Hunting on the Clock - Learning Patience

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Being impatient while hunting has cost me a lot of game.  I have thought repeatedly that God has given me a love of hunting to teach me patience.  I am still not what I would describe as a patient person, but I have learned a few tricks that have helped me to discipline myself enough to hunt successfully.

I don’t usually see a whole animal all at once.  Instead I see some small part of the animal or some hint of movement before I am able to fully realize what is there.   While scanning the brush and trees I’ll think ‘was that a bird wing or the flicker of an ear or tail in the brush?’  When I was a less experienced hunter and thought I heard game moving out of sight or thought that I might have seen something move but wasn’t quite sure what it was I would try to wait a few minutes for the movement to be repeated and hopefully for the animal to reveal itself.  Many, many times I gave up too early and made a movement myself before the animal did.  In those cases, my movement would blow my cover and the usual result was a deer bounding away or the sound of a snort and retreating foot steps.  

After years of this frustration, I have learned to glance at my watch and mentally note the time when this happens.  Then I force myself to wait and watch, silently for 15 minutes.  It seems like HOURS!  But many, many times after what seems like eternity (but in reality is only ten or twelve minutes) I see the animal make another move and am able to see it before it sees me.

So if you have trouble being patient, use the clock to your advantage, force yourself to watch your watch then see more game.


Deer Slayer's picture

Great tip, thanks for sharing

Great tip, thanks for sharing it. My dad has taught me to count like to 600 which is ten minutes. Usually within that time frame the animal will make a move and we can better determine what it is and what it's going to do next. 

numbnutz's picture

Great tip, I have noticed the

Great tip, I have noticed the older i get the more patient i am, when i was younger just like you my impatience has cost me a lot of animals, I use the counting method myself and it works for me, I have become pretty good at spotting game and freezing and watching them make there move so i can play a stalk or if i need to stay put and wait for it to come to me. I have been trying to teach my kids this early so they dont make the same mistakes i did when i was young.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. I used to do that,

Great tip. I used to do that, but I even use an older trick now so i don't have to look at my watch, or the time on my cell phone. If I see what I think could possibly I focus in on that area and count to 600. I am as still as I can be during this time frame. Of course 600 seconds is 10 minutes. Usually within 10 minutes the animal will make a move and hopefully you can geta better look and determine what it is by that time.

hunter25's picture

Time seems to drag on forever

Time seems to drag on forever in these silent moments while we are trying to figure out if we really saw something or not. Using a watch to mark the time is probably the best thing to do because it is amazing how long a deer can stand motionless. They truly are the more patient animal out there Because I have nearly had a breakdown trying to spot more movement.

Thanks for the tip I will put it to good use.

jaybe's picture

Man, you are so right about

Man, you are so right about that. It's just amazing how long a deer can stand still and wait for the hunter to make that first move. Many times they will be just as unsure as you are as to what you are, so they will stand stock-still and wait you out. Like you said, usually the hunter gets impatient and makes the first move. he turns his head quickly at another sound, or he takes a step so he can see better, or something else to tip off the deer. Then the deer wheels and runs away, with a tree or bush conveniently in between you and it!

Thanks for the great tip. I'll have to try that the next time I'm in that situation.