There never seems to be enough time. After each season many of us have several skills we’d like to develop to improve for next year, but other responsibilities in the spring and summer can push hunting to the back burner. I spent the past two months working in a warehouse in Las Vegas. I assisted with assembling booths for conferences, and because peak season comes in the springtime, the company had us working over 60 hours per week. Though the money was good, the demanding hours left little time to develop as a hunter. Despite my schedule, I found ways to squeeze in some arrows and learn new tactics in the limited time I had. I hope you enjoy my tips for improving with so little time.
Your grandparents had another name for your commute, they called it “opportunity.” With a half an hour drive each way on the way to work, I could listen to at least one hunting podcast every day. I believe surrounding yourself with people better than you will inevitably push you to a higher level regardless of the activity. The closest thing we can do to spending time with pros is to reading books and listening to their approach. Follow the link to a list of the best hunting podcasts. If you’re an elk or turkey hunter you can also practice calling on a diaphragm call while driving. I recently downloaded the Elk Nut App, which has recorded sounds of both an actual elk and an elk hunting guide making every bull and cow sound as well as different sequences. The app also allows you to record yourself making the noise for comparison. Whether you practice calling or listen to podcasts your drive provides you with a great opportunity to develop as a hunter without the distractions of everyday life.
Don’t try this one on the highway, but visualizing the entire hunting process allows you to build confidence even if you don’t have enough sunlight to get out and actually shoot. Some hunters like to use vision boards others prefer to write down their goals ten times before bed or each morning. Whatever you prefer, visualization and putting your mind through drills can lead to better performance.
They didn’t say not to
I’ve always believed “better to ask forgiveness than permission” when it comes to shooting a bow. I used to shoot on trails in Oregon, which may or may not have been legal, but aside from one angry middle-aged hiker bitching at me, it went off without a hitch. Lately, I have found a vacant lot three blocks from the warehouse where I can shoot without anyone bothering me. The adjacent lots all have “no trespassing signs,” and the owners likely forgot to post one on the lot I shoot on, but I won’t tell if you won’t tell. Harrison has shot on football fields and in parks when living in a city. Most people don’t see a bow as a threat, and some sexy jogger chicks may even come over and ask for your number (you never know). You could blind bale shoot in your apartment if you can’t find a lot. I’ve also heard of professional hunters that will practice in their garage. They will draw back and hold for a minute or so at ten yards before shooting in order to build endurance.
Make Time, Sleep Less
For me I feel better when I get a workout in even if I lose an hour of sleep as a result. When work feels like the only thing I do I am more stressed than if I sacrifice a bit of sleep to workout or shoot. You may find that giving up an hour of sleep to practice provides you with a better balance, and you feel more awake because of it. Obviously, you don’t want to go overboard with this one, but consider cutting back an hour or two on sleep for a couple weeks to test it out.
I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you find a bit more time to improve as a hunter.
Good luck with your training,