September, the one month that makes the other eleven tolerable, has arrived. Many of you will head west in the next few weeks to chase bugles through the Rockies. September is the highlight of the year for many, and taking a bull elk has been written on almost every American hunter’s bucket list. On the flip side the financial investment combined with the time commitment can create an immense amount of pressure. In the weeks leading up to the hunt various factors are likely to pop up that feel as though they may derail the dream you have been looking forward to for so long. As the reality sets in you may feel anxious. Your thoughts slip from fantasies to the impending reality of putting your money where your mouth is. Here are a few tips for staying confident optimizing how you spend your time.
Shoot or Don’t
Don’t stress out. You don’t need to shoot a 300 round in order to shoot an elk. The vitals are roughly the size of a microwave and, compared to a whitetail, will look like a flatscreen. Obviously, it is important to be effective enough as to not injure an animal, but don’t freak out as the season approaches if your groups slip slightly. Most poor shots come from forcing a shot or failing to stop the animal, not a true miss. Just as championship athletes taper off before the season starts, most pros also do not continue to shoot high numbers of arrows. Shoot an hour a day max at five yard increments, both kneeling and standing and focus on delivering quality shots in which follow your routine. Personally, I remind myself to take my time, balance the bubble and accurately judge distance. You don’t need to risk giving yourself an overuse injury or wearing out components on your bow. Trust the time you have put in over the summer and let the cards land where they will. Lastly, you can’t get into shape with one week to go, so focus on stretching, breaking in your boots and eating clean.
Get the most out of your time by organizing and ensuring that gear is working properly. Put away any nagging work related thoughts by quitting your job. Jokes aside, you work fifty weeks a year, I think they can miss having you around the office for a week. I’ve been on trips with people checking their phones about work, and it becomes a real drag. This is your time of year. There’s no need to feel guilty about spending time in the woods, and the world won’t end if you take a few days or weeks to enjoy yourself. On a similar note, I hate to be in the woods thinking, “Fuck, I really should have called my grandma back I sure hope she makes it to the end of elk season.” Time passes slowly during the middle of the day and your thoughts will eventually turn toward what has been left undone. Essentially, call the people you need to, take your dog for a walk, and tell work to shove off, it’s elk season.
See you in a month,