Mental Preparedness

CMuehl

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
12
I see many posts on here about physical preparedness for hunts but there isn't much about mental preparedness. You could be in great physical shape but if you can't effectively deal with the mental stress of a hunt it doesn't matter. Does anyone do anything to mentally prepare for a hunt? How do you keep calm when you've got an animal in your sights and your adrenaline is pumping? How do you stay motivated when you're wet/cold and haven't seen anything?
 

muddydogs

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,008
Location
Utah
It's all mind over matter. If your to dumb to mind it doesn't matter. As I get older I must be getting a little smarter because the long hikes and crappy weather are starting to matter more.

Its hard to prepare for the hardships that one can encounter when hunting without living them. After 20 years working in the woods nothing much phases me and when the going gets tough I know that the only way to get out of a situation is one foot in front of the other and every inch in the right direction gets me closer to the end. I think about the positives, if I'm cold and wet I tell myself well its only X miles to the truck, tent or trailer and it could be XX miles to salvation.

One has to learn how to control the adrenaline dump when it happens, only way to learn how to control it is experience the highs and work on thinking through them. Some guys never do get a handle on the adrenaline and will always be the ones jumping around talking a mile a minute after the shot. Others get so nothing phases them and can shrug off a near death experience like nothing happened when others around them can't hardly believe there still alive.
 

mtnhmr

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
72
Bring less food with you during pre-season hikes.

I advocate for hunting hungry.

/agree muddydogs - it's all about experience and overcoming the hardships.
 

Ariettabob

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
205
Location
Upstate NY
It’s an everyday lifestyle thing dealing with adversity. I work outside pouring concrete. When it rains or snows, wind is blowing sideways or it’s scorching hot I just do what needs to be done, no questioning it. I seem to get in a zone anymore where nothing external bothers me. I’ve developed that attitude over years of living it. I’m 62 and have been at it for damn near 40 years. I’m lucky in that I HAVE to do it, but I believe anyone can develop the right attitude. Go for that ruck or run even when it’s cold and/or wet. Blistering hot, take plenty of water and pride yourself afterwards on doing it when not many others would. Go hungry as mtnhmr said. You’ll come up with many ways to develop the “can do” attitude over time. It’ll help not just hunting but all of your life.
 

ozyclint

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
832
Location
Queensland, Downunder
adversity fosters resilience. like ariettabob says, add some adversity to your day and your mental toughness will develop over time.

mental preparedness is very underrated, i've seen and heard of plenty of physically cable people whimp out at the slightest bit of hardship.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
9,677
Location
Colorado Springs
How do you keep calm when you've got an animal in your sights and your adrenaline is pumping?
My adrenaline starts pumping as soon as I get into high altitude.......it's a rush. I thrive up there, and I thrive on adrenaline.

Quitting or failing isn't even an option, I have no need to prepare mentally, I live my life every day like that. If I ever wanted to quit, I'd kick my own butt......and then keep pressing on.
 

deadi

Senior Member
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
123
My now deceased hunting partner and good friend used to say "you just do what is necessary to get it done".
 

NebraskaHunt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
15
I agree with folks that says it just takes years and that having an outside job where you're subject to the eliments is the only way to go. With that said, having worked in construction for 20 years I've now gone from pouring concrete to crunching numbers in the office. It definitly makes you physically soft, but that can be combatted with a training regiment. The mind can also be trained just as the body, but it takes dedicated effort. Patience is key and when it's go time, you have to be willing to do ANYTHING to make it happen. My hunting partner has a mindset and I can just tell when he sets off he's not coming back until he's got an animal.

Winners find a way to win. Hunting is no different.
 

mtwarden

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
3,218
Location
Montana
I think if you add some training that closely resembles a hunt, you'll be a lot better prepared mentally. I backpack year round, including the dead of winter. I've seen every imaginable kind of weather, the very worst of terrains, have pushed myself to the very brink of exhaustion numerous times, navigated complex routes in the pitch dark, have to field repair numerous different items, nursed injuries (knock on wood, most minor), etc. All these experiences give you the confidence needed when heading afield in the fall.
 
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