myself looking to inspiration from entrepreneurial leaders of the world and my mind keeps coming back to a quote from Steve Jobs: “People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true and the reason is, because it’s so hard, that if you don’t, any rational person would give up.”

Sometimes hunting seems like it’s easy. Right now for me, it’s not easy. But what’s a guy to do, give up and stay home or get in the truck and drive 6 hours to Kansas? With a four-day Thanksgiving weekend upon us, I think I’ll pack the truck and head east!

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