October 09, 2008
It's All Mental
By Kim Hiss
Now we know how impressive we are about getting ready for the season (as if there was ever any doubt). But, of course, logistics like target practice, scouting, stand hanging, and gear getting are only part of the equation. Once the season starts, there's an element that's harder to measure, and it's all mental.
For me, hunting has a lot to do with mind games and mental discipline. And it starts with getting my head off the pillow. Are you a Christmas-morning sleeper, who can't get to bed the night before then can't wait for the alarm the next morning? My congrats if you are -- I, on the other hand, need to start making deals with myself the second the alarm goes off (Like, if I only hit the snooze once, I'll let myself grab an extra fun-size Three Musketeers).
And the mental rigor continues in the field -- from staying awake, to staying put when nothing's moving and you've been out there for hours. Especially if it's cold. I know I'm not above resorting to chocolate bribes to keep myself there just a little longer (clearly, food is one of my great motivators).
And when you -- God willing -- finally see something, do you have mental nerves of steel, or does your brain do a momentary freak-out until you can get yourself under control? I'm lucky to be very even under pressure -- a trait I'm endlessly grateful for.
From getting out of bed to getting your deer on the ground, what's the mental component like for you? Does your brain sometimes work against you, or have you been hunting long enough that you know what mind games you need to play to make the most of your season? -K.H.