I was approached last week by Kasey of HuntandFishGuides.com who offered to do a guest post on my site called, “Don’t Rush the Moment.” It is a reminder for us hunters to keep our wits about us, keep calm and don’t rush our shot when the opportunity arises. I know from experience that this can be very hard to do…but it pays off in the long run. So, sit back and enjoy the article and if you like, you can leave a comment about your great “moment” in hunting!
DON'T RUSH THE MOMENT
Months of backyard target-shooting are paying off. You’ve practiced and practiced for this whitetail hunting trip; you’ve dialed it in. You consistently get three arrows right where you want them. Your equipment is ready. YOU are ready. Now just be careful and don’t get sick. Don’t catch that ‘buck fever.’
You’ve been sitting in your tree stand now for three hours, bow across your lap, arrow nocked and ready. That same squirrel has made fourteen trips to your bait pile, the mosquitoes are enjoying the banquet feast and your left foot is falling asleep.
But the breeze is from the right direction, peak time is approaching and there is still got about an hour and a half until sundown. A sound catches your attention some fifty yards upwind, seems to be coming from the run near where you saw that huge scrape yesterday. Wait. Calmly. Don’t get antsy now.
Movement. Nothing. Out of nowhere, a good-sized doe and a button buck are nosing along the path. They weren’t there a second ago; at least not that you could see. Are now though, but the angle is wrong; she’s too far out for a good clean shot, so exercise patience. Wait. Something better may come in. A sound from the other direction. Fifty yards out. He’s big. Got a basket, maybe six, no, eight points at least.
Your heart starts to hammer, your breathing rate increases. Time to dial back and wait. That squirrel is back at the bait pile, but is cautious now. The doe comes in closer; she’s looking off to the east, quartering towards you, bad shot and she’s halfway behind a tree.
The buck sniffs, blows. The doe and the button scatter. His head is up now; might be a nine point. He needs to come in just a little closer, turn just a tad more.
This is when it can hit. Buck fever rears its ugly head and all the practicing, all the work, all the excitement can surge into that moment of no return and you let the anticipation get the better of you. This is when you need to quietly take a few deep breaths and be patient. Wait for it. No matter your fingers itch. No matter that danged mosquito who’s been buzzing your forehead has stopped to feast.
Wait, watch; be aware of the other sounds, the wind direction, what that buck is doing. Don’t rush the moment. Don’t let that sense of ‘he’s mine!’ cloud your thinking. Don’t lose your chance, or worse, fire off a wounding shoot. Jam all those emotions down deep into your boots and stay focused on what you are out here to do.
Closer now; he’s almost in range. Wait for him to take that step. You are dialed in perfectly for that thirty-yard shot, but he’s still closer to forty out. Wait for your comfort zone; don’t push the envelope. You don’t want to miss. He looks away, intent on something only he can hear. Another step, he turns, his ears focused away from your tree stand. You pull back; hold it. Hold it. He takes another step, quarters away. Now!
He jumps, stands. Wait. Don’t fly down from your stand. See what he is doing; see where he will go. The view’s better from up here. He runs, but you know you got a good shot. You can just see your arrow; bloody with bright red blood: lung shot. You hear a crash. He’s down. Don’t do what a friend once did: now is not a good time to fall out of your tree stand. Take it easy. Follow the blood trail. There he is. Down twenty yards from where you got him. Now he’s yours. Now he’s MIF—Meat-in Freezer.