So spend any time on social media you quickly realize the flood which is the innumerable pro-staffers, field staff, promotional staff, representatives or ambassadors exist everywhere you look. Sally Mae from Ohio posts incessantly about that new illuminated nock to ad nauseam…and don’t get me started on Joe Blow from Michigan that appears to use that one company’s urine scent line so much I wouldn’t be shocked if he said it works great as an after shave!
Whatever it might be I think we all realize quickly the gimmick and wool companies are pulling over folk’s eyes with the proverbial carrot (aka “pro-staff”) in front of the horse is merely companies seeking to increase their margins and to some they could care less how watered down their “staff” become.
However, allow me to break the news to you: you don’t need any of those gimmicks or statuses to see success. While Sally is busy posting about “lighting it up” in her backyard in Ohio you are here reading to hopefully garner some real insights on what it takes to be successful in this thing called hunting, especially finally wrapping your tag around that buck your targets are set on.
Over the coming weeks we are going to tackle the 4 main things which I declare myself to be a member or are striving to be a member of their pro-staff or field staff. The crazy thing is however NONE of these things are brand related, they require no product promoting and no peddling of wears…these things will be the remnants of what truly is left if you put all the successful hunters in the world into a pot and cooked them down to all the common traits found in them.
HARD WORK – Pro Staff Member
Yup, you read that right. All the successful hunters I have ever met, talked with or read about have this first trait in common; hard work. Now let’s not pretend for a moment that there are not hunters out there that luck into a solid buck, or perhaps even two or three over the years.
However, the consistently successful hunters are the ones we are talking about and all of us should learn from. I argue that the best hunter’s success is not by chance when it becomes a consistent thing – hard work lays behind every single successful harvest they accomplish.
In order to be a member of this pro-staff though let me forewarn you it isn’t for the faint of heart. You will always go one step further, take one more precaution, get up one hour earlier and re-evaluate a plan one two more times than everyone else. There will never be a quick answer or a brief question formulated when picking a stand location or deciding an entrance/exit route.
Going an extra mile out of your way if a public land hunter is never going to be a question, but an assumed thing if it is the smartest approach and merely ‘rolling the dice’ may become nonexistent in your vocabulary, especially when focusing on one specific deer.
I actually can still remember talking with a guy once that had harvested an absolute slob once in another state. I asked him how many times he had seen the buck in person, his answer was ‘once’. Clearly impressed I asked if he knew about the buck prior to his encounter?
A slow grin crept across his face and what he said next was incredible….”Four years I knew of him. Four years I waited to hunt this exact stand due to a bunch of different factors…I’d hunted him before but this was the first hunt I actually felt the odds could be as high as 50/50.” He went on to share how every documented photo, suspected sign and/or other hunter sightings were logged and analyzed. Slowly correlations and tendencies began to form and he had done intensive homework to develop a plan of attack before that hunt which was the culmination of years of research.
That is another example of what it takes to be a member of this specific pro-staff…it doesn’t take an incessant string of photos shared on social media, it takes a commitment and an in depth analysis of every single step a deer takes that you know and are aware of. It takes hard work. It takes at times an extreme way of thinking.
Another example is someone that goes the extra mile for habitat creation and enhance their hunting properties even if that means using a hand rake and back pack sprayer lugged through rough terrain deep into the timber…the ease of which something can be accomplish is never a factor in deciding whether to do it or not. All that drives them is if the task will make a difference for the deer they are pursuing. These hunters are firing up a chainsaw or planting trees when most other hunters are enjoying the “off season.”
In closing to be a pro-staff member of hard work you do not have an “off season” in the terms others and perhaps even yourself have viewed it in the past. This is one of the reasons I myself struggle to be a true member of this elite pro-staff because it isn’t easy. I’m guilty of being lazy, taking the easy way out or deciding not to do the hard work I know will bear fruit either in the short term or the long term for Pops and I.
Here’s to hoping you, me and everyone else reading this can take steps towards becoming a full-fledged member of this elite pro-staff that most successful hunters nearly always are members of.
Next week we tackle becoming a field staff member for ‘staying smart’!