When you get dressed in the morning there is a definite sense of comfort that you feel when you put on that old t-shirt that you’ve had for years. You know how it’s going to fit, you know how it’s going to look and you know it’s going to be comfortable. On the other hand it sure feels nice once in a while to throw on the suit and tie as well. It’s good to know that you’re looking good, ready to hit the town and maybe even turn a few heads.
While those two scenarios are very different from one another they both have their own set of advantages and can both be very enjoyable. While I could elaborate a bit on the two scenarios above I’m pretty sure that nobody is reading this article in the hope of finding some fashion advice and as a hunter you’re probably wondering just where I’m going with this comparison. Well when I look at my season so far I definitely see two distinctly different styles that have both resulted in great hunting despite their differences.
I spend the majority of my season hunting on our lease. Our lease is a place that we know very well and that we work on, think about and/or visit all year long. We have picked some great spots for some of our stands and we sit them year after year. We have a great feel for the way deer interact and move on, and around, our property and while some small surprises always seem to pop up we have a pretty good handle on what to expect on the property. Our lease is that old t-shirt, the one you know inside and out and the one that just feels comfortable no matter what’s going on.
Aside from our lease I spend one week a year hunting up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Despite having been to our UP bow camp the last 15 years it is still like that suit and tie you only bust out once in a while. It forces me to step outside of my comfort zone, to forget what I’m comfortable with and look at things in a different way. The big woods of the UP are a far cry from the agricultural land comfort zone that I’m use to and my success there depends on my ability to adjust to my surroundings.
In terms of “quality hunting” it’s safe to say that our lease is way out in front of the ground we hunt in the UP yet I look forward to my UP trip all year long. The challenge of deciphering the sign, breaking down the big woods and setting myself up on deer is one of the highlights of my season every year. After wearing that same old t-shirt day in and day out it feels good to wear that suit and tie for a week and see the woods in a different way.
I was recently reading some comments from people who were telling a fellow hunter not to head to the UP because his main hunting grounds were way better. I couldn’t believe that people were offering up that “advice” and it made me realize something.
Sometimes we get so comfortable in our ways that we begin to see anything other than what we’re use to as a bad thing. We are afraid to step out of our comfort zone and test ourselves. Is it because we are worried of failure? Are we afraid that we will see how much we don’t know? Are we worried that stepping outside of our comfort zone will show us how much more we have to learn? Do we just want to take the easiest path?
Whatever the reason may be, keep one thing in mind: Just because something may be different or harder that doesn’t mean it’s worse. It just means that your feeling of success will be that much greater.