Proper preparation should begin months before you take to the field. Weeks before opening day you need to identify relative patterns and resources available to the game you are hunting. As hunters we should always have a game plan in place to get within a reasonable range for that critical shot placement. The hunting gear isn’t just about what we use to down that trophy, but also, understanding the principles of preparation prior to game day. Preparation and planning provides the valuable information we need for success. Hunters need careful selection of locations, like food plots, water resources, bedding areas, choke points and exit points. Keep this in mind. When the pressure is on, big game always follow their instinct but, I have always noticed an exit pattern.
Scout your land of choice in earnest. Use trail cameras around game trails and food plots. Use spotting scopes and binoculars in the open areas of the badlands. These optics allow you to see that trophy from a distance and game plan their movements without a lot of pressure. Concentrating your efforts on scouting will pay dividends. Paying close attention to movement from bedding grounds and food resources are crucial locations to identify and helps to prepare properly. Spotting how these big-game move when the pressure is on contributes to your success. Using other hunters to your advantage makes setting up on exit patterns and choke points a no-brainer to the novice. Happy scouting and remember when you are in the field make sure you have a partner with you for safety and an extra eye to help locate trophy game. The discussions with your hunting partners builds confidence and are beneficial to your preparation. So BUDDY UP!
So why do most Hunters get “skunked?”
We have all had those days where our scouting and planning was not worth the dime we spent with no results. However, the time spent is worth the dime spent because you are obtaining the needed Intel for planning. Lack of preparation equals lack of knowledge as to the whereabouts and movements of those elusive trophies. The bottom line is, you don’t have a clue. You need to get a clue. Pre-game day scouting and locating patterns are crucial to your success. To most beginner hunters some of this information could easily serve as a teaching moment. To those hunters that have a certain prowess about them and have had many successful game day adventures, may this article serve as a reminder of how important something second nature to you may need improvement.