Are You An “A” Student Of The Outdoors Or An Average Student

Written by TheDeerwhisperer on Thursday, November 21, 2013

What in the world am I talking about is probably what crossed your mind when reading the title of this topic, and I hope after you read this you will get my point. Think back to your days in school (or if in school it still applies)…Who typically did the best overall? Was it the students that paid attention and took good notes? Or was it the students that tried to always beat the system and do as little as possible? Sure there are always students that have the ability to fly through school with minimal effort, but for the most part, the students that paid attention and took good notes are the ones who did the best on test days where it counted the most, which equaled a high average grade mark throughout the years of school.

So I ask the question, why aren’t many of us taking the same concept to be more successful in the outdoors? After all, we are still students regardless of our tenure and can still learn from our past and current experiences can’t we? Still a little confused? I am talking about taking GOOD notes while in the woods and on the water. I am not talking about only mental notes, but actually keeping a journal of your experiences.

Almost every great hunter and fisherman I have spent time with keeps a journal, some better than others, but none the less, they keep track of what their day was like…temp, moon phase, wind direction, color of lure, water temps, time of day catches or kills were made, number of animals seen, movement patterns, what the food sources were that year meaning, for farms the food source can change often whether winter wheat for a couple years, then corn or soy bean…etc. 

These hunters and fisherman tend to do better year after year then most anyone else I know…is it luck…no chance. It's because they are grade “A” students and pay attention to every little detail and document it and study the information time and time again…what do they find…patterns. That’s right they start to understand what the deer and fish are doing during different times of the year based on information they have recorded over the years. This information helps place them in a situation to succeed more often than those who just poke and hope based on some mental notes from the other day or a few years ago. Again, you can get by and have a good season from time to time winging it, but those who do their homework (pun intended) have many more successful seasons and a few more mounts on the wall…just like on test day in school, the “A” students were more prepared which made them successful. It truly is no different in the outdoors. 

With today’s technology taking notes is easier today than ever before since you don’t even have to leave the stand to start to document the day’s events. Almost every person’s phone has the ability to store notes and once the hunt is complete transfer them to the journal. Or now with game cams they will document most of the daily information around time, temp and moon phases just add it to the journal when you are looking at the pics.

In my personal opinion, keeping a journal is one of the most overlooked tools to being a great hunter. Keeping a journal is arguably the most important thing to really understanding the deer or fish and being more successful year after year. It’s pretty amazing what you can learn when going through a journal that has been well kept through the years…very powerful and educating. Some of the patterns you don’t even realize are happening when you are watching the animals live, and it is not until you read the data from the past and compare it to what you saw today, when the light bulb goes off and you’re like…NO SH#T that’s been happening this whole time and I didn’t realize it. 

So my final question is…are you an “A” student of the outdoors or just an average outdoorsman that thinks they are an “A” student, but missing out on so much that could be learned from your very own experiences? 

Information is very powerful when documented and used correctly…even in the woods and on the water.

To me this is one of the simplest tips I can ever give a new hunter, yet one of the best ones they’ll ever get…

Good Luck to everyone and hope you enjoyed this. -

About The Author

A master of finding and harvesting big New Jersey whitetails with 5 NJ Pope & Youngs to...

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